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The Gut-Brain Connection: How Your Gut Affects Your Mood And Overall Health

The Gut-Brain Connection: How Your Gut Affects Your Mood And Overall Health

The Gut-Brain Connection

 

We all know that what we eat, can affect our mood and our overall health, but did you know that there is a strong connection between the gut and the brain?

The gut-brain connection is a two-way street. Just as the brain can influence the gut (think nervous stomach), the gut can also influence the brain.

There are a few ways that the gut can affect the brain:

  1. The gut contains a lot of nerve cells (neurons). In fact, the gut has more neurons than the spinal cord!2. The gut produces about 95% of the body’s supply of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood, sleep, and appetite.

The gut-brain connection is real, and it’s important to understand how your gut health can affect your mood and overall health.

There’s a lot more to gut health than just digestion.

The gut-brain connection is a complex one, but basically, it works like this: your gut produces neurotransmitters that send signals to your brain.
These signals can impact everything from your mood to your immune system, so, if your gut isn’t healthy, it can have a serious ripple effect on your health.

Let’s discuss the gut-brain connection in depth!

The Physical Connection

The human gut is home to trillions of bacteria, both good and bad. The good bacteria are essential for many bodily functions, including digesting food, absorbing nutrients, and keeping the gut lining healthy.

The bad bacteria, on the other hand, can cause problems like diarrhea and gastrointestinal (GI) infections.

The gut microbiome, the collection of all the bacteria in the gut, is important for overall health.

Studies have shown that an imbalance of gut bacteria can lead to a variety of health problems, including obesity, diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease.

But the gut microbiome does more than just affect physical health. It also plays a role in mental health.
 

The Chemical Connection

The brain-gut connection is a two-way street.

The gut microbiota produces neuroactive compounds that affect the brain, and the brain regulates gastrointestinal function.

This bidirectional communication system is mediated by the vagus nerve, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, the immune system, and the endocrine system.

The gut microbiota produces neuroactive compounds, such as GABA, serotonin, and dopamine, which interact with the brain.

The microbiota also produces metabolites that can influence the epigenetic regulation of the brain.

In turn, the brain regulates gastrointestinal function through the autonomic nervous system and the enteric nervous system.

The autonomic nervous system is composed of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

Untitled design 5 - The Gut-Brain Connection: How Your Gut Affects Your Mood And Overall Health

 

The Gut and Mood

We all know that what we eat affects our physical health, but did you know that what we eat can also affect our mental health?

There is a strong connection between the gut and the brain, and studies have shown that the gut microbiota can influence our mood and overall health. The gut microbiota is made up of trillions of bacteria that live in our intestines and play a vital role in our health.

These bacteria help us to digest our food, produce vitamins and minerals, and protect us from pathogens.

 

The Gut and Happiness

The gut microbiota also produces neurotransmitters, which are essential for communication between the gut and the brain.

Studies have shown that the gut microbiota can influence our mood and overall health.

For example, one study found that people who ate a diet rich in fiber had a lower risk of depression

 

The Gut and Depression

Recent research has shown that your gut microbiota can also affect your mental health.

In fact, there’s a growing body of evidence to suggest that gut health is intimately linked to mental health, and that the health of your gut can have a significant impact on your mood and overall well-being.

There are several ways in which your gut microbiota can influence your mental health.

For example, the microbes in your gut produce chemicals that can influence your mood.

These chemicals include neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which are essential for maintaining a healthy emotional balance.

gut brain microbiome - The Gut-Brain Connection: How Your Gut Affects Your Mood And Overall Health

 

The Gut And Overall Health

The gut has been nicknamed the “second brain” because of the way it affects our mood and overall health.

For example, stress can lead to gut problems like inflammation and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

This connection is important to understand because it can help us develop targeted treatments for conditions like IBS.

 

 The Gut and Immunity

The gut-brain connection is one of the most important, yet often overlooked, aspects of our overall health.

A healthy gut is essential for a healthy mind and body.

Unfortunately, many of us don’t have a healthy gut due to poor diet, stress, and other factors. This can lead to a host of problems, including mood swings, anxiety, depression, and even chronic illnesses.

The good news is that there are ways to improve your gut health.

By eating a healthy diet, reducing stress, and getting enough sleep, you can help your gut and your overall health.

 

gut brain immunesystem - The Gut-Brain Connection: How Your Gut Affects Your Mood And Overall Health

The Gut and Chronic Illness

 

Not only does the gut affect mood and overall health, but chronic illness can also have a major impact on gut health.

There is a growing body of evidence linking gut health and chronic illness.

For example, studies have shown that people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety.

IBD is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gut, and it is thought that the inflammation may contribute to the development of mood disorders.

In addition, the gut microbiome (the community of microbes that live in the gut) has been implicated in the development of chronic illnesses.

 

The Benefits of Probiotics in the Body

 

Probiotics are live, friendly bacteria that are great for our gut health.

They help to restore the balance of good and bad bacteria in our gut, and they’ve been shown to have a number of health benefits.

One of the most well-known benefits of probiotics is that they can help to improve our mood.

Probiotics have been shown to increase levels of serotonin, the “happy hormone.” They can also help to reduce stress and anxiety. 

gut brain probiotic - The Gut-Brain Connection: How Your Gut Affects Your Mood And Overall Health

What Are Probiotics?

Your gut is home to trillions of bacteria, both good and bad. The good bacteria are important for many things, including helping to break down food and keeping the bad bacteria in check.

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. We usually think of these as germs that cause diseases.

But your body is full of them, and most are helpful. Probiotics are found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha.

They’re also in supplements.

Probiotics help with diarrhea, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome. They also help with vaginal infections and urinary tract infections.

The Benefits of Probiotics for Gut Health


Probiotics are thought to have several health benefits, including improving gut health.

The human gut is home to numerous amounts of bacteria, many of which are beneficial.

These bacteria help with digestion, protect against harmful bacteria, and produce vitamins.

gut brain health infographic - The Gut-Brain Connection: How Your Gut Affects Your Mood And Overall Health

 

Contact Dr. Schneider


In conclusion, the gut-brain connection is a complex and important one. Your gut health can have a profound impact on your mood and overall health.

By taking care of your gut and promoting a healthy microbiome, you can improve your overall health and well-being.

If you are concerned about your gut health, talk to us today to book your appointment.

For further reading on the procedures we perform, please visit our website or contact Dr. Schneider on 011-482-3010. 

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.

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All You Need to Know about Colonoscopies: Preparation, Procedure, and Recovery

All You Need to Know about Colonoscopies: Preparation, Procedure, and Recovery

Introduction


If you’re facing a colonoscopy, you’re probably feeling a mix of nerves and anticipation.

It’s normal to feel this way!

A colonoscopy is a medical procedure used to visually examine the large intestine for abnormalities.

The colon, also known as the large intestine, is a long, tube-like organ that is responsible for absorbing water and nutrients from digested food and eliminating solid waste from the body.

A colonoscopy is typically performed as a diagnostic procedure to investigate the cause of symptoms such as abdominal pain, bleeding from the rectum, or changes in bowel habits.

It can also be used as a screening tool to detect early signs of colorectal cancer.

During a colonoscopy, a long, flexible tube equipped with a tiny camera is inserted through the rectum.

The preparation for a colonoscopy involves a special diet and cleansing the colon with laxatives.

Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to prepare.

The procedure itself is relatively quick, and you will be under sedation the whole time.
Recovery from the sedation can take a few hours, during which you will need to rest.

Most people can return to their normal activities the next day.

So now that you have an overview of this procedure, allow us to cover this topic in depth with some more information on colonoscopies and the benefits of having a colonoscopy done.

what is a colonoscopy - All You Need to Know about Colonoscopies: Preparation, Procedure, and Recovery

 

What is a Colonoscopy

 

A colonoscopy is a medical procedure that allows your doctor to examine the lining of your large intestine (colon) and rectum.

A routine colonoscopy can help find cancerous growths in your colon or rectum. It can also help find and remove precancerous growths, which can help prevent colon cancer. During a colonoscopy, your doctor will insert a long, flexible tube (colonoscope) into your rectum. The colonoscope will be equipped with a light and a camera.

This allows your doctor to see the inside of your colon and rectum. Your doctor may also take biopsies (tissue samples) during the procedure. 

 

Why It Is Done

 

A Colonoscopy will be done for a number of reasons as follow:

Treating a specific issue:
A colonoscopy may be performed to treat an underlying issue and may require insertion of a stent, removal of an object, or polyp removal.

Looking for Colon Polyps
Having one or more polyps removed during one colonoscopy can significantly reduce your risk of colon cancer. If you have had polyps before, talk to your doctor about what your follow-up procedure should be.

Colon Cancer Screening
If you’re 45 or older and at average risk of colon cancer, your doctor may recommend a colonoscopy every 10 years. If you’re between ages 20-44, have a higher risk of colon cancer, or fall into a high-risk group, you can start getting tested at an earlier age.

Testing And Checking for Intestinal Signs and Symptoms
Are you suffering from abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, chronic diarrhea or other intestinal problems?
A colonoscopy can help your doctor explore possible underlying biological or anatomical causes so that you can receive prompt medical attention.

colonoscopy procedure - All You Need to Know about Colonoscopies: Preparation, Procedure, and Recovery

 

How Is It Done?


Your colon, also known as the large intestine, is an important part of your digestive system.

It’s a long, coiled tube that absorbs water and nutrients from the food you eat and eliminates waste from your body.

A colonoscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to examine the lining of your colon for abnormalities.

The colonoscopy procedure uses a long, flexible, lighted tube (colonoscope) to look at the inside of the colon and rectum.

A colonoscopy is usually done as an outpatient procedure, which means you can go home the same day.

The entire procedure usually takes 30 to 60 minutes. You will be given a sedative through an IV in your arm to help you relax during the procedure.

You will likely be awake but will not be able to remember much of the procedure. 

 

What Are the Risks?

 

There are some risks associated with colonoscopies, but they are generally rare and minor.

The most common risk is bleeding from the site where the tube was inserted.

Other risks include perforation (tearing) of the colon, infection, and reactions to the sedatives used during the procedure.

Another risk could also include a reaction to the sedative used during the exam.

Overall, colonoscopies are safe and effective procedures that can help save lives by detecting colorectal cancer early.

A colonoscopy is generally safe and has very few side effects.

However, as with any medical procedure, there are some risks involved.

 

What Are the Benefits?

 

A colonoscopy can help find ulcers, polyps, tumors, and areas of bleeding and inflammation. It can also be used to collect a tissue sample (biopsy) for testing.

This procedure is also used to screen for colorectal cancer.

A colonoscopy is a safe and effective way to detect and treat many problems of the colon.

It is important to have a colonoscopy if you are 50 years of age or older, or if you have a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps.

It is also used to help diagnose and treat conditions such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome.

 

Preparation for a Colonoscopy

 

The most important part of preparing for a colonoscopy is doing a thorough job of cleansing the colon so that the doctor can get a clear view.

Most people will need to take a laxative the night before the procedure in order to clean out their system.

This can cause cramping, bloating, and diarrhea. It is important to stay hydrated during this time by drinking plenty of clear fluids.

You may also be asked to follow a special diet the day before the procedure, which typically includes clear liquids and light foods.

Instructions for preparation will be advised by your doctor.

colonoscopy preparation procedure - All You Need to Know about Colonoscopies: Preparation, Procedure, and Recovery

How Often Should You Have One

Most people with an average risk for colon cancer should start having colonoscopies at age 50.

If you have a family history of colon cancer or other risk factors, you may need to start colonoscopies earlier.

Your doctor will let you know how often you need to have a colonoscopy based on your individual risk factors.

 

Contact Dr. Schneider


In conclusion, no one likes the idea of having a colonoscopy, but colonoscopies are an important tool in the early detection and prevention of colorectal cancer and can ultimately save your life.

While they may be uncomfortable, the fact is that they save lives. If you are over the age of 50, or if you have a family history of colorectal cancer, be sure to talk to your doctor about getting a colonoscopy.

Having a colonoscopy is an important part of maintaining your health, and it’s not as bad as you may think.

But it is important to understand the benefit of having a colonoscopy done.

While some polyps are benign, others can develop into cancer. Anyone can get colon polyps, but there are certain risk factors that increase your chances of developing them.

These include age, family history, smoking, and certain medical conditions. If you have any of these risk factors, it’s important to talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your risk.

If you are concerned about colon polyps, talk to us today to book your appointment.

For further reading on the procedures we perform, please visit our website or contact Dr. Schneider on 011-482-3010. 

 

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.

Polypectomy: Everything You Need to Know About This Common Medical Procedure

Polypectomy: Everything You Need to Know About This Common Medical Procedure

 Overview

A polypectomy is a medical procedure in which a polyp (a small, abnormal growth) is removed from the lining of the colon or rectum.

Polyps are usually benign (not cancerous), but some may be precancerous, which means they could develop into cancer over time.

Polypectomy can be performed as an outpatient procedure using local anesthesia.

Polyps are found during a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy, which are procedures that allow your doctor to look at the lining of your colon or rectum.   The doctor inserts a lighted scope into the rectum and removes the polyps with a surgical instrument.

Polyps can vary in size, from a few millimeters to several centimeters.  They may be single or multiple, and they may grow on the inside lining of the colon or rectum.

In this article we talk about the purpose of a polypectomy, how it is performed, and the complications associated with having a polypectomy performed.

Polyps Explained


A colon polyp is a small, benign growth that forms on the lining of the colon. Although they are usually harmless, they can sometimes become cancerous.

Polyps are relatively common, and most people will develop at least one at some point in their lives. However, there are several risk factors that can increase your chances of developing them, including age, family history, and certain medical conditions.

There are also a few different types of colon polyps, which can range in size from a few millimeters to several centimeters.

Treatment for colon polyps usually involves surgery to remove them. However, in some cases, they may be monitored with regular colonoscopies. 

polyps explained - Polypectomy: Everything You Need to Know About This Common Medical Procedure

 

What Is the Purpose of a Polypectomy?


Polypectomy is a common procedure that is safe and effective in preventing colon cancer.

Polypectomies are performed for a variety of reasons, including to prevent cancer, to remove a source of bleeding, or to relieve symptoms such as abdominal pain or diarrhea.

The procedure is relatively simple and is often performed as an outpatient procedure.


How Is a Polypectomy Performed?

A polypectomy can be performed in a number of ways, depending on the size and location of the polyp. The most common method is a colonoscopy.

A colonoscopy is an examination that enables your gastroenterologist to examine the lining of your colon (large intestine).

The GI inserts a colonoscope (a flexible tube with a camera at the tip) into the rectum and large intestine to carefully inspect the colon to look for signs of cancer or pre-cancerous lesions.

A clean colon is essential for the gastroenterologist to do an accurate examination for polyps or other abnormalities.

The most popular colonoscopy preparation method used involves drinking polyethylene glycol (PEG).

It is odorless, tasteless, and is mixed with certain clear liquids. PEG is to be drank along with other clear liquids the day before the scheduled procedure.

Your gastroenterologist will discuss with you your options and advise the best preparation method for you.

If the complex polyp is benign, with no signs of cancer present, then the patient may choose non-surgical removal instead of surgery.

If your gastroenterologist believes that removal of the polyp is needed, a wire loop or snare will be passed through the colonoscope.

This will sever the polyp from the intestinal wall via an electrical current, a procedure known as polypectomy.

Gastroenterologists usually recommend a colonoscopy when you turn 50, however, adults with a high risk and family history of colorectal cancer may need a colonoscopy at a younger age and more frequently.

It’s important to note that you will probably have other than your colonoscopy over the years, such as fecal occult blood tests, which can be a symptom of colon cancer.

 

polypectomy explained - Polypectomy: Everything You Need to Know About This Common Medical Procedure

What Are the Risks and Complications Associated with A Polypectomy?

 

The possible risks associated with a polypectomy procedure can include perforation of the bowel or rectal bleeding.

These risks are similar to those associated with a colonoscopy.

Although complications from either procedure are relatively rare, it is important to contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:

Fever / Chills
If you are experiencing a fever or chills, it is important to seek medical attention as this could be indicative of an infection.

Heavy Bleeding / Sever Pain / Bloating
If you are experiencing heavy bleeding, severe pain or bloating in your abdomen, or vomiting, please seek medical attention immediately.

Irregular Heartbeat
An irregular heartbeat can also be a sign of a serious condition, so please do not hesitate to seek medical care if you are experiencing this symptom.

 

Who Is at Risk for Polyps?

Anyone can develop a polyp, but certain factors can increase your risk.

These include:

  • Older age
  • A personal history of colorectal cancer or polyps
  • Family history of colorectal cancer
  • Personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, and certain inherited syndromes.

In most cases, polyps do not cause symptoms.

If they do, the most common symptom is bleeding from the rectum or blood in the stool.


What Is the Recovery Time for A Polypectomy?

After a polypectomy, it is recommended that you do not drive for 24 hours.

Recovery typically does not take long, and minor side effects such as gassiness, bloating, and cramps usually go away within 24 hours.

If the procedure was more involved, however, a full recovery can take up to two weeks.

Your doctor will provide you with post-operative care instructions.

You may be asked to avoid consuming certain beverages and foods that can irritate your digestive system for two to three days following the procedure.

These can include:

  • Spicy Food
  • Alcohol
  • Sodas
  • Coffee
  • Tea

A follow-up colonoscopy will most likely be scheduled for you by your doctor.  It is crucial to confirm that the polypectomy was successful and that no additional polyps have developed.

colonoscopy explained - Polypectomy: Everything You Need to Know About This Common Medical Procedure

The Importance of Cancer Screening

When you are diagnosed with colonic polyps your doctor may want you to have more frequent screening to monitor your condition and prevent colon cancer.

Cancer screening is an important part of staying healthy.

It can help find cancer early, when it’s easier to treat. There are different types of cancer screenings. Some tests look for cancer before you have any symptoms.

 Other tests are used to find cancer after you have symptoms. Talk to your doctor about which screenings are right for you based on your age, health history, family history, and other factors.

polypectomy infographic - Polypectomy: Everything You Need to Know About This Common Medical Procedure

 

Contact Dr. Schneider

In conclusion, it is important to understand the risks and causes of colon polyps in order to take steps to prevent them.

Polypectomy is a common medical procedure that is used to remove abnormal growths from the colon.

It is a safe and effective way to treat colon cancer, and it can also be used to remove precancerous polyps from the colon.

Polypectomy is usually performed on an outpatient basis, and most people recover from the procedure quickly and without complication

While some polyps are benign, others can develop into cancer.

Anyone can get colon polyps, but there are certain risk factors that increase your chances of developing them.

These include age, family history, smoking, and certain medical conditions. If you have any of these risk factors, it’s important to talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your risk.

If you are concerned about colon polyps, talk to us today to book your appointment.

For further reading on the procedures we perform, please visit our website or contact Dr. Schneider on 011-482-3010. 

 

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.

What is a Colon Polyp?

What is a Colon Polyp?

A colon polyp, also called a colonic polyp or a colorectal polyp, is a small, benign growth that forms on the lining of the colon.

While most colon polyps are harmless, some may develop into cancer. The majority of colon polyps are adenomatous polyps, which are made up of glandular cells.

Polyps can occur in many locations in the body, including ears, nose, uterus or throat.

Other types of colon polyps include inflammatory polyps, hamartomatous polyps, and hyperplastic polyps.

Colon polyps can be found during a colonoscopy, a procedure in which a long, flexible tube is inserted into the rectum and passed through the entire length of the colon.

During a colonoscopy, the doctor may do a removal of a colon polyp.

In this article we will discuss more on the symptoms of colon polyps, causes and diagnosis.

 

Colon Polyp Types

 

There are three main types of colon polyps: adenomatous, hyperplastic, and inflammatory. Each type has different characteristics and may pose different risks for cancer.

Adenomatous polyps are the most common type of colon polyp and are generally considered to be premalignant.

Hyperplastic polyps are the least likely to become cancerous. Inflammatory polyps are a type of polyp that can be caused by inflammation in the colon.

 

Symptoms of Colon Polyps

 

Polyps are more commonly found in the rectum and sigmoid colon. However, they may be found anywhere in the large intestine.

Symptoms of colon polyps include:

  • Bleeding from the rectum after a bowel movement
  • Blood in the stool
  • Change in stool color
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation lasting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor so they can determine whether or not you have colon polyps.

 colon polyps - What is a Colon Polyp?


What Causes Colon Polyps?

 

Colon polyps are very common. Most people have them and don’t even know it.

The exact cause of colon polyps is unknown. However, there are some risk factors that may increase your chance of developing them.

These include:

 

Diagnosis of Colon Polyps


Colon polyps are typically diagnosed during a colonoscopy, which is a procedure where a doctor inserts a long, thin tube with a camera attached into the rectum and colon.

During the procedure, the doctor will remove any polyps that are found. It is important to get regular colonoscopies, as they can help to detect colon polyps early, before they have a chance to turn into cancer.

If you have any family history of colon cancer, or if you are over the age of 50, it is important for you to have regular cancer screenings as prevention or early detection which may save your life.

There are several screening tests that can be used to detect polyps or colorectal cancer, including stool tests, flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, and virtual colonoscopy.

 

Stool Test 
Stool DNA testing is intended to screen for colon cancer or precancerous polyps in people with no symptoms. The stool DNA test detects abnormal DNA and small amounts of blood shed into the stool from colon cancer or colon polyps.

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
A flexible sigmoidoscopy is a thin, flexible tube that is inserted through the rectum to examine the last third of the large intestine (sigmoid colon) for polyps or cancer.

Colonoscopy
A colonoscopy is a medical procedure used to visualize the inside of the large intestine (colon) and rectum.

A colonoscopy is performed using a colonoscope, a long, flexible, lighted tube. The colonoscope is inserted through the rectum into the colon to examine the inside of the colon for abnormal growths, inflammation, ulcers, bleeding, or other problems.

Virtual Colonoscopy
Virtual colonoscopy is a cutting-edge technology that allows doctors to get a clear view of the inside of the colon without having to go through the traditional, invasive colonoscopy procedure.

This technology is revolutionizing the way colon cancer is detected and treated.
 

colonscopy polyp removal - What is a Colon Polyp?

Treatment Options for Colon Polyps


There are several treatment options for colon polyps, which are growths on the lining of the colon or rectum.

Treatment may be recommended if a polyp is large, if there are multiple polyps, or if a polyp is precancerous.

Treatment options include polypectomy, which is removal of the polyp during a colonoscopy, and ablation, which is destruction of the polyp. Surgery may also be an option.

Although virtual colonoscopy is a useful tool for visualizing the entire colon, it does not provide the same level of detail as colonoscopy.

Colonoscopy is the only procedure that enables both visualization and removal of polyps, making it the gold standard for diagnosing and treating potential problems in the colon.

 

Risk Factors

 

There are many different risk factors for colon polyps, and it is important to be aware of them.

Age is the most important risk factor, with the majority of colon polyps occurring in people over the age of 50.

Other risk factors include a family history of colon polyps or colorectal cancer, a personal history of colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and certain genetic syndromes.

Some lifestyle factors may also increase the risk of colon polyps, such as smoking, obesity, and a diet high in fat and red meat.

If you have any of these risk factors, it is important to talk to your doctor about how to best reduce your risk.

 

Can Colon Polyps Be Prevented?

 

Prevention of colon polyps is important because they can develop into cancer. There are many things you can do to lower your risk.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important for many reasons, including reducing the risk of developing colon polyps.

While colon polyps are not always cancerous, they can be a precursor to cancer.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to help prevent the development of colon polyps:

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Avoiding smoking are all good ways to reduce your risk
  • Maintain a healthy weight

If you have a family history of colon cancer, you may need to be extra careful and get screened more often.

Talk to your doctor about what is right for you.

 healthy diet with colon polyps - What is a Colon Polyp?

 

Why Colon Cancer Screening is Important
 

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, yet it is one of the most preventable cancers.

Screening tests can find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer.

The American Cancer Society recommends that people at average risk for colon cancer start regular screening at age 50.

People with a family history of colon cancer or other conditions that increase the risk should start screening earlier.

Screening for colon cancer can help prevent these deaths by finding cancer early, when it is most likely to be curable.

 

Contact Dr. Schneider


In conclusion, it is important to understand the risks and causes of colon polyps in order to take steps to prevent them.

While some polyps are benign, others can develop into cancer.

Anyone can get colon polyps, but there are certain risk factors that increase your chances of developing them.

These include age, family history, smoking, and certain medical conditions. If you have any of these risk factors, it’s important to talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your risk.

If you are concerned about colon polyps, talk to us today to book your appointment.

For further reading on the procedures we perform, please visit our website or contact Dr. Schneider on 011-482-3010.

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.

What is GERD and How to Deal with It?

What is GERD and How to Deal with It?

 Overview

GERD is one of the most common chronic conditions among adults.

Sometimes called “acid reflux” and other times “heartburn“, the problem of GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) affects millions of people around the world.

By definition, Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a heartburn condition that involves the stomach’s acidic digestive juices flowing backwards into the esophagus and irritating this passage.

This could be as a result of an abnormality with reflux or swallowing malfunction, which in most cases makes patients prone to recurring and worsening heartburn pain.

Common symptoms include but are not limited to:

Burning sensation at the back of your throat, chest burning and even chest pain or discomfort that worsens after eating, difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) or regurgitation of food from the esophagus into the mouth, it typically comes up in one big reflex for some people – often accompanied by a sour taste (acetous belching).

It affects millions of people every year and ninety percent go undiagnosed.

Acid reflux can be treated by altering certain lifestyle factors and taking medications, but the general rule is that if the symptoms aren’t causing any noticeable damage, then it may not be necessary to take actions to manage them.

How do you know if you have it?

In this article we discuss the signs to look for and how prevention can be done from your side.

It is also important to consult your doctor should you experience any of the below symptoms.

 

GERD Symptoms

 

There are several symptoms associated with GERD, and many people do not understand what is happening in their body when their symptoms arise.

Symptoms tend to get worse when you lie down. It also gets worse after a meal or certain foods such as chocolate, mints, caffeinated drinks, citrus fruits or fatty foods.

Smoking also causes damage to the esophageal lining so it is a good idea to stop smoking if possible while working on getting control of GERD symptoms.

Some studies show that pregnant women with GERD can pass on problems associated with GERD (such as asthma) to their developing babies during pregnancy through intrauterine exposure to gastric contents that are not properly handled.

If you have acid reflux, you might develop a bitter or sour taste at the back of your mouth.

The most common symptoms of GERD include:

  • Nausea
  • Chest pain
  • Pain When Swallowing
  • Difficulty Swallowing
  • Chronic Cough
  • A Hoarse Voice
  • Bad Breath
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating

Should you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it is important to contact your doctor to make an appointment.

gerd chest pain - What is GERD and How to Deal with It?

 

GERD Causes

GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease is the backward flow of stomach acid through the esophageal sphincter. Typically, it can happen a few times a year and it causes heartburn and indigestion.

Although some people think that GERD can be cured by diet alone, then they may need to read on to find out how nutritional medicine and lifestyle management could help them.

There are several factors that can make it more likely that you’ll have GERD, the most common factors are as follows:

  • Smoking
  • Large meals
  • Eating before bed
  • Certain medications
  • Certain foods i.e., chocolate, coffee, fatty foods, or alcohol
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Delayed emptying of stomach

One of the most common causes of GERD, they tend to be caused by acid in the digestive tract, which can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter, causing it to open, releasing acid directly into the esophagus.

If people are eliminating these trigger foods and adding healthier ones but still have problems with discomfort or heartburn, then there’s a possibility that one of these other factors is at play.

People with GERD need to keep a careful eye on what they’re eating–foods that are spicy hot, or full of sugar or fat should be avoided.

Instead, try consuming more dry sweeteners in place of regular sugar and notice if there’s any difference; this may help reduce symptoms without sacrificing flavor.

Also try out healthier grass-fed low glycemic index carbohydrates that are whole grain based instead.

gerd explained - What is GERD and How to Deal with It?

GERD Prevention: Diet and Lifestyle

 

Basically, the eating plan and lifestyle changes that are required to keep GERD symptoms in check are designed to reduce stomach acidity and improve digestion.

This can be achieved by keeping a journal of meals, beverages and snacks consumed over a period of time.

While journaling is taking place, also keep track of any other variables that might be contributing to GERD such as aggressive or inappropriate eating behavior or exercise patterns.

Once you’ve identified potential triggers using journaling, you can start working on your change program by implementing prescribed diet changes from a suitable resource.

By making small but effective changes at the ground level of your lifestyle and habits, like cutting out processed foods or adding more whole foods into your diet, GERD symptoms will lessen — along with any medications needed for the treatment.

The following may lessen your symptoms of GERD:

  • Elevate your head when sleeping
  • Avoid food triggers such as chocolate, peppermint, fatty foods etc
  • Eating smaller servings
  • Eat slowly
  • Stop smoking
  • Remain at a healthy weight
  • Wear loose clothes
  • Chew your food thoroughly

gerd foods to avoid - What is GERD and How to Deal with It?


GERD Treatment

Many sufferers are prescribed medication such as antacids or proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to help soothe the discomfort associated with GERD.

However, natural remedies have also been shown to be useful in treating GERD and many people take herbal supplements like ginger root, peppermint tea or slippery elm to help alleviate symptoms.

Diet can also play a part in relief from symptoms of GERD – those who suffer are often advised to avoid spicy foods and fatty meals.

Your doctor might also suggest that you take over-the-counter medications such as antacids, receptor blockers and pump inhibitors.

 

Diagnosing GERD

 

Diagnosing GERD is a process that requires the elimination of any other possible conditions that could be causing your symptoms in order to identify whether you have reflux or not.

It’s best to visit your doctor first and get put through a series of examinations and tests, such as gastroscopy, ultrasound scans, barium swallow or pH monitoring to determine what the root cause of your condition is.

GERD can severely affect the quality of your life but diagnosing the problem and finding a solution doesn’t have to be difficult.

Unfortunately, standard diagnostic practices such as a barium swallow, esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), X-ray and CT scan often turn up inconclusive results.

This leaves doctors unable to properly assist their patients.

If you experience GERD two or more times a week, it is a chronic condition that’s not just uncomfortable, but can have long-term effects on your health.

Talk with your doctor so you can get the proper treatment to be pain-free.

what is gerd heartburn - What is GERD and How to Deal with It?

 

When To See a Gastroenterologist

There is no one definitive answer to the question of when to see a gastroenterologist.
However, there are some general guidelines that can help you decide when to seek medical help.

In essence, GERD symptoms are the consequence of a weakened LES but may be treated, in most cases, with OTC medication, lifestyle changes, and surgery if needed.

Undergoing a lifestyle inspection and changing habits where applicable may mean the difference between continuously treating GERD symptoms and never having to deal with the problem of a lax lower oesophageal sphincter in the first place.

Prevention is better than cure.

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should see a gastroenterologist as soon as possible:

  • Nausea
  • Chest pain
  • Pain When Swallowing
  • Difficulty Swallowing
  • Chronic Cough
  • A Hoarse Voice
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating

For more information on the diagnosis and treatment of GERD in Johannesburg, contact Dr. Schneider or book your consultation today. 

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.

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