Posts for tag: Colorectal Cancer
Though many people never know they have one due to lack of symptoms, a hiatal hernia can cause complications which can affect your daily life. Knowing the signs and symptoms of this condition can help you spot its presence, alert your gastroenterologist, and get the treatment you need.
What is a hiatal hernia?
Your chest and abdomen are separated by a large muscle called the diaphragm. The esophagus passes through a small opening in the diaphragm and brings food from the mouth, down the throat, and into the stomach. A hiatal hernia occurs when the stomach pushes through the hole and begins bulging out of the other side, into the chest. Though small hiatal hernias are often nothing to worry about and do not produce symptoms, larger hernias may cause potentially serious complications.
Do I have a hiatal hernia?
A small hernia often does not produce any symptoms at all. However, larger hernias can cause some issues that can affect your day-to-day life:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Chest or abdominal pain
- Regurgitation of foods (into the mouth)
- Acid reflux
- Vomiting blood or passing black stool
- Shortness of breath
If you think you have a hiatal hernia, you should see your doctor to ensure that you receive the care you need.
How does a gastroenterologist diagnose a hiatal hernia?
It is not uncommon for a gastroenterologist to find a hernia while investigating the cause of heartburn, abdominal pain, or other symptoms. Some diagnostic tools they may use include x-rays or upper endoscopy. They will also gather your medical, family, and lifestyle history to further investigate the cause of your symptoms.
Hiatal Hernia Treatments
If a person with a hernia does not experience any symptoms or complications, they may not need any treatment at all. However, if the patient begins experiencing discomfort, their doctor will probably suggest beginning treatment for their condition. Medications, such as antacids or medication to reduce the body’s acid production, can help with symptoms of a hernia. In more severe cases, a surgical procedure to repair a hernia or make the hole in the diaphragm smaller may become necessary.
Your gastroenterologist can help you find the best treatment plan for you. If you think you have a hernia or are experiencing uncomfortable symptoms such as recurrent acid reflux or heartburn, you should speak with your doctor.
Colon cancer affects thousands of Americans. According to American Cancer Society's statistics, more than 95,000 people were 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!