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Our Gastroenterology Blog

Posts for: May, 2018

By Alaska Digestive and Liver Disease
May 22, 2018
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: Colorectal Cancer  

Colon cancer affects thousands of Americans. According to American Cancer Society's statistics, more than 95,000 people wereCancer cell diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016. The best way to avoid colon cancer is by visiting your Anchorage and Eagle River, AK, doctor.

Colon Cancer Screening:

A routine visit to your doctor for a colonoscopy is how most people detect cancer during its earliest stages. Board-certified physicians, Dr. Ronald Boisen, Dr. Daryl McClendon and Dr. Jeffrey Molloy, want their patients to schedule an appointment for a colonoscopy, or a flexible sigmoidoscopy, as soon as possible.

The CDC recommends adults ages 50 to 75 visit their gastroenterologist on a regular basis. Colorectal cancer usually begins as a small polyp in the colon. At first, the polyps aren't cancerous but may develop cancer over time. If you take the proper precautions of screening and keeping an eye out for symptoms, cancer can be treated or prevented.

Colon Cancer Symptoms:

Symptoms aren't always obvious. Here are the symptoms you need to keep an eye out for according to the doctors in Anchorage and Eagle River:

  • Bowel Habit Changes: If you are suffering from Colon constipation, or diarrhea, for more than four weeks, that may be a sign of cancer.
  • Blood in Your Stool: Hemorrhoids are usually accompanied by blood in stool, but may also be a sign of a more serious condition like cancer.
  • Incomplete Evacuation: If there are constant bowel movements, even if you've just had a bowel movement, then you need to contact your doctor.
  • Fatigue: Colon cancer results in patients feeling weak and fatigued.
  • Weight Loss: Unexplained weight loss.

Scheduling a Colorectal Cancer Screening

If you would like more information on colonoscopies and screening procedures, you can contact the doctors at Alaska Digestive and Liver Disease. If you are in Anchorage and Eagle River, AK, call to schedule an appointment today!


By Alaska Digestive and Liver Disease
May 15, 2018
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: Heartburn  

You would love to just be able to sit down and enjoy a meal, but you know that not long afterward you are going to be dealing with the burning, Heartburngnawing pain in your stomach caused by heartburn. No matter if this is something that you have been facing for a while or this is a new issue you are dealing with, it’s important that you have a gastroenterologist that can help you figure out what’s going on.

It’s important to understand that heartburn isn’t a condition but a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid travels back up through the esophagus causing burning and irritation of the esophageal lining.

So, what are the leading culprits of heartburn? There are quite a few things that could cause this issue including:

  • Certain foods or drinks: Everything from alcohol and caffeine to acidic and spicy foods can exacerbate heartburn symptoms. Diets that are high in fatty or fried foods can also make heartburn worse.

  • Medications: There are certain over-the-counter medications that can also cause heartburn to flare-up.

  • Smoking: Smoking cigarettes can actually affect how the lower esophageal sphincter functions, allowing stomach acid to travel back through the esophagus.

  • A hiatal hernia: A condition in which some of the stomach protrudes into the chest.

  • Pregnancy: Pressure placed on the abdomen during pregnancy could increase your chances of heartburn.

  • Obesity: Having any additional pressure placed on the abdomen, which is common if you are overweight or obese, can bring on a nasty bout of heartburn.

Fortunately, there are many ways in which to reduce the severity and frequency of heartburn. Turning to a GI specialist is the best approach, as they can provide you with a variety of lifestyle changes and medications based on your symptoms, current health, lifestyle, and how much damage has already taken place within the esophagus.

From there, they will create a tailored treatment plan with a medication that will either greatly lessen the amount of acid the stomach produces or temporarily block stomach acid from being produced to help promote healing within the esophagus.

Lifestyle changes may include eating smaller meals, not eating right before bedtime, avoiding exacerbating foods or drinks, losing excess weight, and quitting smoking.

Don’t let heartburn make you dread sitting down to enjoy your favorite meals. There are so many ways in which to get your heartburn symptoms under control. If you are having trouble finding the right treatment option for you don’t hesitate to turn to a gastroenterologist for guidance and treatment.