Signs & Symptoms of Constipation

Constipation can be painful, unpleasant, and unhealthy. No one wants to experience infrequent bowel movements or difficulty passing stool. Know the signs and symptoms of constipation to avoid pain and possibly serious bowel health issues.

Signs and symptoms of constipation include abdominal bloating and distention, infrequent bowel movements, passage of lumpy or hard stool and difficulty evacuating the rectum. If you are experiencing a feeling as though there is a blockage in your rectum that prevents bowel movements, you may be constipated.

Constipation may be considered chronic if you have experienced two or more of these symptoms for the last three months, with no relief. Risks of chronic constipation can lead to serious issues like hemorrhoids, anal fissure, fecal impaction, or rectal prolapse.

Don’t let the discomfort of chronic constipation, or unexplained and persistent changes in your bowel habits, affect your life. Schedule an appointment with a specialist at Regional Gi today. For more information on constipation and services offered at Regional Gi, please visit

Foods to Ease Sufferers Symptoms and Digestive Limitations

Food can be your worst enemy when living with a pancreatic condition. Commonly, patients with a pancreatic disease may have difficulty even eating at all. To limit pain and discomfort associated with a pancreatic disease, a nutritional diet is recommended.

A large portion of the pancreatic-friendly diet is to cut down fat intake. The recommended amount of fat intake per day is 20 grams. Cutting excess fats easily be done by choosing healthy options including lean beef, turkey, lamb, boneless chicken breasts, shellfish and most fish. Your diet should also include whole wheat grains, leafy vegetables, and fresh fruit.

While introducing healthy food options into your diet, eliminating certain foods may be recommended. In addition to adding lean poultry into your diet, removing excess fat and skin before consuming allows for a healthier meat option. Replace oils and butter with low-fat cooking sprays and season your food with lemon juice, paprika, and salt to cut down on fat. Restrict starchy options and bread, and always choose baked foods over fried. Typically, dairy foods should be avoided; however, skim milk may be appropriate. Choose low-fat or no-fat cheese options.

Studies indicate that dehydration causes the pancreas to flare, causing pain and discomfort for those with gallbladder pancreatitis. Avoiding alcohol and getting plenty of rest can help sufferers avoid dehydration and possibly, another pancreatitis attack.

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 on dietary restrictions associated with gallstone pancreatitis or to schedule an appointment, please visit

A Screening or Diagnostic Colonoscopy? What is the difference?

It is important to understand the difference between a screening and diagnostic colonoscopy. It is very important that you talk to your insurance company on your benefits and their criteria, as this can have an effect on your out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles or co-insurance.Most insurance plans will cover screening colonoscopies, while diagnostic will be applied to your deductible or co-insurance.

Screening Colonoscopy Factors:
• No symptoms before the procedure
• No findings during the procedure (polyps, diverticulosis, etc.)
• No personal history of cancer or polyps
• No family history of cancer or polyps (some insurances consider this high risk)

Diagnostic Colonoscopy Factors:
• Symptoms before the procedure such as change in bowel habits,
rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, etc.
• Findings during the procedure (polyps, cancer, diverticulosis, etc)
• Personal history of cancer or polyps
• Family history of cancer or polyps (some insurances consider this high risk

Important Note: Disclaimer – Regional Gi follows appropriate coding guidelines and procedures. A screening procedure may become diagnostic based on the findings during the colonoscopy or symptoms you are experiencing.

The points noted above are to be used for informational purposes only, as insurance and benefits criteria vary by plan.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your insurance company to verify your benefits and “out-of-pocket” costs for screening vs. diagnostic colonoscopies.

Feel free to share the attached PDF.

Regional Gi Triage Nurses, we thank you!

With over 160 years combined experience between them, our triage nurses here at Regional Gi are skilled, knowledgeable and caring. Being the liaison between the patients and the physicians they can assist with patient inquiries including medication refills and authorizations, provide solutions and advice for clinical concerns, schedule outpatient testing , and advise and communicate questions to the physicians. As dedicated professionals they will help the patient navigate the healthcare system, and follow-up with the patient to assure that they are highly satisfied with the care that they receive from Regional Gi.

We’d like to take this time to thank our Triage Nurses for all their hard work and dedication.

Back Row From the Left:
Kelly (Triage Scheduling Coordinator), Adriann (LPN), Kris B (RN)., Mary(LPN), Nancy(LPN)
Front Row from the Left:
Gail, (RN) Kristina (RN), Joan (RN) | Brownstown Office


The term FODMAP is an acronym, deriving from “FermentableOligo-Di-Mono-saccharides and Polyols“.  The restriction of these FODMAPs from the diet has been found to have a beneficial effect for sufferers of irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal disorders.

The low FODMAP diet is a dietary approach used to decrease/minimize symptoms of:

  • Abdominal pain

  • Gas

  • Bloating

  • Flatulence

  • Burping

  • Constipation

  • Diarrhea

  • Dyspepsia

  • Nausea

These symptoms are quite common and are present in a variety of gastrointestinal disorders. They are hard to treat and can be very disruptive.  These symptoms are often present in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

The FODMAP Foods

The term FODMAPs is used to describe a collection of short-chain carbohydrates found in many common foods. FODMAPs stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides, and Polyols.

Consuming foods high in FODMAPs results in the above symptoms. These food items are poorly absorbed, highly osmotic and rapidly fermented by GI bacteria, leading to increased volume of liquid and gas in the GI tract, which then leads to GI tract distention that causes changes in GI motility, bloating, discomfort and flatulence.

A low FODMAP diet should result in a decrease in digestive symptoms. There is a cumulative effect of these foods on symptoms. In other words, eating foods with varying FODMAP values at the same time will add up, resulting in symptoms that you might not experience if you ate the food in isolation.

Click HERE to view or download a FODMAP Food Chart

F – Fermentable or produce gas

O – (Fructans and Galactans):  Fructans are carbohydrates that are completely malabsorbed because the intestine lacks an enzyme to break their fructose-fructose bond.  For this reason, fructans can contribute to bloating, gas, and pain.  Wheat accounts for the majority of people’s fructan intake.  Galactans are carbohydrates that are malabsorbed for the same reason as fructans; the intestine does not have the enzyme needed to break down galactans.  Consequently, galactans can contribute to gas and GI distress.

D – (Lactose): Lactose is the carbohydrate found in cows, sheep’s and goat milk.  Lactose intolerance is caused by partial or complete lack of the enzyme lactAse which digests lactose.  When lactose is not completely digested, it contributes to the abdominal bloating, pain, gas and diarrhea, often occurring 30 minutes to two hours following the consumption of milk and milk containing products.

M – (Fructose):  Fructose is a carbohydrate found in fruit, honey, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and agave syrup, but not all fructose containing foods need to be limited on a low FODMAPs diet.  Fructose malabsorption is similar to lactose intolerance, in that fructose is not completely digested in the GI tract due to the lack of an enzyme, but unlike lactose intolerance the absorption of fructose is dependent on another carbohydrate, glucose.  Therefore, fructose containing foods with a 1:1 ratio of fructose to glucose are generally well tolerated on FODMAPs diet and conversely, foods with excess fructose compared with glucose, such as apples, pears and mangos, will likely trigger abdominal symptoms.

A – and

P – (Polyols): Polyols are also known as sugar alcohols.  They are found naturally in some fruits and vegetables and added as sweeteners to sugar-free gums, mints, cough drops and medications.  Sugar alcohols have varying effects on the bowel.

Low FODMAP Diet instructions:

To assess your tolerance for these compounds, eliminate foods high in FODMAPs for 6-8 weeks and then gradually reintroduce foods to identify bothersome foods.  Reintroduce one food every four days with a 2-week break between bothersome foods.  The goal is to identify the threshold at which you are able to consume FODMAP containing foods without causing bothersome GI symptoms.

Foods that are high in FODMAPs may aggravate your GI complaints but they are not causing an allergic reaction or an autoimmune reaction in your body.  The foods high in FODMAPs that elicit GI symptoms are causing functional discomfort in your gut that result in gas, bloating, distention etc.

Online Resources for More Information:


Gibson PR, Narrett, JS. Clinimal ramifications of malabsorption of fructose and other short-chain carbohydrates.  Practical Gastroenterology, August 2007

Gibson PR, Sheperd SJ. Evidence-based dietary management of functional gastrointestinal symptoms: The FODMAP approach. J of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 25(2010) 252-258

Scarlat, K FODMAPs Basics, Well Balanced. Food. Life. Travel.

Scarlata, K. Successful Low FODMAP living. Today’s Dietitian, March 2012 archives/030612p36.shtml

Scarlata, K The FODMAPs Approach-Minimize Consumption of Fermentable Carbs to Manage Functional Gut Disorder Symptoms.  Today’s Dietician, August 2010


Ben Lazarus, DO

Secret Cereal Recipe by Dr. Lazarus

Ben Lazarus, DOWith some GI conditions, a “food first” approach may be just what the doctor ordered in order to relieve your symptoms.  In fact, with conditions like constipation or constipation predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), our very own Dr. Lazarus has a natural approach that he suggests, a ‘Secret Cereal Recipe” that he’s happy to share with us.

Dr. Lazarus states, “The cereal is one half bowl of frosted Mini Wheats, one half bowl of Raisin Bran, and Lactaid 100 nonfat milk. It has 210 cal, is high in protein and blended fiber, and is low in fat.  It’s great for people with mild to moderate constipation or constipation predominant IBS who do not have a gluten-sensitivity problem.  I’ve always been an advocate of “food first” in treatment of constipation, and this is a great breakfast.”

While more severe cases of constipation or IBS may require medical attention, this breakfast offers a lot of nutritious benefits that can promote a healthy GI tract, and is definitely worth incorporating into your diet even if you don’t currently have any GI issues.

Colonoscopy Cancer Screening After Age 50

Colon cancer is the third leading cancer killer in the United States, yet it is a preventable and treatable disease if diagnosed in its early stages.

The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), representing the experts in colon cancer screening, recommends colonoscopy screenings beginning at age 50. If you are turning 50, don’t put off getting a colonoscopy. Since March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, it is a great time to learn the facts about colon cancer prevention.

Learn More About Colon Cancer

Colon cancer, also referred to as colorectal cancer, is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in both men and women. More than 140,00 cases of colon cancer are expected to occur in 2014, and over 50,000 will die from the disease. However, death rates for colon cancer have declined in both men and women over the past two decades, due to declining incidence rates and improvements in early detection and treatment.

Colon cancer is considered a silent killer because often there are no symptoms until it is too late to treat. Age is the single largest risk factor for the disease, so even people who lead a healthy lifestyle can develop polyps and cancer. Both men and women are affected by colon cancer equally. Most colon cancers arise from precancerous growths in the colon called polyps, which can be found during a colonoscopy screening and removed before they turn into cancer.

Schedule A Colonoscopy

Contact Regional Gi or your family physician to discuss a screening colonoscopy.