Posts for category: Gastroenterology
Find out why colon polyps are not something to ignore.
A colon polyp is a growth that develops within the lining of the colon. While some polyps are benign, others can turn into colorectal cancer. Since many of these polyps don’t cause symptoms, it’s important that you turn to our Lima, OH, gastroenterologists for regular screenings.
What are the risk factors for colon polyps?
While doctors don’t yet know the cause of these polyps, there are certain factors that could put someone at an increased risk for developing them. These factors include:
- Being over 50 years old
- Being obese or overweight
- A personal history of polyps
- A family history of polyps or colon cancer
- Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
- Type 2 diabetes
- Certain heredity disorders
- Heavy alcohol use
- Eating a diet that is high in fat
- Living an inactive lifestyle
While you can’t change all of these risk factors, there are certain factors that you can influence. By leading a healthier lifestyle alone, you can greatly reduce your chances of colon polyps. Talk with your doctors about the changes and steps that you can make to improve your digestive health.
What are the symptoms and signs of a colon polyp?
As we mentioned earlier, colon polyps often don’t cause symptoms, which is why routine screenings are crucial; however, some people with polyps may notice:
- Rectal bleeding
- Bowel changes (constipation or diarrhea)
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Changes in stool color (black stools could indicate bleeding)
- Iron-deficiency anemia (caused by bleeding polyps)
When should I start getting regular colorectal cancer screenings?
The only way to detect a polyp is through a traditional colonoscopy at our Lima office. Both men and women who are low risk for developing colorectal cancer should receive their first screening by the time they turn 50 years old. Those at a moderate to high risk for colorectal cancer may want to get screened even earlier. When and how often you receive a screening is something to discuss with your gastroenterologist.
Concerned? Give us a call
Is it time to schedule your routine colonoscopy? Have questions about what a gastroenterologist can offer you? If so, call Gastro-Intestinal Associates in Lima, OH, today at (419) 227-8209. We are happy to answer your questions and schedule your next appointment.
When over-the-counter products don't help your hemorrhoid symptoms, it's time to visit the gastroenterologists at The Endoscopy Center of West Central Ohio in Lima, OH. The doctors offer several treatments that can shrink your hemorrhoids and ease your pain.
What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are swollen, protruding blood vessels that occur inside or outside your anus and rectum. They can be caused by straining during bowel movements, pregnancy, using laxatives or enemas too often, or chronic diarrhea or constipation. Your risk of developing hemorrhoids may be related to your age or genetics. If other members of your family have hemorrhoids, you may be more likely to develop them.
Hemorrhoid symptoms can include itching, pain, and bleeding during bowel movements. The swollen blood vessels often more noticeable when you strain during a bowel movement.
Are hemorrhoids dangerous?
Hemorrhoids usually aren't a sign of a serious health problem, although the itching and pain can be incredibly annoying. It's important to visit a gastroenterologist if you notice bleeding from your anus. In many cases, bleeding is related to hemorrhoids, but it's important to rule out more serious conditions and diseases.
How are hemorrhoids treated?
Your gastroenterologist may recommend one or more of these treatments during your visit to their Lima office:
- Rubber Band Ligation: Your gastroenterologist places a tiny rubber band around the hemorrhoid, which cuts off its blood supply. After a few days, the hemorrhoid falls off.
- Sclerotherapy: This treatment method involves injecting a chemical into the hemorrhoid, causing it to shrink. Several injections may be needed to completely remove hemorrhoids.
- Coagulation: Exposing the vessels in hemorrhoids to light or heat causes them to harden, shrivel, and fall off.
- Stapling: Used for internal hemorrhoids, stapling also stops blood from reaching the hemorrhoids.
- Hemorrhoidectomy: If other treatments aren't effective or your hemorrhoid is large, your gastroenterologist may recommend surgical removal. The surgery is performed under anesthesia and requires a longer recovery period than other removal methods.
Would you like to finally get rid of your hemorrhoids? Your Lima, OH, gastroenterologists at The Endoscopy Center of West Central Ohio can help ease your pain. Call them at (419) 227-8209 to schedule an appointment.
Are you dealing with belly pain? Just about everyone at one point or another will experience a stomachache, and they can have numerous causes. Most of the causes aren't serious and can be diagnosed and treated. However, sometimes it's is a sign of a serious condition. Gastro Intestinal Associates in Lima, OH offers a range of treatments for this condition. Here are 7 steps to manage stomach pain.
1. Call your doctor. Make an appointment with our gastroenterologist in Lima OH if your pain lasts more than a few days. Because abdominal pain is such a vague symptom, calling a doctor could help you figure out if you need to worry. If you have severe pain, head to an urgent-care center right away.
2. Skip the coffee. If acid reflux is causing your stomachache, consider cutting down or, even better, cutting out caffeine. If you think coffee could be the culprit, try eliminating it for several days a week. The only way to know is to limit it for a defined period of time and see if your pain goes away.
3. Go to the gym. Exercise helps digestive problems, so following through with your daily workout could relieve your digestive problems. Just don’t push your body if the discomfort makes movement unbearable. If your stomach pain isn’t going away, hold off on exercise until you know what’s wrong and can treat it.
4. Take OTC medicine. Look to over-the-counter medications for pain relief. Acetaminophen is often used to treat abdominal pain. Stay away from non-steroidal anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen because they can irritate your stomach. Proton-pump inhibitors are safe and effective at reducing a burning/heartburn type of pain. They reduce acid by blocking acid production in the stomach.
5. Try an anti-gas drug. The over-the-counter anti-gas drug simethicone can ease your discomfort when you’re feeling gassy. Because our bodies don’t absorb simethicone, the medicine doesn’t have any common side effects, so patients can use it four times a day without concern.
6. Pop an antacid. For an over-the-counter option that isn’t so severe, give an antacid a try. Antacids may give you some immediate pain relief. But they’re targeting the symptom, not any underlying health condition, so talk to our Lima, OH gastroenterologist if your pain doesn’t improve.
7. Treat it with heat. Heating pads have been used for decades to remedy stomachaches and menstrual pain. Placing a heating pad or hot pack on your stomach can help relieve pain. Heat relaxes tense muscles and eases indigestion, so taking a warm bath may also help to ease the symptoms of an upset stomach.
Stand up to abdominal pain and start enjoying life again! Call the gastroenterologists at Gastro Intestinal Associates in Lima, OH at 419-227-8209 right now to schedule an appointment. Our treatments will ease your pain and help you get back to a healthy and happy life.