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What is De-Worming and Why It’s Important?

What is De-Worming and Why It’s Important?

GIDocJHB is lead by Dr. Schneider and an expert team focused on Gastrointestinal health, care, and management.

Our team is highly trained, with extensive experience and a friendly attitude, making us approachable and easy to speak too.

An ideal time to treat any condition is at the earliest possible stage.

Alongside prompt diagnosis and treatment, screening for intestinal worms early offers significant benefits and can reduce negative and dangerous side effects.

Our focus is on helping you and your family maintain the best quality of life.

Whether you are young or old, privately insured or not, GIDOCJHB pride ourselves on accessibility, ability, and affordability.

deworming gastrointestinal - What is De-Worming and Why It's Important?

What is Deworming?

Deworming is the process of expelling intestinal worms or parasitic worms from the body by administering an anthelmintic medicine/drug.

In more simple terms, it is a medicated process to kill worms.

Why is Deworming Important?

Parasitic worms can lead to malnutrition. Deworming tablets allows people to absorb the critical nutrients needed to be and stay healthy.

Parasitic worms and their larvae are generally found in contaminated food and water in poor communities or areas where cleaning does not frequently happen. 

Those who walk without wearing any socks or shoes in high-risk areas are most likely to contract worms.

Read more about What to do about intestinal worms here

 symptoms of intestinal worms - What is De-Worming and Why It's Important?

Symptoms of Intestinal Worms

Common symptoms of intestinal worms are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
  • Gas/bloating
  • Redness or rash on the buttocks
  • Fatigue
  • Urinating frequently
  • Weight loss
  • Tiredness, weakness or hunger due to worms.
  • Abdominal pain or tenderness
  • Dehydration
  • Blood in the stool

 

Schedule An Appointment With Dr. Schneider

 

Diagnosing Worms

Gastroenterologists may recommend several different tests to help them diagnose intestinal worms. These tests may include:

  • Fecal tests to check for signs of infection
  • Blood tests to detect some types of parasite
  • Colonoscopy, which uses a thin camera to check the bowel for parasites
  • Imaging tests to check other organs for signs of damage from the parasite
  • Tape tests – A tape test involves placing a piece of tape over the anus as the person sleeps to check for signs of eggs.
  • Checking Fingernails – As your hands are the primary mode of transferring worms inside the body through ingestion, worms often leave their eggs under the fingernails. Your gastroenterologist will examine the area under your fingernails to determine the presence of worms.

 

Treatment of Intestinal Worms

Although intestinal worms sound like a serious medical condition, treatment is often straightforward.

In some cases, the person may not need any treatment or medication at all if they have a healthy immune system.

In other cases, gastroenterologists will sometimes choose to monitor the person first to see if their body can take care of the worm before moving on to medication.

During this period, the individual should report any symptoms they might be having.

In other cases, gastroenterologists will use one or more antiparasitic medications to get rid of the intestinal worm.

In addition to the medicine that kills the intestinal worm, you may need medicine to reduce inflammation or other symptoms, like nausea, that you’re having.

Everyone in your family should be treated, even if they don’t have symptoms.

Other Prevention and Home Treatment Remedies

 

One of the more important aspects of prevention is basic sanitation.

For example, people should always wash their hands both before and after using the toilet to avoid possible exposure.

Washing the hands before cooking or handling food is also essential.

Many intestinal worms enter the body through the food that a person eats. As a result, it is essential to follow some safe food and general cleanliness practices:

  • Do not defecate in the open, always use a toilet
  • Disinfect your toilet seat regularly
  • Cook meat properly before eating
  • Always wash your hands properly with water and soap before eating & after using the toilet
  • Always trim your nails and keep them short & clean
  • Always wear slippers or shoes while using the toilet
  • Never leave food uncovered
  • Always drink filtered or bottled water
  • Do not ever eat raw vegetables and fruits without washing them with clean water

Some home remedies are also beneficial for deworming and to ease the discomfort:

  • Garlic – Raw garlic is charged with amino acids containing sulphur, which act as natural deworm for children by killing parasites and expelling them out of your body for good.
  • Pumpkin seeds – are rich in cucurbitacin, which can paralyze worms and make it impossible for them to survive inside the body.
  • Raw Papaya is known for its medicinal properties due to an enzyme Papain found in it. This enzyme works as an anthelmintic which kills intestinal worms whereas papaya seeds help to expel worms out of the body.
  • Carrots – are rich in Vitamin A, known for immune-boosting properties which help your body to fight against intestinal worms.
  • Turmeric is famous for its medicinal and antiseptic properties for long. It helps to eliminate parasitic worms from your body and also in healing internally.
  • Coconuts are rich in lauric acid, which forms into monolaurin, a compound known for enhancing immunity. A strong immune system helps your body ward off or eradicate parasitic worms from your body.

 

FAQ about Deworming

1. What is the Importance of Deworming in Adults?

Deworming is advised at least once a year. adults need deworming because there is a mild chance of parasites getting in our body orally either due to poor hygiene or outside food.

2. How Frequently Should I Deworm My Child?

We recommend at least once every six months.

3. Who’s Supposed to Deworm?

Everyone who is at risk of getting worm infestation is supposed to deworm. More particularly, it’s needed for toddlers and small children.

Also, grown-ups with poor body or food hygiene due to poor living conditions or unclean habits, people handling pets or raw meat and persons who walk barefoot ought to deworm.

4. Can Babies Get Worms?

Yes, everyone is susceptible to intestinal worms, regardless of their age.

5. Is There a Particular Age for Deworming?

Kids above the age of 2 can be dewormed.

 

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.

Celiac Disease: Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors and Treatment

Celiac Disease: Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors and Treatment

The expert team at GIDOCJHB in Johannesburg is committed to helping you maintain your digestive health with a full range of medical services from diagnosis to management.

Our facilities are well equipped and we are able to perform diagnostic services and treatments using the latest techniques.

Our focus is on helping you and your family maintain the best quality of life.

Whether you are young or old, privately insured or not, GIDOCJHB pride ourselves on accessibility, ability and affordability.

Please contact us if you have any questions. Make an appointment to see Dr Schneider and enjoy a healthier tomorrow.

 

What is Celiac Disease?

 

Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disorder that’s triggered when you eat gluten.

Celiac disease is also known as:
• sprue
• nontropical sprue
• gluten-sensitive enteropathy

More information can be found here:

 

celiac disease causes risk - Celiac Disease: Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors and Treatment


Causes of Celiac Disease

Your genes combined with eating foods with gluten and other factors can contribute to celiac disease, but the precise cause isn’t known.

Infant-feeding practices, gastrointestinal infections and gut bacteria might contribute, as well.

Sometimes celiac disease becomes active after surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, viral infection or severe emotional stress.

When a person with celiac disease eats gluten, it triggers an immune response in the small intestine.

Over a period of time, this reaction damages your small intestine’s lining and prevents it from absorbing some nutrients.

The intestinal damage often causes diarrhoea, fatigue, weight loss, bloating and even anaemia.

Normally, the body’s immune system is designed to protect it from outside invaders.

When people with celiac disease eat foods that contain gluten, their immune system forms antibodies to gluten, which then attack the lining of the intestine.

 

Who is at Risk for Celiac Disease?

 

Celiac disease tends to be more common in people who have:

• A family member with celiac disease
• Type 1 diabetes
• lupus
• rheumatoid arthritis
• lactose intolerance
• Down syndrome or Turner syndrome
• Intestinal cancer
• Microscopic colitis (lymphocytic or collagenous colitis)
• Addison’s disease
• People who have other autoimmune diseases.

 

Symptoms

 

Symptoms of celiac disease and accidentally eat something with gluten in it, vary among sufferers and include:

• Diarrhoea
• Fatigue
• Weight loss and anaemia
• Depression, irritability, and panic attacks
• Bloating and gas
• Bone and joint pain
• Abdominal pain
• Nausea
• Gas
• Vomiting
• Nerve damage, leading to tingling in the legs and feet
• Blood in the stools or in the urine
• Migraine headaches
• Mouth sores and tooth discolouration
• Abdominal cramps
• Nausea and vomiting
• Constipation

Symptoms can improve within days of removing gluten from the diet.

However, you shouldn’t stop eating gluten until a diagnosis is made.

Removing gluten prematurely may interfere with test results and lead to an inaccurate diagnosis.

 

Schedule An Appointment With Dr. Schneider

celiac disease diagnosis - Celiac Disease: Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors and Treatment

 

How is Celiac Disease Diagnosed?

 

If your gastroenterologist thinks you might have celiac disease, he or she will perform a careful physical examination and will discuss your medical history with you.

They may also perform a blood test to measure levels of antibodies to gluten.

People with celiac disease have higher levels of certain antibodies in their blood.

A stool sample may be tested to detect fat in the stool since celiac disease prevents fat from being absorbed from food.

In cases where blood test or skin biopsy results are inconclusive, an upper endoscopy can be used to test for celiac disease.

During an upper endoscopy, a thin tube called an endoscope is threaded through the mouth and down into the small intestines.

A small camera attached to the endoscope allows the doctor to examine the intestines and to check for damage to the villi.

 

Treatment

 

The only way to treat celiac disease is to permanently remove gluten from your diet.

This allows the intestinal villi to heal and to begin absorbing nutrients properly.

If necessary, your gastroenterologist will recommend a dietitian to work with and teach you how to avoid gluten while following a nutritious and healthy diet.

They will also give you instructions on how to read food and product labels so you can identify any ingredients that contain gluten.

Removing gluten from your diet will gradually reduce inflammation in your small intestine, causing you to feel better and eventually heal.

Children tend to heal more quickly than adults.

Gluten can be hidden in foods, medications and nonfood products, including:

• Modified food starch, preservatives and food stabilizers
• Prescription and over-the-counter medications
• Vitamin and mineral supplements
• Herbal and nutritional supplements
• Lipstick products
• Toothpaste and mouthwash
• Envelope and stamp glue
• Playdough

You’ll have to remain on this diet for the rest of your life; eating any gluten at all can damage your intestine and restart the problem.

 

Foods to Eat

 

A gluten-free diet is not that different from most healthy diets.

In addition to avoiding packaged or processed foods, you would fill your plate with naturally wholesome gluten-free foods such as:

• Eggs
• Dairy including yoghurt, butter, and non-processed cheeses (but check the label of flavoured dairy products)
• Fruits and vegetables including most of which are canned or dried
• Grains including rice, quinoa, corn, millet, tapioca, buckwheat, amaranth, arrowroot, teff, and gluten-free oats
• Legumes like beans, lentils, peas, peanuts
• Meat, poultry, and fish (not breaded or battered)
• Non-gluten starches including potato flour, cornflour, chickpea flour, soy flour, almond meal/flour, coconut flour, and tapioca flour
• Nuts and seeds
• Soy foods like tofu, tempeh, and edamame
• Tamari (a good substitute for soy sauce)
• Vegetable oils (preferably monounsaturated or polyunsaturated).

 

Follow-up Care

 

Medical follow-up at regular intervals can ensure that your symptoms have responded to a gluten-free diet.

Your gastroenterologist will monitor your response with blood tests.

For most people with celiac disease, a gluten-free diet will allow the small intestine to heal.

For children, that usually takes three to six months.

For adults, complete healing might take several years if you follow a consistent diet and treatment plan.

If you continue to have symptoms or if symptoms recur, discuss this with your gastroenterologist who will be able to advise you what to do next.

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.

How Gut Health Affects Your Skin

How Gut Health Affects Your Skin

GIDocJHB specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic diseases affecting the digestive system.

We provide you with prompt on-site access to consultant-delivered medical care for your digestive problems.

Our lead clinician, Dr. Schneider, takes a patient-centered approach to diagnosing and treating a wide range of gastrointestinal problems, including acid reflux,  indigestion, Barrett’s oesophagus, stomach ulcers, Coeliac disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticular disease, lactose intolerance, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

In addition to offering best in-class medical treatments, Dr Schneider actively promotes a healthy diet as a key component to restoring and maintaining good digestive health.

 

Schedule a Meeting With Dr. Schneider

 

Thousands of years ago, Hippocrates, the father of medicine famously said, “All disease begins in the gut” and “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”.

This is as important today as it was many generations ago.

If you have an unhealthy gut it can have a big impact on our overall health and especially the appearance of your skin, including spots, inflammation and eczema.

The gut microbiome is the bacteria found in your intestines that influences your overall health, especially your skin.

Skin problems and gut issues have a long-proven history of connection. During your adolescent years, chances are you must have heard a lot of advice on what foods to eat to prevent acne and skin breakouts.

More and more studies are coming out demonstrating a strong association between skin disorders and gut health, leading many health professionals to determine there is a gut-skin axis.

Could keeping your gut healthy be the key to having flawless, radiant skin? Let’s find out.

 

gut overall health - How Gut Health Affects Your Skin

 

Gut Health = Overall Health

Have you ever heard the saying “you are what you eat”?

Sometimes when problem skin conditions persist and do not respond well to skin care products and treatments, the source of the issue may be in the gut.

The primary role of the gut is to absorb the nutrients from your food that your body needs for growth, repair, and normal functioning. Our hair, nails and skin are usually the first places in which we notice changes.

This is because when nutrients are in short supply, the body drives nutrients towards essential organs like the heart, brain and liver.

Unlike other organs, you can easily touch, see and check your skin health daily, so it’s an outside visual indicator of what’s going on inside your body.

Acne, facial redness, eczema, psoriasis and dry skin are all skin conditions which can have the same root cause; poor gut health and gut function, so it makes sense that the health of your gut is fundamental to having healthy, clear skin.

steps healing skin gut - How Gut Health Affects Your Skin

Important Steps You Can Take to Healing Your Gut and Skin

1. Lower Your Stress Levels

High levels of stress can impact your entire body, including your gut. Some ways to lower stress may include working towards your goals, learning a new skill, walking, or spending time with friends or loved ones.

 

2. Take a Probiotic

Speak to your doctor about adding a probiotic to your daily routine. Some probiotics have been shown to help with acne while other strains help with rosacea.

 

3. Eat Slowly

Chewing your food, eating smaller portions and eating slower can help promote full digestion and absorption of nutrients. This may help you reduce digestive discomfort and maintain a healthy gut.

 

4. Identify and Eliminate Problem Foods

If you want more glowing skin, you need to figure out what is causing your skin not to glow in the first place.

For many people things like gluten, dairy and caffeine can contribute to poor gut health and exacerbate skin conditions like eczema or acne.

5. Get Enough Sleep

Not getting enough quality of sleep can have serious effects on your gut health. Try to prioritize getting at least 7–8 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night.

6. Stay Hydrated

Drinking filtered water has been shown to have a beneficial effect on the balance of good bacteria in the gut. Staying hydrated is a simple way to promote a healthy gut.

Be sure to take a water bottle with you when you leave the house, so you’re never caught out while on the go.

 

7. Take a Multivitamin

Taking a multivitamin can also ensure you’re receiving adequate levels of skin-beautifying vitamins and minerals for a glowing appearance.

8. Improve Your Diet

Reducing the amount of processed, high-sugar, high-carbs and high-fat foods that you eat can contribute to better overall gut health.

Studies have shown that eating plant-based foods and lean protein can positively impact your gut. A diet high in fibre has been shown to contribute tremendously to a healthy gut microbiome. 

Read more about the best foods for gut health here.

9. Regular Physical Activity

Exercise promotes movement of the gut and promotes blood flow to the skin which is an important step to having radiant, glowing skin.

Remember, the main step in healing your gut and skin is to make sure that your body is getting all of the nutrients it needs through a balanced and consistent diet including a variety of coloured plant foods.

Fruits and vegetables are the richest sources of nutrients and should make up the foundation of your diet.

Other foods to include are whole grains, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, lean meats and fish, and whole-food fats like organic butter, avocado, and unrefined plant oils.

 

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 Video Capsule Endoscopy?

What is a Video Capsule Endoscopy?

Dr Schneider is a highly qualified Gastroenterologist who specialises in Endoscopy, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and other stomach problems at Milpark Hospital, Parktown, Johannesburg.

GIDOCJHB provides a comprehensive range of diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy procedures. These include gastroscopy, colonoscopy, and ERCP.

Dr Schneider has a special interest in capsule endoscopy and in the management of patients with gastrointestinal tumours.

We are dedicated to providing the best, personalised healthcare along with informed health advice and treatment.

what is video capsule endoscopy - What is a Video Capsule Endoscopy?

What is a Video Capsule Endoscopy?

A capsule endoscopy (also referred to as a video capsule endoscopy) looks at the inside of your oesophagus, stomach, and small intestine.

Your gastroenterologist will give you a pill-sized capsule for you to swallow, which has wireless video camera functionality. 

As the capsule travels through your digestive tract, the camera takes thousands of pictures that are transmitted to a recorder you wear on a belt around your waist.

These pictures are sent to a small recording device you have to wear on your body.

Your gastroenterologist will be able to view these pictures at a later time and will be able to provide you with useful information regarding your small intestine.

 

why its done - What is a Video Capsule Endoscopy?

 

Why is Capsule Endoscopy Done?


Capsule endoscopy is used to examine the small intestine that cannot be seen with other types of endoscopy or colonoscopy.

The most common reason for doing capsule endoscopy is to search for a bleeding cause from the small intestine and for suspected or confirmed Crohn’s disease .

It may also be useful for detecting polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcers, and tumours of the small intestine.

Your doctor might recommend a capsule endoscopy procedure to: 

  • Diagnose unexplained abdominal pain
  • Find the cause of GI bleeding
  • Screen for tumours, polyps, or ulcers
  • Diagnose Celiac Disease
  • Diagnosing Crohn’s disease
  • Do follow-up testing after X-rays or other imaging tests
  • Diagnose certain cancers

Unlike endoscopy or colonoscopy, which can be used to remove polyps (polypectomy), capsule endoscopy can only be used for visual diagnoses, not treatment.

 

Schedule an Appointment With Dr Schneider

What to Expect Before the Procedure?

You will receive preparation instructions before the examination from your gastroenterologist.

To keep the medication from interfering with the camera, your doctor might ask you not to take certain medications before the procedure.

Discuss any allergies to medications as well as medical conditions, such as swallowing disorders and heart or lung disease.

Tell your doctor of any previous abdominal surgery, or previous history of bowel obstructions in the bowel, inflammatory bowel disease, or adhesions.

Timing

The capsule endoscopy test is always scheduled for early in the morning.

To help the camera capture clear images of your digestive tract, you’ll be asked to fast for at least 12 hours before the procedure.

In some cases, your doctor may ask you to take a laxative before your capsule endoscopy to flush out your small intestine.

This has been shown to improve the quality of the pictures collected by the capsule’s camera.

Location

Capsule endoscopy is more always performed at a gastroenterologists office, a gastroenterology procedure unit of a hospital, or an accredited endoscopy centre available in some cities.

What to Wear

To reduce sweat and make the test easier, we recommend wearing a light cotton T-shirt.

Your outfit should be one you won’t need to change out of for at least eight hours, as the equipment must remain in place until the test is over.

 

What to Expect During the Procedure?

Capsule endoscopy is a relatively straightforward procedure and most patients consider the test comfortable.

A sensor belt will be strapped around your waist over your shirt. 

Once all the equipment is in place and checked out, you will swallow the camera capsule with water. A slippery coating makes it easier to swallow.

You are then free to leave, drive, and even return to work if appropriate.

You must avoid physical activity and follow specific dietary guidelines throughout the day.

 

What to Expect After the Procedure?

Wait two hours after you swallow the capsule to resume drinking any liquids. After four to five hours, you can have a light lunch or a snack recommended by your gastroenterologist.

The capsule endoscopy procedure is complete after eight hours or when you see the camera capsule in the toilet after a bowel movement, whichever comes first.

It may take some people hours or days to evacuate the capsule, but most people pass it in 24 to 72 hours.

If you are unable to spot the pill-cam in your stools after two weeks, call your doctor. An X-ray may be needed to see if the device is stuck somewhere in your digestive tract.

 

Getting Your Results

It may take a few days or up to 2 weeks for the medical team to look at all the pictures. They send the results to the gastroenterologist who arranged the test.

If you have not heard about the result within a couple of weeks after your test, contact your gastroenterologist.

 

Interpreting the Results

The final report will contain a list of normal and abnormal findings.

It will also include details about bowel preparation, the quality of bowel preparation, the extent and completeness of the exam, relevant findings and other important information.

 

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.

Stomach Ulcers: Treatment, Causes and Symptoms

Stomach Ulcers: Treatment, Causes and Symptoms

 At GI DOC JHB, we work one-on-one with each patient to help them find the right type of treatment for their individual needs.

For example, when a patient comes in with stomach ulcers, we provide the patient with a consistent, compassionate, personalized approach and care that acknowledges and understands both the physical and emotional impact this medical condition can have on people.

Dr Schneider operates with a flexible schedule, including immediate appointments for some services and direct access scheduling of screening colonoscopies for appropriate patients.

 

stomach ulcer - Stomach Ulcers: Treatment, Causes and Symptoms

  

What are Stomach Ulcers?

Stomach ulcers are open sores in the lining of the stomach. Stomach ulcers occur when the thick layer of mucus that protects your stomach from digestive juices is reduced.

This allows the digestive acids to eat away at the tissues that line the stomach, causing an ulcer.

Stomach ulcers are a type of peptic ulcer disease. Peptic ulcers are any ulcers that affect both the stomach and small intestines.

In this article, the term stomach ulcer will be used, although the information applies equally to peptic ulcers.

 

Symptoms of Stomach Ulcers

A number of symptoms are associated with stomach ulcers. The gravity of the symptoms depend on the severity of the ulcer.

The most common symptom is a burning sensation or pain felt in the stomach. Typically, the pain will be more intense when your stomach is empty.

For some people, it might last a few minutes or hours, but for others, it can last for several days or weeks.

Other common signs and symptoms of ulcers include:

  • indigestion (heartburn)
  • weight loss
  • not wanting to eat because of pain
  • nausea or vomiting
  • feeling full and bloated
  • burping or acid reflux
  • stomach feels sensitive to fatty foods
  • anaemia, whose symptoms can include tiredness, shortness of breath, or paler skin
  • dark stools
  • vomiting blood 

Talk to a gastroenterologist if you have any symptoms of stomach ulcer. Even though discomfort may be mild, ulcers can worsen if they aren’t treated. 

 

stomach ulcers - Stomach Ulcers: Treatment, Causes and Symptoms

 

Who is More Likely to Get Ulcers?

You may be more likely to develop an ulcer if you:

  • Are infected with the H. pylori bacterium (bacterial infection is the primary cause of peptic ulcers.)
  • Take NSAIDs (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen)
  • Have a family history of ulcers
  • Smoke
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Psychological stress
  • Elderly

When Should You See a Gastroenterologist?

If you think you have a stomach ulcer, call your gastroenterologist. Together you can discuss your symptoms and treatment options.

Seek urgent medical advice if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • vomiting blood
  • passing dark stools
  • trouble breathing
  • a sudden, sharp pain in your tummy that doesn’t go away

These could be a sign of a serious complication, such as internal bleeding.

 

Schedule a Meeting With Dr Schneider

Treatment for Stomach Ulcers

If you suspect you have or are diagnosed with a stomach ulcer, your treatment will largely depend on the causes of the ulcer.

With correct treatment, most ulcers heal in a few months. For example, If your stomach ulcer is caused by a bacterial infection, a course of antibiotics and a medication called a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) is recommended.

Common treatment options can include home remedies or more progressive forms of treatment, like surgery. Here is a list of treatment and prevention remedies:

  • Over the counter medication – including antibiotics, to destroy the bacteria, and drugs to help speed the healing process
  • Consider switching pain relievers. If you use pain relievers regularly, ask your doctor whether there might be a better alternative for you such as Tylenol
  • Limit or avoid alcohol completely. Excessive use of alcohol can cause inflammation and bleeding.
  • Controlling your stress levels. Stress may worsen the signs and symptoms of a peptic ulcer. Consider the sources of your stress and do what you can to manage or reduce the causes.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking may interfere with the protective lining of the stomach, making your stomach more prone to the development of an ulcer. Smoking also increases the acid build up in your stomach.
  • Try to get enough sleep. Sleep can help your immune system heal, and therefore counter stress. Also, avoid eating four hours before bedtime.
  • Limit or avoid caffeine
  • reducing acid – tablets are available to reduce the acid content in the gastric juices
  • lifestyle modifications – joining a gym, sports team or participating in other forms of physical exercise.

In more serious cases, surgery may be required.

Surgery can include:

  • removing the ulcer
  • tying off bleeding blood vessels
  • sewing tissue from another site onto the ulcer
  • cutting the nerve that controls stomach acid production

 

stomach ulcers treatment - Stomach Ulcers: Treatment, Causes and Symptoms

 

Follow-Up After Initial Treatment

Treatment for peptic ulcers is often successful if all popular treatment options have been explored, leading to ulcer healing.

However, if your symptoms are rare or more severe or if they continue despite different treatment options, your gastroenterologist may recommend endoscopy to rule out other possible causes for your symptoms.

We recommend asking your doctor whether you should undergo follow-up tests after your treatment.

If an ulcer is detected during endoscopy, your gastroenterologist may recommend another endoscopy after your treatment to make sure your ulcer has fully healed.

 

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.

GORD Treatment: What is GORD and How to Treat it?

GORD Treatment: What is GORD and How to Treat it?

Our gastroenterology practice in Johannesburg is committed to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of all types of digestive diseases including acid reflux, heartburn and irritable bowel disease, as well as other chronic diseases like Crohn’s disease and stomach cancer.

We are a friendly and caring gastroenterology private practice, treating patients in Johannesburg. We are dedicated to providing an outstanding quality of care and personal service.

What is GORD?

 

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is a common condition mostly experienced by adults, where acid from the stomach leaks up into the oesophagus.

Reflux of the contents of the stomach into the oesophagus is a normal event that occurs in many people after eating.

When gastric reflux causes a person to have persistent symptoms such as two or more times weekly, they are said to have gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD).

Symptoms are often made worse by lying flat, are related to meals (especially fatty foods), and maybe worsened by hot liquids or alcohol.

In patients who suffer from gastr-oesophageal reflux disease, there is an anomaly in the sphincter muscle that separates the oesophagus and the stomach.

Ideally, the muscle is very strong and opens only to let food pass from the oesophagus into the stomach and closes to keep the food from moving back up.

When the muscle is weakened, it becomes unable to keep the stomach content from moving back up into the oesophagus. When the content of the stomach moves into the oesophagus, it can cause discomfort.

Since the stomach content is mostly acidic, it creates the burning feeling that we commonly refer to as heartburn.

The oesophagus of every adult human has a certain condition that is ideal for it. It is not used to acids and can never get used to them.

When acidic contents from the stomach keep creeping into the oesophagus, the pipe-like organ can get inflamed and this will result to a condition known as Esophagitis.

This condition, in turn, can transform into what is termed Barret’s oesophagus, which is a precancerous condition.

 

What are the Risk Factors or Causes of GORD?

 

One of the main risk factors for GORD is being overweight or obese. This is thought to be due to extra pressure being put on the lower oesophageal sphincter by the stomach, which weakens the muscles.

Other risk factors include:

  • Eating large amounts of fatty foods
  • Smoking
  • Excessive coffee consumption
  • Acidic fruits and vegetables, like citrus or tomatoes
  • Stress
  • Spicy foods
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Pregnancy
  • Alcohol.

More information on what causes GORD can be found here. 

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What are the Symptoms of GORD?

 

GORD may just be an occasional stumbling block for some people. But for others, GORD can be a more severe and life-threatening.

Common symptoms include:

  • heartburn
  • acid reflux (an acid or sour taste in the mouth)
  • Oesophagitis (a sore, inflamed oesophagus)
  • bad breath
  • bloating and belching
  • indigestion (dyspepsia)
  • feeling or being sick
  • pain when swallowing and/or difficulty swallowing
  • a sore throat and hoarseness
  • asthma symptoms of cough and wheeze
  • a persistent cough, usually at night
  • Tooth decay

 

When to See a Gastroenterologist

 

Visit your gastroenterologist if you’re worried about your symptoms, or if:

  • you have symptoms more than twice a week
  • over-the-counter medications aren’t helping you
  • your symptoms are severe
  • you have difficulty swallowing.

 

Schedule a Meeting With Dr. Schneider

 

How is GORD Diagnosed?

 

If you suspect you have GORD, consult your gastroenterologist who will ask you about your symptoms and medical history.

A diagnosis of GORD is highly likely if persistent heartburn is your primary complaint.

GORD Diagnosis tests may include:

  • Endoscopy 

Endoscopy involves having an endoscope passed through your mouth down into your stomach to examine the lining of your digestive tract.

 

  • pH Monitoring

pH monitoring involves using an acid monitor (a thin tube with a sensor at one end) to measure acidity levels in your oesophagus.

  • X-ray

X-ray of your upper digestive system.

 

What are the Treatment Available?

 

It is important to begin treating GORD as soon as possible after you’ve been diagnosed. If untreated, acid reflux will continue to damage the oesophagus and create other problems later on.

Treatment is aimed at decreasing the degree of reflux and reducing damage to the oesophagus lining.

With appropriate treatment, the prognosis for patients with GORD is very good, as symptoms almost invariably resolve.

However, relapses are common if therapy is stopped. A small number of people with GORD do not respond to medication and need surgery to treat their symptoms.

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Eating & Lifestyle Changes

The type of food we eat significantly affect the amount of acids that find their way into the oesophagus.

Generally, fatty foods are known to contribute more to acid reflux. High fibre foods, on the other hand, have been found to be helpful. The link between high fat intake and GERD is understandable.

Fatty contents have direct effect on the sphincter. It causes the ring of muscles to relax and when this happens, more contents from the stomach (always acidic) creep up into the oesophagus.

When this continuous, it is certain that erosive esophagitis will set in and it will only be a matter of time before cancer can set in too.

Here are some lifestyle changes that can help manage the condition. 

  • Keep active by participating in sports or gym
  • Watch what you eat and how much you eat.
  • Eat a low-fat diet
  • Avoid foods that trigger your heartburn.
  • Stop smoking and drinking.
  • reduce alcohol intake.
  • Don’t eat close to bedtime.

 

Medication

If lifestyle changes alone fail to control symptoms, you may need to take medicines. Your gastroenterologist may prescribe a medicine called a proton pump inhibitor (PPI).

This helps block stomach acid production and help to heal the oesophagus. Alternatively, your gastroenterologist may also prescribe over the counter Antacids.

Antacids neutralize stomach acids and provide rapid relief of symptoms especially in those with mild disease.

Antacids usually come as liquid suspensions or tablets.

More information on Antacids and medications can be found here.

Surgery

Surgery to stop stomach acid leaking into your oesophagus may be recommended if your symptoms are not controlled by medication.

In such circumstances, you will usually discuss the treatment options with a specialist to agree the best option for you.

 

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.