Posts for category: GI Care

By Mid-Valley Gastroenterology
December 08, 2020
Category: GI Care
Tags: Hemorrhoids  
Finding Ways To Prevent HemorrhoidsProne to hemorrhoids? Here are some ways to prevent flare-ups.
 
Hemorrhoids are serious (and literal) pain in the butt. Of course, certain factors can predispose people to have hemorrhoids. If you’ve had them before chances are fairly good that you are looking for ways to make sure you never have to deal with them again. From the office of our gastroenterologists, here are some helpful tips for preventing hemorrhoids in the future.
 
Add more fiber to your diet
You might think you’re getting enough fiber in your diet, but you could be very wrong. In fact, only 1 in 20 Americans is getting the proper amount of fiber intake every day. Of course, dietary fiber isn’t just important for improving digestion, it can also help to soften stools so they are easier to pass. Fiber can also prevent constipation, which is often a cause of hemorrhoids.
 
Get Your Body Moving
Exercise provides an array of benefits, and better gut health is just one of them. Even if you aren’t prone to hemorrhoids, regular aerobic activity will increase blood flow to the intestines and stave off constipation. Just remember to wait about 1-2 hours after eating before you work out.
 
Practice Good Hygiene
How you clean down there may also affect your predisposition to hemorrhoids. Of course, you should always be practicing good personal hygiene and thoroughly cleaning after you use the bathroom. Of course, along with proper hygiene, it’s also a good idea to take a shower at least once a week in the evening right before going to bed, making sure that you are giving your backend a little extra (but gentle) cleaning.
 
Avoid Straining and Heavy Lifting
You may be surprised to discover that lifting heavy objects or straining can also put too much pressure on the anus, which can lead to hemorrhoids. While any doctor will recommend exercising for its many health benefits, you mustn’t be straining or pushing too hard.
 
Enjoy a Sitz Bath
If you do find yourself dealing with the beginnings of hemorrhoids, you may want to run a bath with Epsom salts, which can help to alleviate pain, discomfort, and inflammation. While certainly not as pleasant, a cold bath can also have positive effects, as it can both numb the area to reduce pain and also stimulate blood flow.
 
If you are dealing with painful hemorrhoids and you aren’t finding relief through home care, then it’s time to speak with a qualified gastroenterologist who can provide you with more effective strategies for soothing and easing your symptoms.
By Mid-Valley Gastroenterology
October 05, 2020
Category: GI Care
Foods That Help Combat HeartburnMost of us have dealt with a bout of heartburn before; however, there are many Americans that deal with frequent heartburn that makes it difficult to enjoy mealtimes. Whether your heartburn is the result of acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), you must see a gastroenterologist if you are experiencing heartburn multiple times a week.

If you’re dealing with heartburn, one of the first things your gastroenterologist will examine is your diet. While certain foods can exacerbate heartburn and make it worse, certain foods can improve and ease acid reflux symptoms. Some of these foods include:

Oatmeal

Foods that are high in fiber such as oatmeal aren’t just amazing for your digestive tract, they may also prevent heartburn from brewing in the first place. Plus, whole grain foods can help satiate your appetite for longer, which means that you are less likely to go for snacks and other foods that could cause a nasty bout of acid reflux. So, start your morning right with a hearty bowl of oatmeal. And perhaps you may even want to add a….

Banana

Just like vegetables, a banana is a low-acid and high alkaline fruit that is also great for the digestive tract. If you battle with heartburn, bananas can help prevent stomach acid production while also helping things run smoothly through the digestive system.

Ginger

Whether you prefer ginger sprinkled into your morning smoothie, a soothing cup of ginger tea or fresh ginger grated into your water, this magical vegetable reduces inflammation and can aid in preventing and treating heartburn as well as calm an upset stomach and ease nausea.

Leafy Greens and Veggies

Fibrous vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, potatoes, and asparagus are alkaline, which helps to keep stomach acid in check. This is also because these delicious and nutritious foods are low in sugar and fat, which means they are friends to those with heartburn.

Yogurt

We all know that yogurt has amazing probiotic properties, providing your gut with the good bacteria it needs to stay healthy and strong. Good bacteria can also improve how your immune system functions, staving off germs and infections, while also coating and easing stomach acid.

Whether you have questions about your current heartburn-friendly diet or you’re having trouble getting your acid reflux under control, a gastroenterologist will be able to provide you with proper long-term medication and lifestyle changes that can help.
By Mid-Valley Gastroenterology
July 31, 2020
Category: GI Care
Tags: Colonoscopy  
ColonoscopyPerhaps you’ve heard the news reports saying that everyone should get a colonoscopy after a certain age. Maybe you even remember when Katie Couric of the Today Show got a colonoscopy. This procedure gets a bad rap, but the benefits far outweigh the potential unpleasantness of the procedure itself or even the prep. Screening for colorectal cancer is so important for all men and women, and yet so many people still don’t see a gastroenterologist regularly for screenings. This screening, which usually takes no more than 30 minutes, could just save your life.

You may benefit from a colonoscopy if:
  • You are a man or woman over the age of 50 (those over 50 years old are at an increased risk for colorectal cancer)
  • You have a family history of colorectal cancer or colon polyps
  • You have a personal history of cancer or colon polyps
  • You’ve been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease)
  • You are experiencing symptoms of colorectal cancer such as blood in the stool and unexpected weight loss
  • You are experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms such as rectal bleeding and abdominal pain (a colonoscopy can diagnose certain intestinal problems)
Healthy individuals at moderate risk for colorectal cancer should start getting screened by 50 years old (yes, women too!). While men are more at risk for colorectal cancer, women can also get this form of cancer and should make getting screened an important part of their preventive healthcare.

You will be placed under conscious sedation while undergoing a colonoscopy, so you will most likely not remember any part of your procedure. During the procedure, your gastroenterologist will carefully place a colonoscope, a thin tube with a camera at the end, into the rectum, and guide it into the large intestines (aka the colon). This procedure allows your doctor to be able to examine the lining of the intestines to look for polyps, bleeds, ulcers, or other issues you may be dealing with. If polyps are found, they can be removed during your colonoscopy.

While age, ethnicity, and gender can play a role in your colorectal cancer risk level, there are other factors as well; however, these factors can be altered by simply improving your lifestyle. These factors include:
  • Smoking or using tobacco products
  • Leading a sedentary lifestyle
  • Eating a poor diet that is high in processed foods
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
If the results of your colonoscopy are normal then you probably won’t need another one for about 10 years; however, those at an increased risk for colorectal cancer may want to get screened before age 50 and consider getting screened more regularly. This is something that you should discuss with your doctor.