Our Gastroenterology Blog

Posts for category: Gastroenterology

By GI Med Health
September 05, 2019
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: Colonoscopy  

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 Colonoscopysystem. 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.

 

Contact us

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.

By GI Med Health
June 26, 2019
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: Heartburn  

HeartburnAre 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.

By GI Med Health
February 20, 2018
Category: Gastroenterology

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.



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