DDAR Blog

Please Pass the Broccoli

Do you remember when your parents had to bribe you with some treat, like cake or ice cream to get you to eat your broccoli!  Well! Mom did have your best interest at heart.  As it turns out, broccoli and other cruciferous veggies such as kale, cabbage and cauliflower are loaded with healthful nutrients.

According to NIH funded research being performed by Elizabeth Sattely, whether or not, our bodies can take advantage of the health benefits of the cruciferous vegetables may depend on the bacteria living in our guts.  Dr. Sattely’s research focuses on identifying those species of microbes or bacteria responsible for transforming plant nutrients, like broccoli into beneficial health promoting molecules. Dr. Sattely looks at special molecules found in plants, including a sulfur-containing metabolites, known as glucisinolates, which give broccoli and cauliflower is unique taste and aroma; and they role in inhibiting disease. Dr. Sattely hypothesis is that during digestion, glucosinolates are broken down by bacteria into compounds that provide a variety of beneficial benefit to the body, such as reducing inflammation, inhibit a variety of cancers in animal research models.

Dr. Sattely believes that the community of microbes or bacteria varies among different people, and she hypothesizes that some people’s intestines may not contain enough of certain types of good bacteria to produce optimal levels of plant/ vegetable derived nutrients. 

Here is the link to the entire NIH Article Blog:    http://directorsblog.nih.gov/2014/05/22/creative-minds-broccoli-microbes... 

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...

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DDAR Blog

3/1/18

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...

Latest News

3/20/18

Colorectal Cancer doesn’t care about age and doesn’t just strike the older population. Currently, one in 10 individuals under the age of 50 are being diagnosed with colorectal cancer. According to...