Frequently Asked Questions


Are there any foods that help Acid Reflux?

Researchers have been unable to determine why certain people get acid reflux. Certain foods have been shown to ease acid reflux while others have been shown to increase acid.

Foods to Add:

Pineapple and Papaya

  • Enzymes help break down proteins to aid in digestion.

Iodized salt

  • Low iodine causes the thyroid to slow which increases the acid in the stomach.

Water

  • Water dilutes acid in your system.

Apple

  • Decreases acid in the stomach.

Ginger

  • Absorbs acid and calms the nerves.

Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Contains enzymes that prevent acid reflux.

Probiotics

  • Brings the digestive system back into balance.

Foods to Avoid:

Spicy foods

  • Spices irritate the esophagus and increase acid reflux by relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter muscle (LES).

Trans/High fat foods

  • High fat foods are digested more slowly and require more acid to digest.

Mint & Chocolate

  • Stimulate the production of acid and relax the LES.

Tomato/ Citrus fruits

  • Very acidic which adds acid to the stomach.

Alcohol, Coffee, Tea, & Carbonated beverages

  • Irritates the lining of the stomach.


It is estimated that 33% of Americans suffer from Acid Reflux. Each person has their own trigger foods. When acid reflux occurs keep track of the foods eaten and make a list of foods to avoid.

What’s the difference between Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis?

Diverticulosis is a chronic condition in which diverticula are present. Diverticula are small pouches of the mucous membrane that protrude through the muscular layer of the colon wall. A condition called diverticulitis occurs when the diverticula become inflamed or infected and is most commonly found in the large intestine.

Diverticulosis rarely causes symptoms, but diverticulitis can make people feel very ill. If diverticulitis develops, a change in bowel habits or rectal bleeding may occur and lead to abscess formation or colon perforation requiring emergency surgery.

Diverticulitis has been linked to a low fiber diet and constipation. A high-fiber diet softens waste and helps waste material pass through the colon more quickly, reducing pressure inside the colon.

Reducing pressure inside the colon helps prevent diverticula from forming. Mild diverticulitis can be treated with proper rest, antibiotics and a change of diet. More serious cases of recurrent diverticulitis may require surgery.

If you are over 40 and experience rectal bleeding it is important to contact your physician to rule out serious colon problems. Diverticulosis is most common in people over 50 years old. In fact,
it is estimated that nearly half of all Americans over 60 have the disease.

What is Acid reflux?

GERD- Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a condition in which the stomach contents (food or liquid) leak back from the stomach into the esophagus (the tube from the mouth to the stomach). This action occurs when the muscle between the stomach and the esophagus does not close properly or opens often, allowing acid to flow into the esophagus. This action can irritate the esophagus, causing heartburn and other symptoms. Many of you have heard of GERD or Acid Reflux Disease but may be unaware that you have symptoms at all.

Symptoms include:

  • A Feeling of food stuck behind the breastbone
  • Heartburn-Especially at night and while bending over, lying down, or eating
  • Regurgitation(food coming back up into the throat)
  • A chronic cough or wheeze
  • Difficulty swallowing food
  • Sore throat, especially in the mornings
  • Hiccups
  • Hoarseness or change in voice
  • Twenty percent of Americans suffer from heartburn at least two times a week and 10 to 20 million Americans suffer from GERD.

Twenty percent of Americans suffer from heartburn at least two times a week and 10 to 20 million Americans suffer from GERD.

GERD can lead to more serious problems of the esophagus including esophageal cancer or Barrett’s Esophagus, which is a change in the lining of the esophagus to accommodate acid. It is important to
contact your physician if you are having any of the above symptoms to rule out more serious conditions.

How do I know if I have Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are located in the anus or lower rectum. Pressure causes the veins in the lower rectum to stretch resulting in bulging or swelling. Pressure can be caused by straining during bowel
movements, sitting for long periods of time on the toilet, chronic diarrhea or constipation, obesity or pregnancy.

Hemorrhoids may be internal or external. Signs and symptoms include itching, irritation, pain, discomfort, or swelling around anus. Painless bleeding during bowel movements may be noticeable. Sensitive or painful lumps around the anus may occur plus a leakage of feces.

Internal Hemorrhoids: Typically do not cause discomfort but if there is straining or irritation while passing stool, damage to the hemorrhoid and bleeding may occur. Occasionally an internal hemorrhoid can push through the anal opening which is called a prolapsed hemorrhoid. This can be very painful.

External hemorrhoids are located just under the skin around the anus. External hemorrhoids can feel itchy or bleed when blood is clotted (thrombosed). If blood pools in an external hemorrhoid, it may form a clot (thrombus), which results in inflammation, swelling, severe pain and sometimes bleeding.

Bleeding during bowel movements is the most common sign of hemorrhoids; however this can also be a sign of a more serious condition. There are many treatments including diet, exercise, and medication. Although surgery is not always necessary, there are many surgical choices depending on the severity of the hemorrhoid. Over 50% of Americans will suffer from hemorrhoids during their lives.

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the United States today. A colonoscopy is the primary preventative weapon used by doctors to detect colon cancer, and is highly recommended because this is one cancer that screening can prevent (not only detect but prevent). Colon cancer is a fast growing cancer. Early detection prevents this from becoming untreatable.

A lighted camera called a colonoscope, is used to visually examine the patient’s colon and rectum. During a colonoscopy removal of cancerous and non-cancerous polyps, diagnosis of diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, biopsies of tissue and repair of abnormalities such as gastrointestinal bleeding are also performed.

If you are 50 or older contact your primary care physician and ask to be referred to our office.

The message is clear: COLONOSCOPIES SAVE LIVES!