Are you approaching the age of 50? If you are, you must add important health screening to your "to do" list. Yes, the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy says that people 50 and older should have their colons, or large intestines, tested for cancer. At Gastrointestinal Specialists, board-certified physicians provide you with the latest in gastroenterology diagnostics and treatments right on premises in Troy, MI. Learn here about the whys and hows of this important and life-saving test.
The numbers cannot be ignored
Some people think colonoscopy screening is simply unnecessary. However, health statistics tell a different story. The American Cancer Society states that more than 95,000 new cases of colon cancer are discovered every year in the United States. A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute also says that the number of cases found in people under fifty is rising.
So video-monitored colonoscopy remains the gold standard in diagnosing this potentially deadly cancer. Other less reliable exams include flexible sigmoidoscopy, stool blood test and digital rectal exam. Your board-certified gastroenterologist in Troy likely will recommend you receive a complete colonoscopy every ten years and more frequently if your test reveals benign or pre-cancerous polyps.
The prep is important
While bowel preparation for colonoscopy varies a bit from doctor to doctor, the aim of any pre-test medication is a totally cleansed bowel. One day before your test, you will consume only clear liquids, such as tea, broth and apple juice, and then drink laxatives in the amount prescribed by your physician. You must avoid anything with red or purple dye content.
The test itself
It lasts about 45 minutes. You will be sedated and likely will remember little of your exam afterward. The doctor gently introduces a flexible, lighted tube into your rectum and advances it through the intestine. The tube has a tiny camera on the end and sends live pictures to a monitor in the treatment room.
These pictures reveal any abnormalities, and also your doctor can take biopsies and remove polyps as needed. Afterwards, a friend or loved one must drive you home.
State of the art
At Gastrointestinal Specialists in Troy, MI, expect gentle, kind and accurate gastroenterology testing right in our own Endoscopy Center. Are you turning 50? Why not call the office to ask about screening for colon cancer? Phone (248) 273-9930.
For patients with difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomiting, unexplained digestive bleeding or abdominal pain, a procedure such as a colonoscopy may be needed to determine what is causing those symptoms. At Gastrointestinal Specialists in Troy, Michigan, we perform a variety of procedures for many different types of gastrointestinal symptoms. An endoscopy is a nonsurgical procedure that is used to examine the digestive tract and can be used to treat a variety of gastrointestinal problems for patients of all ages.
About Endoscopy Procedures and Colonoscopy Types
Individuals may need an endoscopy or a colonoscopy in Troy, Michigan if they experience some of the following things:
- Growths or polyps in the colon
- Digestive tract bleeding
- Bowel habit changes
- Unexplained stomach pain
Our team will explain to you exactly what will be done with your procedure. They will work with you to determine the best procedure and will inform you of the steps needed to have a successful test. Some endoscopy procedures offered include:
- Colonscopy: This tests for colorectal cancer. It uses a colonoscope to examine the lining of the colon (large intestine) for any abnormalities.
- Upper Endoscopy: This allows a doctor to examine the lining of the duodenum, stomach and esophagus. It is used to detect tumors, ulcers or inflammation and is more effective than x-rays.
- Capsule endoscopy: This procedure helps a doctor to evaluate the small intestine that can’t be reached with a traditional colonoscopy or upper endoscopy. It searches for the cause of bleeding and can detect tumors, ulcers in the small intestines, polyps and Crohn’s Disease. This procedure can take eight hours total.
Maintaining one’s intestinal health is a vital approach to one’s overall wellness. Our team of professionals can examine each patient and determine which gastrointestinal procedure will suit their pain and health the best. In order to schedule an appointment with our Troy, Mgastroenterologists, call 248-273-9930 today.
Learn more about the medication that could manage your inflammatory bowel disease.
Have you been diagnosed with an inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease? If so, then our Troy, MI, gastroenterologists may have recommended (along with modifying certain habits and lifestyles) that you take Remicade® to help manage your symptoms. What is Remicade® and what can it do to help your condition?
Remicade® is a prescription medication that is used to help treat both pain and inflammation. While it can be used to help manage pain caused by a variety of different conditions from certain kinds of arthritis to autoimmune diseases, this medication can also be a great way to keep your inflammatory bowel disease symptoms under control.
Those with Crohn’s disease deal with chronic inflammation of the intestinal tract. This can cause some pretty miserable symptoms ranging from abdominal pain to diarrhea. Ulcerative colitis also faces the same inflammatory symptoms. Those with severe ulcerative colitis may even develop digestive ulcers, which can be severely painful. If you have moderate-to-severe inflammatory bowel disease that hasn’t been responding to other medications or lifestyle changes then it might be the perfect time to talk to our Troy, MI, GI doctor about whether Remicade® might be able to better manage your symptoms.
Remicade® is typically administered through an IV over the course of a couple of hours. You will receive the first three doses a few weeks apart from each other, with maintenance infusions happening about every six to eight weeks after. Before getting Remicade® we will need you to come in for an evaluation so that we can understand more about your condition and your symptoms. We will also need to go through your medical history to determine if there are certain pre-existing health conditions that could be negatively impacted by this medication. We will also provide you with a list of possible side effects and when a certain side effect warrants coming into the office right away.
Whether you have questions about the medications you are taking or you are experiencing symptoms and require medical attention, Gastrointestinal Specialists in Troy, MI, is here to help every step of the way. Call us today!
Find out when a routine colonoscopy is recommended.
Has one of our Troy, MI, gastroenterologists recommended getting a colonoscopy? Wondering if this procedure is something everyone should get? Perhaps you’ve heard news reports talking about the importance of getting a colonoscopy and why everyone should. Maybe you’re wondering if it’s time to schedule a colonoscopy for yourself. Find out when you should consider getting this procedure.
What is a colonoscopy?
This diagnostic exam is the best way for our Troy, MI, GI doctors to check the health of your gastrointestinal tract. We use a small scope with a camera attached and direct it into the rectum and gently through the colon (lower intestinal tract). The camera allows us to look for polyps or other symptoms of colorectal cancer. This is by far the most effective way to detect colorectal cancer and even healthy individuals should get colonoscopies at a certain point.
When might someone need a colonoscopy?
There are many reasons why a colonoscopy may be recommended. Did you just turn 50 years old? If so, then you may want to add a colonoscopy to your routine preventive health care. These screenings could protect you against colorectal cancer, and both men and women should get them. Since African-Americans are at a higher risk of developing this type of cancer, it might be a good idea to come in starting around 45 years old.
Also, if you have a personal or family history of colon polyps or colorectal cancer then you may want to get a colonoscopy more regularly. When you come in for a consultation, we will be able to determine just have often you should come based on your risk factors and the results of past colonoscopies.
If you are dealing with rectal bleeding, unexplained abdominal pain or weight loss, or other gastrointestinal issues, then a colonoscopy may be the best way to detect the cause of your symptoms. If we find any polyps or suspicious growths during your colonoscopy, we can often remove them and biopsy them during this procedure.
Do you have questions about an upcoming colonoscopy? Want to schedule your next visit? Then call Gastrointestinal Specialists in Troy, MI, today. Whether you are dealing with symptoms or just turned 50, getting a routine colonoscopy could just save your life.
Find out how often you should come in for routine screenings and preventive gastrointestinal care.
When dealing with changes in your intestinal tract it can be difficult to understand what’s going on. Instead of just guessing what might be to blame it’s always a good idea to consult one of our Troy, MI, gastroenterologists for care. Find out when a checkup is a good idea and what symptoms warrant a visit to our office.
Why Should I See a Gastroenterologist?
Since our Troy GI doctors have received specialized and comprehensive medical training, we are able to provide more in-depth and effective colonoscopies and other procedures needed to diagnose and treat a variety of gastrointestinal problems than a regular doctor can. Having a GI specialist who knows what to look for when it comes to detecting polyps, cancerous growths and other issues is a boon to your intestinal health.
When Should I Schedule a Visit?
It might be time to consider booking an appointment with us if you are experiencing any of these symptoms:
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- Rectal pain or bleeding
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Acid reflux
- Excessive gas
- Lack of appetite
- Sudden and unexplained weight loss
- Pale stools
- Dark urine
Your Troy gastrointestinal physician is able to treat a full range of conditions. We will discuss your medical history and the symptoms you are experiencing before determining which kinds of diagnostic tests to perform.
Of course, you don’t always need to be sick or feeling under the weather to visit us. In fact, once you reach 50 years old, you should be coming in for routine colonoscopies. If you have a personal or family history of intestinal polyps, ulcerative colitis or colorectal cancer, we may recommend that you come in for a colonoscopy younger than 50. Both men and women should get colonoscopies and, depending on the results of your test, we will determine how often you should come in for these screenings.
Are you dealing with stomach issues? Don’t let intestinal distress affect you. Get the relief you deserve by turning to Gastrointestinal Specialists PC in Troy, MI. Call us today!
When you are otherwise healthy, it can be difficult to determine the cause of such symptoms as unexplained weight loss, abdominal pain, diarrhea or blood in your stool. If you are experiencing any of these unexplained symptoms, a gastroenterologist can conduct an exam called a flexible sigmoidoscopy to diagnose the problem. At Gastrointestinal Specialists PC, your gastroenterologists in Troy, MI can use this exam to check your colon for signs of polyps or even cancer.
What is Flexible Sigmoidoscopy?
Flexible sigmoidoscopy is an exam performed by gastroenterologists to examine the colon or lower portion of the large intestine. The purpose of the exam is to check for polyps or signs of cancer and it tends to be a quicker procedure than a full colonoscopy. To perform a flexible sigmoidoscopy, a flexible tube called a sigmoidoscope is placed inside the rectum and part of the large intestine. A small video camera positioned at the tip of the sigmoidoscope allows the gastroenterologist to view the interior of the large intestine.
The gastroenterologist can take tissue samples for biopsy if anything unusual is observed during the flexible sigmoidoscopy. As mentioned, the exam is limited to just the lowest portion of the large intestine. If polyps or other abnormalities are found during the exam, your doctor might recommend a follow-up colonoscopy to examine the entire colon. Your experienced gastroenterologist in Troy can advise you if a flexible sigmoidoscopy alone is sufficient to adequately evaluate the health of your colon.
Who Needs a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy?
A flexible sigmoidoscopy can be used as a screening method to check for signs of colon polyps, colon cancer or rectal cancer. Patients over 50 should be periodically screened for colon and rectal cancer. Screening at a younger age is recommended for patients with a family history of color or rectal cancer and for patients with a history of Crohn’s disease, IBD or ulcerative colitis. Additionally, patients experiencing certain unexplained symptoms might benefit from a flexible sigmoidoscopy. These symptoms include:
- Sudden Weight Loss (with no clear cause)
- Abdominal Pain
- Unusual Bowel Activity
- Bleeding from the Anus
A gastroenterologist can advise you if a flexible sigmoidoscopy is needed at this time, as well as help you determine your risk for developing colon polyps or colorectal cancer. To schedule a consultation with a gastroenterologist in Troy, MI, contact the Gastrointestinal Specialists PC at (248) 273-9930.
Ulcerative colitis (also known as inflammatory bowel disease) is a digestive system disorder that causes chronic inflammation in the bowel. It usually affects the colon (large intestine) and the rectum, and may increase the risk of developing colon cancer for some people. Ulcerative colitis and digestive disorders are diagnosed and treated by a specialist known as a gastroenterologist.
The GI doctors at Troy, MI based Gastrointestinal Specialists PC offer advanced diagnostic and treatment options for inflammatory bowel syndrome. Treatment options depend on how severe the condition is, and how much of the large intestine is affected by inflammation. Treatment can range from lifestyle and diet modifications, to medication and surgery.
Signs and Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis
Cases of colitis range from mild to severe, and the symptoms can vary from person to person depending on the degree and location of inflammation in the intestine. The general symptoms include:
- Pain and abdominal cramping
- Unexplained weight loss
- Rectal pain and bleeding/blood in stool (schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist for any instances of persistent bloody stool or rectal bleeding)
- Persistent diarrhea
- Problems/difficulty passing or controlling bowel movements
Most cases of inflammatory bowel disease fall in the mild to moderate range. Although colitis is a chronic condition, many people can experience long periods of remission.
Causes and Risk Factors of Ulcerative Colitis
Although there is no definitive cause for colitis, heredity and genetics may play a role in how likely a person is to develop the condition. While inflammatory bowel disease can affect people of all ages (and can be more severe when diagnosed in children), it most commonly develops in adults in their 20s. It also tends to be more prevalent in people of caucasian or Ashkenazi Jewish descent. Lifestyle factors like diet and stress may exacerbate, but not necessarily cause symptoms of IBS.
Find a Gastroenterologist in Troy
If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of ulcerative colitis or other gastrointestinal disorders, contact Gastrointestinal Specialists PC in Troy, MI by calling (248) 273-9930 to schedule a consultation with a GI doctor today.
Not sure when you should start having colonoscopies? Your Troy, MI gastroenterologists at Gastrointestinal Specialists, PC, share information about this important test and explain when you should have your first colonoscopy.
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a diagnostic test that gives your doctor an up-close view of your colon and the lower section of the small intestine. You'll receive anesthesia prior to the procedure and won't feel a thing. During the test, a thin, flexible scope is inserted into your anus. A digital miniature camera attached to the end of the scope transmits images to a monitor, giving your doctor a perfect view of your intestines. As the scope is inserted and retracted, your doctor looks for signs of polyps, lesions or other abnormalities.
When should I get a colonoscopy?
Most people should start receiving colonoscopies at age 50. Fifty is the recommended starting age because your colon cancer risk increases with age. Your gastroenterologist may recommend that you undergo a colonoscopy earlier if you have gastrointestinal issues.
Why is it so important that I receive a colonoscopy?
Colon cancer often doesn't cause any noticeable symptoms until the cancer is very advanced. Although colon cancer is very treatable during the early stages, advanced cancer is much harder to treat. Polyps in your colon can be a warning sign. Unfortunately, if you don't get a colonoscopy, you'll never know that you have them. Many polyps aren't cancerous initially but can become cancerous if they remain in your colon. During a colonoscopy, your doctor removes any polyps he spots and sends them to a laboratory to be tested for cancer.
Are there other reasons that colonoscopies are performed?
Colonoscopies are also used to help your doctor determine why you have chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, frequent constipation, unexplained weight loss, anemia or changes in your bowel movements or habits.
How do I prepare for a colonoscopy in Troy?
You'll take laxatives as recommended by your doctor to prepare for your colonoscopy. Although this step can be a little unpleasant, it's absolutely necessary to ensure that your doctor has a clear view of your colon and small intestine.
Is it time for your first colonoscopy? Call your Troy, MI gastroenterologists at Gastrointestinal Specialists, PC, at (248) 273-9930 to schedule an appointment to discuss this important procedure. Protect your colon health with a colonoscopy!
Stomach pain makes it difficult to do the things you enjoy. Although over-the-counter remedies can be helpful in treating pain, sometimes these medications are strong enough to handle your symptoms. Your gastroenterologists, at Gastrointestinal Specialists, PC in Troy, MI, share information on symptoms and treatments for several stomach ailments, including ulcerative colitis.
Nearly everyone suffers from indigestion at some point in their lives. When pain, burning and a feeling of fullness strike during or after a meal, an over-the-counter antacid medication can help ease symptoms. Your gastroenterologist may also suggest medications that help reduce stomach acids, such as proton pump inhibitors or H2 receptor antagonists.
Gastritis causes abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, indigestion and other unpleasant symptoms. Bacterial and viral infections can cause gastritis, as can stress, medication side effects or drinking large amounts of alcohol. If your gastritis is caused by a bacterial infection, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic. Proton pump inhibitors and H2 receptor antagonists can also help treat gastritis.
Small pouches form in the lining of your digestive tract when you have diverticulosis. If those pouches become inflamed or infected, you may experience abdominal pain, tenderness, fever, nausea, and vomiting. Oral antibiotics are usually very effective in treating infections, although surgery may be needed in severe cases.
Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that can cause sores in your rectum and large intestine. If you have this disease, you may experience abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, rectal bleeding or pain, fever, weight loss, changes in bowel habits and fatigue.
Anti-diarrheal medications can help relieve severe diarrhea while acetaminophen is recommended for pain relief, as other common pain relievers, such as naproxen sodium or ibuprofen, can make your symptoms worse. Prescription anti-inflammatory medications help reduce pain and other symptoms caused by inflammation. Remicade, a medication that stops the immune system from producing too much TNF-alpha protein, is effective in slowing or stopping damage from the disease and may even lead to a remission. In severe cases, ulcerative colitis can be life-threatening. In these cases, surgery to remove the colon and rectum may be needed.
Do you suffer from ulcerative colitis or another painful stomach condition or disease? Find out how a gastroenterologist can help you by calling your Troy gastroenterologists at Gastrointestinal Specialists, PC, at (248) 273-9930.
Colorectal cancer affects nearly 150,000 new patients a year. However, this common and life-threatening disease is highly preventable. A colonoscopy can detect colorectal cancer long before symptoms present themselves. This makes this procedure incredibly important, especially for people who are over the age of 50. Get more information on colonoscopies with help from your Troy, MI doctors at Gastrointestinal Specialists.
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a medical procedure which allows doctors to visually see the lining of the rectum and colon. The procedure is performed using a colonoscope, a long, thin tube with a camera attached to the end. Doctors use colonoscopy procedures as a preventative measure for cancer as it can detect the presence of precancerous growths called polyps. A colonoscopy can also investigate the warning signs of gastrointestinal issues.
When is a colonoscopy recommended?
It is recommended that men and women over age 50 who are at average risk for developing cancer undergo a colonoscopy test at least every 10 years. This allows doctors to find and remove precancerous polyps, which could prevent colorectal cancer altogether. At-risk patients might need a colonoscopy more often. Symptoms of gastrointestinal irritation like rectal bleeding, sudden or unexplained weight loss, chronic diarrhea, constipation or irregular stools often require a colonoscopy to allow your doctor to find the root cause of the problem. Additionally, treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and investigation into the cause of an abnormal MRI or CT scan also call for a colonoscopy.
What can I expect during a colonoscopy procedure?
Before a colonoscopy, your doctor will require you to perform a colon cleanse which consists of drinking a special solution and maintaining a clear liquid diet. This lasts one to two days and empties the colon for the test. The day of your test, your doctor will give you a sedation medication to help you relax. You may fall asleep during the procedure. Your doctor inserts the colonoscope into the anus and moves it through the rectum and colon. Air is used to inflate the colon so your doctor can see its lining properly. If necessary, tiny tools threaded through the colonoscope help your doctor biopsy the tissue or remove polyps. After the test, you will recover for about an hour. Due to the medications, someone will need to drive you home after the procedure. You may then return to your normal diet.
For more information on gastrointestinal issues or colonoscopies, please contact your doctor at Gastrointestinal Specialists in Troy, MI. Call (248) 273-9930 to speak with an associate about scheduling your appointment for a colonoscopy today!
While ultrasound is a fantastic and widely used medical tool, unfortunately, it does have a few limitations. For example, sometimes the images provided by an ultrasound can be blurry, especially if the organ being examined is deep within the body. This is when endoscopy and endoscopic ultrasonography by the gastrenterologists of Gastrointestinal Specialists in Troy, MI is a fantastic alternative.
What is Endoscopic Ultrasonography?
Endoscopy is the process of inserting a tube into the body in order to take pictures of the digestive tract. Ultrasound is the process of using sound waves to take images of the inside of the body. When the two are combined, the result is endoscopic ultrasonography.
A relatively new tool, endoscopic ultrasonography offers the advantages of both endoscopy and ultrasound in a single procedure. With endoscopic ultrasonography, the gastrenterologists of Gastrointestinal Specialists are able to get a much clearer picture of the inside of a patient's body to diagnose and treat various medical conditions.
What is Endoscopic Ultrasonography Used For?
The gastrenterologists of Gastrointestinal Specialists use endoscopic ultrasonography for a number of purposes, including the following.
- Finding and assessing the severity of various cancers
- Finding and assessing various lung diseases
- Finding and assessing various digestive issues
- Finding pancreitits
- Determining the cause of fecal incontinence
- Finding tumors and other abnormalities
- Guiding the draining of cysts and other fluids
- Assisting in biopsy
Advantages of Gastrointestinal Specialists Endoscopy and Endoscopic Ultrasonography
Endoscopic ultrasonography is a minimally invasive, low-risk procedure that provides the gastrenterologists of Gastrointestinal Specialists additional and detailed information about a patient's medical condition. The procedure is performed on an out-patient basis and typically only takes between 25 and 45 minutes. The procedure is low-risk and is considered safe for most people.
If your doctor is concerned that you may have a serious underlying health condition, but your tests are coming back inconclusive, schedule an appointment with the gastrenterologists of Gastrointestinal Specialists in Troy, MI. Get an endoscopy, and get the answers you need.
Find out more about this medication and how it can treat certain gastrointestinal disorders.
Has your Troy, MI gastroenterologist recently diagnosed you with Crohn’s disease and prescribed Remicade® to help treat your symptoms? Right now you may have a lot of questions both about your condition and this medication. We are here to answer as many of your questions as possible so that you can breathe a little easier.
When is Remicade® often recommended?
The purpose of this medication is to provide long-lasting results rather than just temporarily alleviating the symptoms of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Remicade® is often used for treating those with moderate to severe cases, and also for those who have not responded well to other treatments.
How do I take Remicade®?
Your gastroenterologist in Troy, MI will administer this medication through an IV so that the treatment can immediately go to the bloodstream and start working. Remicade® will be administered at 0, 2 and 6 weeks. After these three initial phases you will then be given maintenance treatments about every 8 weeks.
Are there any side effects?
As with any treatment there are always the possibility of side effects. This medication can lower your immune system, which can leave your body more susceptible to infection. Patients with heart failure should let us know of your medical condition prior to this treatment as some patients with heart failure aren’t right for Remicade®. Learn more about yourrisks before starting this medication.
Will I still need Remicade® therapy if I start to feel better?
Some patients will experience a remission from symptoms once they start their maintenance therapy. Even though you may feel better you should continue your therapy sessions in order to sustain your remission.
Of course every patient is different and will have their own personal questions. That’s why your Troy GI specialists are here to help. Turn to Gastrointestinal Specialists for all of your gastrointestinal needs.
Welcome to the Blog of Gastrointestinal Specialists PC
Gastrointestinal Specialists PC would like to welcome you to our blog. Here you will find informative and useful postings about gastroenterology and our practice.
At Gastrointestinal Specialists PC we believe that educated patients are better prepared to make decisions regarding the health of their digestive system. Our blog was designed to provide you with the latest gastroenterology developments and valuable health advice from our dedicated team.
Gastrointestinal Specialists PC hopes you find our blog to be a great resource for keeping up to date with proper digestive health care and treatments.
We welcome all comments and questions.
-- Gastrointestinal Specialists PC
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