The study of normal function and diseases of the oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts and liver are known as Gastroenterology. A detailed understanding of the normal action (physiology) of the gastrointestinal organs including the movement of material through the stomach and intestine (motility), the digestion and absorption of nutrients into the body, removal of waste from the system, and the function of the liver as a digestive organ, it dives deep into our digestive system as a whole. Among this vast science, it also includes common and important conditions such as colon polyps and cancer, hepatitis, gastroesophageal reflux (heartburn), peptic ulcer disease, colitis, gallbladder and biliary tract disease, nutritional problems, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and pancreatitis. We at Aster Clinics are a pioneering gastroenterology clinic in Dubai staffed by the best gastroenterologist doctors in the world.
At Aster Gastrocare, we offer world-class treatment in gastroenterology and ensure the best patient care and comfort.
Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition where the stomach contents (food or liquid) rise from the stomach into the oesophagus, a tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. The modern-day lifestyle, smoking, poor eating habits, obesity, alcohol abuse and stress contribute to GERD, which if not controlled can lead to severe complications.
The oesophagus is the muscular pipe that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. Barrett’s oesophagus is a condition characterized by changes in the cells lining the lower oesophagus. Barrett’s oesophagus is closely associated with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), a condition where the stomach’s contents rise from the stomach into the oesophagus. Food mixed with the stomach’s digestive acids can irritate and damage the oesophagus. Recurrent entry of these liquids leads to the changes in the oesophageal lining called dysplasia. Barrett’s oesophagus is a pre-cancerous condition however, it can occasionally lead to oesophageal cancer.
The liver is a vital organ that helps in the digestion of food, storage of energy, and detoxification of the body. Hepatitis is characterized by inflammation of the liver cells and disruption of the normal functioning of the liver. Hepatitis can either be acute or chronic. Acute hepatitis lasts for less than 6 months, while chronic hepatitis lasts longer. Severe cases of hepatitis can in turn lead to cirrhosis (scarring) or cancer of the liver.
Gallstones are hard deposits of digestive fluid (bile) that develop in the gallbladder (a small, pear-shaped organ located on the right side of the abdomen just below the liver). Gallstones may be as small as a grain of sand to as big as a golf ball.
Gallstones develop because of an imbalance in the substances that make up bile. It is still unclear why these imbalances occur. However, it is believed that gallstones may form if bile contains unusually high levels of cholesterol, bilirubin, or not enough bile salts.
Many people with gallstones do not have any symptoms or are not aware that they have gallstones unless detected in tests carried out for another reason. If symptoms occur, they may include:
Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting and clay-coloured stools.
The biliary tract is comprised of the liver, gallbladder and bile ducts, which work together to form bile and release it into the small intestine to aid in the digestion of fats. Bile is formed by the liver, stored by the pear-shaped gallbladder, and drains out into the common bile duct, which opens into the small intestine. Many diseases of the biliary tract can interrupt the passage of bile for digestion by blocking the ducts. Blockage of the common bile duct can lead to severe infections such as cholangitis and cholecystitis. Other causes of blockage may include bile duct cancer, scar formation (strictures) following inflammation, infection, or surgery, primary sclerosing cholangitis (inflammation) and biliary cirrhosis (autoimmune disease).
Inflammation of the pancreas leads to a condition called pancreatitis. Pancreatitis can be acute or chronic. Acute pancreatitis is usually a milder form of pancreatitis, characterized by sudden and severe abdominal pain. Other symptoms include fever, vomiting, nausea, sweating, swelling in the abdominal region, feeling of fullness due to gas, mild jaundice and clay-coloured stools.
Acute pancreatitis is most often caused by excessive intake of alcohol, genetic factors, autoimmune problems, blockage of the pancreatic duct or common bile duct, which drains digestive enzymes from the pancreas into the intestine, and other conditions such as cystic fibrosis and certain medications such as estrogens and corticosteroids. Chronic pancreatitis is a condition where the inflammation of the pancreas does not heal or improve with time and leads to permanent damage.
Our body’s immune system helps to protect us from contracting infections. It is believed that in patients with IBD, their immune system does not work properly and the intestinal bacteria are mistaken by your immune system as foreign invaders. As a result, the immune system directs white blood cells to the intestinal lining resulting in ulceration and inflammation at the intestinal site.
The diagnosis of Ulcerative colitis is carried out based on symptoms experienced. Your doctor will confirm the diagnosis by conducting a physical exam along with various medical tests.
Colon cancer is cancer in the lowest part of the digestive system, the large intestine or colon. Cancer occurs when cells in the body grow abnormally out of control. Most colon cancers occur when small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps on the inner walls of the large intestine change and transform into cancerous (malignant) tumours over time. Identification of these benign polyps before they become cancerous is therefore especially important and can be done by regular screening tests.
Dyspepsia, also called indigestion, is a condition that describes a feeling of discomfort in the upper part of your abdomen. It is not a disease but a group of symptoms. Dyspepsia is caused by eating too much or too fast, eating spicy, fatty or greasy food, drinking too much caffeine, alcohol or carbonated beverages, smoking and stress. It can also be associated with other conditions including gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining), stomach ulcers, swelling of the pancreas and gallstones.
Symptoms of dyspepsia include an early feeling of fullness, feeling uncomfortably full after eating, burning sensation, feeling of tightness and pain in the upper abdomen, bloating and nausea.