I wanted to share an interesting article on celiac disease that was presented recently in the Well Blog section of the NY Times. I felt it raised a few very important points regarding celiac sprue, namely: 1. The disease tends to run in families and first..Read More...
Anemia or a low hemoglobin or blood count can be from numerous conditions affecting the body. One of the most common causes is due to bleeding from the digestive tract. Other causes include inadequate intake of iron, malabsorption of iron from the digestive tract, ulcers, infection, cancer, or autoimmune conditions. Still other causes include bone marrow problems, liver problems, and kidney diseases.
If a patient’s anemia is mild, he or she often does not have symptoms. Common symptoms include fatigue, weakness, lack of interest, dark colored (black) bowel movements or blood noted in bowel movements. Still other symptoms can include abdominal pain, bloating, or diarrhea. If the anemia is severe, patients may develop chest pain or shortness of breath or even pass out.
Blood work confirms a low hemoglobin. Iron studies and ferritin levels can be checked to determine the type of anemia. Furthermore, blood work can be performed to check for signs of inflammation in the body or cancer.
Stool tests can be performed to determine if a patient is losing blood from the digestive tract (stool occult blood test)
Since the digestive tract is one of the most common causes of anemia or bleeding, usually an endoscopy and colonoscopy are performed. The GI specialists are able to pinpoint if the digestive tract is involved in the patient’s anemia. If endoscopy and colonoscopy are unrevealing, a patient may also have a pill-camera evaluation of the entire small intestine which can not be reached by standard endoscopy and colonoscopy scopes. In this test, the patient wears a recorder and a pill with an embedded micro-camera is swallowed and takes pictures throughout the small intestine.
Treatment for anemia and bleeding is targeted to the cause. Our specialists are skilled in quickly making the correct diagnosis and offer treatments that are specific and personalized to the individual’s condition to help patients live longer and improve their quality of life.
Barretts Esophagus is a change in the lining of the esophagus or food pipe thought to be caused from chronic acid refluxing into the esophagus from the stomach (GERD or acid reflux). The change in cellular structure is also known as Intestinal Metaplasia of the..Read More...
Recently, I ran into Bernice Hettesheimer at Jersey Shore University Medical Center’s Endoscopy section. For those of you who don’t know her, Bernice is a retired endoscopy nurse who now runs the Jersey Shore Celiac Support Group. She writes about the Top 10 Reasons to..Read More...