DDAR Blog

Exercise & "Good Bacteria" in Your Gut

The New York Times in a Wellness Blog, authored by Gretchen Reynolds show the results of research performed Dr. Fergus Shanahan, Professor of Gastroenterology and the Director of the Alimentary Pharmabiotics Center at University College Cork, part of the National University of Ireland. 

Dr. Shahahan studied professional rugby players, normal-weight men who engage in little exercise, and sedentary men who are overweight or obese and found that the pro athletes harbored the greatest diversity of good bacteria  in their GI tracts and higher levels of Akkermansiaceae, a beneficial bug associated with lowered risk of obesity and inflammation.. Although Dr. Shanahan’s results are still preliminary, he noted that it seems likely that any amount of exercise should make your gut more welcoming to “good bacteria". 

To read the entire NY Times Blog, please click on the following link  The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/Well blog

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency

The pancreas is one of those body parts you never think about, until something goes wrong with it!  The pancreas is a long, flat gland tucked behind the stomach that does many jobs.  One of those jobs is to make substances called enzymes.  Enzymes allow you to digest the food you eat so that it can be used to nourish your body.  Your pancreas makes enzymes called lipase, protease and amylase.  Lipase helps to break down fats. Protease breaks down proteins, and amylase breaks down carbohydrates. The enzymes from the pancreas are released after food leaves the stomach.  By helping to break down food, your body is able to absorb the nutrients in the food and use them for energy and to help keep you healthy. 

If the pancreas is diseased or damaged, it may not make enough of these important enzymes.  This condition is called Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency or EPI for short.  People with EPI cannot digest their food properly.  This can lead to diarrhea, abdominal cramps, weight loss and other problems and can be very similar to other digestive problems.  

Diagnosis of EPI begins with a visit to a Gastroenterologist, who will complete a thorough review of your medical history to pinpoint the root cause of your symptoms.  You will need to share important information such as the medications or supplements you are taking; your eating habits; recent unexplained weight loss; the severity of the symptoms you are experiencing; change in stool/bowel habits; etc. help your gastroenterology identify and diagnose the source of your problem. Your physician may ask for stool samples to check for high levels of fat or a substance called elastase.  He may suggest other studies may include imaging studies (ultrasound or x-ray) to show pictures of your pancreas to identify any abnormalities.

Your Gastroenterologist has at his/her disposal many tools to help in the diagnosis and management of EPI or any other diseases of the pancreas. . 

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Among cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Every year over 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer and more than 50,000 people die from it each year. The risk of getting colorectal cancer increases with age. More than 90% of cases occur in people who are 50 years old or older. Early detection is vital, over 90% of all cases of colon cancer can be prevented with recommended screening. Despite its high incidence, colon cancer continues to be one of the most detectable and most treatable forms of cancer.

Reduce Your Risk: If you’re 50 or older, getting a screening test for colon cancer could save your life. Here’s how: Colorectal cancer screening tests can find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer; so colorectal cancer is prevented. Screening tests also can find colorectal cancer early, when treatment often leads to a cure.

Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer: Precancerous polyps and colorectal cancer don’t always cause symptoms, especially at first. Symptoms for Colorectal Cancer may include:

  • Blood in or on your stool (bloody bowel movement).
  • Stomach pain, aches or cramps that do not go away.
  • Unexpected weight loss.

These symptoms may be caused by something other than cancer. If you have any of these symptoms, the only way to know what is causing is to see your physician.

Are you at Increased Risk for Colorectal Cancer; You should begin screening for colorectal cancer soon after turning 50 and then keep getting screened regularly, we recommend every 5 years. Some people are at a higher risk than others for developing colorectal cancer. Having any of these things may increase your risk:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease.
  • A personal or family history of colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer.
  • Genetic syndromes, like familial adenomatous polyposis or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (also known as Lynch syndrome).

If you think you may be at high risk for colorectal cancer, talk to your doctor about when and how often to get tested.

Did You Know: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) now requires all health care insurance plans cover preventative services, including colorectal cancer screening for individuals aged 50 or older, without any cost sharing to the patient. What this means for our patients is that 100% of the allowed amount of your screening colonoscopy should be covered by your insurance carrier. This may or may not include the costs of anesthesia services. Please check with your carrier. AFLAC and other voluntary benefits programs may pay you from getting a colorectal cancer screening. Please check with your carrier or employee benefits department.

Call our office today to schedule your screening colonoscopy!

Please read Dr. Vipul Shah's Interview on the Nyack Hospital's Website- Monthly Health Tips Feature http://www.nyackhospital.org/Nyack-Hospital-For-Our-Patients-and-Visitor...

Tips on Belching, Bloating & Flatulence

Many people overindulge during the holiday season.  The amount and variety of foods consumed can often lead to abdonimal bloating and gas.  Here are some suggestions to alievate these symptoms as published by The American College of Gastroenterology and reprinted below.

Belching is caused by swollowing air from eating or drinking too fast; not chewing food completely; drinking carbonated beverages; chewing gum or sucking on hard candies; excessive swollowing due to nervous tension or post-nasal drip; and lastly forced belching to relieve abdominal distress.

Abdominal bloating and discomfort may be due to intestinal sensitivity or symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.  Foods to avoid include broccoli, baked beans, cabbage, carbonated drinks, cauiliflower, gum, and hard candy.

Abdominal distention results from weak abdominal muscles.  To prevent abdominal distensiontighten abdominal muscles by pulling in your stomach several times during the day.  Do sit ups exercises if possible.  Wear an abdominal support garment if exercise is too difficult.

Flatulence is gas created through bacterial action in the bowel.  Foods that are likely to form gas include: milk & dairy products; certain vegetables such as baked beans, cauiliflower, broccoli and cabbage; and certian starches such as wheat, oats, corn and potatoes. Rice is an excellent substitute.

If your symptoms persist post- holiday season, please contact your physician. 

 

 

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DDAR Blog

3/7/17

 The American Cancer Society recently announced the results of their study which showed colorectal cancer rates have dramatically increased among younger adults, those born between 1960 and 1980 (...

Latest News

12/1/17

We are pleased to annouce that Dr. Vipul H. Shah has been recognized in the November 2017 Issue of The Hudson Valley Magazine as a 2017 Top Doctor.  Dr Shah was nominated for this honor by his...