Posts for category: gastroenterology
Heartburn—sometimes the pain is awful, isn't it? Resulting from acid reflux, chronic heartburn can, and should be, treated to avoid more serious issues. At Digestive and Liver Center of Florida in Orlando, your team of seven board-certified gastroenterologists and their support staff help people monitor their Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, resulting in better GI health and overall well-being.
The symptoms of GERD
The American College of Gastroenterology says that 15 million adults in the United States exhibit persistent acid reflux symptoms. Often associated with an incompetent esophageal sphincter, GERD symptoms may include:
- Burning pain in the chest
- Blood in the stool
- Abdominal bloating, burping, and gas
- Esophageal spasms
- Hoarseness of voice
- Difficulty swallowing or dysphagia (food comes stuck in the esophagus)
- Wheezing (asthma-like symptoms)
- A sore throat which persists
- Weight loss
Diagnosing Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Your Orlando gastroenterologist diagnoses symptoms as GERD when they occur daily or consistently for two weeks or more. Additionally, the doctor will likely order state-of-the-art imaging tests to confirm the diagnosis and to look for damage to the esophagus, strictures, or even evidence of cancerous or pre-cancerous conditions (such as Barrett's esophagus). Typical testing includes endoscopy, ph monitoring, and capsule endoscopy.
With the information gathered, your GI doctor will tailor a treatment plan suited to your individual needs and lifestyle. Treatments may include:
- Over the counter or prescription medications (H2 blockers, such as Zantac, or Proton Pump Inhibitors, such as Prilosec)
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Smoking cessation (ask your primary care physician about monitored ways to quit)
- Losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight
- Avoiding fatty and spicy foods
- Eating a diet higher in fiber, especially fresh fruits and vegetables
- Not eating two hours before going to bed
- Elevating the head of the bed
- Wearing clothing which is loose at the waist
- Limiting chocolate, coffee, sodas, and other sources of caffeine
A healthier you
Call Digestive and Liver Center of Florida right away if you have continuing acid reflux symptoms. You'll feel healthier and avoid unnecessary and serious complications. Phone the office team today at (407) 384-7388!
Colon cancer affects thousands of Americans each year, with more than 95,000 people being diagnosed with the condition in 2016 alone, according to the American Cancer Society. One of the best ways to detect colon cancer is by visiting your Altamonte Springs and Orlando, FL, gastroenterologist for a video capsule endoscopy.
More About an Endoscopy
An endoscopy is a procedure in which your gastroenterologist will use an endoscope (a thin, flexible tube with an attached lens and light source) to view the images of your digestive system on a video monitor. Your doctor then examines these images to examine if there are potential tumors, sources of bleeding, or pain.
It's a painless and non-invasive procedure that helps people detect early stages of cancer. It is recommended for adults ages 50 to 75, according to the CDC.
What does an endoscopy detect?
- Tumors in the small intestine
- Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease)
Colon Cancer Symptoms
Symptoms aren't always obvious. Here are the signs you need to keep an eye out for according to the doctors in Altamonte Springs and Orlando, FL:
- Bowel Habit Changes: If you are suffering from constipation or diarrhea for more than four weeks, that may be a sign of cancer
- Fatigue: Colon cancer results in patients feeling weak and fatigued
- Weight Loss: Unexplained weight loss
- Incomplete Evacuation: If you are experiencing constant bowel movements, even if you've just had a bowel movement, then you need to contact your doctor
- Blood in Your Stool: Hemorrhoids are usually accompanied by blood in stool, but blood may also be a sign of a more serious condition like cancer
How to schedule an appointment
If you would like more information on endoscopies and how they can help you, don't hesitate to contact the doctors at Digestive and Liver Center of Florida. If you need an endoscopy, contact your Altamonte Springs and Orlando, FL, gastroenterologist today!
Colonoscopies provide valuable information about the health of your gastrointestinal tract and can help detect colon cancer. The minimally invasive procedure, offered by the gastroenterologists of Digestive and Liver Center of Florida in Orlando and Altamonte Springs, FL, provides valuable information about the health of your gastrointestinal system.
What happens during a colonoscopy?
Colonoscopies allow gastroenterologists to view the lining of your intestines without surgery. During the test, your Orlando or Altamonte doctor inserts a thin, lighted probe into your anus and gradually passes it through your large intestine and the lower part of your small intestine. The probe contains a tiny camera that sends images of your intestines to a digital monitor. Thanks to this important technology, your gastroenterologist can detect polyps, lesions or bleeding in the intestinal lining.
Before the test begins, you'll receive pain medication and a sedative. When you wake up, you probably won't remember anything about your colonoscopy.
Do I really need a colonoscopy?
For years, 50 was the recommended age for a first screening colonoscopy. Recently, the American Cancer Society lowered the age to 45 in order to ensure that cancerous and pre-cancerous polyps are detected promptly. As colon cancer often doesn't cause symptoms until it's quite advanced, a colonoscopy can literally save your life. If your gastroenterologist does see any polyps, he or she will remove them and send them to a laboratory for testing. Small tissue samples can also be removed for biopsy during the procedure.
If your initial colonoscopy is normal, you probably won't need another colonoscopy for 10 years. More frequent colonoscopies may be recommended if you've had colon cancer or polyps in the past.
Colonoscopies are also used to diagnose gastrointestinal conditions. Your gastroenterologist may recommend a colonoscopy if you have chronic diarrhea or constipation, abdominal pain, anemia, unexplained weight loss or rectal bleeding. In addition to diagnosing these conditions, special instruments can also be used to stop bleeding.
Can I drive home?
You'll need to ask a friend or family member to drive you home from your colonoscopy, as lingering effects of the sedative could affect your reaction time if you drive. You may pass a little gas after the colonoscopy, but most people feel perfectly fine, although a little hungry.
Protect your health with a colonoscopy! Call the gastroenterologists of Digestive and Liver Center of Florida in Orlando and Altamonte Springs, FL, at (407) 384-7388 to schedule an appointment.
Hemorrhoids can cause patients major discomfort at some of the most inconvenient times. The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons says that it is one of the most common ailments for Americans. If you’ve been struggling with a case of hemorrhoids that won’t go away or seems to be worsening, contact the team at Digestive and Liver Center of Florida in Altamonte Springs and Orlando, FL. A gastroenterologist can provide a solution that will give you much-needed relief.
Hemorrhoids Are a Pain
Though hemorrhoids are usually talked about in a light, joking manner, the discomfort that they cause can be a serious distraction. Hemorrhoids are enlarged boils that form outside of and sometimes inside of the rectum. They happen when blood vessels bulge and stretch outside of the tissues around the anus. Hemorrhoids make it very difficult to go to the bathroom or even to sit down for extended periods of time. They can also cause blood to show in the stool, which is a common symptom besides the pain.
You can wait for time to pass for a case of hemorrhoids to clear up, but if it lasts for many days or even weeks, seek help from a gastroenterologist. These are the treatment options offered at Digestive and Liver Center of Florida in Altamonte Springs and Orlando, FL:
- Prescription medicated cream that calms the swelling and reduces pain.
- Rubber band ligation, which is tying tiny rubber bands around the hemorrhoids so that they fall off on their own.
- Hemorrhoidectomy, a surgery to remove the boils.
- Hemorrhoidopexy, another procedure that uses staples to prevent the formation of hemorrhoids.
What You Can Do to Avoid Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids don’t have an exact cause, but they may be more common in patients who live a sedentary lifestyle. People who spend many hours sitting, especially on hard surfaces, may experience this issue. Another possible cause is straining when going to the bathroom, which is why a high-fiber diet is recommended. Soaking in a warm bath every now and again can also calm hemorrhoid symptoms and reduce the chance of a reoccurrence.
Get Assistance for Faster Relief
Hemorrhoids sometimes go away on their own, but sometimes they can persist for longer than what is considered tolerable for the average patient. Call (407) 384-7388 today to see a gastroenterologist at Digestive and Liver Center of Florida in Altamonte Springs or Orlando, FL.
A colonoscopy is a test that is used to screen for common digestive disorders and diseases in the colon. It allows doctors to provide necessary early treatments before a colon-related condition becomes life-threatening. Know when and why a colonoscopy is recommended so that you can plan ahead and schedule your exam with a gastroenterologist at Digestive and Liver Center of Florida in Orlando, FL, and Altamonte Springs, FL.
What Is a Colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is the most reliable and accurate way for your doctor to view the inner lining of your colon. Your gastroenterologist uses a special tool called an endoscope to look at the inside of the large intestine. The endoscope is a long, flexible tool that will allow your doctor to see the expanse of the anus, rectum, and colon on a screen. It can spot polyps that could be precancerous, ulcers, and inflammation. Your doctor can remove any polyps or abnormal growths through the endoscope during the procedure.
Why Is This Test Recommended?
Colorectal cancer has a relatively high fatality rate when it isn't treated early, which is why it is so important for people of a certain age and medical history to have their colon checked with this test. These are some of the reasons why your Orlando, FL gastroenterologist may recommend a colonoscopy:
- There is severe stomach pain or blood in the stool.
- Bowel problems, including diarrhea and constipation.
- Patients who have reached age 50, especially men, are often strongly advised to have their first colonoscopy.
- If there is a family history of colon cancer or digestive disorders, your doctor may suggest a screening.
What to Expect
For the colonoscopy test to be successful, you must closely follow the instructions provided by your gastroenterologist. Before the appointment, you must agree to a liquid diet for a few days and take laxatives to clear the colon so that the endoscope will have clear passage. You will be sedated to ensure that you're relaxed during the procedure. The entire visit shouldn't take more than an hour, and you'll need to have someone help you home afterwards.
Ask Your Gastroenterologist
If you're not sure if you should have a colonoscopy, schedule time to speak with a gastroenterologist. Call (407) 384-7388 today for an appointment with a gastroenterologist at Digestive and Liver Center of Florida in Orlando, FL, and Altamonte Springs, FL.
Though increasingly common, cancer is almost always a frightening diagnosis to receive. However, with the proper knowledge of the disease and help from a team of doctors, you can understand the best treatment options for you. Gastrointestinal tract cancer is an umbrella term for a group of cancers which affect your digestive system. Find out more about spotting gastrointestinal tract cancer early and learn about the treatment options available for you from your gastroenterologist with Digestive and Liver Center of Florida in Orlando, FL, and Altamonte Springs, FL.
What is the gastrointestinal tract?
The gastrointestinal tract is a system of organs which allow digestion to take place. The GI tract begins at the mouth and moves food down the body through the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and anus. These organs all play a vital role in digesting the food you eat, distributing its nutrients to the body, and disposing of the waste left behind. Gastrointestinal tract cancer can affect any of these organs. Some common types of GI cancer include esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, and gallbladder cancer.
Common Signs of Cancer of the Gastrointestinal Tract
Due to its wide range of different types of cancer, the symptoms of GI cancer vary depending on which part of the body is affected. However, some common signs and symptoms include:
- unexplained weight loss
- poor appetite
- belly pain or discomfort
- bloody stool
- a sense of fullness in the abdomen
Finding and treating any form of cancer is crucial to successfully overcome this disease. If you think you have the signs of GI cancer, you should see your gastroenterologist immediately to investigate further into your symptoms.
Gastrointestinal Tract Cancer Treatments in Orlando, FL, and Altamonte Springs, FL
Treating gastrointestinal tract cancer varies depending on the type of cancer diagnosed and its stage and development. Early stages of GI cancers may require only surgery to remove the affected parts of the affected areas. In later stages, radiation therapy or chemotherapy may become necessary to properly eradicate the cancerous cells. Working with your gastroenterologist can help you choose the best treatment plan for you.
For more information on gastrointestinal cancers, please contact Digestive and Liver Center of Florida with locations in East Orlando, FL and Downtown Orlando, FL, and a location in Altamonte Springs, FL. Call (407) 384-7388 to schedule your appointment at any of the three locations today!
How your gastroenterologists in Orlando can help
Do spicy foods keep you up at night? Do you have frequent heartburn and find yourself taking antacids several times during the week? If you suffer from frequent heartburn discomfort, you could have gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. Your gastroenterologists at Digestive and Liver Center of Florida in Orlando, FL, want to help you learn to recognize the signs of GERD and how to treat your acid reflux.
According to the American College of Gastroenterology, in the United States, over 60 million people suffer from acid reflux or GERD. The condition is caused by stomach acid flowing up through your esophagus. You have a sphincter muscle which, when working normally, closes off the esophagus and prevents stomach contents from flowing upwards. If you have GERD, the sphincter muscle doesn’t close completely, allowing stomach acid to flow up into the esophagus.
You may notice signs and symptoms like these:
- A frequent sore throat
- Frequent bad breath
- Tooth sensitivity and erosion
- Dry coughing or wheezing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal or chest pain
There are some simple tips you can try at home to prevent and relieve the effects of acid reflux. Consider:
- Taking over-the-counter antacids
- Staying upright at least 2 to 3 hours after eating
- Not eating right before you go to bed
- Eliminating spicy foods from your diet
- Eating small meals instead of large ones
- Losing weight and not smoking
- Avoiding exercises that press your abdomen
- Not wearing belts
For severe cases of acid reflux and GERD, you need to seek out the services of an expert. Common professional treatments include prescription medications and lifestyle and diet modifications.
For more detailed information about acid reflux, please visit the Acid Reflux page on the website at https://www.dlcfl.com/acid-reflux.html
You don’t have to suffer the discomfort of acid reflux or GERD. You can get help with a simple phone call. The GI specialists at Digestive and Liver Center of Florida in Orlando, FL, are standing by to help, so call today!
Find out how gastroenterological care can keep your GI tract healthy and happy.
Sure, we all get the occasional upset stomach, heartburn, or bout of diarrhea. Of course, when something just doesn’t feel right, it’s important that you have gastroenterologists in Orlando, Fl, that you can turn to when you need it most. Learn more about your gastroenterological health and how keeping a healthy gut is important for the rest of your body.
When you think of gastroenterology you might only think about your stomach, but this system also involves the esophagus, liver, pancreas, intestines, and gallbladder. Most people don’t consider their GI health until they are experiencing symptoms; however, it’s important to pay attention to what you digestive tract is trying to tell you.
You might not know this but it’s not just your brain and spinal cord that’s full of neurons. Your stomach has them, too! In fact, there are more neurons in the stomach then there are in the spinal cord. While these digestive neurons are integral for everyday gut processes they are also instrumental in helping your immune system. These neurons help your body fight bacteria and viruses to keep these foreign bodies from harming you and making you sick.
It’s also pretty amazing to realize that our digestive system produces as much as 90 percent of our body’s serotonin, a chemical that is involved in immune health, mood regulation, sleep and appetite. Changes in serotonin levels within the body has also been linked to serious health problems such as heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and even osteoporosis (bone disease).
There are easily a variety of lifestyle modifications and habits that can improve your gut health and ward off issues. From eating a healthy balanced diet and taking probiotics to limiting alcohol and exercising regularly, there are many easy ways to keep your gastrointestinal system happy. Of course, our Orlando, FL, gastrointestinal doctors are here if you experience any of these symptoms:
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Chest pain
- Bowel movement changes
- Unexpected weight gain or weight loss
Our gastroenterology team provides comprehensive gastroenterological care for when you are dealing with any chronic or acute digestive problem. From gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and gallstones to ulcerative colitis and liver disease, we are here to prevent, diagnose, and even treat your digestive conditions.
If you are experiencing gastrointestinal upset don’t hesitate to reach out to the GI experts at Digestive and Liver Center of Florida in Orlando. We would be happy to schedule an appointment right away so we can address your needs and concerns or questions about gastroenterology.
Find out why a gastroenterologist may recommend a colonoscopy.
Most people have heard of colonoscopies but most people don’t really understand why they are needed. Whether you are experiencing questionable GI symptoms or not, our Orlando, FL, gastroenterologists are here to tell you about the situations in which a colonoscopy may be advised and what you can expect when you come in for this procedure.
What is a colonoscopy?
This in-office diagnostic procedure is a great way to check the health of your large intestines, or colon. A thin, flexible tube is inserted into the rectum. At the end of the tube is a small camera that allows our Orlando GI doctors to be able to check the lining of the colon and to detect any abnormalities, polyps or signs of colorectal cancer.
Who should consider getting a colonoscopy?
Even if you’ve never had any issues with your intestines or gastrointestinal system it doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from a colonoscopy. In fact, it’s recommended that all men and women should start getting routine colonoscopies by the time they turn 50 years old. This is because the risk of colorectal cancer increases as you get older. A colonoscopy is the very best screening tool to catch cancer during its earliest stages when it’s much easier to treat.
Everyone should schedule a routine colonoscopy by the time they turn 50 years old. If everything looks healthy we may recommend that you only come in every 10 years for this procedure. If we do find and remove one or more colon polyps then we may recommend coming in every five years.
Of course, this procedure isn’t just used to detect colorectal cancer. A colonoscopy is a great diagnostic tool for those dealing with unexpected bleeding, abdominal pain, unexpected or sudden weight loss, bowel changes or persistent constipation or diarrhea. If you are dealing with unexplained or sudden intestinal symptoms a colonoscopy may be the best way to figure out what’s going on so that you can finally get the treatment you need to feel better.
Digestive and Liver Center of Florida in Orlando, FL is here to keep your GI tract feeling its best. Whether you are dealing with a chronic digestive disorder or you just turned 50 years old, we are here to ensure that you get the proper care you need.
Approximately half of all Americans experience some type of hemorrhoid symptoms by the age of 50. It can be a difficult and uncomfortable topic to discuss, but it is an incredibly common condition, so if you are experiencing symptoms, you are not alone. The gastroenterology team at the Digestive and Liver Center of Florida in Orlando provide diagnosis and advanced treatment options for hemorrhoid pain and symptoms.
Hemorrhoid Treatment in Orlando, FL
Hemorrhoids (also known as piles) are caused by swollen veins around the anus or lower rectum. They can develop internally or externally, and the symptoms can range in severity from mild discomfort to considerable pain and bleeding during bowel movements. Although many cases can be treated conservatively with over the counter products, some cases may warrant treatment by a doctor depending on your symptoms.
The most common symptoms include:
- Pain and discomfort
- Itching or sensitivity
- Bleeding during bowel movements
- Swelling or a lump near the anus
When to See a Doctor
Always consult a physician if you experience bleeding during bowel movements, as it can also be a sign of other problems like colorectal cancer. If over the counter treatments do not provide relief or if your hemorrhoids are very painful, you should see a doctor. Also pay attention to the color and any changes in your stool. Maroon colored stool can be a sign of bleeding, even if you have not noticed traces of blood.
Anyone can develop a hemorrhoid. Certain factors like eating a low fiber diet and chronic constipation are common causes of hemorrhoids. Dehydration and a sedentary lifestyle are also common risk factors.
Hemorrhoid Relief in Orlando, FL
For more information about the best prevention and treatment options for hemorrhoids, contact the Digestive and Liver Center of Florida by calling (407) 384-7388 to schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist in Orlando today.
At the Digestive and Liver Center of Florida, our providers see patients with numerous gastrointestinal, or GI, problems each day. The GI system is large and can affect everything from the throat to the colon. Regardless of the location, many GI diseases are common and their origins can be connected to dietary problems. Three of these GI diseases - hemorrhoids, acid reflux and diverticulitis - are only some of many issues treated by our team of gastroenterologists here in Orlando, FL.
Hemorrhoids are bundles of blood vessels and muscle inside the anal canal, the lowest part of the intestine. When they become irritated from constipation, pressure or a low-fiber diet, this produces the classic symptoms of pain, itching and bleeding. Your gastroenterologist recognizes that this can be an embarrassing condition to have; it's very common, however, and important to seek treatment so that the degree of inflammation can be diagnosed and the best treatment can be prescribed.
Most people have experienced the sensation of a "sour stomach" before, where belching can lead to a burning pain that rises into the throat. This is acid reflux, a condition in which the acidic contents of the stomach flows backwards into the esophagus, irritating its lining and producing heartburn, sore throat and a bitter taste in the mouth. When reflux persists, your Orlando gastroenterologist may diagnose you with gastroesophageal reflux disease, better known as GERD. Fortunately, there are several maintenance medications, as well as dietary changes, that help lessen the symptoms of GERD.
Some people have abnormal pockets in the lining of their large intestine that becomes irritated or inflamed. This is often due to diverticulitis, a bacterial infection that affects these pockets, or pouches. Diverticulitis is a common disease, thought to affect about 50% of American adults over 60 years of age and 35% of the younger adult population. To treat its symptoms, our gastroenterologist often recommends a change in diet and lifestyle and possibly antibiotics to clear up the bacteria. Surgery is uncommon unless complications, such as bowel perforation, occur.
For these or any other GI-related issue, you can trust the competent and friendly medical staff of the Digestive and Liver Center of Florida in Orlando, FL to help you. Contact us for an appointment today!
Screening and diagnostic colonoscopies help protect your gastrointestinal health. The Orlando, FL, gastroenterologists at Digestive and Liver Center of Florida discuss this important test.
Colonoscopies offer a remote view of your large intestine
Colonoscopies allow gastroenterologists to view the lining of your large intestine without surgery. Miniature lights, cameras, and tools are attached to the end of a thin, flexible scope passed through your anus into your intestine. The scope transmits the images to a digital screen that your doctor views.
Why are colonoscopies recommended?
Colonoscopies are often used to find the source of gastrointestinal problems or screen for colon cancer. Screening colonoscopies are recommended at age 50 because more than 90 percent of people who develop the cancer are 50 or older, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. If you have had colon cancer in the past or at high risk of developing it, your gastroenterologist may recommend that you have your first colonoscopy before age 50.
What happens during a colonoscopy?
You can help ensure that your gastroenterologist has a clear view of your large intestine by following all the instructions you receive regarding colonoscopy prep. Although drinking the fluids that trigger diarrhea and making frequent trips to the restroom may not be pleasant, preparation is an important aspect of every colonoscopy.
You won't remember anything that happens during your colonoscopy because you'll receive a sedative or general anesthesia. After your gastroenterologist inserts the scope into your anus, he or she will slow pass it through your intestine. At the same time, gas will be inserted into your intestine to make it easier to see the digestive tract lining. If polyps are detected, they'll be removed during the procedure, then sent to a laboratory to determine if they're benign, pre-cancerous or cancerous.
After the colonoscopy, you'll spend about an hour in the Orlando recovery room to make sure that you have no ill effects from the sedative or anesthesia. Although you'll probably feel perfectly fine, you won't be able to drive until the next day. Your gastroenterologist will discuss the test with you before you leave, but you may also be asked to schedule a follow-up appointment to discuss your symptoms and lab results.
Is it time for your first colonoscopy, or are you concerned about a gastrointestinal illness? Call Digestive and Liver Center of Florida in Orlando, FL, at (407) 384-7388 to make an appointment.
Welcome to the Blog of Digestive and Liver Center of Florida
Digestive and Liver Center of Florida would like to welcome you to our blog. Here you will find informative and useful postings about gastroenterology and our practice.
At Digestive and Liver Center of Florida we believe that educated patients are better prepared to make decisions regarding the health of their digestive system. Our blog was designed to provide you with the latest gastroenterology developments and valuable health advice from our dedicated team.
Digestive and Liver Center of Florida hopes you find our blog to be a great resource for keeping up to date with proper digestive health care and treatments.
We welcome all comments and questions.
-- Digestive and Liver Center of Florida