The holidays create many reasons for people to feel stressed: Buying and wrapping gifts, spending time with family, and mounting social obligations. Chances are if you’re feeling stressed about the holidays, or anything for that matter, you’re also feeling it in your digestive system. This is because the brain and the gut communicate with each other.
The holiday season is almost upon us. In just a few weeks, millions of families and friends across the US will share one of the most important things that brings people together over the holidays—food.
How Sugar Affects the Digestive System
We know that a diet high in sugar can contribute to health complications like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. But eating too much sugar can also wreak havoc on your digestive system.
Although colonoscopy is the best defense against colorectal cancer, many people are nervous about the discomfort or the possibility of pain during the procedure, but fear of pain should not deter you from getting a colonoscopy.
Going back to school is a time of excitement and anticipation. But if your child has been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), it can also be stressful. Inflammatory bowel disease is a term used for two gastrointestinal (GI) conditions — ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease — characterized by chronic inflammation and sores in the GI tract.
To many, summertime means cookouts, lemonade, and ice-cold beer. But if you’re part of the 18-28 percent of North Americans that suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, summertime can bring challenges to your social events. That’s because popular summertime foods can irritate GERD and make symptoms worse. Most people experience acid reflux every once in a while. But when acid reflux occurs twice or more a week, this could indicate GERD.
Having a colonoscopy done is a key step in preventing colon cancer. That’s why it’s important to choose the right specialist. A colonoscopy is considered an invasive procedure, so you should feel comfortable with your doctor and trust his/her ability to find possible signs of colon cancer in order to reduce your risk of disease progression. Here’s what to look for when searching for a colonoscopy doctor in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area.
3 Ways Stress Impacts Your GI System
Pending deadlines, juggling work and family responsibilities, or perhaps worrying about a first impression — stress comes in many forms and has affected everyone at some point in his/her life. During times of stress, you may have felt butterflies in your stomach or maybe you’ve lost your appetite — that’s because the digestive tract responds to one’s mood.
Screening Tests: Which Is Right for Me?
Colon cancer screening is the process of looking for signs of cancer or precancer in the colon and rectum before the patient notices any symptoms. When colorectal cancer is found in the early stages it is easier to treat and even curable. This is why the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends regular colon cancer screening for all adults. You’re probably familiar with the colonoscopy exam, but there are actually several other methods available to screen for colorectal cancer.
What is Colon Cancer? When (and How) Should I Start Getting Screened?
Colorectal cancer - which is often just called “colon cancer” - is a type of cancer that develops when cells in the lining of the colon or rectum begin to grow out of control without stopping. It’s very treatable when caught in its early stages.
Reasons Your Gastroenterologist Might Order a Colonoscopy, and What the Findings Mean
Colonoscopy is considered to be the “gold standard” for colorectal cancer screening — not only is it the most effective screening test available, it’s the only one that can actually prevent future cases of colon cancer. Colonoscopy allows doctors to identify potentially cancerous polyps (abnormal growths inside the colon) and remove them at the same time, significantly reducing one’s risk of developing colorectal cancer.
How Mental State Influences Gut Health, and Vice-Versa
Your gastrointestinal tract is home to a diverse world of microorganisms, neurotransmitter chemicals, and nerve cells. You already know that the gut is responsible for digestion, but mounting research has made it clear that there’s a link between the intestinal tract and processes that occur in the brain.
Constipation is a very common problem. Each year more than 2.5 million Americans visit their healthcare provider. They do this for relief from symptoms. This condition refers to a change in bowel habits, but it has varied meanings. Stools may be too hard or too small, difficult to pass, or infrequent (less than three times per week). People with constipation may also notice a frequent need to strain and a sense that the bowels are not empty. Many factors can contribute to or cause constipation, although, in most people, no single cause can be found. In general, constipation occurs more often as you get older or as a side effect of medications. Diseases like Diabetes Mellitus, Hypothyroidism, Parkinson’s Disease, and Multiple Sclerosis are also associated with constipation.
Heartburn or heart attack? Both conditions have the word heart in them, but they are different clinical entities. Heartburn is due to digestive acid from the stomach that may reflux back into the esophagus. Reports indicate that up to 15 million Americans have symptoms of heartburn daily. A heart attack occurs in the setting of coronary artery disease leading to diminished blood flow to the heart. Coronary artery disease affects up to 20 million individuals in the United States and close to one million individuals will have a heart attack each year. Since the stomach and heart are both in the chest area, both can present with chest pain or to some even as acid reflux.
You can prevent colon cancer by doing routine screening to detect and remove pre-cancerous polyps. Polyps are small clumps of cells that can grow on the lining of the colon wall. Most of these polyps are benign but over time they can grow and turn into cancer.
Flexible Sigmoidoscopy is a procedure in which a flexible lighted tube passes through the anus into the rectum and lower part of the large bowel (colon) for direct examination.
The average individual burps around 3 to 6 times after ingesting or digesting. While everyone burps, if it occurs excessively and is accompanied by symptoms such as heartburn, it may be something more serious – such as GERD.
A growing number of children and adults have Eosinophilic Esophagitis. Commonly abbreviated as EoE, Eosinophilic Esophagitis is a chronic inflammatory process affecting the esophagus (the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach). This inflammation is caused by a type of white blood cell, known as an eosinophil, that reacts in an allergic fashion to the lining of the esophagus. These cells remain in the esophagus causing damage, despite acid blocking medications that are traditionally used to treat heartburn like symptoms. This injury and inflammation within the esophagus can cause many symptoms.
Chronic reflux, also known as GERD is a common medical condition. This is where acid in the stomach refluxes into the esophagus. In the late 1980’s they introduced a new class of medications called PPIs (proton pump inhibitors). They revolutionized treatment of GERD and other acid related diseases such as peptic ulcer disease. These medications are capable of drastically lowering the amount of acid in the stomach. The PPIs on the market currently include Prilosec, Nexium, Protonix, AcipHex, Prevacid, Dexilant and Zegerid. In the past 30 years, there have been 100’s of millions of prescriptions for PPIs. Since GERD is typically a chronic disease patients are frequently put on these medications long term.
DHAT and our partners at North Texas Endoscopy Centers were pleased to have completed our 5th Annual Free Colon Cancer Screening Day. This event took place April 8th and provided 54 uninsured people in the DFW area with much-needed colon cancer screening.
The start of a new school brings many new exciting and scary changes for children. The new school year brings new teachers, classmates and maybe even a new building. Children diagnosed with chronic digestive diseases often have multiple additional concerns as they head back to school. Pediatric Gastroenterologist, Dr. Annette Whitney has provided some simple back-to-school tips for parents with children who suffer a chronic GI disease.
Texas summers are unforgivably hot nearly every year, and there is no better way to cool down than with a frozen summer drink. Additionally, we here at Digestive Health Associates of Texas, P.A. (DHAT), want you to cool off, but we also want to be sure you’re choosing the healthiest options available. Try one of these low sugar frozen drinks and stay cool and hydrated!
Normally, the pancreas makes the hormone, insulin, to help the body store and use the sugars and starches that you eat. Diabetes develops when the pancreas does not make enough insulin, or the cells in your body become resistant to insulin, Insulin usually keeps a tight control on blood sugar levels. People with diabetes have blood sugar levels that high and need to be through diet, medication, and lifestyle changes. Diabetes affects your digestive health as a result of poor nutrition and uncontrolled blood sugar levels.
A normal bowel movement and bathroom routine is different for each person. The frequency, consistency, color, and the control you have over your bowel movements can change depending on certain conditions. It is important to note any changes in your regular bowel movements, especially if you are having pain, and to make your Gastroenterologist aware of them. The following situations can all affect your daily habits.