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Is a Colonoscopy Painful?

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.
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How to prepare to go Back to School after an IBD diagnosis

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.

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Avoiding Summertime GERD Symptoms

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.
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What to Look for When Searching for a Colonoscopy Doctor in DFW

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.
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April 16th is National Stress Awareness Day

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.

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Different Types of Colon Cancer Screening Tests

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.

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March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month!

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.

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Understanding Your Colonoscopy Results

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.

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The Brain-Gut Connection

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.
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4 Ways To Avoid Constipation In Your Diet

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.
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Is Your Heart on Fire or Failing?

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.
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Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

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.
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What the Burp?

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.
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Eosinophilic Esophagitis – Beyond Heartburn

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.
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Is My Reflux Medication Safe?

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.
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2017 Q2 President’s Letter

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.
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3 Tips to Prepare Your Child, with Chronic GI Issues, for School

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.
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Frozen Summer Drinks That are Low in Sugar

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!
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Diabetes & Digestive Health

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.
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7 Reasons Your Bowel Movements Are “Off”

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.
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Management of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

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.
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Q3 2017 President’s Letter

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.
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Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis – NASH

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.
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