Our Gastroenterology Blog

Posts for category: Gastroenterology

By Gastrointestinal Specialists, PC
April 27, 2020
Category: Gastroenterology

Inflammation in your gastrointestinal tract causes abdominal pain, ulcers, frequent bowel movements and other ulcerative colitis symptoms. Remicade, an intravenous (IV) medication that blocks a protein that triggers inflammation, may offer an effective way to control your ulcerative colitis symptoms. The doctors at Gastrointestinal Specialists provide Remicade treatment at their Troy, MI, gastroenterology office.

How does Remicade treat ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis occurs when your body's immune system mistakenly attacks your gastrointestinal tract, causing inflammation. Remicade decreases inflammation by targeting a protein that causes it.

Ulcerative colitis symptoms flare-ups are related to the increased production of TNF-alpha. Although the natural protein is needed to manage inflammation and regular immune cell function, too much TNF-alpha can actually trigger inflammation. Remicade blocks the inflammatory action of TNF-alpha, helping you avoid abdominal pain, bloody stools, fatigue and ulcers.

What happens during Remicade treatment?

Remicade is delivered directly into your bloodstream during treatments at your Troy gastroenterologist's office. The IV treatment takes about two hours. You will be awake during the infusion and can use the time to catch up on emails, read a magazine or just enjoy a little quiet time.

Your gastroenterologist will carefully monitor your IV infusion to ensure that you receive the appropriate dosage for your weight. After your treatment ends, you'll remain at the office for a little while to make sure that you haven't had a reaction to the medication.

After you receive your first dosage, you'll return to the office for two more starter dosages at two and six weeks. Maintenance dosages every eight weeks will help you keep inflammation under control.

How helpful is Remicade treatment?

Remicade treatment offers an effective way to reduce ulcerative colitis for many people who receive the infusions. You may begin to feel better just a few weeks after beginning treatment. In fact, in a year-long study, 6 out of 10 people noticed an improvement in their condition after just two weeks, according to the manufacturer of Remicade.

Manage your ulcerative colitis symptoms with Remicade. Schedule an appointment for the gastroenterology treatment by calling Gastrointestinal Specialists in Troy, MI, at (248) 273-9930.

By Gastrointestinal Specialists, PC
April 14, 2020
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: colonoscopy  

Gastrointestinal Specialists in Troy, MI, perform colonoscopies for patients after examining the lining of the colon for abnormalities. It's crucial to get a colonoscopy as a preventative measure starting at age 50. There are more than 100,00 cases of colon cancer and about 40,000 new cases of rectal cancer in the United States for 2020, according to the American Cancer Society.

More About Colonoscopies

The procedure is simple. Your gastrointestinal specialist in Troy inserts a thin flexible tube with a camera attached to it, into the anus to allow help your doctor see images on a video monitor.

The procedure takes less than 45 minutes but plan on 2-to-3 hours for waiting, preparation and recovery. You don't need to worry about discomfort because your doctor will give you a sedative or painkiller to help you relax.

Your specialist is looking for abnormal polyps that may be cancerous. He/she remove the polyp using a wire loop to remove polyps, or burn them to destroy them.

What preparations are required?

There are two main steps when preparing for a colonoscopy: limit your diet to clear liquids the day before the procedure, and consume large volumes of oral laxatives to clean the colon. If you're on medications, you can continue as usual, but make sure you discuss this with your doctor because some medications may interfere.

Post-colonoscopy Care

You will wait for the sedatives to wear off, and you may feel some cramping or bloating because of air introduced into the colon during the procedure. You'll need to wait for biopsy results so if you've taken a sedative, someone must drive you home and stay with you.

Would you like to speak to a specialist?

Colonoscopies are an important preventative measure. For more information about getting a colonoscopy, call Gastrointestinal Specialists PC in Troy, MI, at (248) 273-9930!

By Gastrointestinal Specialists, PC
March 06, 2020
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: Ulcerative Colitis  

Ulcerative colitis is a form of Irritable Bowel Disease or IBD. Affecting millions of people in the US, typically in the prime of life, this uncomfortable, debilitating GI condition worsens without treatment. At Gastrointestinal Specialists in Troy, MI, your team of eight gastroenterologists diagnoses and treats ulcerative colitis, allowing people to have active lifestyles and long-term remission of symptoms.

Ulcerative Colitis: What Is It and Why Does It Happen?

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammation of the rectum and large intestine. Less severe than Crohn's Disease, which is another form of IBD, colitis hits the 15-to-35 and 50-to-70 age group, according to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation.

Colitis symptoms seem to stem from the body's own immune system. Instead of attacking germs, the immune system targets the lower gastrointestinal tract, often leading to:

  • Fatigue
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Profuse and frequent diarrhea
  • Anemia
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Pain and cramping
  • Bowel perforations
  • Infections which do not resolve
  • Psychological problems such as anxiety and depression

Managing Ulcerative Colitis

Your team of eight gastroenterology physicians diagnoses and treat ulcerative colitis in their state-of-the-art Troy, MI, facility. Symptoms help define the diagnosis. Additionally, an in-house colonoscopy visualizes the lining of the rectum and the entire length of the colon, accurately pinpointing the small open wounds characteristic of this difficult condition.

With a diagnosis in place, your GI doctor will customize your treatment plan to manage your symptoms and hopefully put them into remission.

Healthline says that medications must reduce the inflammation in the large intestine. These medications may include:

  • Corticosteroids, such as prednisone
  • Antibiotics
  • Sulfa drugs
  • Biologics which support the immune system
  • Aminosalicylates
  • IV infusion of Remicade (for remission of up to one year)

Additionally, for long-standing ulcerative colitis (more than 30 years), your GI doctor may recommend surgery, including removal of the colon and rectum.

There Is Hope

Your caring team at Gastrointestinal Specialists in Troy, MI, work tirelessly to help patients with a wide variety of gastrointestinal issues, including irritable bowel disease, Crohn's, and ulcerative colitis. Research and careful management produce an increasing number of remissions.

If you're exhibiting bowel symptoms, don't wait for a crisis. Please contact our office for an individualized consultation with one of our board-certified gastroenterologists. We'll answer all your questions carefully and compassionately. Phone the Troy office team at (248) 273-9930.

By Gastrointestinal Specialists, PC
January 27, 2020
Category: Gastroenterology

Could your frequent stomach problems be caused by irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder that can lead to problematic bowel changes and abdominal pain. Although this condition can happen to anyone, it is most common among women. If you’re dealing with stomach pains and other problems, you may be wondering if it could be irritable bowel syndrome. Read on to learn more about this condition and how the gastroenterology experts here at Gastrointestinal Specialists PC in Troy, MI, can help.

What are the warning signs of IBS?

IBS presents itself with these common symptoms and signs:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea and/or constipation
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Feeling full or nauseous after eating

IBS symptoms may range from mild and intermittent to severe and persistent, with patients dealing with the latter grouping often finding that their condition greatly impacts their lives. This is when turning to our Troy office can help you find the relief and answers you need.

What causes IBS?

The cause of IBS is still unknown; however, there are certain things that may trigger IBS symptoms. These triggers include,

  • Stress
  • Too much fiber
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Sweeteners
  • Dairy
  • Medication

It’s important to recognize that IBS is not the same as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which encompasses ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

How is IBS diagnosed?

While there is no specific test for IBS, our gastroenterology experts will go through your medical history and ask you specific questions about the symptoms you are experiencing. From there, a physical exam and additional tests may also be performed to rule out other problems such as celiac disease.

How is IBS treated?

While there is no one cure for IBS, our gastroenterologists can provide you with a custom treatment plan that may include,

  • Diet recommendations and changes (e.g. FODMAP diet)
  • Avoiding trigger foods
  • Regularly exercising
  • Sleeping the proper amount
  • Staying hydrated
  • Implementing stress management strategies
  • Laxatives (for treating constipation)
  • Medications to treat abdominal pain
  • Anti-diarrheal medication

Call Us

If you think you may be dealing with symptoms of IBS, it’s important that you find out what’s going on. The team here at Gastrointestinal Specialists in Troy, MI, is here to help. Call (248) 273-9930 today to schedule a gastroenterology appointment.