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.
Colon cancer is a cancer that originates from the colon (also known as the large intestine).
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!