Digestive Friendly Holiday Meal

A large part of most holidays is sharing a meal with friends and family. These meals most commonly consist of rich ingredients that make us feel heavy, bloated, and uncomfortable afterwards.

Enjoy your classic holiday meal without the uncomfortable aftermath by limiting difficult-to-digest carbohydrates. According to the Digestive Health Institute, limiting the types of carbs that have gut “fermentation potential” will help you avoid painful digestion and constipation.

The holiday favorite ‘Turkey Dinner’ can be rich in difficult-to-digest carbohydrates. Although this meal is not gut-friendly, it does not mean you need to throw out your traditional meal. Check out this adaptation of your traditional ‘Turkey Dinner’ that you can enjoy without the discomfort of difficult digestion.

Holidays are meant to be spent enjoying time with family and friends. Don’t spend your holiday in pain and discomfort due to difficult digestion and constipation. If you are experiencing chronic constipation, consult with one of Regional Gi’s qualified gastroenterologists. Schedule your appointment by visiting www.regionalgi.com/contact.

For more information on constipation, digestive health, and other services offered at Regional Gi, please visit www.regionalgi.com.

Foods to Avoid Constipation

Battling constipation, or looking to avoid constipation entirely? One thing that can help ease symptoms of constipation or avoid it entirely, is your diet. The key to a healthy diet that will regulate your bowel movements, is fiber.

So how do you implement more fiber into your diet? According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases including fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, cereals, and wheat breads can help regulate bowel health. Additionally, you can drink water and other fluids, such as fruit and vegetable juices and clear soups, to help the fiber in your diet work better.

A large part of regulating bowel health and stool, is reducing how much food with little or no fiber is included in your diet. Foods that can cause constipation that you want to avoid include cheese, chips, fast food, ice cream, fatty meat, and prepared and processed foods. Eating too much of these can cause blockage, and ultimately constipation.

When implementing a high fiber diet, be sure to add fiber slowly, so that your body gets used to the change. Before implementing a high fiber diet to treat or avoid constipation, talk with your doctor to plan a diet with the right amount of fiber for you. At Regional Gi, our knowledgeable and experienced gastroenterologists are equipped to help all your constipation needs.

For more information on constipation and services offered at Regional Gi, or to schedule an appointment, please visit www.regionalgi.com.

Diagnosis & Treatment of Constipation

For those struggling with constipation, immediate diagnosis and treatment is imperative. Diagnosing constipation is most often based on the patients prevailing symptoms and bowel habits.

Following the initial diagnosis, your gastroenterologist may order laboratory tests to rule out underlying medical conditions. Further diagnosis may require x-ray examination or colonoscopy. Once a diagnosis is completed by your gastroenterologist, immediate treatment is recommended. Most often, constipation can be relieved simply by increasing fluid or fiber intake. Laxatives may be necessary. Exercise and living a healthy lifestyle will also contribute to more normal bowel function.

If you are experiencing chronic constipation or unexplained or persistent changes in bowel habits, make an appointment with our experience gastroenterologists. For more information and services offered at Regional Gi, please contact us today.

What Are Gallstones?

Gallstones are small pebbles of hardened bile that form in the gallbladder. The gallbladder is an organ that sits under the liver and stores bile after it’s produced by the liver. Following a meal, the gallbladder is responsible for emptying bile into the small intestine. Chemical imbalances in the substances that make up bile causes the production of gallstones. Imbalances typically include high amounts of cholesterol and fats that then interfere with normal gallbladder function.

Gallstones can range in size from stones as tiny as a grain of sand to as large as golf balls. Many people with gallstones do not experience symptoms such as pain or swelling. In other cases, sudden pain is most often experienced in the upper right abdomen as a result of a severe gallbladder attack. These attacks may often follow heavy meals.

Gallstones affect approximately one million people every year. Women are at an increased risk for acquiring gallstones. In generally, those who are at risk of developing gallstones typically include:

  • Women ages 20-60
  • Men and women ages 60+
  • Men and women who are overweight
  • Men and women who go on “crash” diets or lose weight quickly
  • Pregnant women or women who have used birth control pills or estrogen

Gallstones are one of the leading causes of gallbladder pancreatitis. Without proper management, pancreatitis caused by gallstones can cause severe pain in the abdomen and lead to more serious problems such as nutritional deficiencies.

Don’t let your gallstone go untreated! Ask a physician if you are at risk for gallbladder pancreatitis. For more information or to schedule an appointment with Regional Gi’s board-certified specialists, please visit www.regionalgi.com/contact.

Gallstone Pancreatitis: Testing, Diagnosis & Treatment

Living with gallstone pancreatitis? While most cases of pancreatitis are mild, severe cases can be prolonged. If left untreated, complications such as infection, kidney failure, respiratory failure, and fluid extravasation can occur. Receiving proper diagnosis and treatment for gallstone pancreatitis is imperative to your overall health. Diagnosis can be done by testing blood for elevated pancreatic enzyme levels. It can also be discovered through imaging studies of the pancreas such as ultrasound, CT scan or MRI scan.

Treatment of gallstone pancreatitis consists of supportive care with fluids. The fluids are designed to prevent dehydration and promote adequate blood flow to other organs. Medications to relieve pain, nausea and manage other associated health problems may be administered.

In severe cases, operative treatment may be used to remove gallstones. Antibiotics are used only in treatment plans where infection is detected.

Regional Gi places a strong emphasis on educating each patient about their digestive condition and treatment options. For more information on diagnosis and treatment of gallstone pancreatitis or to schedule an appointment, please visit www.regionalgi.com/contact.

What are the Signs & Symptoms of Gallstone Pancreatitis?

Gallstone pancreatitis (acute pancreatitis) is the result of gallstones passing through the common bile duct and impinging on the main pancreatic duct. The main function of the pancreas is to produce enzymes necessary to digest food. The pancreas is also responsible for making insulin, the hormone needed to keep blood sugar levels within a healthy range. Pancreatitis caused by gallstones can cause severe pain in the abdomen and lead to serious health problems such as nutritional deficiencies.

Symptoms of gallstone pancreatitis can begin as pain in the upper abdomen. Mild pain may become worse after eating and commonly lasts for several days. Pain from a swollen and tender abdomen may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, fever and/or rapid pulse. Gallstone pancreatitis can be a life-threatening disease and immediate evaluation by a physician is necessary if someone with gallstones suddenly develops severe abdominal pain. The best way to prevent gallstones from forming is by protecting your pancreas and choosing to live a healthy, active lifestyle.

Eating a low-fat diet of whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables can help prevent gallstone pancreatitis

People who are overweight are more likely to develop gallstones in their lifetime and are at a greater risk for developing gallstone pancreatitis. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and shedding extra pounds can dramatically prevent the formation of gallstones.

Regional Gi specializes in the treatment of those affected by major gastrointestinal conditions including colon cancer, Crohn’s disease, acid reflux, stomach ulcers, liver disease and pancreatic cancer.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please visit www.regionalgi.com/contact. We look forward to serving you!

5 Steps to Improving Your Bowel Health by Sadiya Cheshty, MD

Headshot of Dr. Cheshty“Good bowel hygiene is key in achieving digestive health,” says Dr. Sadiya Cheshty. “Here are some simple steps to incorporate into your daily routine. These basic changes can make a big impact on overall health, benefitting all ages, both men and women.”

1. Clean Without Damaging The Skin
The most common ways of cleansing oneself after a bowel movement can be quite damaging! The skin around the anus is sensitive, so if it is not cleaned properly, problems can arise. On the other hand, overzealous or aggressive wiping due to fear of having stool left behind causes damage. Wipes contain chemicals that are damaging to the skin. The best way to clean is to wash after every bowel movement. Use mild, unscented soap like Aveeno. Use paper to pat dry.

2. Don’t Spend More Than Two Minutes On The Toilet
When you sit on the toilet for a long time, hemorrhoids will protrude and become problematic. Time on the toilet should not be spent catching up on reading, smartphone use or any other activity. Time spent sitting on the toilet should be two minutes or less.

3. Put A Stool Under Your Feet
The correct position for having a bowel movement is squatting not sitting. Squatting position straightens out the rectum. Straightening the rectum allows it to empty properly. Put a stool under your feet while on the toilet. This brings up your knees, puts you into a more squatting position and helps you to more easily pass the stool, preventing straining.

“Check our website for more GI health updates and individualized lifestyle modifications to improve daily life and overall health,” says Cheshty.

To download the full document, please click here. For additional questions or concerns, please contact Regional Gi today!

The ABC’s of Hepatitis. Do You Know The Difference?

Viral hepatitis refers to infections caused by viruses that attack the liver. Severe chronic cases of viral hepatitis can lead to life-threatening liver cirrhosis, liver failure or even liver cancer. Do you know the difference between these varying conditions?

Mode of Transmission / Prevention:

  • Hepatitis A: Contaminated food and water. There is a safe HAV vaccine.
  • Hepatitis B: Infected blood, sex and needles. From an infected mother to her newborn. There is a safe HBV vaccine.
  • Hepatitis C: Infected blood and needles. There is no vaccine.
  • Hepatitis D: Must already have hepatitis B. Infected blood, sex and needles. From an infected mother to her newborn. Get the hepatitis B vaccine.
  • Hepatitis E: Contaminated water. There is no vaccine.

(Hepatitis B Foundation, Feb. 2014)

Interested in Learning More?

Are you concerned about your health? Allow Regional Gi’s professional and caring specialists to answer your questions. For more, please visit www.regionalgi.com/contact. We look forward to serving you!

How Does GERD Affect the Esophagus?

Occasional heartburn or acid reflux is not uncommon. In fact, many suffer from frequent throat or stomach pain. However, if you experience it two or more times a week, you may be at risk for serious complications.

Repeated exposure to harmful stomach acid can dramatically affect the lining of the esophagus. Those with severe cases of heartburn and acid reflux may be diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease. If left untreated, many sufferers may develop esophagitis or severe inflammation of the esophagus.

Complications of Untreated GERD
If both conditions are not brought under control, stomach acid may continue to further damage your esophagus. Repeated damage may lead to further complications including:

Preventing Further Damage
Treatment is dependent upon the cause and severity of esophageal discomfort. It is important to talk to your doctor. In many instances, a simple dietary modification may alleviate sufferers symptoms.

Interested in Learning More?
Are you concerned about your symptoms? Regional Gi will treat you with the professionalism, honesty and care that you deserve. To schedule your appointment, please visit www.regionalgi.com/contact.