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Gastrointestinology Testing (What It Is and Why It Matters)

When we think of the word “testing,” our gastrointestinal tract probably isn’t the first to spring to mind. However, gastrointestinology testing is one of the most important subfields in the diagnostic laboratory testing industry.

Many people across the world suffer from severe gastrointestinal issues or GI disorders. However, several symptoms may mimic other illnesses, so patients may not always be aware that there is a larger issue at play. This is one of the main reasons gastrointestinology testing is so important. In most cases, testing is critical to diagnose and treat common gastro-related disorders and conditions, as these tests often reveal different inconsistencies in the patient’s GI tract.

As a lab, you likely want to test for a wide range of illnesses and underlying conditions, so having a range of diagnostic testing available is crucial to serving your patients. If you’re interested in including gastrointestinology testing at your clinical facility, you need the right medical software to make it happen. Below, we answer commonly asked questions about the basics of gastrointestinology testing and which laboratory software solutions can help you meet your laboratory testing goals.

What is Gastrointestinology Testing?

The goal of gastrointestinology testing is to identify the underlying causes and symptoms of different GI-related issues and develop potential treatments for patients. Just like many different illnesses, gastrointestinology issues can be either minor or severe, with symptoms ranging from mild to significant. In some cases, GI-related issues can cause other ailments or make existing conditions worse. Because of this, doctors, scientists, and other medical health professionals need to gain as much information as they can about GI issues, even if the condition seems to be minor.

Gastrointestinology testing has contributed a lot to the medical field and labs throughout the country are still benefiting from this research. When it comes to gastrointestinology testing, methods can either be invasive or non-invasive, quick and simple, or complex. However, having the appropriate methods available to conduct such varied methods of testing is crucial to this ever-evolving field.

Categories of Gastrointestinology Testing

As mentioned earlier, there is no one-size-fits-all method of testing for gastrointestinology conditions. Furthermore, testing can be categorized by the severity of the condition or the part of the GI tract the condition affects. As such, having the proper medical testing software for your laboratory is essential, so it can cover the wide range of categories often associated with gastrointestinology testing.

Testing the Lower and Upper GI Tracts

Gastrointestinology testing may include both the upper and lower GI tracts. Different tests will be administered on different parts of the body. When medical professionals talk about upper GI-related issues, they’re commonly referring to issues of swallowing and chewing. Issues with the upper GI tract are usually associated with the early stages of digestion. Testing for these issues usually includes barium swallow testing, gastroscopy, ultrasound testing, pH monitoring, and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography.

Lower GI issues, on the other hand, relate to later stages of digestion and excretion. Proper testing for these kinds of issues usually includes colonoscopies, endoscopies, anorectal manometry testing, or barium enemas.

How to Get Started

Because of the varied tests involved, knowing how to get started with gastrointestinology testing can feel overwhelming. However, with the right medical laboratory software, you can perform this important testing on a large scale without the risk of falling behind on testing. Because GI conditions are so common throughout the United States, it can be easy to fall behind if you don’t have the right laboratory software there to catch you.

Medical Laboratory Software Makes GI Testing Easy

If you’re looking to start your lab with gastrointestinology testing or are interested in obtaining more information about how to get started, reach out to learn more about specialty laboratory information systems.

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