What is Gastroparesis? You can break down the word into two components: Gastro/Gastric meaning stomach Paresis meaning paralysis This translates to paralysis of the stomach. Gastroparesis is a condition in which the stomach empties abnormally slow. The function of the stomach is to churn and grind your meal and then, contract to squeeze food through to the small intestine. For people who have gastroparesis, this function does not occur properly. (more…)
Summer is here and there is a lot to do when the weather is this beautiful outside, family picnics, enjoying the beach, endless hours on the golf course, or even spending time in your backyard enjoying a barbeque. But unfortunately, too much fun in the sun can be dangerous to your body. Excessive heat exposure can cause dehydration, which in turn can wreak havoc on your digestive system. (more…)
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…)
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.
Tis the season for family, festivity and food- lots and lots of food! So how can you maintain good digestive health this holiday season, when everyone around you seems to be splurging? Heartburn, constipation, indigestion and diarrhea are common as you hop from one holiday feast to another. But instead of suffering throughout the holidays, there are some things you can do to keep you feeling good well into 2019!
Celiac disease is most commonly confused with gluten intolerance, though the two are very different things. Gluten sensitivity is a condition where eating gluten leads to uncomfortable GI symptoms, including abdominal cramping, bloating and diarrhea. It does not lead to serious medical complications. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder causing inflammation and damage in the lining of the small bowel with exposure to gluten. It can lead to serious medical complications, and it improves with a strict gluten-free diet. The GI symptoms are very similar between the two. As such, it can be challenging to tell one from the other. Formal medical testing is often needed to ensure patients with Celiac disease are identified and get the care they need. Digestive Health Specialists is here to help you if you, or someone you know, would like more information, or if you are experiencing any of the listed symptoms and would like further evaluation.