I have been working in GI for a long time now and find that over the years there has been quite a lot of confusion when it comes to diverticulosis and diverticulitis. Most people think that every time you have pain in the abdomen it is “diverticulitis” flaring up. They do their best to avoid seeds and nuts and have avoided popcorn at the movies for years! There are dietary misconceptions that have been perpetuated by the medical community as a whole for many years and even today. This short posting will hopefully help to define these conditions, how they develop and how to treat them when they occur and will address the question of dietary restrictions. (more…)
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The pancreas is an organ in the left and middle part of the upper abdomen which makes hormones and digestive enzymes to help break down food. The pancreas helps us break down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates into smaller molecules that can be absorbed by the body. It also secretes insulin to help sugar get into the cells for energy. When the pancreas becomes irritated, this is called “pancreatitis.” (more…)
What is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)? Irritable bowel syndrome is something we frequently treat here in GI, and is estimated to affect between 25-45 million people in the US. Of those who suffer from IBS, about 2 out of 3 are female. Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic functional disorder of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract that can cause various symptoms, but is predominantly characterized by abdominal pain or discomfort and alteration in bowel habits. (more…)
Pancreatic Cancer is certainly a newsworthy topic as it gets a lot of attention when it affects a common household name such as Alex Trebek, the long-time host of Jeopardy! (Other famous people who were unfortunate enough to have this diagnosis were Aretha Franklin, Steve Jobs, Patrick Swayze, Alan Rickman, Michael Landon, and others) Of course, even more devastating, would be anyone that you know personally – which most of us have. (more…)
March is Colon Cancer Awareness month! Are you up-to-date on the latest statistics for colon cancer? Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined and the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. Did you know there is a 90% survival rate when cancer is found and treated early? Yet, the current statistics report that 1 in 3 American adults are not screened as recommended! (more…)
Hemorrhoids are swollen or enlarged veins in the lower rectum. Most commonly, patients with hemorrhoids can experience rectal bleeding, itching, and/or rectal pain. You may have some discomfort in the rectum, and feel a “bulge” outside of your anus if the hemorrhoids are prolapsed or external. Symptoms can also include stool “leaking” because it can interfere with the tightening of the sphincter.
During these hot, lazy days of summer, you may find yourself moving slowly and feeling sleepy all the time. There is in fact an inverse relationship between the temperature outside and the temperature in your body. In summer, your balance may feel off because your body turns down its internal furnace as a means of protecting itself.
What’s in a name? Heartburn by any other name, indigestion, GERD, pyrosis, the devil….would still burn as bad. Have you ever thought to yourself… Why do I have such severe chest burning every time I eat pizza or pasta??? What is this fiery ball in the middle of my chest attacking me from the inside?? Why is food constantly getting stuck in the middle of my chest??? Why is my voice constantly hoarse???
Summer is right around the corner. Barbecue grills are getting fired up, graduation parties with delectable cakes and sweet summertime drinks are just a few weeks away, and restaurants with outdoor patios are in full swing ready to serve you their finest southern cuisine. Don’t let difficulty swallowing interfere with your fun summer plans.
It’s March and that means a lot more than bracket busters and the final four. It’s colon cancer awareness month. It’s true; it doesn’t sound as exciting… But oh man, is it! Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths in the US. This month signifies the leaps and bounds we have made in the fight against colorectal cancer.