Junk Food – Not good for you or your digestive system

There are many reasons to avoid junk food.  The main reason we think of, is to lose weight.  However, junk food is also bad for our digestive system.  Since most junk food has a lot of fat, and fat can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter muscle, many people get heartburn symptoms or GERD with these snacks.  Similarly, fatty foods can stimulate the Gallbladder to contract, and may cause gallbladder symptoms in people with gallstones.  For an interesting podcast by Deborah Kotz of US News and World report, go to How You Eat Can Make a Big Difference in Your Health.

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Procedures

Dr. Cynthia Mullen and Dr. Serrin Gantt

Colonoscopy

Overview: The Basics

A colonoscopy is a visual examination of the entire large intestine (colon) using a lighted, flexible colonoscope. To be certain you are comfortable and relaxed, you will be sedated through an I.V. In fact, most patients are asleep during the entire process and remember little to nothing about it.

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

Overview: The Basics

A sigmoidoscopy is an internal exam of the lower part of the large colon using a short, thin, flexible lighted tube (“scope”). It is inserted into the rectum and slowly guided into the colon. The tube, called a flexible sigmoidoscope, has a lens for viewing. It may also have a small biopsy instrument to remove tissue to be checked under a microscope for signs of disease.

Upper Endoscopy

Overview: The Basics

Also called an EGD or gastroscopy, an upper endoscopy uses a thin scope with a light and camera at its tip, called an endoscope, to look inside the upper digestive system of the esophagus, stomach and the first part of the small intestine. The endoscope is passed through the mouth and down the throat to the esophagus. It may also have a small biopsy instrument to remove tissue that is then checked under a microscope for abnormalities.

Hemorrhoid Banding

Overview: The Basics

During the brief and painless procedure, a small rubber band is placed around the hemorrhoid 2cm above the dentate line where there are few pain-sensitive nerve endings. Unlike traditional banding techniques that utilize a metal-toothed clamp to grasp the tissue, a gentle suction device is used, reducing procedure related pain and bleeding. This banding procedure works by cutting off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid. This causes the hemorrhoid to shrink and fall off. You probably won’t even notice when this happens or be able to spot the rubber band in the toilet. Once the hemorrhoid is gone, the wound usually heals in a few days.

Small Bowel Capsule Endoscopy

Overview: The Basics

Capsule endoscopy with the PillCam SB video capsule enables your doctor to examine your entire small intestine. Your doctor will have you ingest a video capsule that has its own camera and light source. You can move freely during the exam, which lasts about eight hours. While the video capsule travels through your body, it sends images to a data recorder you will wear close to your waist. After the test is complete, your doctor will view and interpret the images on a video monitor.