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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

Proctologist – Specialist That Restores Your Digestive Health

A majority of the population today does not follow healthy living habits. Over the past years, people’s unhealthy lifestyles have led them to become a victim of numerous health conditions that otherwise could be easily prevented. Millions of people are suffering from colorectal and digestive issues yet still they are not paying adequate attention to their health. One of the first types of health conditions that people develop as a result of their unhealthy habits are the diseases of the digestive tract. There is not much awareness in society regarding these kinds of disorders. Disorders of the colon, rectum, and anus are rapidly becoming more and more common among today’s generation.

Did you know that about 15 percent of Indians suffer from constipation and 10-12 percent of them suffer from haemorrhoids or piles.These conditions are a direct reflection of the unhealthy lifestyles of the individuals that they find so hard to alter.

If you are suffering from disorders of the intestinal tract, then the guidance of a proctologist or a colorectal surgeon is what you should seek. Your intestinal tract consists of organs like colon, rectum, perianal area, and anal canal. There are many kinds of diseases that this area is prone to developing which if left untreated can even prove life-threatening. A proctologist will help you recover from such diseases of the digestive tract effectively.

What Type of Doctor Is a Proctologist?


Man being examined by a proctologist, Credit: Pixabay

What is a proctologist? It is a question that most people reading this article may find themselves asking. Afterall, it is not everyday that we hear about such a doctor. Moreover, the term proctologist has now become archaic and hardly anyone in the medical circle can be observed using it. What is used in its place is a term called colorectal surgeon, as they are the specialists who treat diseases of the colon and rectum.

A proctologist treats a variety of conditions. These include:

  1. Crohn’s disease

  2. Colorectal cancer

  3. Colon polyps

  4. Anal fissures

  5. Hernias

  6. Gallstones

  7. Constipation

  8. Inflammatory bowel disease

  9. Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS

You can restore your colon, rectum, and anus health by visiting a proctologist and undergoing a suitable line of treatment. Proctologists perform surgeries through which parts of organs or whole organs like gallbladder are removed from the body.

If you have reached your mid-50s, then you may particularly need the services of a proctologist. Why? You may ask. It is because at this age, you are more likely to develop colorectal cancer or polyps, that is, small growths that have the potential to develop into cancer. Colonoscopy is essential because without it the detection of cancer becomes next to impossible. Speaking of colonoscopies, you might wonder, does a proctologist do colonoscopy? Doing colonoscopy is not only the domain of gastroenterologists. A proctologist is someone you should go to if you need a screening colonoscopy. If you have been a victim of polyps earlier in your life, and now require a follow up colonoscopy, then also a visit to a proctologist is a must.

Do You Need a Visit to a Gastroenterologist or a Proctologist?


Photo showing small intestine, Credit: Pixabay

Very often, patients are confused between a gastroenterologist and a proctologist. They do not know whom they should visit to get relief from their problems. If you are one of those then you do not need to worry as it is a very common concern among people who are unfamiliar with the speciality fields in medical science.

A colorectal surgeon or proctologist is a surgeon who has undertaken advanced training in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the colon, anus, and rectum. They have an expertise in the surgical and non-surgical treatment of rectal and colon issues. They treat all kinds of conditions that are related to these organs. 

A gastroenterologist is a doctor who has undertaken advanced training in gastroenterology. They specialize in disorders of the digestive system or the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. If you are suffering from any condition that is affecting your esophagus, stomach, small or large intestine, liver, pancreas, bile ducts, and gallbladder, then you should consult a gastroenterologist. Often, patients are seen asking a question, should I see a gastroenterologist or a proctologist for hemorrhoids? The answer is a proctologist. Since hemorrhoids is a condition that is associated with the rectum and anus organs, hence, a proctologist is better suited to treating it.

Can a woman see a proctologist? 

Women also suffer from colorectal conditions. But they may feel embarrassed or hesitant to describe these conditions or get examined by a male colorectal surgeon. In this case, a woman can visit a female proctologist who will help her in analyzing her condition. Apart from this, women should also seek the guidance of gynecologists and urologists to enhance the quality of care. 

When Should You See a Proctologist?


Photo showing human intestine, Credit: Pixabay

Many people who are suffering from disorders of the lower digestive tract do not know that a colorectal surgeon or a proctologist is whom they should see. You should be aware of the symptoms of a colorectal condition so that you can seek the advice of a proctologist as early as possible. The symptoms include the following:

  1. A burning sensation in the anal.

  2. Itching in the anal.

  3. Discharge from the anus region.

  4. Bleeding from the anus.

  5. Pain in the anal or rectal region.

  6. The presence of warts or bumps in the anal.

  7. Loss of bowel control.

You should elaborate on all these symptoms when you talk with your proctologist so that they are able to effectively diagnose the disorder and prescribe a suitable line of treatment. Do not hesitate while speaking to your colorectal surgeon. You will only regret it later. You may find it difficult to fully open up in front of them but if you will not clearly communicate then it will result in incorrect diagnosis and treatment. The consequences can be very grievous for your health. Proctologists are trained to help you manage the symptoms of your conditions hence you need not feel anxious while interacting with them.

How to Prevent Colon and Rectal Disorders According to a Proctologist

healthy lifestyle

People exercising, Credit: Pixabay

There are many preventive actions that you can take to minimize and even live a colon and rectal disorders free life. According to proctologists you can take certain steps to boost your health and stay disease free. These include:

  1. Scheduling regular colonoscopy appointments as you turn 50 to detect the presence of any colon related condition or colon cancer.

  2. Maintain a healthy weight by consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. 

  3. Stay hydrated by consuming a fiber rich diet and drinking lots of fluids. 

  4. If at any time you find it painful to pass bowel movements, consult a colorectal surgeon.

  5. Do not strain while passing your bowel movements. Doing so may lead to the development of clots in the anal canal.

  6. If you are suffering from hemorrhoids or piles do not rely on over the counter painkillers. Seek a proctologist’s treatment to effectively get relief from the pain.

As you get older, the risk of lower digestive tract disorders becomes high. It is necessary to pay special attention to this area of your health and if any time you feel that something is amiss, visit a colorectal surgeon or a proctologist to address the condition and start a suitable line of treatment.

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