…and decrease doctor visits! Fast food, chocolate, caffeine, and soda are just a few of the foods that aggravate GI symptoms such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, and heartburn. Dietary changes can decrease symptoms (and GI doctor visits)! Ask us about the low FODMAP diet. Visit with our nurse practitioner to discuss how diet can affect acid reflux and bloating. Consider visiting with a dietician for specific dietary guidance in order to reduce GI symptoms. Visit www.myginutrition.com to learn about fermentable sugars and their affect on the digestive system and then call the office to discuss your symptoms.
Routine screening colonoscopy decreases colon cancer mortality in those over 50 years old, but a new study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute highlights a disturbing trend…that young patients are being diagnosed with colon cancer at higher rates than they have in the past! And, they are being diagnosed at advanced stages. For example, people born in 1990 have double the risk of colon cancer compared to those born in 1950. Rectal cancer is four times more likely in the younger group. Young patients are being diagnosed at advanced stages because the disease is often not considered in the differential diagnosis when younger patients complain of symptoms, therefore the diagnosis is often delayed. At Gateway, we are aware of this disturbing trend and are happy to arrange appropriate testing so that colon cancer mortality does not increase in our young patients.
Colonoscopy is most powerful when the bowel preparation is excellent! Did you know that colonoscopy is less effective (and less protective) when the bowel preparation isn’t done correctly? Colonoscopy is MOST EFFECTIVE when small polyps (6mm or less) can be seen clearly and removed. Small, flat polyps are difficult to see especially when there is residual stool in the colon at the time of screening colonoscopy. And, insurance companies may refuse payment for colonoscopy if it has to be repeated for an inadequate bowel preparation. Be sure to follow all of the recommendations for the bowel preparation and call the office with any questions.
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. While your patients need screening year-round, this month provides a great opportunity to educate your community about colorectal cancer screening and prevention. One of the best ways to engage is online. So AGA created Web and social media tools to help you raise awareness of the need for screening for all individuals age 50 and older. You can find all our tools on our Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month website.
Bowel urgency and incontinence are common gastrointestinal symptoms. Unfortunately, patients are hesitant to relate such symptoms because of embarrassment, but the symptoms can have a significant impact on quality of life. At Gateway we are happy to discuss these symptoms and provide options to hopefully improve our patient’s quality of life.
At Gateway we take pride in quality care as well as patient safety. An excellent bowel preparation for colonoscopy optimizes visualization and improves outcomes. Please follow the bowel preparation instructions exactly. Doing so helps us detect and remove polyps and enhances the safety of the procedure.
Gateway Gastroenterology’s international presence persists…thanks to the ongoing efforts of Dr. Jeffrey Mathews. This spring marks his third medical mission to Honduras. Hundreds of patients have been treated by Dr. Mathews and his team of healthcare providers. They continue to treat various conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease as well as H. pylori. The Honduran people are incredibly appreciative of the efforts and look forward to the St. Louis team’s visit each year.
The practice of medicine is changing significantly. From higher copays and costs to limited access for physician visits, both patients and physicians recognize the challenge of managing healthcare needs. Gateway physicians are proud to continue to be independent gastroenterologists. At Gateway we provide a concierge level of care without additional patient costs.
LPR is a growing clinical concern for patients and physicians. Symptoms negatively affect quality of life and are difficult to control. Typical symptoms include hoarseness, throat clearing, chronic cough, or the sense of something “caught” in the back of the throat. The physicians of Gateway Gastroenterology now offer simple in-office testing to determine if acid refux is contributing to those symptoms. Ask your Gateway physician about the Restech pH test to learn more.