A stool or bowel movement is defined by the National Institute of Digestive Diseases as what is left after your digestive system (stomach, small intestine, and colon) breaks down and absorbs nutrients and fluids from what you eat and drink. While no one likes to talk about it, regular bowel movements are imperative to our health. In this blog article I’ll briefly cover what to be aware of in regards to bowel movements and what they can be indicative of in terms of our digestive health.
Bowel Movements – What Should I Be Aware of?
Unless you are suffering from intestinal issues, most of us don’t spend a lot of time thinking about our bowel movements. If you were asked to describe a normal bowel movement could you do it? Since there is no a standard definition of a “normal” bowel movement, don’t be worried if you struggled with that question. Bowel movements are highly individualized based on factors like diet and exercise. The key thing to be aware of is what is normal for you. Take note of the four characteristics below and let you doctor know if any of them change dramatically. It’s helpful to create a log of any changes with dates and use the Bristol Stool Chart diagram to describe the shape. Read The Article
Since March is colon cancer awareness month, I wanted to take the opportunity to further promote awareness of this treatable and preventable cancer in Plano TX. According to the Colon Cancer Alliance, colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the U.S. More than 50,000 Americans die from colon cancer each year.
Why get screened for Colon Cancer in Plano TX?
Over the past 20 years the incidence of colon cancer has been declining due to increased awareness and increased screening. This cancer can be effectively treated if detected early and can even be prevented if precancerous polyps are removed before developing into cancers. The key to beating colon cancer is to get screened at the recommended age. The American College of Gastroenterology recommends getting screened at age 50 and re-screened every 10 years unless your doctor recommends otherwise (presence of polyps, family history of colon cancer, etc). While there are different tests to detect polyps, colonoscopy is the gold standard due to its ability to view the entire colon and both detect and remove polyps during the same procedure. For more detailed information on colonoscopy and the recommended screening guidelines, I encourage you to visit the colonoscopy page on my website. Read The Article
What is Gluten?
According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale. The science on gluten sensitivity is evolving quickly and we’re starting to learn much more about this condition. Since so many foods and restaurants are now advertising gluten-free options, I often have patients ask me if they should be “gluten-free”. Due to these questions, I wanted to provide a brief overview on these diets and a few common questions related to gluten.
What Symptoms are Indicative of Gluten Sensitivity or Celiac Disease?
These symptoms are signs that you may have an issue:
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- You have chronic GI symptoms. A few of the more common chronic GI symptoms include but are not limited to – diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and bloating.
- You’re deficient in iron, folate, or vitamin B12.
- You have a family history of celiac disease.
What is an Open Access Colonoscopy?
An Open Access Colonoscopy is a colonoscopy procedure that does not require the patient to have an office visit with their Plano, TX gastroenterologist prior to their procedure. The exchange of all needed pre-procedural information is done over the phone. This saves the patient both the time and the expense of an office visit. I offer this option in order to increase the participation rates for colon cancer screening. By increasing the number of people who are screened, we can further decrease the number of people affected by this preventable cancer. We are hopeful that by making this procedure as accessible and affordable as possible to qualifying patients, the participation rates in the Plano and Dallas TX areas will increase.
- Open Access Colonoscopy– Saves Time & Money
I encourage you to review my colonoscopy procedure page for more information on this potential life saving procedure. According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the 2nd highest cause of cancer related deaths in the U.S. By getting a screening exam of your colon at the appropriate time, you can prevent colorectal cancer. Read The Article
What are the best Quality Indicators for Colonoscopy in Plano, TX?
Patients often wonder how they know if their physician is appropriately trained and practices quality medicine. This information is often not available, is difficult to interpret, or is unreliable. Several studies have been done to help patient’s determine which measures of quality provide the best assessment of a physician’s skills and thoroughness during a colonoscopy.
According to the American College of Gastroenterology, to be a good quality indicator, the indicator must have an evidence-based impact on outcome and must be both reliably and feasibly measured. The two best indicators that meet these criterions are: adenoma detection rate and the cecal withdrawal time. Read The Article