Tag Archives: GastroCare LI

Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week: December 1-7

November was officially Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Month, but December 1-7 is Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week this year, according to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. According to the Foundation, over 3 million Americans and about 200,000 Canadians live with some form of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This year, the foundation is using the hashtag #IBDvisible to help raise awareness about these critical and often misunderstood health issues. 

Crohn’s disease is one form of IBS. It describes an inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, which usually manifests in flares and periods of remission. Watch out for these symptoms if you are concerned that you might have Crohn’s disease:

  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Constipation or bowel obstruction
  • Abdominal cramps and pain

There are several options available to treat Crohn’s disease. Your doctor may prescribe medication to reduce inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract as well as a change in diet.

According to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation website, about 70% of people diagnosed with Crohn’s will need surgery down the line, so that is something to be aware of. 

Ulcerative colitis occurs when the lining of the colon becomes inflamed and develops small ulcers and sores. Symptoms vary, and most patients only experience mild symptoms of this condition. Some common symptoms of ulcerative colitis are:

  • Bloody stool
  • Loose and urgent bowel movements
  • Persistent diarrhea

These symptoms are very similar to the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, so consult with your doctor if you’re experiencing any of them. It is essential to let your doctor know about any discomfort you are experiencing so they can diagnose you and direct you toward a treatment plan. 

If you have been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, there are several paths you can pursue regarding treatment. As with Crohn’s disease, your doctor may prescribe medication to combat your symptoms and prolong periods of remission. 

They may also recommend that you cut back on spicy food that is more likely to irritate your bowels and replace it with milder, blander food. Your taste buds won’t be pleased, but your colon will appreciate it. Additionally, as with Crohn’s disease, surgery may be recommended down the road if medication and combination therapy aren’t enough. 

Contact GastroCare LI

GastroCare LI provides knowledgeable, compassionate care for those with Crohn’s and other ailments. Schedule a consultation with an experienced New York gastroenterologist by calling (516) 265-7049 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

 

Peptic Ulcers

man clutching stomach in painPeptic ulcers are tricky to diagnose because a whopping three-fourths of people who have them don’t experience symptoms. If left untreated, peptic ulcers can eat away at the lining of your stomach or small intestine, leading to infection. They can also result in internal bleeding or the inability of food to pass through your digestive system. To help you avoid these serious conditions, the team at GastroCare LI wants to arm you with knowledge about peptic ulcers. If you are concerned about whether you may have one, contact us today at (516) 265-7049 for an evaluation.

What Is a Peptic Ulcer?

Peptic ulcers are essentially open sores in the stomach’s inner lining, called gastric ulcers, or in the small intestine’s inner lining, called duodenal ulcers. These sores develop when stomach acid eats away at your stomach or small intestine’s lining. Peptic ulcers can lead to internal bleeding, obstruction of the digestive tract, or infection in the abdominal cavity.

What Are the Symptoms?

The most common symptom of a peptic ulcer is a burning sensation in your stomach. The pain usually intensifies between meals and at night when the stomach is empty. Taking an antacid may temporarily help the pain since stomach acid worsens the burning sensation. Other common symptoms of peptic ulcers include:

  • Heartburn
  • Bloating
  • Intolerance of fatty food
  • Increased burping

Sometimes people experience more severe symptoms, including:

  • Stools with dark blood or the consistency of black tar
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting, with or without blood
  • Weight loss
  • Change in appetite

Peptic ulcers often go untreated because the more common symptoms just seem like typical heartburn or because no symptoms may manifest at all. The sooner you diagnose it, though, the easier it is to treat, so consulting a doctor is important if you experience any of the above-listed symptoms.

What Causes a Peptic Ulcer?

The two most common causes of peptic ulcers are overuse of aspirin or NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), and the Helicobacter pylori bacteria. Taking pain medication such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or medications with naproxen sodium can inflame the stomach and small intestine’s lining. When this happens over and over, you increase the risk of developing a peptic ulcer in the lining of your stomach or small intestine. The fact that peptic ulcers occur more frequently in older adults who take such pain medication on a regular basis attests to the link between anti-inflammatory drugs and peptic ulcers.

Another cause of peptic ulcers is the usually harmless Helicobacter pylori bacteria that live in mucous tissue of the stomach and small intestinal lining. Sometimes the bacteria irritate the inner lining, leading to an ulcer. Doctors are still not sure why this happens or how the infection spreads.

Contact Us

Stomach issues can be some of the most painful and persistent problems that a person experiences. At GastroCare LI, we understand this and have the experience to help you receive the most complete and compassionate care possible. If you live in the Long Island or Queens area, contact our offices today at (516) 265-7049 to get the relief you need.

Talking to your doctor about chronic constipation

Constipation is normal for many people and can be caused by a number of different factors. Changes to your diet, dehydration, and adjusting your bowel habits can all influence when a person suffers from constipation. To prevent constipation it is important to consume enough fiber, drink plenty of water, and maintain a well-balanced diet. If you are suffering from chronic constipation, and have been dealing with symptoms for three weeks or longer, it is time to seek help from a medical professional. Your general practitioner may be able to screen you for common problems that cause constipation, and they may recommend you visit a specialized doctor who is more familiar with problems in the digestive system. These doctors are called gastroenterologists.

How to prepare for your appointment

When you call the gastroenterologist’s office, be sure to have a pen and some paper nearby. Ask the receptionist what you need to do before your visit. Sometimes the doctor will ask you to make changes to your diet in the days leading up to your appointment. The doctor will also want more information regarding your condition, and it is a good idea to spend some time writing down a list of your symptoms. You will want to review your medical history and be ready to provide information to the doctor regarding the types of medications, supplements, and vitamins you are taking.

Other details that may be relevant to your visit include pregnancy, daily stress, and traveling. Before you visit the doctor’s office, make sure you understand the payment options and how much the visit will cost. Having all of this information organized will help you maximize your visit with the gastroenterologist, and it will help them to better diagnose the factors that may be causing your constipation.

Questions they may ask

Your doctor may have many questions to ask, and it is a good idea to start brainstorming your response. You will want to be familiar with questions regarding:

  • How long you have been suffering from constipation and when you started noticing symptoms
  • Whether your constipation is seemingly spontaneous or consistent.
  • Things that you’ve noticed that make constipation better or worse
  • Your daily nutritional intake, including the times you eat and drink
  • Any recent changes in weight
  • Blood in your stool or when you wipe
  • Straining to pass a bowel movement

These common questions will help your doctor determine if you are suffering from simple constipation, or whether it is a sign of a more serious problem.

Common tests for identifying root causes of constipation

The source of constipation may not be clear to your doctor, and they may need to conduct some tests to better assess your condition. Although these tests are often described as uncomfortable, they provide the gastroenterologist with important information to help their diagnosis. These tests may include:

  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy – The doctor uses a tiny tube with a camera on it to visually inspect the lower intestine and the rectum.
  • Colonoscopy – Similar to a flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopies involve visual inspections, but they include the entire large intestine.
  • Anal manometry – This test takes about 30 minutes, and involves a trained physician measuring how tightly the muscles respond to nerve signals.
  • Defecography – Barium paste is applied to the inside of the rectum, and an X-ray machine takes images as you pass the bowel movement.

Contact Us

If you are suffering from constipation and are concerned it might be a symptom of a larger issue, Bradley Rieders, MD and Gautam Reddy, MD are here to help you. Contact us at (516) 265-7049 for our Valley Stream, NY office, and at (516)-265-7049  to reach us at our Glendale, NY office today.

December is Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Month

During the month of December, it is important to remember the 1.6 million people across the United States who suffer from some form of IBD. That’s why the U.S. Senate passed Senate Resolution 199 to support the ideals and goals put forth by groups like the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). The group’s primary focus is educating the public about these chronic conditions, which are often referred to as “invisible diseases” because the people suffering from them may not display any symptoms outwardly, but may be suffering from the debilitating diseases internally, with little to no support or help.

This month, it is essential that we think of those who are suffering from these chronic illnesses, and help give them the support they deserve. For those of you who are unaware of what these diseases are, both Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis are diseases that cause inflammation of an individual’s digestive tract, causing issues with digestion, nutrition problems, and issues with the elimination of waste from the body. It is estimated that nearly one in 350 people will develop either one of the two diseases in their lifetime.

In order to prevent Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis symptoms from worsening, there are a few things you can do including:

  • Stop smoking
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
  • Take your vitamins and incorporate nutritional supplements
  • Avoid foods that can cause irritation and inflammation within the body

Unfortunately for those who suffer from it, there is no cure for Crohn’s disease, but there are medications and surgical procedures that can assist with ulcerative colitis. If you or someone you know is suffering from Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis, you may be able to identify it if you have symptoms including:

  • Severe intestinal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Eye problems
  • Liver problems
  • Skin issues
  • Swelling of the joints
  • Mouth ulcers

If you are experiencing the symptoms above, it is vital that you speak with a doctor right away to discuss your options. For friendly, compassionate care from doctors that so many others trust with IBD issues, consider turning to Dr. Bradley Rieders, Dr. Gautam Reddy and Dr. Brandon Rieders of GastroCare LI. We have made it our mission to help those who are suffering from these chronic diseases, and we are ready to help you too. So, for this Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness month, help yourself or someone you care for get the medical assistance they deserve. Contact us at (516) 265-7049 or schedule a confidential appointment with us online.