Causes, symptoms, and treatment of Gall Stone Diseases
Hello, friends, i am Dr. Parthasarathy, surgical gastroenterologist HPB and minimal access surgeon practicing in Hyderabad. I specialize in the treatment of complex problems of the liver, pancreas, and cancers of the digestive tract, and also specialize in advanced laparoscopic surgeries of the abdomen. It is experienced in this field for more than a decade, there is one particular problem which is very commonly encountered in my practice, and that is gallstone disease so today I shall be talking to you about this problem.
Before understanding what is this stones of the gallbladder one has to know what gallbladder is. The gallbladder is a small sack, a pear-shaped organ which is located attached to the liver whose main function is to store bile. Bile is a digestive juice which is secreted by the liver and stored in the gallbladder and when a person eats this stored bile is released into the intestine and it helps the digestion of the fat. So this is exactly the function of the gallbladder the liver secretes bile all through the day. But we eat only thrice a day or four times a day, so all the secreted bile is stored in the gall bladder and then released as in when needed. This bile contains cholesterol, so for various reasons sometimes stones can form in the gallbladder and that is when it becomes a problem. What are the problems these stones in the gallbladder can cause, number one it can cause repeated attacks of pain, gallstone pain typically happen on the right upper side of the abdomen just below your right rib cage, and it can radiate to your shoulder to the back or to the central abdomen. This is, in fact, one of the minor problems which it can cause it can also lead to serious complications when the stone slips and blocks the outlet of the gallbladder the secretes in the gallbladder can get accumulated, can get a lot of pressure and cause an inflammation of the gallbladder and swelling which in medical terms we call acute cholecystitis which is a life-threatening problem.
Sometimes the gallstone if they are very small they can slip into the bile duct which is a tube which carries the bile to the intestine from the gallbladder and block the bile duct and when the flow of bile is blocked bile cannot get drained into the intestine, there is a back pressure on the liver and the patient can develop jaundice. more dangerously sometimes these stones can block the tube of the pancreas, the pancreatic duct and the bile duct have a common opening and when these stones block the outlet of the pancreas they can cause a life-threatening problem called acute pancreatitis. Having said all this, these complications are quite rare meaning majority of the patients with gall bladder stones do not develop these life-threatening complications and a most common problem which they come to me with is a pain. Any stone in the gall bladder which causes or has caused pain in the past needs treatment. So the final word is asymptomatic gall bladder stones meaning silent stones do not need treatment.
Patients who have symptomatic gall bladder stones meaning who are presently experiencing a pain because of the gallstone or who have had pain in the past need treatment so what treatment is effective for gall bladder stones. Number one there is no medical treatment which is effective for treating gall bladder stones, unlike kidney stones medicines do not dissolve gallbladder stones, the only treatment option for a gallstone is surgery. What surgery the surgery of choice for this is a laparoscopic cholecystectomy wherein its a keyhole surgery through which the gallbladder is removed completely.
Removal of the stones alone is not sufficient in treating gallbladder stones the gallbladder has to be removed completely to get rid of the problem even though the gallbladder is an organ with some functions in the body it can be safely removed without causing any major defects or problems in your digestion. So after undergoing surgery for removal of the world murder one can continue to eat all that he was eating before the operation. He does not lose any digestive power; the body automatically adapts to the loss of gall bladder and continues with its normal digestive functions.
Feel free to contact me for further queries and clarifications on any of your gastro related issues. Thank you.read more
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Cancer, the name itself sends chills down the spine! But every time we hear someone has cancer, though we feel sorry for them, we never think it could happen to us. But even though the probability of it may not be high at all, a disease that is rare can still hit you like a bolt from the blue! This is exactly the case with anal cancer, which is a very rare form of cancer. But, since the rates of its incidence are rising, it is well worth learning a few things about it.
Who is at Risk?
While it is unlikely that a person will contract anal cancer over the course of his life, asking himself a few questions about it so as to assess the risk he or she is at makes sense. To start off, age is an important factor. If a person is somewhere between middle age and old age, there is a far greater risk of anal cancer than a person who is not.
A person can easily reduce the risk of contracting anal cancer quite dramatically by doing something which is quite simple: refraining from anal sexual activity. This goes a rather long way as it means that a person is at a much lower risk of contracting HIV or HPV. HPV is far more common and affects most adults in sexual contact with each other. That being said, it is usually the type 16 variant of HPV which is linked to anal cancer. In order to reduce the chance of this, making good use of condoms is a very good idea but this does not eliminate the risk of transmission of HPV.
Smoking a cigarette may be great for a person to obtain a little bit of mental peace, but it has a really disastrous effect on the prospects of developing anal cancer at the same time. The chemicals that the body takes in are as harmful as they affect so many body tissues. There are many reasons to quit smoking but the fact that smokers have an eight time higher risk of developing anal cancer is probably among the good ones!
If a person is suffering from low immunity, it is quite possible that he or she is at a higher risk of developing the cancer, at least on a relative basis. This is because the ability of the body to fight back is lower. A person is especially weak after an organ transplant has taken place and if a person has HIV it further increases his or her risk of developing anal cancer.
Now, cutting the risk of anal cancer also involves possibly getting an HPV vaccination. The doctor is the person to talk to regarding this! When the risk of anal cancer is anyway minimal, it makes sense to cut it even further, by following a fit and healthy lifestyle. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
The full history of a patient's health can now be captured electronically using EMR (Electronic-Medical-Records). In this case, you do not have to save the records on papers and maintain them in files. Instead, they can be automatically stored using a software, so that in times of need, they can be easily accessed without any inconvenience.
What are the major benefits of EMR?
- Easy tracking: The recorded data can be easily tracked and thus the chances of data misplacement can be completely curtailed.
- Proper identification: The patients can be easily identified by tracking their records or past history. This is how due screenings and preventive measures can be conveniently tracked.
- Improved care: With the increased usage of EMR, medical care and assistance are improving like anything.
- Monitoring: Patients' health condition can be properly tracked and monitored so that certain parameters can be measured, especially blood-pressure readings and vaccinations.
Best solutions of EMR:
If you make a detailed survey, then you will come across different popular EMR models that are currently popular. Look at the features and facilities so that the best one can be chosen as per your purpose, requirement and affordability. Some of the most popular solutions for EMR are as follows:
- CareCloud: This is nothing but cloud-based software that can make accurate recordings and storage of all kinds of healthcare records so that you can access them even after a long time. In this case, storage is made in a systematic manner. Consultation records and record-keeping regulations are found in the software.
- Practice Fusion: the most improved technology for maintaining medical records is found in the software. It's easy to access and this is the main reason behind the highest popularity of the same.
- AthenaHealth: The health care providers can now get the advantage of tracking all their records in a proper manner with regular usage of this software. The most interesting part is that these providers can access the details at any point of time and from anywhere.
- Greenway: A wide range of EMR services are getting provided by these software such as storage services, maintenance services and record creation. This is why the software is treated as versatile.
- EclinicalWorks: This software has won several awards for offering accurate and perfect maintenance of different kinds of medical records, and this is why it is so popular.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Also called gluten-sensitive enteropathy and celiac sprue, celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disorder, wherein the consumption of gluten-based foods leads to damage of the tissues that line the small intestine. This hinders the ability of your body to absorb the essential nutrients from the foods you eat.
Under normal conditions, the immune system of the body offers protection against external intruders. When individuals diagnosed with celiac disease consume gluten-based foods, gluten resistant antibodies are formed by the immune system. This causes them to attack the linings around the intestines, thus causing irritation in the digestive tract and harming the villi (hair-like structures on the covering of the small intestine which absorb nutrients from the food). This impairs the nutrient absorbing capacity of the individual, thus increasing chances of malnourishment.
Celiac disease has symptoms that vary from patient to patient. Some of the common symptoms include:
- A severe skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis.
- Digestive problems such as:
- Musculoskeletal problems such as bone and joint pain as well as muscle cramps
- Aphthous ulcers which are basically sores occurring in the mouth
- Tingling sensation in the legs which are caused by low calcium and nerve damage
- Growth issues in children since they cannot absorb the required amount of nutrients
- Irregular menstrual cycles
Other complications associated with celiac disease
- Miscarriage or Infertility
- Osteoporosis. This is a disease which weakens the bones and causes fractures. It is caused because of a deficiency of Vitamin D and calcium.
- Intestinal Cancer
- Other birth defects: Such as irregular spinal shape because of the deficiency of certain nutrients, especially folic acid.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
When you have pain in the stomach that is accompanied by nausea and vomiting, chances of you having chronic gastritis are high. This is an issue that specifically affects the stomach and is caused because the lining of the stomach gets inflamed and swollen and in some cases it may get damaged. The deterioration of the lining may be caused because of a bacterial infection and that would have to be treated with specialised medicines and treatment methods.During that time you may feel like there is something wrong with your digestive system and you may need to see a doctor for the constant pain that you have to go through as soon as you eat something.
There may be times when you can no longer cope with the pain that may be occurring in your stomach. You may want to go to sleep or just sit still and do nothing; however, you cannot spend your entire life in that manner and you may have to consult an expert to get relief from the problem. One of the first steps in coping with chronic gastritis is to make sure that you make important lifestyle changes, such as eating healthy, choosing the right timings for eating, cutting down on alcohol and smoking and making sure that you choose a well-qualified and experienced doctor for getting the treatment.
Apart from lifestyle changes, it is highly essential to follow a medication routine in order to beat the chronic gastritis completely. Doctors may suggest you take the medication according to the severity of the problem, but before that, you may be asked to go through a number of tests to confirm the problem. The tests may range from regular blood tests, stool tests, to endoscopy or even biopsy in some severe cases. After the testes are done, the doctors may be further sure about the the problem and that would be of great help in treating the issue with much more ease and expertise.
While it may be obvious to you that you suffer from chronic gastritis due to the constant pain in the stomach, it is also important to understand that the problem should not be taken lightly and that the right steps of the treatment should be taken in time before the problem gets worse.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
The quote 'Good day starts with coffee' suits a lot of people who love nothing more than a cup of coffee every morning. However, your morning tryst with a cup of coffee might not be a very healthy habit. Believe it or not, addiction to caffeine (in the form of coffee) is as harmful as addiction to any other drug. In fact, caffeine is a legal drug that slowly and gradually damages your gastrointestinal tract.
Here are the negative effects of coffee on your digestive system:
- Increases Acidity: Coffee is known to contain different kinds of oils, acids and caffeine. These compounds have adverse impact on the digestive system. The stomach and intestinal linings get damaged due to the over-consumption of these compounds in the form of coffee. Moreover, as you take coffee, your stomach produces more hydrochloric acid for digestion. This causes acidity and hampers the HCL levels all together. When we take coffee regularly for years in empty stomach, our body's capacity of producing proper amounts of HCL gets hampered. Often, HCL production gets reduced as well. This leads to indigestion of other food items and effects flatulence and produces unwanted gases due to improper breaking of proteins and fats by the body.
- Ulcers and Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Doctors believe that coffee acts as an irritant for patients of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), gastritis, Crohn's disease, colitis and ulcers. Coffee is responsible for the irritation of the lining of stomach and intestine. It is also noticed that certain enzymes present in the coffee beans are also harmful for the gastrointestinal tract.
- Heartburn: Coffee is responsible for relaxing the esophageal sphincter muscle. The relaxation of this muscle hinders the process of digestion and causes acid-reflux, resulting in heartburn. It is known to have compounds that have diuretic, laxative and mineral blocking effects on the body.
- Laxative Effects: Coffee stimulates the process of peristalsis or movement of food through the gastrointestinal tract. The peristalsis starts immediately after food is swallowed by the individual. The intake of coffee catalyzes peristalsis and consequently leads to emptying of the stomach even before the food is digested properly. The semi-digested food is sent to the intestine too early, causing injury to the intestine and hampering the absorption of nutrients.
- Affects absorption of minerals: Caffeine reduces the ability of the stomach to absorb iron and also hinders the absorption of minerals like calcium, zinc and magnesium by the kidney. All these minerals help in digestion at different points and regulate the bowel movement.
Coffee is known to have benefits like reduction of constipation and sugar absorption. But, it also interferes with the smooth functioning of the digestive system. It has a tendency to increase stomach aches, disturb the fluid balance and the overall process of digestion.
Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS includes a group of medical symptoms. These include abdominal pain and changes in the pattern of bowel movements. The symptoms mostly continue for a long period of time and are divided into four types depending on diarrhoea or constipation symptoms.
Irritable bowel syndrome causes several negative effects on our health and should be treated as soon as possible. IBS is caused because of various reasons and factors. They are as follows:
- Digestive problems: Food is moved through the digestive system with the help of squeezing and relaxation movement of the intestinal muscles in a certain rhythm. In case of IBS, this process is altered and food moves through the digestive system very fast or very slow. When the food moves too fast, diarrhoea is caused as there is not enough time for absorption of water from food. In case of slow food movement, constipation occurs as a result of too much absorption of water. Disorders such as malabsorption of bile acid may also cause IBS in some cases.
- Psychological factors: Psychological factors also play a vital role in IBS. When a person is overtly emotional or is suffering from intense stress or anxiety, then these emotions trigger chemical changes in the body which affect the proper functioning of the digestive system. This is not likely in all people who get IBS. People who did not have IBS before, may undergo changes in bowel movements because of immense stress and tension. Many people who have undergone a traumatic experience such as abuse, neglect or a childhood disease can get IBS. These traumatic events or experiences in the past made these people more sensitive to stress, which may result in IBS.
- Several triggers of IBS: There are several food items and drinks, which may trigger the symptoms of IBS in a person. These triggers vary from person to person. The most common ones include alcohol, aerated drinks, chocolates, drinks which contain caffeine like coffee or cola, processed snacks such as crackers and biscuits and fried foods, which contain a lot of fat. You should maintain a food diary for identification of triggers that may lead to IBS in your everyday diet. Stress is also an important trigger which may lead to IBS. You should try to find ways to get rid of stress and must avoid over stressing.
Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS results due to several reasons which may be physical or psychological. If you experience symptoms of IBS, you must try to detect or diagnose the reason and then look for proper treatment while consulting with your physician.
Dyspepsia is a disorder of the stomach that is characterized by pain in the upper part of the stomach. It is not a single disorder, but is a collection of symptoms such as nausea, burping and bloating. It results when the acid of the stomach comes in contact with the mucosa of the digestive tract. These acids cause a breakdown of the mucosa leading to inflammation and irritation, which leads to indigestion. It may also result from eating disorders or certain medications.
The symptoms of this disorder tend to occur mostly after consuming food and drink. In some cases, the symptoms tend to go away after eating or drinking. The symptoms of dyspepsia are:
- You may feel bloated on a regular basis
- You may experience discomfort in your stomach
- Loss of appetite
- You may experience constant burping
- You may feel nauseous
- Symptoms of heartburn
- You may also experience chest pain and breathing difficulties
- You may be affected by jaundice
The various causes of dyspepsia are:
- Irritable bowel syndrome, which hampers the movement of food through the intestines
- If you are unable to properly digest dairy products
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease that results in reflux of the acids of the stomach
- Any inflammation of the gall bladder
- Various medicines such as aspirin, steroids and antibiotics may lead to dyspepsia
- If you suffer from depression or anxiety then it may lead to dyspepsia
- Excess consumption of chocolate, coffee and alcohol
Dyspepsia may be controlled by modifying your lifestyle. Some of the changes that you may make are:
- Don't sleep immediately after eating, wait for at least two hours before you go to bed
- Avoid spicy foods as they tend to aggravate symptoms of dyspepsia
- Space out your meals, eat multiple smaller meals instead of few large ones
- Restrict smoking and alcohol consumption
- Lose weight as being overweight may lead to dyspepsia
- Avoid wearing tight clothes
- Exercise on a regular basis to keep your body healthy and maintain optimal weight levels
Picture this, you're in a restaurant for a lunch date with your friend. It's a great place and the food is delicious. While you're having a super time, you suddenly start feeling a discomfort in your chest area, and your appetite completely goes down the drain. Chances are that you might be experiencing heartburn.
Heartburn is something which is used in both the literal and metaphorical senses. However, the discomfort it entails means that it is no joking matter and your food intake habits are probably responsible if you suffer from it!
The good thing about heartburn causing foods is that they are easily recognisable, which is quite great. But, they make up a large portion of people's normal diets, which is not as great, as they are hard to refrain from. A few common examples are listed below:
- Chocolate: To start off, there is something which is surprisingly a cause for heartburn and is likely to be the cause of a lot of disappointment: chocolate. The sad thing about chocolate is that the key things it is known to cause reflux. Take, for example, cocoa; it is a prime cause for reflux. Also, the caffeine in chocolate as well as something called theobromine is the major culprits of reflux. If a person who loves chocolate seems to be suffering from reflux, he or she knows why now!
- Coffee: Talking about caffeine, the automatic suspect that is coffee is deeply guilty, as well! Having coffee once in a while may not cause much harm but making it a habit leads to a person setting himself or herself up for a lot of heartburn.
- Soda: Anything which is acidic is not good for reflux but the thing is that most sodas are very acidic! This is also the case when it comes to fruit, though fruit is generally said to be good for the body. Certain types of fruit, like citrus fruit only worsens the effects of heartburn and can cause a whole load of discomfort to the person who eats them.
A lot of the foods, which should be avoided actually have their own health benefits. The case in point is garlic. But, a person should try to have food like cottage cheese or lean chicken, both of which do not cause any heartburn at all. Also, keeping away from food that is fried has a range of benefits from lower consumption of fat, to a reduced risk of cancer as well as a massive drop in heartburn. Deep fried foods should be avoided like the plague!
The rule of the thumb when it comes to the issue of heartburn is that if anything happens to be acidic, it is likely to cause heartburn to be aggravated. As long as a person can keep this in mind as a guiding principle, there is no way that they will be suffering from heartburn any more.
Colon polyps are growths that are typically found in the large intestine. Although the causes behind the occurrence of colon polyps are not known, this condition is usually seen to affect adults. These colon polyps might turn into colon cancer over a period of time; the development of cancer can happen over a number of years.
Colon polyps are usually symptomless; hence it becomes difficult to diagnose the condition. They are commonly found as additional results of screening tests for colon cancers. Screening tests are conducted when there is a suspicion of a disease but it displays no significant symptoms. The symptoms can only be visible if the polyps are enlarged.
Typical symptoms include:
Changes in urination patterns.
Change in appearance of stool.
As the presence of most polyps becomes evident only during colon cancer tests, it is recommended that regular tests for colon cancer be conducted for adults over the age of 50.
Some of these tests include:
Colonoscopy: This is highly recommended for detecting colon polyps. A small tube used for viewing is inserted into the colon by the doctor.
Flexible Sigmoidoscopy: It is similar to colonoscopy with the only difference being that the tube is smaller.
Computed Tomographic Colonography (CTC): Also known as virtual colonoscopy, various computer systems and X-rays are used to create a detailed picture of the colon so that the doctor can search for polyps.
The size of the colon polyps helps to identify if the polyp is cancerous or not. Chances of the polyp being cancerous are high if the size of the polyp is higher than 1 cm or 0.4 inches. Hyperplastic polyps (smaller polyps) do not become cancerous and hence, do not need to undergo a colonoscopy. Another form of polyp is the sessile polyp which is usually a flat growth without a stalk and grows on the inner wall of the colon. Similar to other polyps, these polyps can be found and removed using a colonoscopy or a sigmoidoscopy.
Gastroparesis is a condition when your stomach feels full and heavy even after it has been more than a couple of hours after meal. Generally, it takes maximum 1 & ½ hours for the stomach to feel empty, but if the time taken for it is more, then this is a condition of gastroparesis. It means there is some change in your normal digestion process.
In this circumstance, the food in your stomach doesn’t digest easily and creates a lump. As a result, you have hard time digesting your food. It also means the nerves connected to the stomach are not functioning well. There are a number of reasons for which you can get gastroparesis.
- Diabetes is one of the most common causes of making you feel fuller.
- Disorders in the nervous system, mainly Parkinson’s disease or cerebral attack can create this problem.
- Some medicines, especially antidepressants or anti-inflammatory in nature and certain painkillers can cause this problem.
Gastroparesis shows a number of symptoms:
- Occasional vomiting as you feel unnecessarily fuller. When you vomit, it gives out chunks of undigested food
- A feeling of nausea
- You feel full after you have eaten very little
- Bloating and pain in your abdomen
- There is alteration in the blood sugar level
- You don’t feel like eating due to loss of appetite
- You lose considerable weight as you don’t eat much
- A possibility of suffering from malnutrition, again due to lack of appetite
How it can be treated?
When you identify the reason for gastroparesis, then treating it becomes easier. If diabetes or nerve disorder is creating the problem, leave it to your doctor to treat. For other causes like lack of appetite, there are some natural ways of treating it.
- Have frequent smaller meals. This way you don’t push yourself to eat much and at the same time, the body doesn’t lack nutrition and energy
- Avoid fibrous fruits
- Avoid high carbohydrate and high fat foods, which takes time to digest
- Intake foods which you can swallow, like soups or stew. They are healthy and are also easy to digest
If the problem still persists, consult your doctor who may prescribe some medicines to stimulate the stomach muscles. They generally have no side-effects. There are some medicines which can control your vomiting and nausea. There are some surgical treatments for gastroparesis, where the doctors place a feeding tube in your small intestine. A gastric venting channel is another option, which helps you to get relief from excessive gas formation in your stomach, thus accelerating the process of digestion.