Your stomach and intestines work together to break down the food you eat and extract the minerals and nutrients you need to stay health. Unfortunately, sometimes the process doesn't always work smoothly. Dr. Jonathan Jensen at Colorado Center for Digestive Disorders in Longmont, CO, answers a few commonly asked questions about gastrointestinal issues.
Why do I have gas?
Gas can form if you swallow air when you eat, have a food intolerance, drink carbonated beverages, eat high-fiber foods, feel stressed or have GERD or chronic gastrointestinal conditions, such as Crohn's disease or inflammatory bowel syndrome. Over-the-counter medication can help relieve gas pains, but a few changes to your lifestyle may also help. If gas is a frequent problem, try limiting soft drinks and high-fiber foods, chew foods thoroughly and practice meditation or other stress relief methods. A visit to our Longmont office is a good idea if you have an underlying condition that causes gas or gas is a frequent problem.
What's the difference between heartburn and GERD?
Most of us have experienced a burning pain in the chest after a big meal. The problem occurs when stomach acids flow back into your esophagus. Heartburn is a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), but just because you have heartburn, it doesn't necessarily mean that you have GERD. GERD is diagnosed if you have heartburn more than twice per week or your symptoms affect the quality of your life. Medications that block stomach acids or reduce acid production can be helpful in relieving GERD symptoms.
Do I really need a colonoscopy when I turn 50?
Your risk of colon cancer increases with age. Unfortunately, the disease doesn't usually cause pain or other symptoms during the early stage when it's easiest to treat. A colonoscopy makes it possible to view the lining of your large intestine and part of your small intestine without surgery. A camera attached to the end of small lighted scope sends color images of your colon to a digital screen, making it easy to spot lesions or potentially cancerous lesions. The prep for a colonoscopy may not be fun, but this minimally invasive test offers a simple way to protect your health.
Are you concerned about a gastrointestinal problem? Call Dr. Jensen at Colorado Center for Digestive Disorders in Longmont, CO, at (303) 776-6115 to schedule an appointment.