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.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is the name for a group of disorders that affect primarily the intestines. The two major types of chronic IBD include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the GI tract from the mouth to the anus whereas ulcerative colitis is usually to the colon. With both diseases, patients can experience similar symptoms including diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloody stools, weight loss and fatigue. Symptoms outside the GI tract can also occur such as arthritis, skin lesions or even eye problems. IBD is thought as a primarily autoimmune disease.
Welcome to DHAT’s fall newsletter. Believe it or not October through December is our busiest time of the year. So, if you will need an appointment before 2018 schedule it soon before they fill up. We are proud to welcome Sanjay Nayyar MD, Vanessa Beckman DO, Luis Lazardo Sanchez MD and Faiz Mirza MD to our McKinney, Frisco, Plano and Bedford locations.
NASH is a form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). It is where there is a build-up of fat in the liver. Inflammation and liver damage are also present. This can lead to scarring of the liver, cirrhosis, and liver cancer. The NIDDKD reports that only a small percentage of people with NAFLD have NASH. 30-40% of people in the US have NAFLD. However, only 3-12% have NASH.
Having an emergency preparedness kit available at all times for IBD sufferers. This can be a lifesaver, especially when out in public. Since a flare can occur at any time, keeping these ten items accessible will give you peace of mind. This is due to knowing that you are ready for any crisis.
Approximately 37 million adults in the U.S. currently smoke cigarettes. Additionally, 16 million Americans are affected by a smoking-related disease. If these facts aren’t enough to get you to quit smoking, DHAT has put together a list of additional reasons you should say “no” to tobacco.
Vitamin C is may not be the cure for a cold or flu but it is useful in protecting your immune system from deficiencies. Most people associate vitamin C with oranges or orange juice. However, while oranges are a reliable source for vitamin C, there are other fruits and vegetables that also contain a healthy dose of it.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition where acid in the stomach flows back into the esophagus causing irritation of its lining. Symptoms can include burning in the chest, chest pain, regurgitation of food into the mouth, and difficulty swallowing. Even though this disorder can be painful and irritating, it can be effectively controlled. This is by over-the-counter medications or by prescription medications prescribed by your Gastroenterologist. This is in addition to making lifestyle changes. The following are some of the most effective treatments available to manage the symptoms and discomfort.
Energy drinks are a billion dollar industry and have become prevalent in American culture ever since they came on the scene in the early 1980’s. They were advertised as a way to “replenish lost energy”. Today, you have likely seen numerous advertisements and commercials for Red Bull, 5 Hour Energy, Monster, etc.
Do you know what you’re putting into your body every time you pop the tab of your energy drink? Here are five reasons why energy drinks are unhealthy for you.
The effects of alcohol on your body begin with the first sip of beer, wine, or liquor that you take. An occasional glass of wine with a meal probably won’t have a negative effect, but drinking too much at one time or over a period of time can take a serious toll on your health. Alcohol has an impact on every organ in the body.
The Tide pod challenge, the newest fad among adolescents, is presenting physicians and poison control centers with growing concerns about the dangers of children and teens consuming the pods, which have highly concentrated laundry detergent in them.
The Japanese dishes, sushi and sashimi, have gained popularity in the U.S. with many people enjoying these meals containing raw fish. As with the consumption of any raw meat, there are health risks that can result in an infection, especially certain parasites. Most people in the U.S. are aware that eating raw or undercooked beef or pork can lead to a parasitic infection, but there is also that risk with raw fish and seafood. The fish tapeworm, Diphyllobothrium latum, is picked up by eating raw or undercooked freshwater fish or fish that reproduce in freshwater rivers, such as salmon.