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Gastroenterology

Taking care of your digestive system is more necessary than ever as GI diseases are on the rise.1

Even minor symptoms relating to digestion can seriously affect our quality of life. It's important to get an accurate diagnosis from a gastro specialist, appropriate treatment and, if necessary, advice for coping with chronic GI disorders with symptom relief to improve your wellbeing.

There's no use in living with your symptoms unnecessarily.

Many people suffering from gastrointestinal problems don't come forward, preferring to live with chronic symptoms than seek a diagnosis.2 Perhaps this is out of embarrassment or concern that they might be treated insensitively, but as with any ongoing symptoms, it's important to seek an accurate diagnosis.

Common symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders include:

  • Abdominal pain - such as chronic indigestion, pain in the lower abdomen, and cramping.
  • Constipation - characterized by less than three bowel movements per week.
  • Diarrhea -  characterized by loose, watery bowel movements, more than three times per day.
  • Gas in the gastrointestinal tract - bloating, excessive belching or flatulence.
  • Bleeding in the GI tract.
  • Nausea and associated symptoms - such as dizziness, increased saliva production, or difficulty swallowing.
  • Vomiting.
  • Fatigue.3

Gastrointestinal disorders are not often openly talked about. Nonetheless, many people are afflicted with disabling disorders and it's important to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment from a specialized gastroenterologist. Our Bronx-based gastrology doctors diagnose digestive disorders daily and deal with them in a discreet and sensitive manner. Gastrointestinal disorders are so prevalent that the statistics may surprise you.

Here are some facts around common GI disorders:

  • 60 to 70 million people in the U.S. are affected by digestive diseases.4
  • Chronic constipation affects up to 1 in 4 people in the general population.5
  • There is a link between obesity and many gastrointestinal diseases and cancers. Bronx residents are particularly at risk, with recent studies showing that they have an 85% higher risk of being obese than Manhattan residents.6
  • People often associate liver disease with excessive alcohol consumption, but the most common liver disease is nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).7
  • Studies have shown a steady rise in NAFLD-related deaths, and suggest a correlation between the rise in levels of obesity and type 2 diabetes.8
  • The latest estimates suggest that 3.1 million U.S. adults are affected by inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), making it 3 times more common than previously estimated.9
  • 3 in 4 people over the age of 45 suffer from hemorrhoids.10
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects up to 45 million people in the U.S. Two-thirds of sufferers are female. Worldwide, it is estimated that 10% of people suffer from IBS, though a much smaller percentage ever come forward with their symptoms.11

Here at BronxDocs

We're aware that there is a stigma around discussing symptoms associated with gastrointestinal problems. The chances are you know several people with IBS or hemorrhoids, but they've just never discussed it with you. We want you to know that our specialists in the Gastroenterology and Hepatology (liver) departments will deal with your diagnosis and treatment with dignity and respect.

There's been an alarming rise of digestive disorders in recent years,12 some of which can be fatal if not correctly diagnosed and treated. So, it's more important than ever to see a qualified physician if you have any symptoms. Since many digestive disorders present the same symptoms, be prepared that it will most likely take several visits to get a proper diagnosis. It makes sense to visit a GI clinic that's easily accessible to you.

Our team of gastrology doctors and liver specialists here at BronxDocs are here to help with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of digestive disorders. Diagnosis takes place in our Bronx GI clinic, and surgical services are performed in nearby surgical centers local to U.S. in the Bronx.

Citations

1. James M. Dahlhamer, PhD; Emily P. Zammitti, MPH et al. “Prevalence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Among Adults Aged ≥ 18 Years - United States 2015” MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report, Vol. 65, no. 42, October 28, 2016.

2. Halpert, Albena. “Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Patient-Provider Interaction and Patient Education.” Journal of clinical medicine vol. 7,1 3. 2 Jan. 2018, doi:10.3390/jcm7010003

3. Swierzewski, Stanley J. III, M.D, “Gastrointestinal Symptoms: Overview of Gastrointestinal Symptoms” (Feb 2008)  Retrieved from: http://www.healthcommunities.com/general-gi-symptoms/overview-of-gi-symptoms.shtml Oct. 2019.

4. NIH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Opportunities and Challenges in Digestive Diseases Research: Recommendations of the National Commission on Digestive Diseases.” Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health; 2009. NIH Publication 08–6514. Retrieved from: Retrieved from: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/about-niddk/strategic-plans-reports/opportunities-challenges-digestive-diseases-research-recommendations-national-commission Oct. 2019.

5. Louis Wing Cheong Liu, MD MEng PhD FRCPC. (2011) Chronic constipation: Current treatment options, National Center for Biotechnology Information October 25, 2011.

6. Sam Dolnick, “The Obesity-Hunger Paradox”  (2010) Retrieved from:
https://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/14/nyregion/14hunger.html

7. Perumpail, Brandon J et al. “Clinical epidemiology and disease burden of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.” World journal of gastroenterology vol. 23,47 (2017): 8263-8276. doi:10.3748/wjg.v23.i47.8263

8. Perumpail, Brandon J et al. “Clinical epidemiology and disease burden of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.” World journal of gastroenterology vol. 23,47 (2017): 8263-8276. doi:10.3748/wjg.v23.i47.8263

9. James M. Dahlhamer, PhD; Emily P. Zammitti, MPH et al.(2015) Prevalence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Among Adults Aged ≥18 Years, CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report October 28, 2016.

10. Harvard Men's Health Watch. “Help for hemorrhoids” (Dec.2017) Retrieved from:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/help-for-hemorrhoids Oct. 2019.

11. International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. (2016). Facts about IBS. IFFGD Retrieved from:
https://www.aboutibs.org/facts-about-ibs.html Oct. 2019.

12. Perumpail, Brandon J et al. “Clinical epidemiology and disease burden of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.” World journal of gastroenterology vol. 23,47 (2017): 8263-8276. doi:10.3748/wjg.v23.i47.8263