Gastroenterologist - Wesley Chapel
2050 Ashley Oaks Circle,
Wesley Chapel, FL 33544

(813) 994-4800

Posts for category: Gastroenterologist

By Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida
December 11, 2018
Category: Gastroenterologist

Have you been wondering if you could benefit from a colon cancer screening? Colon cancer affects more than 97,000 people every year, Colon Cancer Screening Examaccording to the American Cancer Society, yet often produces no symptoms in the earliest, most treatable stages. Fortunately, regular screenings can help you decrease your risk. Gastroenterologist Dr. Saeed Ahmed of Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida offers colon cancer screenings at his Wesley Chapel, FL, office.

What screening tests are available?

Gastroenterologists use several tests to screen for colon cancer, including:

  • Fecal Occult Blood Tests: The tests, conducted on stool samples, detect tiny amounts of blood in your feces.
  • Flexible Sigmoidoscopy: Your gastroenterologist uses a flexible lighted probe that contains a miniature camera to view the lining of your rectum and sigmoid colon. If your doctor spots any abnormal growths during the test, he'll remove them and send them to a medical laboratory for a biopsy.
  • Colonoscopy: A flexible probe with a camera is also used to conduct a colonoscopy. The test examines the lining of the large intestine, made up of your colon and rectum, and the lower part of your small intestine. In addition to viewing the lining of your intestines, your Wesley Chapel gastroenterologist can also cauterize bleeding blood vessels and remove cancerous growths and both pre-cancerous and benign polyps.

Who needs colon cancer screenings?

For years, 50 was the magic age for initial colon cancer screenings. This past spring, the American Cancer Society lowered the guideline to age 45 for people at average risk of the disease. The change was made after researchers noticed an increase in colon cancer diagnoses in younger people. If you're 45 or older and haven't had a colonoscopy yet, you'll want to visit your gastroenterologist and schedule an appointment.

Follow-up tests are recommended every 10 years if your initial screening reveals no problems. If you have a disease or condition that affects your gastrointestinal tract or had colon cancer or polyps in the past, your doctor may recommend more frequent colonoscopies. Fecal occult blood tests are recommended every year, while flexible sigmoidoscopies should be performed every five years.

Your gastroenterologist may also recommend a colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy if you have unexplained abdominal pain or rectal bleeding, changes in bowel movements, frequent constipation or diarrhea, or have noticed unexpected weight loss.

Protect your health with colon cancer screenings. Call your Wesley Chapel, FL, gastroenterologist Dr. Saeed Ahmed of Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida at (813) 994-4800 to schedule an appointment.

By Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida
October 09, 2018
Category: Gastroenterologist
Tags: GERD  

Do you suffer from heartburn? It's that uncomfortable, after-meal pain in the center of your chest. If it happens frequently, you should see gerdDr. Saeed Ahmed at Digestive Associates of Central Florida in Wesley Chapel. Also called GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, heartburn can have serious ramifications if not treated. Read more about this common GI problem.

The details on GERD

GERD happens with repeated regurgitation of stomach contents into the esophagus. People who are obese, eat a lot of spicy foods, smoke or abuse alcohol are prone to repeated attacks of heartburn. The strong acids damage the tender lining of the esophagus.

While many people have only occasional bouts of heartburn after overindulging in irritating foods, some individuals are chronically uncomfortable or have pain that is so bad, they feel they are having a heart attack. Additionally, GERD aggravates chronic conditions such as asthma, and some people struggle with persistent bad breath, or halitosis, excessive amounts of saliva, hoarseness, and even ear pain.

What should you do about GERD?

Consult with Dr. Saaed Ahmed in his Wesley Chapel office. He'll do a physical examination, take a medical history and review your GERD symptoms. Tell him what starts your attacks of heartburn, where the pain is located and what, if anything, helps relieve it.

Then, the doctor may order an endoscopic examination of your esophagus and stomach to look for ulcerations and structural abnormalities, such as a hiatal hernia. A hiatal hernia occurs when a small portion of the top of the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm, or abdominal muscle which assists in breathing.

Endoscopic examination involves the introduction of a thin, flexible, and lighted tube into the esophagus. A tiny camera gives the doctor real time images of the lining of your GI tract.

Additionally, Dr. Ahmed may wish to perform pH testing. This examination uses a tiny monitor placed in the food pipe during endoscopy. It measures the level of acidity in the esophagus, helping the physician determine the best course of treatment.

Treatments for GERD

You may need prescription h2 receptor antagonists (Zantac) or proton pump inhibitors (Prilosec) to reduce stomach acidity. However, Dr. Ahmed also recommends lifestyle changes such as:

  • Wearing looser clothing, particularly at the waist
  • Losing weight
  • Raising the head of the bed or sleeping on two or three pillows
  • Limiting alcohol
  • Smoking cessation
  • Avoiding foods you know cause stomach upset (greasy foods, chocolate, onions)

A happy GI tract

If your heartburn persists, please contact Digestive Associates of Central Florida. Dr. Ahmed and his team will uncover the source of the problem and help you manage it. For a one-on-one consultation in Wesley Chapel, FL, call (813) 994-4800.

By Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida
July 23, 2018
Category: Gastroenterologist
Tags: Hemorrhoids  

HemorrhoidsHemorrhoids (also known as piles) are a common condition that result when the veins in the lining of the lower rectum or anus become swollen and enlarged. Hemorrhoids are very common, and affect as many as three out of every four adults at some point in time according to statistics. They are most common in adults over the age of 50, but can affect anyone at any time. The symptoms range from mild to severe, and can often be resolved with conservative treatments. However when hemorrhoids do not resolve on their own or respond to conservative treatment, or they cause extreme pain, discomfort, and other symptoms, a gastroenterologist may recommend a non-surgical treatment option like banding. Dr. Saeed Ahmed, a gastroenterologist at Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida in Wesley Chapel, FL, offers a range of diagnostic and treatment options for hemorrhoids and other digestive issues.

Non Surgical Hemorrhoid Treatment in Wesley Chapel, FL

There are a few factors that can increase the risk of developing hemorrhoids, including:

  • Straining through bowel movements
  • Chronic constipation and diarrhea
  • Being extremely overweight or obese
  • Being pregnant
  • Eating a low fiber diet and not drinking enough water
  • Sitting for long periods of time

Hemorrhoids can be either internal (in the rectum) or external (under the lining of the anus). You may not always know if you have a hemorrhoid, but the most common symptoms of hemorrhoids include:

  • Bleeding during a bowel movement
  • Pain/itching
  • Swelling and/or a lump near the anus

Internal hemorrhoids can be treated non-surgically through banding, which involves placing a rubber band around the hemorrhoid to ease the blood supply and reduce swelling, shrinking the hemorrhoid and relieving symptoms. If you are experiencing bleeding during bowel movements, pain, and other hemorrhoid symptoms, schedule an examination with our gastroenterologist to determine whether hemorrhoid banding can help.

Find a Gastroenterologist in Wesley Chapel, FL

To learn more information about hemorrhoid prevention and minimally invasive treatments, contact Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida by calling (813) 994-4800 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ahmed today.

By Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida
June 27, 2018
Category: Gastroenterologist
Tags: Diverticulosis  

Have trouble in your colon? Diverticulosis is a condition in which small, bulging pouches develop in the digestive tract. Diverticulosis is a diverticulosiscommon disorder, especially in older people. Dr. Saeed Ahmed at Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida, which is located in Wesley Chapel, FL, offers treatments for diverticulosis.

About Diverticulosis 

Diverticulosis causes small pouches to bulge out through weak spots on the digestive tract. If these pouches become inflamed or infected, a more serious condition called diverticulitis has developed. Serious cases of diverticulitis may require surgery to remove part of the colon.

Causes of Diverticulosis

The small pouches form when there is increased pressure inside the colon that results from delaying a bowel movement, straining during a bowel movement, or constipation. Most doctors believe this condition is due in part to a diet low in fiber. Too little fiber promotes hard stools that are difficult to pass and increase pressure on your colon. 

Symptoms of Diverticulosis

Most individuals who have diverticulosis don’t show any signs. Those who do might have abdominal pain or cramps, constipation, bloating, or diarrhea. Diverticulitis may cause abdominal pain. If the area is infected, you may also have chills, fever, nausea, bleeding, or vomiting.

Diagnosis of Diverticulosis

Most doctors don’t notice cases of diverticulosis until they screen for other conditions. If you have symptoms that indicate diverticulosis, your doctor will gather your medical history and do a physical exam. This may include a digital rectal exam. Your doctor may order tests to help diagnose your condition. These tests may include a colonoscopy, blood tests, or X-rays.

Treatments for Diverticulosis

The main goal is to keep the pockets from causing problems. Your doctor might prescribe treatments that include fiber supplements or a high-fiber diet, medications, and probiotics. Diverticulitis requires medical attention. Treatments for diverticulitis include a liquid diet, hospitalization, medication, and surgery.

If you think you may have diverticulosis, call Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida at 813-994-4800 today to schedule an appointment. Our highly trained team specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diverticulosis.

By Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida
April 04, 2018
Category: Gastroenterologist
Tags: Colonoscopy  

What your gastroenterologist in Wesley Chapel wants you to knowcolonoscopy

You should have a colonoscopy if you are 50 years old or older. It’s the best procedure to detect colon cancer, a potentially deadly disease. Dr. Saeed Ahmed at Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida in Wesley Chapel, FL wants to share the facts about when you should schedule a colonoscopy.

Along with age, there are other reasons you may need to have a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy may be needed to determine why you have:

  • Pain in your abdomen
  • Chronic constipation
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool

To prepare for a colonoscopy, you will be given medications and diet instructions to begin one day before the procedure. The procedure itself takes between 2 and 3 hours and is performed on an outpatient basis under anesthesia.

During the procedure, a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera at the end is inserted into your colon through your rectum. The camera allows your gastroenterologist to view the inside of your colon. He will be looking for any growths, polyps, and other abnormalities. He may take a biopsy to check for tissue changes, and remove any growths or polyps.

You will feel groggy for a few hours after the procedure, so it’s vital to bring a driver with you to take you home. For more detailed information about a colonoscopy, please visit the Understanding Colonoscopy page on the Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida website at https://www.gitampa.com/colonoscopy.html

When you have a colonoscopy, you are protecting yourself from colon cancer. Don’t become a colon cancer statistic! Instead, pick up your phone and call Dr. Ahmed at Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida in Wesley Chapel, FL today at (813) 994-4800!

By Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida
January 24, 2018
Category: Gastroenterologist
Tags: Endoscopies  

Find out more about this diagnostic procedure and when it’s necessary.endoscopies

Dealing with digestive problems? Not sure what’s causing your symptoms? If so, then you may want to turn to our Wesley Chapel, FL, gastroenterologist, Dr. Saeed Ahmed. Here’s everything you need to know about getting an endoscopy.

Q. What is an upper endoscopy?

A. This procedure can actually be used to both diagnose and even treat certain conditions of the upper digestive tract (esophagus, stomach and part of the small intestines), and it makes it possible for our Wesley Chapel GI doctor to see what’s going on with the upper digestive tract using a very small, flexible camera.

Q. Why is an upper endoscopy performed?

A. There are several reasons why our Dr. Ahmed may recommend getting an endoscopy. If you are having difficulty swallowing, or if you have abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting or bleeding within the stomach or intestines, the cause of these symptoms will need to be determined.

Also, if you are experiencing symptoms of inflammation, anemia, chronic digestive disorders or even cancer an upper endoscopy can be used to diagnose many conditions and to take a biopsy (a tissue sample), when necessary. Even in some cases, an upper endoscopy can be used to treat certain digestive issues such as removing a polyp, opening up a constricted esophagus or even stopping a bleed.

Q. How is an upper endoscopy performed?

A. This procedure is performed while you are lying down. A topical anesthesia is often sprayed into the mouth to numb the throat prior to placing the thin tube. In some cases, a sedative will also be provided to keep the patient calm and relaxed.

After the medication is administered we will gently insert the endoscope into the mouth and guide it down the throat. You should never feel pain or discomfort during an endoscopy. The tiny camera at the end of the endoscope will allow us to take photos and videos and give us an idea of what might be going on.

Q. How long does the procedure take?

A. An endoscopy is a fairly quick procedure that takes about 10 to 15 minutes but can take up to 30 minutes depending on the purpose of the endoscopy.

Q. Can I drive myself home after my endoscopy?

A. Even though you will spend up to 45 minutes in the recovery room after your procedure you will still feel groggy from the medication, so it’s important that you have someone who can drive you home.

If you are noticing GI symptoms or changes it’s important that you turn to gastrointestinal specialists who can help. Call Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida in Wesley Chapel, FL, today.

By Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida
November 20, 2017
Category: Gastroenterologist
Tags: GERD  

What your gastroenterologist in Wesley Chapel, FL wants you to knowgerd

Occasional acid reflux, or heartburn, is normal but if you suffer frequent heartburn, it could be a symptom of a more serious condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. If you think you might have GERD, you are not alone. In fact, over 60 million Americans have symptoms of GERD, according to the American College of Gastroenterology. Dr. Saeed Ahmed at Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida in Wesley Chapel, FL wants to share the symptoms and effects of GERD.

Chronic acid reflux is the result of excess acid from your stomach traveling back up your esophagus. Ordinarily, a strong sphincter muscle keeps this from happening, but if the muscle isn’t working correctly, it may not close completely. The small opening allows stomach acid to back up into your esophagus. Over time, chronic acid reflux develops into GERD.

You may have GERD if you experience:

  • Chronic bad breath
  • Chronic sour taste in your mouth
  • Chronic pain in your throat
  • Chronic dry coughing or wheezing
  • Eroding tooth enamel causing tooth sensitivity
  • Nausea, vomiting or chest pain

Untreated gastro-esophageal reflux disease can damage your esophagus in many ways. Untreated GERD can lead to:

  • Inflammation of your esophagus, a condition known as esophagitis; this condition causes your esophagus to swell, making it difficult to swallow.
  • Ulcers in your esophagus, which can lead to difficulty swallowing, nausea and chest pain
  • Narrowing and scarring of your esophagus, which can cause your esophagus to narrow, making it difficult to swallow
  • Barrett’s esophagus
  • An increased risk of esophageal cancer

There are some helpful tips you can try which can reduce the symptoms of GERD. Consider:

  • Eating smaller meals
  • Avoiding tobacco products
  • Staying up for at least 2 to 3 hours after meals; don’t lie down after eating.
  • Keeping spicy foods out of your diet
  • Try taking over-the-counter antacids

If you suffer from chronic acid reflux, it’s time to see an expert. It’s time to call Dr. Saeed Ahmed at Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida in Wesley Chapel, FL. Early diagnosis means early treatment which can lead to a better outcome for you, so ​call us today at (813)994-4800!

By Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida
September 18, 2017
Category: Gastroenterologist
Tags: GERD  

GERD is a digestive disease that can make it a challenge to eat, swallow, and even sleep. It’s a condition that most often affects adults, gerdbut it can also show up in children. There are distinct symptoms that will let you know if you have a case of GERD. Learn more about how it can be diagnosed and treated by your gastroenterologist Dr. Saeed Ahmed at Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida in Wesley Chapel, FL.

What Is GERD?
GERD is an acronym for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. It happens when acid and stomach contents regurgitate into the throat. The esophagus fails to prevent stomach fluids from entering and traveling back up to your mouth. This “reflux” of acids causes irritation of the throat and is often accompanied by heartburn. GERD is often caused by eating certain foods or drinking certain beverages that irritate the stomach. Patients who are overweight or sedentary are more prone to having GERD symptoms.

Common GERD Symptoms
Your Wesley Chapel digestive doctor will confirm whether you have GERD after an examination, but there are a few signs to look out for to diagnose this issue yourself:

- Difficulty swallowing saliva or food.
- More frequent swallowing throughout the day.
- A sensation that something is always caught in the back of your throat.
- Sore or itchy throat.
- Intermittent coughing, burping, and hiccupping.
- Burning sensation in the chest (heartburn).
- Bloated feeling.

GERD Treatments
This digestive disorder can usually be treated and managed successfully. Your doctor will likely recommend the following treatments to help relieve GERD symptoms:

- Medication to calm the stomach and inhibit acid secretion.
- Identification of food allergies that may be causing indigestion.
- Nutritional advice and diet modification. Exercise and activity may also help.
- Esophageal or anti-reflux surgery in rare, advanced cases.

Get Help with Your Digestive Problems
A digestive disorder like GERD can interfere with your life in a number of ways, which is why you should talk to a doctor about it. Call Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida in Wesley Chapel, FL today at (813) 994-4800 to explore treatment options.

By Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida
July 24, 2017
Category: Gastroenterologist
Tags: Celiac disease  

Your esophagus, stomach, small and large intestine--you don't see them, but you know they are there, especially if they are not functioningGI well. Dr. Saeed Ahmed, gastroenterologist in Wesley Chapel, FL, offers his patients compassionate and accurate diagnoses and treatments for disorders of the GI tract. Plus, he fields many questions about common GI ailments, procedures and tests. Read answers to some of the most frequently asked questions at Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida.

I hear a lot about colon cancer screening. Is it really necessary?

The American Cancer Society says that colon cancer kills about 50,000 adults in the US every year. However, discovered early, cure rates are as high as 90 percent. So your gastroenterologist in Wesley Chapel recommends colonoscopies beginning at age 50.

What is Celiac Disease?

Also called Sprue, Celiac Disease occurs when the small intestines do not absorb nutrients such as Vitamin B12 properly. Weight loss and diarrhea are just two of the many symptoms. Today's much publicized gluten-free diets help control this chronic condition.

Why do I get heartburn?

Symptoms of pain and a burning sensation in the esophagus may come from GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease. Related to an incompetent sphincter at the junction between the esophagus (food tube) and stomach, GERD may ulcerate the upper Gi tract and lead to other issues. When antacid therapy is ineffective, Dr. Ahmed may advise endoscopy. This examination involves inserting a lighted tube into the esophagus to visualize its structure and lining.

I get occasional bleeding from my rectum? Should I be concerned?

The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy says that rectal bleeding should be investigated by a gastroenterologist. While the problem may stem from things as simple as hemorrhoids (varicose veins of the rectum) or proctitis, a mild type of inflammatory bowel disease, blood with a bowel movement can indicate something more serious such as cancer. Call the Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida if bleeding is a recurring problem.

What is diverticulosis?

Many adults over 40 have diverticulosis. This is a chronic condition of the large intestine in which small pouches or pockets form in the intestinal walls, causing bloating and loose stools. Good hydration, probiotics (supplements which contain bacteria helpful to the GI tract) and a high-fiber diet often control symptoms, but sometimes the condition converts to diverticulitis. This is an infection involving severe pain, bleeding and sometimes rupture of the diverticuli. Surgery may be required to resolve diverticulitis.

Do I need my appendix?

The jury is still out on this small out pocketing of the large intestine. It may function within the immune system. However, many people live healthy lives without their appendixes. The appendix can become infected and even rupture--hence, the common surgery called an appendectomy.

How's your GI health?

If you have additional questions for Dr. Ahmed and his team at Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida in Wesley Chapel, FL, please call the office today for an appointment: (813) 994-4800. You'll get the information and care necessary for great GI health.

By Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida
May 24, 2017
Category: Gastroenterologist
Tags: Endoscopy  

Are you concerned about your stomach problems? An endoscopy can help your doctor determine why you're experiencing pain, endoscopyheartburn and other symptoms. Dr. Saeed Ahmed of Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida in Wesley Chapel, FL, discusses the endoscopy procedure and shares several benefits.

What happens during an endoscopy?

During your endoscopy, a thin, lighted tube called an endoscope is placed into your mouth and gently passed through your esophagus, stomach and the upper portion of your small intestine. A small camera attached to the tip of the endoscope sends images to a digital monitor. As your gastroenterologist threads the endoscope through your upper digestive tract, he views real-time images on the monitor. Although endoscopies are primarily used for diagnostic purposes, your doctor can take biopsies during the procedure, cauterize bleeding blood vessels and perform other treatments.

What are the benefits of endoscopy?

Endoscopy is:

  • Less Invasive: Getting a close look at your gastrointestinal tract used to involve major surgery. Minimally invasive endoscopy has eliminated the need for exploratory surgery in most cases and makes obtaining biopsies much easier.
  • Much Less Risky: Endoscopy has significantly fewer risks than open surgery because no incisions are needed. Unlike surgery, endoscopy doesn't require a long recovery period. In fact, most people wake up feeling rested and refreshed. Although you'll probably feel perfectly fine after your endoscopy, you won't be permitted to drive during the rest of the day, due to lingering effects of the sedative.
  • More Accurate: X-rays and other tests can detect large masses, but more subtle changes to the lining of your digestive tract can't be detected. Because endoscopy transmits actual pictures of your stomach or small intestine, it's much easier to spot lesions, tumors, bleeding or other issues.
  • More Comfortable: During your Wesley Chapel endoscopy procedure, you'll be sedated and won't remember a thing about the endoscopy. After you wake up, you may notice a slight soreness in your throat, but the feeling will quickly subside.

Endoscopies offer important digestive health advantages. If you think you could benefit from the procedure, call Dr. Ahmed of Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida in Wesley Chapel, FL, at (813) 994-4800 to schedule an appointment.

By Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida
March 20, 2017
Category: Gastroenterologist

Find out if you should be screened and what a colon screening entails.colon cancer

Getting a colon cancer screening might not be the highlight of your year but it’s certainly an important one, nonetheless. While there are some misconceptions out there that believe that only men get colon cancer, our Wesley Chapel, FL, gastroenterologist Dr. Saeed Ahmed is here to tell you that both men and women can develop this type of cancer and should be getting screened regularly.

When should I start getting a colon cancer screening?

It’s always a good idea to start getting colorectal cancer screenings by the age of 50. Both men and women are at risk so it’s important that everyone comes in for these routine visits even if they aren’t experiencing any symptoms. Symptoms don’t have to be present to let our Wesley Chapel, FL, GI doctor know that something is going on.

Of course, if you have a personal or family history of colorectal cancer, polyps or even ulcerative colitis then you may need to come in sooner for screenings. This is something to talk to your doctor about.

What does a colon screening entail?

The best way to screen for colon cancer is by performing a colonoscopy. This simple outpatient procedure allows us to view the inside of the colon using a thin flexible tube. This test is finished in about 45 minutes or less and the patient is under the effects of sedation so they don’t feel a thing.

If results look good and there are no signs of cancer or precancerous polyps, then it will most likely be recommended that you come back every 10 years for a colonoscopy. In some cases, a flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years may be all that’s needed. We may also require a stool sample for testing once a year.

If you are at risk of developing colon cancer or you are over the age of 50 then it’s time you called Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida in Wesley Chapel, FL, to schedule your colon cancer screening. Call our office today!

By Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida
January 27, 2017
Category: Gastroenterologist
Tags: health visits  

Do have questions about stomach or other gastrointestinal problems? Dr. Saeed Ahmed, your Wesley Chapel, FL, gastroenterologist at gastroenterologistDigestive Disease Associates of Central Florida, tackles a few of the most common questions.

What is gastroenterology?

Gastroenterology is a medical specialty that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal diseases and conditions, including gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcers and gallbladder disease.

What can I do about chronic heartburn?

Nearly everybody suffers from heartburn from time to time, but when your symptoms become chronic, gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) may be to blame. GERD occurs when acids in your stomach flow back into your esophagus. Other symptoms of GERD include hoarseness, bad breath, excess saliva, a sour taste in the mouth and a feeling that there's something stuck in your throat. Your gastroenterologist can offer medications that will reduce or block acid production.

Are colonoscopies really necessary?

If you're approaching age 50, you may be wondering if you can just skip the recommended colonoscopy. Unfortunately, avoiding the test may be a very bad decision. Colonoscopies offer a very effective, non-surgical way to detect colon cancer and polyps that may eventually become cancerous. Because your colon cancer risk rises as you age, a colonoscopy is one test you won't want to skip.

How can I manage my IBS symptoms?

IBS is not only painful but also inconvenient. Avoiding foods that trigger symptoms and reducing stress can help reduce those bouts of cramps, diarrhea and constipation, but sometimes symptoms persist even if you follow all of the self-care recommendation. Your gastroenterologist can prescribe medications that may help reduce your symptoms.

Should I see a Wesley Chapel gastroenterologist?

Gastroenterologists treat the entire gastrointestinal system from the esophagus to the rectum and can offer solutions that will help ease your symptoms. Consider making an appointment if you suffer from:

  • Chronic heartburn
  • Frequent diarrhea or constipation
  • Frequent or severe stomach or abdominal pain or cramps
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Bowel movement problems and changes in bowel habits
  • Vomiting
  • Decrease appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Frequent gas and bloating

Do you suffer from any of these symptoms? Why not make an appointment with Dr. Ahmed, your Wesley Chapel, FL, gastroenterologist at Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida, to find out what types of treatment options are available for your disease or condition? Call him at (813) 994-4800 to schedule your visit.

By Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida
November 23, 2016
Category: Gastroenterologist

Gastrointestinal issues are often painful, irritating, and generally uncomfortable. Looking into these issues to find out their root causes is an important part of a gastroenterologist’s diagnosis process. Flexible sigmoidoscopy allows your doctor to investigate your gastrointestinal symptoms with ease. Learn more about flexible sigmoidoscopy with Dr. Saeed Ahmed at Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida in Wesley Chapel, FL.

What is a flexible sigmoidoscopy? 
A flexible sigmoidoscopy allows your doctor to visually see the inside of your colon and its tissues and lining. This procedure is an invaluable tool in diagnosing precancerous and cancerous polyps and investigating gastrointestinal symptoms like rectal and abdominal pain or abnormal bowel movements. While flexible sigmoidoscopy is similar to a colonoscopy, the procedures differ in that colonoscopy examines the whole of the colon and flexible sigmoidoscopy examines the colon up to the sigmoid.

What can I expect from a flexible sigmoidoscopy? 
The procedure itself involves using the sigmoidoscope, a long, thin, flexible tube, to examine the inside of the colon. During the procedure, your doctor will insert the sigmoidoscope into the anus through the rectum and into the colon. A tiny light and camera attached to the end of the sigmoidoscope allow your doctor to spot abnormalities or polyps within your colon. Your doctor uses air to inflate the colon for a better view. At the end of your procedure, your doctor slowly removes the sigmoidoscope while examining your colon’s tissues.

Preparing for a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
Before your procedure, your doctor will inform you of any cleansing routines or enemas required. Normally, one or more enemas performed before the procedure is enough to properly cleanse the colon, though your preparation may also include laxatives or diet restrictions. After the procedure, you can go back to your normal diet and activities. If your doctor found any polyps or abnormalities, you may need a full colonoscopy or biopsy.

For more information on flexible sigmoidoscopy, please contact Dr. Saeed Ahmed at Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida in Wesley Chapel, FL. Call (813) 994-4800 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Ahmed today!

By Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida
September 19, 2016
Category: Gastroenterologist
Tags: Endoscopy  

Diagnosing upper gastrointestinal problems once required exploratory surgery, but thanks to advances in medical technology, getting anendoscopy up-close look at your gastrointestinal tract only requires a miniature camera and a thin scope. Dr. Saeed Ahmed, your Wesley Chapel, FL gastroenterologist, explains why you may need an endoscopy.

When is an endoscopy recommended?

Your gastroenterologist may suggest an endoscopy if you suffer from:

  • Trouble swallowing
  • Bleeding
  • Pain in your stomach
  • Gastritis
  • Ulcers
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

How do endoscopies work?

During an endoscopy, your Wesley Chapel gastroenterologist passes a lighted scope that contains a tiny camera at the end into your throat. The camera transmits images of your stomach, esophagus and the upper section of your small intestine to a computer monitor. With the aid of the monitor, your doctor examines every inch of your upper gastrointestinal tract to determine for the cause of your symptoms. Although cancer is certainly a possibility, gastrointestinal problems occur more often due to GERD, gastritis, ulcers, esophagitis or other less serious conditions.

What happens during an endoscopy?

You will be asked to fast for eight hours before your endoscopy appointment. Because your comfort is a priority for your doctor, you'll be given a sedative or receive anesthesia before the procedure begins. Once the sedative or anesthesia takes effect, your doctor will insert the scope. In addition to viewing your gastrointestinal tract, your gastroenterologist can also obtain tissue samples for biopsies and treat problems. For example, if he notices bleeding, he can cauterize the area to stop the bleeding.

What is endoscopy recovery like?

Endoscopies usually take no longer than 30 minutes, but you may remain in the facility for up to an hour in order to ensure that you have recovered from the effects of the sedative or anesthetic. Your doctor will discuss the results of the procedure with you, although you won't receive the results of biopsies for about a week. You may notice that your throat is a little sore after you have an endoscopy or that you feel a little bloated. These symptoms are usually minor and will soon subside.

Are you concerned about stomach pain or other gastrointestinal problems? Call Dr. Ahmed, your Wesley Chapel, FL gastroenterologist, at (813) 994-4800 to schedule an appointment to determine if you could benefit from an endoscopy.

By Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida
July 19, 2016
Category: Gastroenterologist
Tags: GERD  

Frequent heartburn can be a symptom of a common condition called GERD. Saeed Ahmad, MD, your Wesley Chapel gastroenterologist at Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida, is here to describe GERD symptoms and explain treatment options.

What is GERD?Heartburn

Gastroesophagheal reflux disease (GERD), also called acid reflux, occurs when stomach acids leak back into the esophagus from the stomach. The problem often occurs when the esophageal sphincter, a ring of tissue that serves as the separation between the stomach and the esophagus, is weak or doesn't close completely. The esophagus is the tube that connects your throat to your stomach.

What are common symptoms of GERD?

You may experience any of the following symptoms if you have GERD:

  • Heartburn
  • Burning sensation in the throat
  • Chest pain
  • Sour taste in your mouth
  • A lump in the throat feeling
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hoarseness
  • Asthma
  • Food regurgitation

How can I reduce GERD symptoms?

Certain foods and beverages, including onions, tomatoes, citrus fruits, fatty or fried foods, peppermint, spicy foods, chocolate, alcohol and caffeinated or carbonated drinks can worsen symptoms and should be avoided. Symptoms can become worse when you lie down. If you suffer from GERD, it's a good idea to avoid lying down two to three hours after you eat. Raising the head of your bed six inches can also help you avoid uncomfortable reflux symptoms.

Eating five or six small meals, instead of three large meals, is recommended if you have GERD, as is losing weight if you are overweight. When you're overweight, those extra pounds can press on your stomach, forcing acids into your esophagus. Giving up smoking can improve your symptoms because smoking can affect the way the esophageal sphincter works.

How can a gastroenterologist help me?

Your Wesley Chapel doctor can recommend over-the-counter medications, such as antacids and proton pump inhibitors, to help relieve your symptoms. If these medications aren't effective, prescription-strength medications may be needed. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended to strengthen or reinforce the esophageal sphincter.

If you experience frequent heartburn or other symptoms of GERD, your gastroenterologist can help you prevent or reduce these unpleasant symptoms. Call Saeed Ahmad, MD, your Wesley Chapel gastroenterologist at Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida at (813) 994-4800. Don't let GERD stop you from enjoying life!

By Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida
May 18, 2016
Category: Gastroenterologist
Tags: Colon Cancer  

Like many forms of cancer, colon and colorectal cancers have the best chance of successful treatment when diagnosed early. Also known as the large intestine, the colon can develop growths in the lining known as polyps, some of which can eventually lead to cancer. Colon CancerA colonoscopy is an endoscopic procedure that allows a gastroenterologist to check the colon for polyps.

Colon Cancer Screenings Wesley Chapel

Dr. Saeed Ahmed, a gastroenterologist at Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida in Wesley Chapel advises generally healthy patients with no family history of polyps or colon cancer to begin routine colonoscopy screenings around the age of 50. However, some people may have to begin screening earlier, depending on individual risk factors.

Colon Cancer Risk Factors

Certain lifestyle habits and genetic conditions can potentially increase the risk of colon cancer:

  • Heredity - having a parent, sibling or child with the disease
  • Genetic conditions - familial adenomatous polyposis, Lynch syndrome (hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer)
  • Conditions that cause chronic intestinal inflammation - ulcerative colitis, Chron's Disease
  • Age - Most cases are diagnosed after the age of 50
  • Race - African Americans have a higher risk
  • Personal history - previous colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps increase risk of developing colon cancer again
  • Diet - high fat with low fiber intake
  • Inactive/sedentary lifestyle
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol
  • Radiation treatments for cancer

Signs and Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer

Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Unexplained changes in bowel movements that persist beyond a few weeks
  • Bleeding from the rectum or blood in stool
  • Ongoing abdominal issues such as persistent pain, cramping and gas
  • Sensation that bowel does not completely empty after a movement
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue

Contact a Gastroenterologist in Wesley Chapel

Prevention and early detection are the best weapons against colorectal cancer. To learn more about your individual risk levels, and to schedule an appointment for a colonoscopy, contact Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida by calling (813) 994-4800 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Saeed Ahmed today.