Dr. Seife’s brief introduction to the Symptoms and treatment of Stomach disease, as well as foods that are not suitable for stomach ailments and bad behaviors.
Gastrointestinal disease affects the gastrointestinal (GI) tract starting in the mouth. There are two types: function and structure. Some examples include nausea/vomiting, food poisoning, lactose intolerance, and diarrhea.
Gastric ulcers remain a common problem, most often caused by Helicobacter pylori infection or the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Gastrointestinal disturbances are neither sensitive nor specific for diagnosing peptic ulcer disease.
The approach for patients with dyspepsia is to arrive at a definite diagnosis without exposure to invasive or expensive diagnostic procedures. Noninvasive tests are preferred, with endoscopy reserved for those with red flags or over a certain age.
Patients who are negative for H. pylori infection should be tested for acid suppression empiric for 4-8 weeks and, if beneficial, possibly continued. Many colon diseases can be prevented or minimized by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, practicing good bowel habits, and getting screened for cancer. Colonoscopy is recommended for intermediate-risk patients at age 45.
Generally, colonoscopy is recommended for children 10 years younger than affected family members. (For example, if your brother was diagnosed with colorectal cancer or polyps at age 45, you should start screening at age 35.)