Are you experiencing a burning sensation
in your chest after eating? Does the burning
worsen when lying down?…
IS IT JUST HEARTBURN, OR WORSE?
Are you experiencing a burning sensation in your chest after eating? Does the burning worsen when lying down? This discomfort is commonly described as acid reflux. Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows backward into the esophagus. This triggers heartburn, and may also include a sour taste or regurgitated food in the back of your mouth. Acid reflux may the result of your food habits.
Acid reflux can be alleviated by monitoring your intake of fatty and fried foods, eating smaller meals, and by avoiding eating at night. If you have modified your diet and taken over the counter (OTC) heartburn medications, yet still experience acid reflux, the cause of your discomfort may be more serious.
Acid reflux may advance into more severe reflux, known as GERD. The most common upper GI procedure to screen for GERD is an esophagogastroduodenoscopy, referred to by its more pronounceable name, EGD.
An EGD is performed by one of our Board Certified Gastroenterologists. While screening, our Gastroenterologists check for any lesions in the linking of the esophagus that could be exacerbating your discomfort. In order to so, a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope is inserted in the mouth, down the throat and into the esophagus and upper portion of the stomach. The endoscope has a tiny camera on the end, which the Gastroenterologist views on a large monitor. He or she is able to view all around the upper GI tract and check for acid erosion, signs of cancer or ulcers.
An EGD may not sound like the most pleasant experience, but our expert Patient Care physicians make the procedure as comfortable as possible. Untreated GERD over time damages the lining of esophagus, potentially resulting in painful inflammation, permanent damage, and even cancer. If you are experiencing chronic heartburn, regardless of your diet and lifestyle efforts, visit one of our many Gastroenterology experts at North Texas Endoscopy.
Peptic Ulcer Disease (PUD)
Peptic ulcers describes painful sores
located in the lining of the stomach or
or the beginning of the small intestine…
What is Peptic Ulcer Disease?
Peptic ulcers describes painful sores located in the lining of the stomach or the beginning of the small intestine. An “ulcer” is an open sore. The word “peptic” means that the purpose of the problem is due to acid. Peptic ulcers are the result of acid deteriorating the stomach lining.
There are two main kinds of peptic ulcers, “gastric ulcers” and “duodenal ulcers”. Whether an ulcer is gastric, or duodenal relies on where the ulcer is discovered. Gastric ulcers are located in the stomach. Duodenal ulcers are found at the beginning of the small intestine, also known as the small bowel or duodenum. It is possible for an individual to have both gastric and duodenal ulcers concurrently.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of PUD?
Many individuals with ulcers do not experience symptoms rights away, or have minor indicators. A common signal of peptic ulcers is stomach pain. This ache is often located inside the upper abdomen. The pain may be intensified or more severe after eating meals. Other signs and symptoms include nausea, vomiting, or feeling bloated or full. There are numerous causes for stomach ache, therefore not all abdominal pain is ulcer-related.
Bleeding Caused by Peptic Ulcers
Bleeding from an ulcer can range from slow and easy to disregard, or life-threatening. Slow bleeding due to peptic ulcers may be undetected until the individual develops anemia. Signs of anemia consist of fatigue, shortness of breath and paleness of the skin.
Bleeding that happens more hastily may results in jet black, sticky stools, known as melena. Melena may also result in stools that are “black and tarry,” or even a significant amount of blood in the stool that shows up as dark pink or maroon.
Those with bleeding ulcers may also experience vomiting. Pink blood or “espresso grounds” may appear in vomit. Other signs include fainting, or feeling lightheaded. Signs of rapid bleeding are cause for emergency medical attention. People with these symptoms need to dial 911, or go to the closest emergency room.
What Are the Causes and Risk Factors of PUD?
The two most prevalent causes of peptic ulcers include infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and a group of medicines classified as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs.
Until 2005, no one knew what caused ulcers until Dr. Barry Marshall and Dr. J. Robin Warren uncovered their discovery, winning them the Nobel Prize that year. It is still one of the most critical clinical discoveries of the late 20th century.
- pylori is a bacterium that resides within the stomach. While typically harmless, H. pylori is capable of causing ulcers due to their ability to break down the stomach lining. Individuals with a H. pylori infection \have a much higher risk of developing peptic ulcers.
When a physician searches for ulcers, they also check for the presence of H. pylori. There are a variety of assessments to test for H. pylori, dependent upon the situation.
Those with ulcers who are infected with H. pylori should be treated.
Remedy normally consists of taking a variety of medications. Drug therapy includes acid suppression via proton pump inhibitor (PPI), along with antibiotics and an antacid medication containing bismuth subsalicylate, such as Pepto-Bismol. H. Pylori can be difficult to get rid of, therefore it is crucial that individuals being treated for H. pylori take their medication exactly as it is prescribed.
A group of medicines typically used to deal with pain. There are numerous medications that fall in this group, such as: aspirin (Bayer®), ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®), naproxen (Aleve®, Naprosyn®), ketorolac (Toradol®) and oxaprozin (Daypro®). NSAIDs are also available in dissolving medications, consisting of Alka-Seltzer®, Goody’s Powder® and BC Powder®.
does not always count as a NSAID, which makes it a go-to non-prescription treatment for individuals seeking relief from peptic ulcer disease.
More On Treatment
NSAID use is very common because there are so many options that do not require a prescription, such as over-the-counter medicines. Ironically, NSAIDs actually cause peptic ulcers. NSAIDs cause ulcers by means of interrupting the herbal ability of the belly and the duodenum to defend themselves from stomach acid. NSAIDs also can interfere with blood clotting, which has apparent importance whilst ulcers bleed.
People who take NSAIDs for a long time and/or at high doses, have a higher threat of growing ulcers. These people should talk the various alternatives for stopping ulcers with their medical doctor. some human beings are given an acid suppressing PPI. these pills can prevent or drastically reduce the risk of an ulcer being resulting from NSAIDs.
There are numerous myths approximately peptic ulcers. Ulcers are not resulting from emotional “pressure” or via traumatic. They may be now not due to highly spiced ingredients or a rich diet. Certain foods would possibly irritate an ulcer that is already there, but, the meals is not the motive of the ulcer. People recognized with ulcers do now not need to follow a particular weight-reduction plan. The times of ulcer patients surviving on a bland weight-reduction plan are a element of the beyond.
How is PUD Detected?
The most common manner for ulcers to be recognized is through a procedure referred to as an EGD. EGD stands for EsophagoGastroDuodenoscopy. An EGD (additionally referred to as “upper endoscopy”) is carried out by means of placing a unique lighted digital camera on a flexible tube into the person’s mouth to show in real time the inside of the stomach and the beginning of the small bowel. This flexible digital camera carefully inspects the entirety of all possible regions for ulcers to develop. Ulcers identified during an EGD may be photographed, biopsied or even treated, if bleeding is present.
Other manners in which ulcers had been diagnosed is through an x-ray check, known as an “upper GI series”. An upper GI series entails consuming a white chalky substance, known as barium, and then taking a number of x-rays to take a look at the lining of the stomach. Gastroenterologists can then see the ulcers on the x-rays.
Today, the desired method for diagnosing ulcers is with an EGD given the flexible digital camera is the most capable of detecting even small ulcers, as well as its ability to treat ulcers at that time, if the ulcer is bleeding. An upper GI series is able to remove of small ulcers, but is not used for direct treatment of an ulcer.
What is the Treatment for PUD?
The manner that ulcers are dealt with depends on some of features. almost all peptic ulcers could be handled with a proton pump inhibitor (PPI).
Are effective acid blockading capsules that may be taken as a tablet or given in an IV. often, the mighty IV shape is used if a affected person is hospitalized with a bleeding ulcer. There are six PPIs to be had within the usa. those are omeprazole (Prilosec®, Zegerid®), lansoprazole (Prevacid®), pantoprazole (Protonix®), rabeprazole (Aciphex®), esomeprazole (Nexium®), and dexlansoprazole (Dexilant®). There are very few scientific variations between those drugs.
PPIs require a meal to set off them. patients must consume a meal within 30 minutes to at least one hour after taking this medicine for the acid suppression therapy to work maximum successfully. waiting later than this time can decrease the fantastic impact of this medication. this might postpone recuperation or even result in the failure of the ulcer to heal.
Every so often duodenal ulcers (no longer gastric ulcers) can be treated with H2 blockers. H2 blockers are every other sort of acid lowering medication. commonplace H2 blockers are ranitidine (Zantac®), cimetidine (Tagamet®), famotidine (Pepcid®) and nizatidine (Axid®).
An crucial component in treating ulcers is by using figuring out what brought about them patients with ulcers resulting from NSAIDs need to speak to their health practitioner approximately different medications that may be used to treat acne.
If the individual is infected with H. pylori this infection should be handled. Completing the overall dose of antibiotics could be very important. Simply as crucial, is ensuring that the infection is gone. There are variety of methods to try this. Generally, a blood test isn’t a very good manner to check if the infection is gone. The doctor who treated the H. pylori can best advise the next steps.
When someone has an ulcer that has bled extensively, remedy might be accomplished on the time of EGD. There are a number of techniques that can be done during an EGD to control bleeding from an ulcer. The gastroenterologist might inject medications, use a catheter to cauterize the ulcer (burn a bleeding vessel shut) or location a small clip to clamp off a bleeding vessel. not all ulcers want to be handled this manner. The physician doing the EGD will determine if treatment is indicated based on the way the ulcer looks. The physician will commonly deal with an ulcer this is clearly bleeding when it is visible and also will often treat different ulcers if they have a positive look. these findings are every so often known as “stigmata of latest hemorrhage” or just “stigmata”. Stigmata will usually get handled during the EGD if they may be labeled as high-risk. Not unusual high-risk findings consist of a “visible vessel” and an “adherent clot”.
Maximum ulcers may be dealt with and will heal. Regularly, individuals with ulcers will have to take PPIs for several weeks to heal an ulcer. it is also important to accurate what induced the ulcer. when feasible, NSAIDs ought to be stopped. patients with ulcers due to NSAIDs need to speak to their physician about different medicines that can be used to treat pain.
If the patient is inflamed with H. pylori, then completing the overall dose of antibiotics may be very crucial, making sure that the contamination is gone. There are number of methods to do that. Generally, a blood test is not a good manner to check if the contamination is long past. The medical doctor who treated the infection can propose the best practice. People with gastric ulcers (most effective in the stomach) commonly have every other EGD numerous weeks after remedy to make sure that the ulcer is long past. That is due to the fact a completely small variety of gastric ulcers may comprise cancer. Duodenal ulcers (at the start of the small gut) generally don’t need to be checked out again.
Gastroenteritis, also known as the stomach flu,
describes inflammation of the GI tract affecting
the stomach and small intestine.
What is Gastroenteritis?
Gastroenteritis, also known as the stomach flu, describes inflammation of the GI tract affecting the stomach and small intestine. With gastroenteritis, your stomach and intestines become irritated and inflamed typically due to a viral or bacterial infection.
What Are the Symptoms of Gastroenteritis?
With gastroenteritis, the main symptoms you probably have are watery diarrhea and vomiting. You might also have stomach pain, cramping, fever, nausea, and a headache. You may also become dehydrated due to diarrhea and vomiting. Signs of dehydration include dry skin and a mouth, feeling lightheaded, and unquenchable thirst. Call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.
What Causes Gastroenteritis?
There are many ways gastroenteritis can be spread:
- Contact with someone who has the virus
- Contaminated food or water
- Unwashed hands after going to the bathroom or changing a diaper
The most common cause of gastroenteritis is a virus. Gastroenteritis flu can be caused by many different kinds of viruses. The main types are rotavirus and norovirus.
Rotavirus is the world’s most common cause of diarrhea in infants and young children. Norovirus is the most common cause of serious gastroenteritis and also foodborne disease outbreaks in the U.S.
Although not as common, bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella can also trigger the stomach flu. Salmonella and campylobacter bacteria are the most common bacterial causes of gastroenteritis in the U.S. and are usually spread by undercooked poultry, eggs, or poultry juices. Salmonella can also be spread through pet reptiles or live poultry.
What is the Treatment?
Treatment for gastroenteritis mostly includes consuming lots of fluids and getting rest. While recovering from gastroenteritis, also make sure to avoid contaminated food and water by washing hands often in order to prevent infection.
Celiac disease influences 200,000 Americans
every year. Celiac disease is a genetic, autoimmune
disorder in which consuming gluten leads to…
What Is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease influences 200,000 Americans every year. Celiac disease is a genetic, autoimmune disorder in which consuming gluten leads to intestinal damage. Whenever individuals with Celiac disease consume gluten, a protein found in specific grains, for example, wheat, rye and grain, causes an insusceptible reaction to occur that harms the small intestine. These autoimmune attacks result in to harm to the villi, little finger like extensions that line the small intestine, that create nutrient absorption. In the case that villi are harmed, nutrients cannot be administered into the body.
Normal indications for grown-ups include:
- Iron deficiency
- Bones or joint pain, or Arthritis
- Joint pain
- Decrease in bone density or osteoporosis
- Numbness in hands and feet
- Unpredictable menstrual periods
- Dermatitis herpetiformis
- Mouth sores
What is the Risk?
Celiac disease is genetic, meaning it runs in the family. Individuals with a first-degree relative with celiac disease, such as a parent or other direct relative, have a 1 in 10 chance of celiac disease.
What is the Treatment for Celiac Disease?
On the off chance that you have celiac disease, you cannot consume any foods that contain gluten, for example, wheat, rye, grain, and oats. Barring gluten from your eating routine for the most part eases the condition in just a couple of days. In the long run, it subdues the symptoms of the disease, and the villi are able to recoup within six months.
Keep in mind that managing Celiac disease requires a lifestyle change. You should exclude gluten from your diet forever if you want to live symptom-free, and prevent intestinal damage. Eating any gluten at all can harm your digestive tract and restart the issue.
A few people with Celiac disease have persisted to ignore their symptoms for so long that extreme damage to their digestive tracts has occurred to the extent that a gluten-free eating regimen will not comfort them. These patients may require to receive nutrition intravenously.
What is Gluten Sensitivity?
A few people have Celiac side effects, yet test negative for Celiac disease. While including gluten in their eating regimen brings about side effects, for example, “brain fog” or being strangely absent minded, depression, behavior resembling ADHD, stomach discomfort or cramping, bloating, constipation, looseness of the bowels, migraines, bone or joint pain, and anxiety. These conditions are typically allude to non-Celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) and non-Celiac wheat sensitivity (NCWS). Expelling gluten from diet mitigates side effects.
Until recently, it was common thought that NGCS and NCWS patients solely experienced the symptoms of Celiac disease, without incurring intestinal damage. Analysts at Columbia University Medical Center distributed a review in July 2016 building a case that wheat introduction in NGCS and NCWS groups prompts a systemic immune response, therefore deteriorating intestinal cells. The number of individuals influenced by NGCS and NCWS are assessed to be greater than or equivalent to the Celiac disease populace. However, keep in mind that the total population of those with Celiac disease is undetermined due to many individuals with the disease do not know it.
The response to gluten causes villous decay or leveling of the cells covering the small intestine. This may result in malabsorption of supplements with a vast array of side effects. Celiac symptoms may also include iron deficiency, behavioral changes, hindered development or difficulty getting pregnant. Dermatitis herpetiformis is a symptom of Celiac disease that shows as a skin rash.
The rate of Celiac disease is higher among relatives of diagnosed individuals, however anyone with the hereditary inclination can develop celiac disease regardless of age.
While explore keeps on working towards pharmaceutical or different medicines, as of now the main treatment for celiac disease is to keep up a without gluten eat less carbs forever.
What Are the Side Effects of Gluten Sensitivity?
The response to gluten causes villous decay or leveling of the cells covering the small intestine. This may result in malabsorption of supplements with a vast array of side effects.
Celiac disease has been a major point of dialog in the course of the last few of years because celiac disease is evaluated to influence 1 in 100 individuals around the world, as indicated by the Celiac Disease Foundation. Roughly 3 million Americans have Celiac disease, while 97% of them are undiagnosed.
How Can I Manage Celiac Disease?
Cutting gluten out of your diet entirely is challenging. If you are seeking alternative treatment or support, the DFW zone has two extremely dynamic care groups accessible. For Celiac disease support in Dallas, check out the Gluten Intolerance Group of Greater Dallas, or the Gluten Intolerance Group of North Texas. Both have newsletters accessible for a small fee.
Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD)
Irritable bowel disease (IBD) is a group of
issues that cause swelling and infection in
the intestines. IBD is often misinterpreted…
What Is Irritable Bowel Disease?
Irritable bowel disease (IBD) is a group of issues that cause swelling and infection in the intestines. IBD is often misinterpreted as irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. While similar to IBS, IBD is much more severe, typically a result of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis have commonplace functions, as well as a few vital variations. Ulcerative colitis tends to affect the bowel lining, and Crohn’s sickness usually includes the whole bowel wall. Signs of IBD may include::
- Moderate to severe diarrhea
- Belly ache, nausea
- Rectal bleeding, that may result in anemia
- Weight loss, dehydration and malnutrition
- Fever and fatigue
What causes IBD?
The origin of IBD is yet unknown, while many causes consisting of diet, environment and genetics are considered. Proof shows a probable genetic defect that impacts how the immune system is activated and how it reacts as food is digested. Some IBD patients may not experience any symptoms despite year of damage to the bowel. When signs are present, they can mimic other issues, making prognosis challenging.
How is IBD Diagnosed?
A gastroenterologist can evaluate a patient for IBD through a variety of tests, depending on the situation. These may include:
- Stool sample and blood test
- Barium enema
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy
- Capsule endoscopy
- CT Scan or MRI
A gastroenterologist will require some type of visual exam in order to properly diagnose your symptoms. However, your personal medical history, as well as any family history of gi conditions is also useful when determining the cause.
Crohn’s disease is a chronic, recurrent
inflammatory disease of the intestinal tract.
The intestinal tract has four fundamental…
What is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s disease is a chronic, recurrent inflammatory disease of the intestinal tract. The intestinal tract has four fundamental elements:
- Esophagus – the food pipe
- Stomach – where food is churned and digested
- Small bowel – in which nutrients, calories and nutrients are absorbed
- Colon and rectum – where water is absorbed and stool is stored
The two primary locations for Crohn’s disease are the ileum, which is the closing part of the small bowel, and the colon. Crohn’s disease begins as small, microscopic of inflammation within the GI tract, which persists and smolders. The lining of the bowel may then develop ulcers, and as a result, the bowel wall thickens. Subsequently, the bowel may narrow as a result.
After many years of in-depth studies, the cause of Crohn’s disease remains unknown. One concept is that the condition is a result of an unidentified, gradually-developing microorganism. Another theory is that a defect in the immune system, which protects it from numerous infections, may be a factor. While the origin of Crohn’s disease is still unknown, there is still widespread understanding and information available about the disease and its treatment.
Crohn’s can occur in both men and women, and amongst all age groups, even though it most frequently starts in young human beings. For unknown reasons, the hereditary Jewish population are at a heightened risk of developing Crohn’s, while African individuals are at reduced threat.
The symptoms of Crohn’s disease depend on where the disorder originates within the intestinal tract. If it is located within the ileum, discomfort may reside in the lower right area of the stomach. At times, the pain mimics acute appendicitis. Symptoms regarding the colon may result in diarrhea, that may include blood in the stool. Additionally, fever, weight loss, irritability, fatigue and lethargy are also indicators. In younger people, Crohn’s may result in problems with gaining or keeping weight.
There is no conclusive diagnostic test for Crohn’s disease. Gastroenterologists make use of a sequence of exams to assess the patient’s circumstance to determine the results of analysis. The patient’s clinical history and stool and blood samples are utilized. Certain stool exams, such as Fecal Occult Blood Tests (FOBT), are completed for analysis. X-rays of the small intestine and colon, via upper Gl tract and barium enema, are usually required. Further, a visual examination, flexible sigmoidoscopy, of the lining of the rectum and lower bowel is usually necessary. An extra thorough exam of the entire colon, known as a colonoscopy, is the most in-depth method of diagnosing the location of the affliction within the colon.
Crohn’s disease is typically asymptomatic, meaning that indicators are not usually prevalent. Many with Crohn’s disease are able to easily manage for long intervals of time, putting off flare ups. However, other complications may ensue. Arthritis, eye and skin issues, and in rare circumstances chronic liver situations may occur.
The disorder can arise around the anal canal. Open sores referred to as fissures can broaden, which might be often painful. A fistula, a tiny synthetic channel that burrows from the rectum to the pores and skin around the anus, may also shape. When infection persists in the ileum or colon, narrowing and partial obstruction may also arise. Typically, surgical treatment is required to deal with those problems.
Cancer is not typically an outcome of Crohn’s disease, even though risk of developing colorectal cancer is heightened.
Powerful medical and surgical treatments are often necessary for Crohn’s disease. It is essential for the patient to preserve full nutrition and health with a balanced eating regimen, adequate exercise and a positive mindset.
- A prescribed steroid regimen offers tremendously powerful results. Generally, a high dose is used initially to control the disease. Then, the drug is tapered to a low preservation dose, to increase remission time or in the best case scenario, to end symptoms completely. This remedy is administered by way of pill or enema.
- Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), olsalazine (Dipentum), and mesalamine (Asacol, Rowasa, Pentasa) belong to a set of drugs known as the five-aminosalicylates. These pills are most beneficial in preserving a remission once the disease is at a controlled level. They are available in both oral and enema packages.
Immune System Suppressors
- These medicines suppress the body’s immune system, when it is overly active, perpetuating sickness in Crohn’s patients. There are typically two medicines used for this, azathioprine (Imuran) and 6 MP (Purinethol). There are other effective immune-suppressing capsules that may be used in more severe cases.
- Since there is regularly a bacterial infection in conjunction with Crohn’s disease, an extensive assortment of antibiotics are to be had. One of the most generally used to combat this is metronidazole (Flagyl).
- Remicade (Infliximab) is the most recent remedies used to fight against Crohn’s disease. It is normally administered via IV infusion, and is highly effective at immediately suppressing intestinal inflammation. Biologics that you may have heard of include Humira and Cimzia. Both of which are given through subcutaneous injection.
- Surgical procedure is typically need at some point for Crohn’s disease. Surgery may include disposing of a portion of diseased bowel, or draining an abscess or fistula. In all instances, the guiding precept is to only conduct the lowest amount of surgical treatment to correct the immediate trouble. It should be understood that surgery does not cure Crohn’s disease.
The general populace Crohn’s disease lead energetic lives with few restrictions. Although there’s no recognized remedy for the disease, it can be managed with gift treatments. For a few patients, the direction of the disorder can be more tough and complicated, requiring big testing and therapy. Surgical operation occasionally is needed. In all cases, observe-up care is crucial to treating the disorder and, hopefully, preventing or coping with headaches that can arise.
Coping with food plan
There aren’t any ingredients acknowledged to injure the bowel. but, throughout an acute segment of the disorder, cumbersome ingredients, milk, and milk merchandise can increase diarrhea and cramping. generally, the patient is cautioned to consume a nicely-balanced weight loss plan, with adequate protein and energy. A multivitamin and iron supplement can be endorsed by the physician.
Coping with feelings
Stress, anxiety, and extreme feelings may additionally aggravate symptoms of the sickness, however aren’t believed to motive it or make it worse. Any chronic disease can produce a critical emotional response, that could typically be treated through discussion with the medical doctor.
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic disease of
the large intestine, also known as the colon,
in which the lining of the colon…
What is Ulcerative Colitis?
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic disease of the large intestine, also known as the colon, in which the lining of the colon becomes inflamed and develops tiny open sores, or ulcers, that produce pus and mucous. Ulcerative Colitis causes irritation in the lining of the colon and rectum. The combination of inflammation and ulceration can cause abdominal discomfort and frequent emptying of the colon.
Ulcerative colitis is the result of an abnormal response by your body’s immune system. Normally, the cells and proteins that make up the immune system protect you from infection. In people with IBD, however, the immune system mistakes food, bacteria, and other materials in the intestine for foreign or invading substances. When this happens, the body sends white blood cells into the lining of the intestines, where they produce chronic inflammation and ulcerations.
It’s important to understand the difference between ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the Gastrointestinal (GI) Tract, but ulcerative colitis affects only the colon. Additionally, while Crohn’s disease can affect all layers of the bowel wall, ulcerative colitis only affects the lining of the colon.
While both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are types of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD), they should not be confused with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a disorder that affects the muscle contractions of the colon. IBS is not characterized by intestinal inflammation.
What are the Signs and Symptoms?
About half of all patients with ulcerative colitis experience mild symptoms. Be sure to consult your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- bowel movements become looser and more urgent
- persistent diarrhea accompanied by abdominal pain and blood in the stool
- stool is generally bloody
- crampy abdominal pain
People suffering from ulcerative colitis often experience loss of appetite and may lose weight as a result. A feeling of low energy and fatigue is also common. Among younger children, ulcerative colitis may delay growth and development.
The symptoms of ulcerative colitis do tend to come and go, with fairly long periods in between flare-ups in which patients may experience no distress at all. These periods of remission can span months or even years, although symptoms do eventually return. The unpredictable course of ulcerative colitis may make it difficult for physicians to evaluate whether a particular course of treatment has been effective or not.
What are the Causes of Ulcerative Colitis?
Although considerable progress has been made in IBD research, investigators do not yet know what causes this disease. Studies indicate that the inflammation in IBD involves a complex interaction of factors: the genes the person has inherited, the immune system, and something in the environment. Foreign substances (antigens) in the environment may be the direct cause of the inflammation, or they may stimulate the body’s defenses to produce an inflammation that continues without control. Researchers believe that once the IBD patient’s immune system is “turned on,” it does not know how to properly “turn off” at the right time. As a result, inflammation damages the intestine and causes the symptoms of IBD. That is why the main goal of medical therapy is to help patients regulate their immune system better.
Research sponsored by CCFA has led many scientists to believe that ulcerative colitis may be the result of an interaction of a virus or bacterial infection of the colon and your body’s natural immune system response. Normally, your immune system will cause temporary inflammation to combat an illness or infection, and then the inflammation will be reduced as you regain health. In people with ulcerative colitis, however, this inflammation can persist long after your immune system should have finished its job.
Who is affected?
Ulcerative colitis may affect as many as 907,000 Americans. Men and Women are equally likely to be affected, and most people are diagnosed in their mid-30s. The disease can occur at any age and older men are more likely to be diagnosed than older women.
While ulcerative colitis tends to run in families, researchers have been unable to establish a clear pattern of inheritance. Studies show that up to 20 percent of people with ulcerative colitis will also have a close relative with the disease. The disease is more common among white people of European origin and among people of Jewish heritage.
What is the Treatment for Ulcerative Colitis?
The primary goal in treating ulcerative colitis is to help patients regulate their immune system better. While there is no known cure for ulcerative colitis and flare ups may recur, a combination of treatment options can help you stay in control of your disease with little effect on your daily life.
Treatment for ulcerative colitis and other IBD varieties is multifaceted and includes the use of medication, alterations in diet and nutrition, and sometimes surgical procedures to repair or remove affected portions of your GI tract.
Medication for ulcerative colitis can suppress the inflammation of the colon and allow for tissues to heal. Symptoms including diarrhea, bleeding, and abdominal pain can also be reduced and controlled with effective medication.
In addition to controlling and suppressing symptoms (inducing remission), medication can also be used to decrease the frequency of symptom flare ups (maintaining remission). With proper treatment over time, periods of remission can be extended and periods of symptom flare ups can be reduced. Several types of medication are being used to treat ulcerative colitis today.
In some circumstances, a health care provider may recommend adding an additional therapy that will work in combination with the initial therapy to increase its effectiveness. For example, combination therapy could include the addition of a biologic to an immunomodulator. As with all therapy, there are risks and benefits of combination therapy. Combining therapies can increase the effectiveness of IBD treatment, but there may also be an increased risk of additional side effects and toxicity. Your health care provider will identify the treatment option that is most effective for your individual health care needs.
Diet & Nutrition
While ulcerative colitis is not caused by the foods you eat, you may find that once you have the disease, particular foods can aggravate the symptoms. It’s important to maintain a healthy and soothing diet that helps reduce your symptoms, replace lost nutrients, and promote healing.
For people diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, it is essential to maintain good nutrition because the disease often reduces your appetite while increases your body’s energy needs. Additionally, common symptoms like diarrhea can reduce your body’s ability to absorb protein, fat, carbohydrates, as well as water, vitamins, and minerals.
Many people with ulcerative colitis find that soft, bland foods cause less discomfort than spicy or high-fiber foods. While your diet can remain flexible and should include a variety of foods from all food groups, your doctor will likely recommend restricting your intake of dairy foods if you are found to be lactose-intolerant.
In one-quarter to one-third of patients with ulcerative colitis, medical therapy is not completely successful or complications arise. Under these circumstances, surgery may be considered. This operation involves the removal of the colon (colectomy).
Depending on a number of factors, including the extent of the disease and the patient’s age and overall health, one of two surgical approaches may be recommended. The first involves the removal of the entire colon and rectum, with the creation of an ileostomy or external stoma (an opening on the abdomen through which wastes are emptied into a pouch, which is attached to the skin with adhesive).
Today, many people are able to take advantage of new surgical techniques, which have been developed to offer another option. This procedure also calls for removal of the colon, but it avoids an ileostomy. By creating an internal pouch from the small bowel and attaching it to the anal sphincter muscle, the surgeon can preserve bowel integrity and eliminate the need for the patient to wear an external ostomy appliance.
For questions about ulcerative colitis and advice on treatment options, contact a North Texas Endoscopy gastroenterologist today.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is more basic
and less hazardous than IBD. 15 million
Americans have IBS, yet there is not…
What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is more basic and less hazardous than IBD. 15 million Americans have IBS, yet there is not an obvious reason for it. IBS is a common disorder that affects the large intestine, specifically the colon. Irritable bowel syndrome commonly causes cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. IBS is a chronic condition that you will need to manage long term.
What are the symptoms?
The signs and symptoms of IBS can vary widely from person to person and often resemble those of other diseases. Among the most common are:
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- A bloated feeling
- Diarrhea or constipation — sometimes alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhea
- Mucus in the stool
For most people, IBS is a chronic condition, although there will likely be times when the signs and symptoms are worse and times when they improve or even disappear completely.
Should I see a doctor?
Although as many as 1 in 5 American adults has signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, fewer than 1 in 5 who have symptoms seek medical help. Yet it’s important to see your doctor if you have a persistent change in bowel habits or if you have any other signs or symptoms of IBS because these may indicate a more serious condition, such as colon cancer.
Symptoms that may indicate a more serious condition include:
- Rectal bleeding
- Abdominal pain that progresses or occurs at night
- Weight loss
Your doctor may be able to help you find ways to relieve symptoms as well as rule out colon conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer. Your doctor can also help you avoid possible complications from problems such as chronic diarrhea.
Even though signs and symptoms are uncomfortable, IBS, unlike ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, it does not cause changes in bowel tissue or increase your risk of colorectal cancer. Only a small number of people with irritable bowel syndrome have severe signs and symptoms.
What is the Treatment for IBS?
Some people can control their symptoms by managing diet, lifestyle and stress. Others will need medication and counseling.
It’s not known exactly what causes irritable bowel syndrome, but a variety of factors play a role. The walls of the intestines are lined with layers of muscle that contract and relax in a coordinated rhythm as they move food from your stomach through your intestinal tract to your rectum. If you have irritable bowel syndrome, the contractions may be stronger and last longer than normal, causing gas, bloating and diarrhea. Or the opposite may occur, with weak intestinal contractions slowing food passage and leading to hard, dry stools.
Abnormalities in your gastrointestinal nervous system also may play a role, causing you to experience greater than normal discomfort when your abdomen stretches from gas or stool. Poorly coordinated signals between the brain and the intestines can make your body overreact to the changes that normally occur in the digestive process. This overreaction can cause pain, diarrhea or constipation.
Triggers vary from person to person
Stimuli that don’t bother other people can trigger symptoms in people with IBS — but not all people with the condition react to the same stimuli. Common triggers include:
- Foods. The role of food allergy or intolerance in irritable bowel syndrome is not yet clearly understood, but many people have more severe symptoms when they eat certain things. A wide range of foods has been implicated — chocolate, spices, fats, fruits, beans, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, milk, carbonated beverages and alcohol to name a few.
- Stress. Most people with IBS find that their signs and symptoms are worse or more frequent during periods of increased stress, such as finals week or the first weeks on a new job. But while stress may aggravate symptoms, it doesn’t cause them.
- Hormones. Because women are twice as likely to have IBS, researchers believe that hormonal changes play a role in this condition. Many women find that signs and symptoms are worse during or around their menstrual periods.
- Other illnesses. Sometimes another illness, such as an acute episode of infectious diarrhea (gastroenteritis) or too many bacteria in the intestines (bacterial overgrowth), can trigger IBS.
Constipation is the trouble or inability to have
a bowel development. In spite of the
fact that it is a symptom, approximately…
What is Constipation?
Constipation is the trouble or inability to have a bowel development. In spite of the fact that it is a symptom, approximately 63 million Americans are unsettled by incessant constipation. Constipation might be settled by expanding fiber admission, practice and remaining hydrated.
The normal length of time between bowel movements varies widely from person to person. Some people have them three times a day. Others have them only once or twice a week.
Going longer than 3 or more days without one, though, is usually too long. After 3 days, the stool or feces become harder and more difficult to pass.
What Are Signs of Constipation?
- Few bowel movements
- Trouble having a bowel movement (straining to go)
- Hard or small stools
- A sense that everything didn’t come out
- Swollen belly or belly pain
- Throwing up
Why Does It Happen?
Some causes of constipation include:
- Antacid medicines containing calcium or aluminum
- Changes in your usual diet or activities
- Colon cancer
- Eating a lot of dairy products
- Eating disorders
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis
- Not being active
- Not enough water or fiber in your diet
- Overuse of laxatives
- Problems with the nerves and muscles in the digestive system
- Resisting the urge to have a bowel movement, which some people do because of hemorrhoids
- Some medications (especially strong pain drugs such as narcotics, antidepressants, or iron pills)
- Underactive thyroid (called hypothyroidism)
How is Constipation Treated?
- Drink two to four extra glasses of water a day, unless your doctor told you to limit fluids for another reason.
- Try warm liquids, especially in the morning.
- Add fruits and vegetables to your diet.
- Eat prunes and bran cereal.
- If needed, use a very mild over-the-counter stool softener like docusate or a laxative like magnesium hydroxide. Don’t use laxatives for more than 2 weeks without calling your doctor. If you overdo it, your symptoms may get worse.
When Should I See a Doctor?
Call your doctor right away if you have sudden constipation with belly pain or cramping and you aren’t able to pass any gas or stools.
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in your colon
and lower rectum. Hemorrhoids have various
causes, albeit regularly the cause is…
What Are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in your colon and lower rectum. Hemorrhoids have various causes, albeit regularly the cause is obscure. They may come about because of straining amid defecations or from the expanded weight on these veins during pregnancy. Hemorrhoids might be situated inside the rectum (inward hemorrhoids), or they may create under the skin around the rear-end (outside hemorrhoids).
Hemorrhoids are extremely regular. Almost three out of four grown-ups will have hemorrhoids at some point of their life. Hemorrhoids do not always cause discomfort, yet under different circumstances they may cause tingling, uneasiness and bleeding.
Every so often, a clot may shape within a hemorrhoid (thrombosed hemorrhoid). These are not risky but rather can be to a great degree agonizing and occasionally require incision and drainage.
Signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids may include:
- Painless bleeding during bowel movements — you might notice small amounts of bright red blood on your toilet tissue or in the toilet
- Itching or irritation in your anal region
- Pain or discomfort
- Swelling around your anus
- A lump near your anus, which may be sensitive or painful (may be a thrombosed hemorrhoid)
Hemorrhoid side effects as a rule rely on upon the area in which they are located. Hemorrhoids are cliassified as:
- Interior hemorrhoids: These lie inside the rectum. You more often than not can’t see or feel these hemorrhoids, and they once in a while cause inconvenience. In any case, straining or aggravation when passing stool can harm a hemorrhoid’s surface and make it drain.
- Prolapsed hemorrhoid: Periodically, straining can push an inward hemorrhoid through the butt-centric opening. This is known as a projecting or prolapsed hemorrhoid and can bring about agony and bothering.
- Outer hemorrhoids: These are under the skin around your butt. Whenever aggravated, outside hemorrhoids can tingle or drain.
- Thrombosed hemorrhoids: In some cases blood may pool in an outside hemorrhoid and frame a coagulation (thrombus) that can bring about serious agony, swelling, irritation and a hard bump close to your rear-end.
Other Hemorrhoid Symptoms
Bleeding amid solid discharges is the most well-known indication of hemorrhoids. Your specialist can do a physical examination and perform different tests to affirm hemorrhoids and preclude more-genuine conditions or illnesses.
Likewise converse with your specialist in the event that you know you have hemorrhoids and they cause torment, drain often or unreasonably, or don’t enhance with home cures.
Try not to expect rectal draining is because of hemorrhoids, particularly on the off chance that you are more than 40 years of age. Rectal draining can happen with different infections, including colorectal disease and butt-centric growth. On the off chance that you have bleeding alongside a stamped change in gut propensities or if your stools change in shading or consistency, counsel your specialist. These sorts of stools can flag more broad draining somewhere else in your stomach related tract.
Look for crisis mind on the off chance that you encounter a lot of rectal dying, unsteadiness, discombobulation or faintness.
The veins around your anus tend to enlarge under pressure and may lump or swell. Swollen veins (hemorrhoids) can create from expanded weight in the lower rectum due to:
- Straining amid solid discharges
- Sitting for drawn out stretches of time on the toilet
- Perpetual looseness of the bowels or blockage
- Anal intercourse
- Low-fiber eat less carbs
Hemorrhoids are more probable with maturing on the grounds that the tissues that bolster the veins in your rectum and butt can debilitate and extend.
Complications of hemorrhoids are exceptionally uncommon yet include:
Pallor. Seldom, unending blood misfortune from hemorrhoids may bring about iron deficiency, in which you don’t have enough sound red platelets to convey oxygen to your phones.
Strangulated hemorrhoid. On the off chance that the blood supply to an interior hemorrhoid is removed, the hemorrhoid might be “strangulated,” another reason for outrageous agony.
Luckily, there are numerous viable options are to treat hemorrhoids. Many individuals are able to relieve discomfort from home remedies and lifestyle changes.
Diverticular disease is the general name for a
common condition that causes small bulges
(diverticula) or sacs to form in the wall of…
What is Diverticular Disease?
Diverticular disease is the general name for a common condition that causes small bulges (diverticula) or sacs to form in the wall of the large intestine (colon). Although these sacs can form anywhere in the colon, they are most common in the sigmoid colon (part of the large intestine closest to the rectum).
- Diverticulosis: The presence of diverticula without associated complications or problems. The condition can lead to more serious issues including diverticulitis, perforation (the formation of holes), stricture (a narrowing of the colon that does not easily let stool pass), fistulas, and bleeding.
- Diverticulitis: An inflammatory condition of the colon thought to be caused by perforation of one of the sacs. Several secondary complications can result from a diverticulitis attack. When this occurs, it is called complicated diverticulitis.
What Are the Complications of Diverticulitis?
- Abscess formation and perforation of the colon with peritonitis. An abscess is a pocket of pus walled off by the body. Peritonitis is a potentially life-threatening infection that spreads freely within the abdomen, causing patients to become quite ill.
- Rectal bleeding
- Formation of a narrowing of the colon that prevents easy passage of stool (called a stricture)
- Formation of a tract or tunnel to another organ or the skin (called a fistula). When a fistula forms, it most commonly connects the colon to the bladder. It may also connect the colon to the skin, uterus, vagina, or another part of the bowel.
What Causes Diverticulitis?
The most commonly accepted theory ties diverticulosis to high pressure within the colon. This pressure causes weak areas of the colon wall to bulge out and form sacs. A diet low in fiber and high in red meat may also play a role. Currently, it is not well understood how these sacs become inflamed and cause diverticulitis.
What Are the Symptoms?
Most patients with diverticulosis have no symptoms or complications. Some patients with diverticulitis experience lower abdominal pain and a fever or they may have rectal bleeding.
How is Diverticulitis Diagnosed?
Diverticulosis often causes no symptoms. It may be diagnosed during screening tests such as a colonoscopy. A CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis may be used to confirm the diagnosis of diverticulitis.
What is the Treatment for Diverticulitis?
Most people with diverticulosis have no symptoms. However, as a preventative measure, it is advised to eat a diet high in fiber, fruits, and vegetables, and to limit red meat.
Most cases of diverticulitis can be treated with antibiotics in pill form or intravenously (IV). Diverticulitis with an abscess may be treated with antibiotics with a drain placed under X-ray guidance.
Surgery for diverticular disease is indicated for the following:
- A rupture in the colon that causes pus or stool to leak into the abdominal cavity, resulting in peritonitis, which often requires emergency surgery.
- An abscess than cannot be effectively drained.
- Severe cases that do not respond to maximum medical therapy including IV antibiotics and hospitalization.
- Patients with immune system problems (e.g. related to an organ transplant or chemotherapy).
- A colonic stricture or fistula.
- A history of multiple attacks may result in a patient deciding to undergo surgery to prevent future attacks.
Surgery for diverticular disease usually involves removal of the affected part of the colon. It may or may not involve a colostomy or ileostomy (intestine bought out through the abdominal wall to drain into a bag). A decision regarding the type of operation is made on a case-by-case basis.
Gallstones are pieces of solid material that
form within the gallbladder, a small organ
located under the liver. You might…
What Are Gallstones?
Gallstones are pieces of solid material that form within the gallbladder, a small organ located under the liver. You might not even know you have them until they block a bile duct, causing intense pain that requires immediate attention.
What are the Different Types of Gallstones?
The two main kinds are:
- Cholesterol stones. These are usually yellow-green in color. They’re the most common kind, accounting for 80% of gallstones.
- Pigment stones. These stones are smaller and darker. They’re made up of bilirubin, which comes from bile, a fluid your liver makes and your gallbladder stores.
What Causes Gallstones?
There may be several reasons, including:
- Your genes
- Your weight
- Problems with your gallbladder
Bile can be part of the problem. Your body needs bile, but if it has too much cholesterol in it, that makes gallstones more likely.
It can also happen if your gallbladder can’t empty properly.
Pigment stones are more common in people with certain medical conditions, such as cirrhosis (a liver disease) or blood diseases such as sickle cell anemia.
Am I at Risk?
You’re more likely to get gallstones if:
- You’re obese. This is one of the biggest risk factors. Obesity can raise your cholesterol level and also make it harder for the gallbladder to empty completely.
- You take birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy for menopause symptoms, or are pregnant. The extra estrogen is the problem. It can increase cholesterol and make it harder for the gallbladder to empty.
- You have diabetes. People with this condition tend to have higher levels of triglycerides (a type of blood fat), which is a risk factor for gallstones.
- You take medicine to lower your cholesterol. Some of these drugs boost the amount of cholesterol in bile, which may increase your chances of getting cholesterol stones.
- You lost weight too quickly. Your liver makes extra cholesterol, which may lead to gallstones.
- You’re fasting. Your gallbladder may not squeeze as much.
Gallstones are also more likely if they run in your family, and they’re likelier among women, older people, and some ethnic groups, including Native Americans and Mexican-Americans.
What Are the Symptoms?
You might not notice anything, or even know you have gallstones, unless your doctor tells you. But if you do get symptoms, they usually include:
- Pain in your upper belly and upper back that can last for several hours
- Other digestive problems, including bloating, indigestion and heartburn, and gas
How Are Gallstones Found?
If your doctor thinks you may have gallstones, he’ll give you a physical exam. You may also get:
- Blood tests check for signs of infection or obstruction, and to rule out other conditions.
- Ultrasound is a quick procedure done in your doctor’s office, and it makes images of the inside of your body.
- CT scan consists of specialized X-rays that allow your doctor to see inside your body, including your gallbladder.
- Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) is a test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio-wave energy to make pictures of the inside of your body, including the liver and the gallbladder.
- Cholescintigraphy (HIDA scan) is a test that can check on whether the gallbladder squeezes correctly. Doctors inject a harmless radioactive material, which makes its way to the organ. The technician can then watch its movement.
- Endoscopic ultrasound This test combines ultrasound and endoscopy to look for gallstones.
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). The doctor inserts an endoscope through your mouth down to the small intestine and injects a dye to allow the bile ducts to be seen. He can often then remove any gallstones that have moved into the ducts.
What’s the Treatment?
Many people with gallstones get surgery to take out the gallbladder. There are two different kinds of operations.
. This is the more common procedure. The surgeon passes instruments, a light, and a camera through several small cuts in the belly. He views the inside of the body on a video monitor. Afterward, you spend the night in the hospital.
. The surgeon makes bigger cuts in the belly to remove the gallbladder. You stay in the hospital for a few days after the operation.
If gallstones are in your bile ducts, the doctor may use ERCP to find and remove them before or during gallbladder surgery.