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.

Wesley Chapel, FL Gastroenterologist Digestive Disease Associates of Central Florida 2050 Ashley Oaks Circle Wesley Chapel, FL 33544 (813) 994-4800
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