Our Gastroenterology Blog

Posts for: September, 2021

By Digestive Disease Associates of York County
September 29, 2021
Tags: Gallstones  
GallstonesWhether you have a family history of gallstones or you’ve had them in the past and would like to avoid them in the future, did you know that there are actually some tips for reducing your risk for gallstones? While they aren’t foolproof, they can go a long way to keeping your gallbladder healthy. Here’s are some helpful tips to follow.

Be Smart About How You Lose Weight

Being obese is also a risk factor for gallstones. So, if you are overweight or obese you must eat a healthy diet and incorporate exercise into your routine to help shed weight safely but effectively. We understand that it isn’t always easy to lose weight but talking to a doctor can provide you with effective ways to start.

Of course, while it’s true that losing excess weight can go a long way to keeping you healthy, it’s also equally important that you find ways to safely and gradually lose weight. Anyone who sheds weight rapidly either through a crash diet or surgery is more likely to deal with gallstones. The safest way to lose weight is to aim to lose about 1-2 pounds per week over several months.

Eat a Healthy Diet

We all know the role that diet plays in your health. So it should come as no surprise that the foods you eat could also impact your gallbladder. Following a plant-based diet that is high in fiber and healthy fats and lower in refined carbs and red meat is a great way to reduce your risk for gallstones.

Get Regular Exercise

Exercise, just like what you eat, is also just as important for your overall health. Did you know that simply by getting regular exercise several times a week for at least 150 minutes a week, you can reduce the chances of gallstones? Add this to the list of reasons why you might want to go on a long, brisk walk today or (finally) take that spin class.

If you do find yourself dealing with gallstones, a gastroenterologist is going to be the best specialist to turn to for immediate care and treatment options. If you are experiencing symptoms of gallstones, call your GI doctor today.

By Digestive Disease Associates of York County
September 17, 2021
Category: GI Care
Tags: GI Ulcers   Peptic Ulcers  
GI UlcersUlcers are sores that develop in the lining of the digestive tract. They can develop in various places within the gastrointestinal system including the stomach and intestines, and some people can develop multiple ulcers at once. Worried you might be dealing with an ulcer? Here’s what you should know and how a gastroenterologist can help you.
 
Types of Peptic Ulcers

While there are ulcers that can develop in the veins, mouth, and even genitals, we’re going to talk about digestive ulcers or peptic ulcers. Peptic ulcers are open sores that develop in the lining of the small intestines, but can also develop in the stomach or esophagus.
 
There are three main kinds of peptic ulcers:
  • Gastric ulcers that occur within the lining of the stomach
  • Esophageal ulcers that occur within the esophagus
  • Duodenal ulcers that occur within the small intestines
The Warning Signs

Want to know whether your digestive issues could be due to an intestinal ulcer? The most common symptom of a GI ulcer is burning or gnawing pain in the stomach. Other symptoms include:
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Gas
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Feeling full easily
  • Bloating
Your symptoms may vary depending on the type of ulcer you have. For example, people with ulcers in the small intestines may feel worse on an empty stomach (the pain may wake you up in the middle of the night). If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it’s a good idea to see a gastroenterologist for an evaluation. Since these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions including GERD, it’s always best to turn to a GI specialist.
 
Causes of Peptic Ulcers

Ulcers often form when there is damage to the lining of the GI tract. This may result from taking certain medication such as NSAIDs or a bacterial infection (H. pylori). If you are someone who takes painkillers regularly this is something to discuss with your gastroenterologist.
 
Treating Peptic Ulcers

In most cases, your gastroenterologist will prescribe medication that reduces how much acid the stomach produces, giving the stomach lining enough time to properly heal. Common medications include proton pump inhibitors and h2-receptor antagonists. If a bacterial infection is the culprit, then antibiotics will be prescribed to kill the infection.
 
Do you suspect that you might have an ulcer? If so, the only way to get a proper diagnosis is to see a gastroenterologist who can perform the appropriate testing to figure out what’s going on and to provide you with the treatment you need.