As one of the leading gastroenterologist’s in St. Louis, Dr. Shakeel Ahmed understands that a lot of people do not think too much about their digestive health until there’s a problem. In fact, a lot of people may not understand what being a gastroenterologist entails. This homepage will serve as a place for Dr. Shakeel Ahmed of St. Louis to explain the work of a gastroenterologist and future blog posts will touch on an array of subjects surrounding digestive health.
When it comes to an overview of gastroenterology, Dr. Shakeel Ahmed of St. Louis believes the easiest way to understand this medical area is to grasp that it entails all aspects of the digestive system. A gastroenterologist could be asked to treat everything from a person with severe constipation to hepatitis C. When a person first comes to Dr. Shakeel Ahmed in his St. Louis office, they are usually looking for a diagnosis. In order to properly diagnose a GI disease, an endoscopic procedure is usually required. These procedures involve specialized instruments, which allow a clear view of the GI tract.
Dr. Shakeel Ahmed explains that the functionality of the GI system is pivotal to overall health. The GI system is relied upon to not only digest the food a person consumes but move the food so that nutrients can be absorbed, and waste can be discarded from the body. Dr. Shakeel Ahmed explains that the GI system is composed of many different parts of the body. The first, which is usually not treated by an gastroenterologist, is the mouth. In addition to the oral cavity, the GI system includes the esophagus, pharynx, small intestine, large intestine, liver, stomach, pancreas, gallbladder, epiglottis, rectum, and anus.
With so many different facets to the GI system, Dr. Shakeel Ahmed says it is not uncommon for a gastroenterologist to focus on a particular type of gastroenterology. For instance, some doctors dedicate their work to treating pancreatic cancer. Others will work solely on matters of hepatology. Hepatology focuses on any issues with the liver, gallbladder, biliary tree and pancreas. There are also doctors who specializes in transplantations or inflammatory bowel disease.
Dr. Shakeel Ahmed says those who want to pursue a career as a gastroenterologist will need to start with a four-year degree and then go on to medical school. Medical school graduates will then need to attend a three-year learning program, or residency, in internal medicine. This time is invaluable as it allows a young doctor to work with experienced professionals and understand how to take trainings from within a textbook and apply them in the real world. Once a three-year residency concludes, Dr. Shakeel Ahmed says most will go on to a three-year fellowship where they can focus on a specialized area of gastroenterology. When training is completed, a doctor will then need to pass a specialty certification before they are able to be certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.
Once a doctor is certified to practice medicine, they are usually sought out by patients in need of a GI system specialists. The most common issues include acid reflux, IBS, ulcers, hemorrhoids, colon cancer, jaundice and bloody stool. When it comes to treatment, Dr. Shakeel Ahmed says that the gastroenterologist is rarely going to perform surgical procedures. As mentioned earlier, the process usually starts with the gastroenterologist performing an endoscopic ultrasound in order to thoroughly examine the lower and upper GI tract. This also allows the medical professional to view other key internal organs. When a person has a family history of colon cancer, they will often seek out a specialist for their colonoscopy. This appointment will serve to detect colon polyps or other hints of colon cancer. Other procedures Dr. Shakeel Ahmed and other gastroenterologists perform can include:
If you are not sure if you are a candidate to visit Dr. Shakeel Ahmed in his St. Louis office, you need to talk to your primary doctor. A primary doctor will be the one to contact a gastroenterologist because their patient has discusses having symptoms like abdominal pain, difficulty swallowing or blood in their stool. A primary doctor should always try to be as cautious as possible with their patient’s health. If you are experiencing any of the issues discussed on this website, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about setting up an appointment with an gastroenterologist. It’s even more important, if you are over the age of 50. Once a person reaches this age, a trip to the gastroenterologist is often booked for precautionary reasons.