Your liver is vital for your overall health. Here’s what you should know about liver disease.
While you might not realize it, the liver is one of the most important organs that we have. This 3-pound organ located on the right side under your lower ribs does everything from filter and detoxify your blood to promote blood clotting and perform hundreds of key chemical functions. Unfortunately, our Greenbelt, MD, gastroenterologists Dr. Sushil Rattan and Dr. Radman Mostaghim are seeing a rise in liver disease in the US.
What causes liver disease?
There are more than 100 different kinds of liver disease. Liver disease may be caused by genetics, autoimmune disorders or viruses, while other forms of liver disease are the result of a poor lifestyle. Bad habits such as excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, taking drugs or eating a poor diet can increase your risk for developing liver disease.
It’s important that liver disease is detected early on. The liver is incredible, as it has the ability to regenerate and heal all by itself. This means that by catching liver disease during the very early stages, our Greenbelt, MD, GI doctors can help reverse the disease through a customized treatment plan that focuses on leading a healthier lifestyle.
What are the most common types of liver disease?
Some of the most common forms of liver disease include,
- Viral hepatitis (A, B or C)
- Alcohol or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- Genetic liver disease (e.g. hereditary hemochromatosis)
- Autoimmune liver disease (e.g. primary sclerosing cholangitis)
What are the warning signs of liver disease?
If you are dealing with an acute liver problem you may suddenly notice,
- Weakness and fatigue
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes (known as jaundice)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain under the right lower rib
- Pale-colored stools
- Dark urine
However, liver disease doesn’t always cause symptoms. If symptoms persist for more than six months, then this is considered a chronic liver condition. Unfortunately, many people may have liver problems but never even know it. If you live an unhealthy lifestyle, you may want to talk with our gastroenterologists about getting regular blood tests to check hepatic (liver) function. Even your regular physician can perform this simple blood test to check liver enzymes.
Whether you have liver disease in your family, or you are concerned about the health of your liver, our Greenbelt, MD, gastroenterology team is here to answer your questions and provide you with the care you need. Call GI Med Health today at (301) 982-7900 to schedule an evaluation.
It may fill you with dread when your doctor suggests that you get a colonoscopy. The good news is those who are not in high-risk populations only need an exam about every ten years. The benefits far outweigh the risks and inconveniences. Dr. Sushil Rattan and Dr. Radman Mostaghim can assist you with this procedure at GI Med Health in Greenbelt, MD.
Does everyone need a colonoscopy? The answer is it depends. People who can benefit from a colonoscopy are:
- Over the age of 50.
- Those who already have an inflammatory condition of the bowel, such as irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease.
- Individuals that have a strong family history of cancer of the abdominal cavity
- Patients who have tumor metastasis or previous history with cancer, especially in the gut.
Benefits of a colonoscopy
Colonoscopies are essential for finding polyps in the colon before they become too serious to handle later. Also, if you have had polyps or other abnormalities in the colon previously, a colonoscopy can assist with making sure they do not come back.
While studies show colonoscopy helps patients avoid colorectal cancer, the only way a patient can get great results like these is to take a proactive approach. Your doctor will not only guide you on what to do regarding prep for the procedure, but they will answer any questions you may have about colorectal health.
If your doctor does find a suspicious-looking site, it will be time to perform a biopsy, assess the findings, and offer advice based on the results. Catching abnormalities early can help you and your doctor decide what to do next.
Put your mind at ease concerning your colon health and get a colonoscopy. If you are in the Greenbelt, MD, area, contact Dr. Mostaghim and Dr. Rattan at GI Med Health at (301) 982-7900 for a consultation.
Catch colorectal cancer early with the help of a colonoscopy.
When it comes to your health, taking preventive measures now is always the best way to protect against health problems in the future. So it should seem like a no-brainer that a colonoscopy screening would be an important preventive tool; however, about one in three adults between 50 to 75 years old have not gotten the routine colonoscopy they need. The truth is, a colonoscopy saves lives, and our Greenbelt, MD, gastroenterologists can help you live a long, healthy life through this simple diagnostic and preventive screening tool.
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a simple in-patient procedure performed by our team of gastroenterologists here in Greenbelt, MD. A thin, flexible tube (known as a colonoscope) is inserted into the rectum. At the end of the scope is a lens, which allows our doctors to be able to examine the lining of the rectum and colon (small intestines).
The colonoscope is gently and carefully guided through the colon to look for polyps or other early signs of colorectal cancer. Today, a colonoscopy is still the most effective screening tool we have for catching colorectal cancer during the earliest stages when it’s treatable.
When should I get a colonoscopy?
It’s recommended that healthy men and women with a moderate risk of colorectal cancer get their first colonoscopy by the age of 50. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer or colon polyps, or other risk factors, then you may want to talk with your gastroenterologist about getting screened at 45 years old.
Of course, a colonoscopy can also shed light on certain GI problems you may be having. So, your doctor may recommend getting a colonoscopy if you are experiencing,
- Abdominal pain
- Rectal bleeding
- Chronic diarrhea or constipation
- Unexpected weight loss
- Recurring or persistent intestinal issues
- Symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease; ulcerative colitis)
How often do I need to get a colonoscopy?
If your results come back normal and you aren’t at an increased risk for colorectal cancer, then you probably won’t need another colonoscopy for 10 years. You will continue to get regular colonoscopies until 75 years old. If colon polyps are detected during your colonoscopy, then you may need to come in every five years.
GI Med Health provides comprehensive gastroenterology and hepatology services to people living in and around Greenbelt, MD. If it’s time to schedule a routine colonoscopy then call us today at (301) 982-7900.
How your gastroenterologists in Greenbelt, MD can help with heartburn
It’s common to suffer heartburn occasionally, especially when you eat acidic or spicy foods. If you notice heartburn symptoms more often, it could be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly known as GERD.
The good news is, your gastroenterologist can help you feel better. Dr. Sushil Rattan and Dr. Radman Mostaghim at GI Med Health in Greenbelt MD offer a full range of GI services, including treatment for GERD.
Do I Have Heartburn?
Heartburn feels like a burning pain in your chest, but it has nothing to do with your heart. Heartburn is caused by stomach acid coming back up through your esophagus. Your Greenbelt, MD Gastroenterologist can help.
Occasionally, the sphincter muscle which separates your stomach from your esophagus can malfunction and not close properly. The incomplete closure of the sphincter lets stomach acid travel backward up through your esophagus, causing the feeling of heartburn. Heartburn also happens frequently at night and can become worse when you bend over or lie down.
Frequent heartburn may mean you have acid reflux, a common problem. If acid reflux goes untreated, it can develop into gastroesophageal reflux disease, known as GERD. This chronic condition can damage your esophageal lining, and could potentially cause esophageal cancer. That's why it's important to schedule your appointment with Greenbelt, MD Gastroenterologist.
To help prevent heartburn, you can try:
- Eating smaller meals and avoiding large ones
- Avoiding eating late at night
- Avoiding acidic or spicy foods
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Quitting smoking
- Taking over-the-counter antacids
If you don’t get relief from simple remedies like those listed above, it’s time to seek out the services of a specialist, your Greenbelt, MD Gastroenterologist. Professional treatments for heartburn include prescription-strength antacids and other medications to reduce stomach acid, along with lifestyle modifications, including diet.
If you are experiencing heartburn, you are not alone. In fact, according to the American College of Gastroenterology, it is estimated over 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month, and 15 million Americans feel heartburn on most days.
Call Us To Learn More About Heartburn Treatment
Don’t suffer from heartburn when relief is just a phone call away. To find out more about heartburn treatment and other GI services, call Dr. Sushil Rattan and Dr. Radman Mostaghim of GI Med Health in Greenbelt, MD at (301) 982-7900. Call now and feel better!
Colon polyps are small benign growths protruding into the lumen, or empty space, inside the large intestine. Typically asymptomatic, some polyps are precancerous. At GI Med Health in Greenbelt, MD, your gastroenterologists use a colonoscopy to detect and remove polyps. Dr. Rattan and Dr. Mostaghim see this test as an excellent way to evaluate polyps and ensure your GI health.
The details on colon polyps
Ranging in size from five to 30 millimeters in diameter, colon polyps resemble little mushrooms or maybe flat in appearance. Healthline reports that the vast majority are harmless, with no cancer cells or symptoms of any kind.
Called hyperplastic polyps, these growths are common in people ages 50 and up. In fact, MedicalNewsToday says 30 percent of Americans in this age group have hyperplastic polyps.
Other individuals, however, may have precancerous adenomas. Most adenomas do not progress into cancer; however, some do. That's why it's important to detect and remove them.
Polyps can cause problems
Most polyps are asymptomatic. However, those which do show symptoms present with:
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Abdominal pain
- Frank bleeding or streaks of blood on stool
Because the majority of colon polyps are silent but have the potential for cancer, your gastroenterologists at GI Med Health in Greenbelt recommend screening colonoscopy for everyone age 50 and older.
During this half-hour procedure, Dr. Mostaghim or Dr. Rattan inserts a thin, lighted scope into the rectum and through the entire length of the colon. He takes still and video images to detect abnormalities, including polyps.
Besides imaging polyps, your GI doctor uses the scope to snare or burn these growths and to take tissue samples for biopsy. Tissue biopsy is the surest way to detect colon cancer, the third biggest cancer killer of American adults (US News and World Report).
Risk factors and how to avoid them
For many people, genetics, ethnicity (African-Americans are more at risk), and age play a large role in polyp development. Sadly, you cannot manipulate these factors. However, you can change other elements which include:
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Low-fiber diet
- Consuming a lot of red meat and/or alcohol
In short, you'll have a healthier colon if you maintain a good weight, exercise, stop all tobacco, limit alcohol and red meat, and up your fiber intake.
So, now you know...
It's important to detect colon polyps. For a consultation on your GI health and colonoscopy services, please contact Dr. Sushil Rattan and Dr. Radman Mostaghim at GI Med Health in Greenbelt, MD. We'll take good care of you. Phone (301) 982-7900.
Drs. Sushil Rattan and Radman Mostaghim of GI Med Health in Greenbelt, MD, provide patients with much need knowledge and care regarding abdominal pain and what the source of pain could be.
More About Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain is something you'll experience at any point in your life and it's nothing to be worried about most of the time. You need to speak with your Greenbelt gastroenterologist if symptoms are repetitive and worsen over time.
Sources of Abdominal Pain
There are several sources of abdominal pain, like a mild stomachache. Here are some reasons for pain:
- Constipation: A common digestive problem where a person suffers from hard, dry bowel movements, or less than three bowel movements a week.
- Indigestion: This is usually a symptom of an underlying problem, like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcers, or gallbladder.
- Stomach virus: This is an intestinal infection that causes watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea or vomiting, and sometimes called the stomach flu.
- Menstrual cramps: Women feel cramps during their periods because the uterus contracts to expel its lining.
- Lactose intolerance: This digestive disorder because people can't digest lactose, usually in dairy products, which causes a series of symptoms: bloating, diarrhea and abdominal cramps.
- Ulcers: This is also referred to as a peptic ulcer that develops ion the lining of your stomach, small intestine or esophagus. People usually suffer from symptoms such as vomiting, weight loss and abdominal pain.
Other sources of abdominal pain are pelvic inflammatory disease, gallstones, hernias, kidney stones, Crohn’s disease, a urinary tract infection, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and appendicitis.
Need a consultation?
Talk to your Greenbelt, MD, gastroenterologist if you are experiencing abdominal pain that isn't going away, becomes more severe and/or is accompanied by fever and other symptoms. To contact your gastroenterologist about creating a custom treatment plan, contact GI Med Health by calling (301) 982-7900 today.
According to statistics, about 50% of people over the age of 50 suffer from hemorrhoids. Developing when the anus has become inflamed, hemorrhoids are often the result of severe cases of diarrhea or constipation. Although this may be an uncomfortable topic to discuss, you should never be embarrassed about being proactive about your gastrointestinal health. Here at our office in Greenbelt, MD, Dr. Sushil Rattan makes gastrointestinal care as easy and convenient as possible—read on to learn how he can help your hemorrhoid issue.
What are Hemorrhoids?
Also known as "piles," these painful, veiny lumps develop around the anus when too much pressure becomes placed on the pelvis and rectum during a bowel movement. External hemorrhoids are noticeable because you can feel them bulging in this sensitive area. If you become aware of blood or mucus in your stool after a trip to the restroom, these are the signs of internal hemorrhoids. Straining these muscles during a bowel movement, labor, or sitting uncomfortably for a prolonged period also causes these painful benign lumps.
Signs and Symptoms
- Blood in stool
- Painful bowel movements
- Swelling tissue around the anal opening
Hemorrhoids are a genetic condition, so if your parents or other family members have them, you may be at an increased risk of development.
How Does a Doctor Treat Them?
At GI Med Health, Dr. Sushil Rattan, MD, MRCP may recommend several ways to treat your hemorrhoids, depending on how chronic your condition is. Home remedies to avoid occasional flare-ups usually include getting more exercise, increasing your fiber intake, applying topical ointments, and taking sitz baths. During an appointment with our Greenbelt, MD, office, we can discuss additional treatments if your hemorrhoids do not go away on their own.
Need Care? Give Us a Call
If these signs and symptoms sound familiar, Dr. Sushil Rattan, MD, MRCP of GI Med Health in Greenbelt, MD, can help you find relief. To learn more about hemorrhoids or any of our other gastroenterology services, visit our website. For questions or to schedule an appointment, please call (301) 982-7900.
Here at Gi Med Health in Greenbelt, MD, your gastroenterologists, Dr. Rattan and Dr. Mostaghim, see numerous patients who suffer from hemorrhoids. Bulging bundles of veins inside or protruding from the rectum and anus, hemorrhoids cause considerable discomfort. However, you can find relief.
How hemorrhoids happen
Hemorrhoids plague millions of Americans. In fact, Harvard Health reports that half of the adult population in the United States develops at least one bothersome hemorrhoid by the age of 50.
What conditions favor the development of these itchy, painful veins? The three most common factors are:
- Constipation (and straining at stool)
Additionally, a low-fiber diet, heavy lifting, and sitting on hard surfaces for extended periods of time contribute to hemorrhoids.
The symptoms vary in intensity and frequency. However, most people report itching, bleeding, mucus production, irritable bowel movements, and pain—so much so that it can be hard to even sit or sleep flat in bed.
What to do about hemorrhoids
Whether you have one or multiple hemorrhoids, you can experience relief. Here at GI Med Health in Greenbelt, MD, hemorrhoid treatment begins with a review of symptoms, visual inspection, and a simple digital rectal examination. Sometimes, the gastroenterologist may wish to examine the GI tract above the hemorrhoids with a flexible sigmoidoscope or with colonoscopy to rule out more serious problems.
With sufficient information, Dr. Rattan or Dr. Mostaghim formulates a treatment plan to heal hemorrhoids and help prevent their recurrence. Many simple interventions work extremely well. Your care plan could include:
- Warm sitz baths and over-the-counter medications (creams or ointments such as Preparation H to shrink the hemorrhoids and prevent further inflammation)
- Steroidal suppositories
- Adding fiber to your diet
- Going to the bathroom right away if you need to move your bowels
- Limiting strenuous lifting and other exercises that may irritate your hemorrhoids
- In-office tying, or ligation, of swollen hemorrhoids with rubber bands
- Surgical hemorrhoidectomy or stapling
Find out more
Hemorrhoids can cause tremendous pain, discomfort, and inconvenience, but fortunately, they can be managed. Get the help you need from Dr. Sushil Rattan and Dr. Radman Mostaghim at GI Med Health in Greenbelt, MD. Our office is open Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. For more information or to set an appointment, phone (301) 982-7900 today.
This routine screening tool could detect colorectal cancer early on.
The problem with many diseases and conditions is that they don’t start to show symptoms until they have started deeply affecting your system. Accordingly, the goal of our Greenbelt, MD, gastroenterologists, Dr. Sushil Rattan and Dr. Radman Mostaghim, is to catch any problems, including colorectal cancer, early on when they are easier to treat. The most effective way to detect colorectal cancer is to get a routine colonoscopy by the time you turn 50 years old.
What is the purpose of a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is the most effective screening tool that we currently have to detect early signs of colorectal cancer. While there are other screening options available, this is by far the most accurate.
A colonoscopy can also be used to determine the cause of abdominal pain, internal bleeding, or other issues that your gastroenterologist may not be able to determine through a simple physical exam or other testing alone. If we do find colon polyps or other issues during your colonoscopy, these problems can often be treated immediately so that you don’t need to undergo an additional colonoscopy or other procedures.
Why do I need to start getting colonoscopies at 50 years old?
One factor that can increase your risk for developing colorectal cancer is age, for the condition is much more prevalent in older adults over the age of 50. If you are a healthy individual who is at low risk for developing colorectal cancer then you should get your first colonoscopy around 50 years old; however, the American Cancer Society recommends that both men and women who are at a moderate risk for developing colorectal cancer should start getting screened by age 45. After this, you will continue to get routine colonoscopies every 10 years until the age of 75.
If you have a family or personal history of colorectal cancer or colon polyps then you may need to start getting screened earlier than 45. Therefore, it's important to talk with your Greenbelt, MD, GI doctor to find out when you should start getting a colonoscopy.
Do both men and women need to get a colonoscopy?
Absolutely! Colorectal cancer can happen to both men and women, and gender doesn’t seem to be a determining risk factor. As you get older, your risk for developing colorectal cancer increases, which is why you should start getting screened around 45-50 years old.
If you are about to turn 50 years old, give yourself the gift of great health. Call GI Med Health in Greenbelt, MD, today at (301) 982-7900 to schedule your first colonoscopy. We would be happy to sit down and talk to you about your health needs.
Are heartburn symptoms keeping you awake or making you uncomfortable during your day? Your Greenbelt, MD, gastroenterologists, Dr. Sushil Rattan and Dr. Radman Mostaghim, offer treatments that can help relieve your uncomfortable symptoms.
What causes heartburn?
That uncomfortable burning sensation in your chest may be related to what you eat and drink. Certain foods, particularly those that are acidic, fatty, or fried, can trigger symptoms. Foods and beverages that may cause heartburn include citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, garlic, onion, chocolate, peppermint, and caffeinated drinks.
Your weight may also play a role in your condition, particularly if you’ve gained weight in your abdomen. Fat presses on your stomach, which may cause or contribute to heartburn. Exercise can help you keep your weight under control but may also be a factor in heartburn if you exercise too soon after you eat. It’s best to wait about two hours after eating to exercise.
Heartburn can occur if you smoke, drink alcohol, or take certain medications, such as antibiotics, over-the-counter pain relievers, steroids, and anti-anxiety medication. If you’re pregnant, your heartburn symptoms may be due to increased progesterone.
Chronic heartburn can be a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD). The disorder occurs when the sphincter between your stomach and esophagus doesn’t close properly, which allows strong stomach acids to irritate the sensitive lining of the esophagus. Other symptoms of GERD include a bad taste in your mouth, too much saliva, hoarseness, and a lump-in-the-throat sensation.
How is heartburn treated?
Your Greenbelt gastroenterologist offers several treatments that can eliminate or reduce heartburn. Over-the-counter or prescription medications may be recommended or prescribed to reduce or block acid production, help foods pass through your gastrointestinal system more quickly, or improve the way the sphincter between your stomach and esophagus functions.
If your doctor suspects that your heartburn may be a symptom of (GERD), he may recommend an endoscopy, a procedure that involves passing a lighted scope with a tiny camera into your stomach and esophagus. Viewing the images transmitted by the camera gives your doctor important information about the condition of your stomach and esophagus and helps him make a diagnosis.
Ease your heartburn symptoms with a visit to Drs. Sushil Rattan and Radman Mostaghim. Call their Greenbelt, MD, office at (301) 982-7900 to schedule an appointment.
Find out if the uncomfortable symptoms you are having are due to hemorrhoids and how your Greenbelt, MD gastroenterologist can help.
Do you notice pain or discomfort when passing bowel movements? Do you notice little specks of red blood when you wipe? While these are all issues that may feel a bit embarrassing to admit let alone talk about, these symptoms are often that of hemorrhoids, a common problem that isn’t serious. Find out more about hemorrhoids and when to see a GI doctor for help.
What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are inflamed or enlarged veins that develop either on the inside or outside of the rectum. There are two types of hemorrhoids: internal and external. If you have internal hemorrhoids then you may not even notice them. It’s external hemorrhoids that are the most common and can cause some minor but still unpleasant symptoms.
What are some symptoms of hemorrhoids?
If you have external hemorrhoids then you may notice discomfort during bowel movements. If they are really severe, you may have trouble sitting down without experiencing pain. Itching is also a common symptom associated with this condition. Luckily, hemorrhoids can easily be treated!
How are hemorrhoids treated? Should I see your Greenbelt, MD gastroenterologist?
In many cases, hemorrhoids don’t need any special treatment, and they can often just heal on their own. Of course, there are ways to manage your symptoms to make going to the bathroom a little easier. One at-home measure you can take is to soak in a sitz bath for about 10 minutes daily. The warm water can provide some welcomed relief from pain and itching.
Be gentle when wiping after bowel movements. Aggressive cleaning will end up having the opposite effect and can aggravate hemorrhoids. If you are dealing with swelling or discomfort that isn’t relieved with a sitz bath you can also try a cold compress to the area or take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
If you aren’t experiencing relief from your at-home care after about one week, it’s a good idea to talk to a gastroenterologist who can determine whether you may need more aggressive treatment like a rubber band ligation procedure.
If your symptoms aren’t going away then it’s time to give your Greenbelt, MD gastroenterologist a call and see what we can do for you. GI problems happen to everyone, at some point or another. Just know we are here to help whenever you need it most.
We have been serving Maryland and Washington DC Metro area for the past 20 years., and are currently accepting new patients. Please feel free to contact us by phone or submission form, we are always available to help with any questions or concerns.
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