Our Gastroenterology Blog

Posts for category: Gastrointestinal Problems

By Gastrointestinal Specialists, PC
October 08, 2018

Colon CancerColon cancer affects thousands of Americans. More than 95,000 people were diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016, according to American Cancer Society's statistics. One of the best ways to detect colon cancer is by visiting your Troy, MI, doctor for a video capsule endoscopy.

Video Capsule Endoscopy Screening:

This capsule has a small camera that's swallowed by patients and flows through their digestive system. This is a wireless technology that transmits several pictures using a small recording device. Your doctor downloads the images to examine if there are potential tumors, or sources of bleeding or pain.

It's a painless and non-invasive procedure that helps people detect early stages of cancer and is recommended for adults ages 50 to 75, according to the CDC.

In addition to colon cancer screening, this procedure detects:

  • Polyps
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease)
  • Ulcers
  • Tumors in the small intestine

Colon Cancer Symptoms According to Your Troy Doctor:

Symptoms aren't always obvious. Here are the symptoms you need to keep an eye out for according to the doctors in Anchorage and Eagle River:

  • Bowel Habit Changes: If you are suffering from Colon constipation, or diarrhea, for more than four weeks, that may be a sign of cancer.
  • Incomplete Evacuation: If there are constant bowel movements, even if you've just had a bowel movement, then you need to contact your doctor.
  • Fatigue: Colon cancer results in patients feeling weak and fatigued.
  • Weight Loss: Unexplained weight loss.
  • Blood in Your Stool: Hemorrhoids are usually accompanied by blood in stool, but may also be a sign of a more serious condition like cancer.

Scheduling an Appointment:

If you would like more information on video capsule endoscopy and how it can help you, don't hesitate to contact the doctors at Gastrointestinal Specialists. If you are in Troy, MI, call to schedule an appointment today at (248) 273-9930!

By Gastrointestinal Specialists, PC
July 23, 2018

Stomach AcheIs milk suddenly not agreeing with you? Find out if lactose intolerance is to blame.

Is your morning latte suddenly making your stomach do flips? Do you experience gastrointestinal upset whenever you enjoy a cheesy slice of pizza or cool down with a delicious scoop of ice cream? Our Troy, MI, gastroenterologists know that this can be disheartening but we can help provide you with the relief you need so that you can go back to enjoying the foods and drinks you love. But first, it’s important to know whether you should come in for an evaluation.

Do I have lactose intolerance?

Since there are many things that can cause an upset stomach, gas, nausea, and diarrhea, it can be difficult to know whether or not it’s dairy that’s truly the culprit. Of course, if you experience any of these symptoms about 30 minutes to 2 hours after consuming dairy products then it’s time to speak with one of our Troy GI doctors to find out if it could be lactose intolerance.

How is lactose intolerance diagnosed?

If you suspect that you might be lactose intolerant, it’s a good idea to start tracking your symptoms, whether you consumed milk or other dairy products beforehand, what medications or vitamins you are currently taking, or if you suspect that there could be another cause. Our gastroenterologists can determine whether or not you have lactose intolerance through this simple test:

Hydrogen breath test: Another test in which you have to consume a lactose-filled drink, the hydrogen breath tests use your breath rather than your blood to check hydrogen levels. Bodies that don’t digest lactose properly will affect the colon, which in turn will produce hydrogen and other gases that go through the gastrointestinal system and out through your breath. By measuring the amount of hydrogen on your breath we can also determine whether you might be lactose intolerant.

If you are dealing with nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, and other issues and you think it’s due to dairy products, then it might be time to turn to Gastrointestinal Specialists in Troy, MI. Food allergies are common, but we can help make it easier.

By Gastrointestinal Specialists, PC
May 08, 2018
Tags: Ulcerative Colitis  

If you have ulcerative colitis find out the best ways to manage your symptoms.ulcerative colitis

Has one of our Troy, MI, gastroenterologists diagnosed you with ulcerative colitis? If so, you may be trying to learn everything you can about this condition, including how to treat it. Let our gastrointestinal specialists step in to provide you with the information you need to put your mind at ease and to reduce ulcerative colitis flare-ups.

What is ulcerative colitis?

This chronic condition causes inflammation and ulcers within the lining of the digestive tract, more specifically within the large intestines (also known as the colon) and the rectum.

When symptoms flare-up the sufferer may experience abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, diarrhea, loss of appetite, unexpected weight loss and fatigue. Everyone’s body responds differently, and symptoms of ulcerative colitis can range from mild to severe. Some people may experience regular and severe flare-ups while others may never experience a flare-up at all.

How is ulcerative colitis treated?

If symptoms aren’t present then you may not actually require treatment. Of course, our Troy, MI, GI doctors will create a treatment plan based on the frequency and severity of your symptoms. In most cases, your treatment plan will include both lifestyle modifications and medications.

Those with milder symptoms may be able to control their symptoms through a proper and balanced diet, antidiarrheal medications, and steroid medications (for when flare-ups occur). Those with moderate-to-severe flare-ups may require more long-term steroid medication to reduce inflammation and ulcers. The strength of the steroid medication will depend on the severity of your symptoms.

The goal of steroids is to reduce the length of your flare-ups and to send ulcerative colitis into remission. Immunosuppressants may also reduce severe inflammation. In rare cases, surgery may be required.

Can diet help with ulcerative colitis?

It’s important to understand that your diet did not contribute to you developing this intestinal condition; however, the foods you consume could affect flare-ups. This is why it’s important to find the right diet and lifestyle that works for you. This varies between people so don’t assume that a diet that works for one person with ulcerative colitis will work for you. It will take some trial and error, but common diets that do improve flare-ups include:

  • Low-salt diets
  • Low-fiber diet
  • Low-fat diets
  • Lactose-free diets

Talk to one of our GI specialists about which diet might improve and lessen your symptoms.

Gastrointestinal Specialists in Troy, MI, is dedicated to treating your gastrointestinal problems. No matter whether you are dealing with unexplained abdominal pain, stomach discomfort or other symptoms it’s important that you have a medical team by your side to provide you with the answers and individualized care you deserve. Call us today!

By Gastrointestinal Specialists, PC
January 26, 2018
Tags: Gastroenterologist  

You have symptoms of gas, bloating and heartburn that you just cannot explain. Because your symptoms are happening frequently, your gastroenterologistprimary care physician wants you to see a gastroenterologist, a specialist who treats conditions and diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and liver. At Gastrointestinal Specialists in Troy, MI, your GI doctor has advanced training in the diagnosis and treatment of gastroenterology issues. Learn more about this medical specialty here.

What is the GI tract?

Basically, your gastrointestinal tract is one long, long tube. It starts with your esophagus and extends through your body to your anus, where waste products exit. In between the two ends, the GI system receives and processes foods, allowing your body to absorb the nutrients, filter the toxins and eliminate the indigestible parts as feces.

Just as with any bodily system, it can malfunction. Common GI disorders include:

  • GERD, or acid reflux disease
  • Gall stones
  • Cancer
  • Diverticulosis
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Celiac disease
  • Barrett's esophagus
  • Hepatitis and pancreatitis
  • Rectal bleeding, including hemorrhoids
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Constipation and diarrhea
  • Peptic ulcer disease
  • Lactose intolerance

Your gastroenterology doctor partners with your primary care physician in pinpointing the causes of your symptoms and in providing medications, procedures and lifestyle counseling to alleviate them.

Treating the GI tract

You should see a gastroenterologist for precise imaging of the Gi tract and for procedures aimed at curing or controlling chronic or acute conditions. Your team at Gastrointestinal Specialists in Troy offer both on-site and in-hospital services such as endoscopy, colonoscopy, esophageal dilation, manometry (evaluates swallowing) stent placement and more.

For adults over 50, and earlier for those with GI cancer in their families, your GI doctor offers colonoscopy screening to keep ahead of the third most prevalent cancer in the United States--colon-rectal cancer (according to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta).

Reasons to go

There are several reasons to see a gastroenterologist. They include:

  • Excessive flatulence
  • Bloating
  • Sudden weight loss or gain
  • A lump in the throat or trouble swallowing
  • Bleeding
  • Anemia
  • Black stools

Don't worry

Your gastroenterologist has your best interests and your best health in mind. You can eat, digest and eliminate waste healthfully when your GI tract is properly tuned and disease-free. So talk with the experts at Gastrointestinal Specialists in Troy, MI. Call today for your personal consultation: (248) 273-9930.
By Gastrointestinal Specialists, PC
November 30, 2017
Tags: Colon Cancer  

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 colon cancerGastrointestinal 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.

By Gastrointestinal Specialists, PC
September 26, 2017
Tags: GI Procedures  

For patients with difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomiting, unexplained digestive bleeding or abdominal pain, a procedure such as a gi procedurescolonoscopy 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
  • Ulcers
  • Digestive tract bleeding
  • Bowel habit changes
  • Gastritis
  • 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:

  1. Colonscopy: This tests for colorectal cancer. It uses a colonoscope to examine the lining of the colon (large intestine) for any abnormalities.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

By Gastrointestinal Specialists, PC
May 10, 2017
Tags: colonoscopy  

Find out when a routine colonoscopy is recommended.colonoscopy

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.

By Gastrointestinal Specialists, PC
September 15, 2016

Ulcerative colitis (also known as inflammatory bowel disease) is a digestive system disorder that causes chronic inflammation in the Ulcerative Colitisbowel. 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.