Our Gastroenterology Blog

Posts for: September, 2021


Summary: Our Hinsdale, IL digestive health doctors talk with parents about teaching kids how to make healthy food choices that benefit them in the long run.

A healthy appreciation for a balanced diet can offer a wealth of rewards to children of all ages. A focus on nutrition early in life can encourage kids to make good dietary choices as they grow and diminish the possibility of concerning medical issues later on. Furthermore, it may also boost how they feel at school, improve their ability to engage in extracurricular activities, and help them get better sleep.

Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates knows that a nutritious diet can markedly affect your child during their lifetime. Given that September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, we have provided information to help parents find out more pertaining to dietary intake for kids, healthy foods for kids, and lunchbox suggestions for school-aged children. We invite you to read the following tips and reserve a consultation with one of our digestive health specialists in Hinsdale, IL for any questions you may have.

How to reinforce healthy nutrition for children

Our gastroenterologists offer the following tips to help motivate children to adopt good eating habits:

  • Involve your child in the food preparation and cooking process. This can offer the chance to talk with your child about how to select healthy foods and nutrition information while cooking or shopping. Such a situation can allow kids to appreciate healthy eating while also spending time as a family. Furthermore, by supporting this form of involvement, kids may not be as picky about eating when given the chance to learn more about the foods their parents choose.
  • Eat meals as a family as often as possible. While eating, foster positive conversation so your child does not develop a negative or stressful association with food. Stress eating can cause additional concerns over time.
  • Avoid treating food as a punishment or reward. If you put your child to sleep without having dinner to discipline them or use sweets as a reward for being good, it could affect your child's relationship with food over time.
  • Utilize portion sizes on food panels and read the ingredients. Talking with your little one about food ingredients and proper portions can help your child learn how these factors affect their health.
  • Set boundaries for snack times and the kinds of food your child eats. Snacks are an integral component of a healthy diet. It is good to designate a snack time and the selections of food your little one consumes. Additionally, discourage your child from snacking in front of the television, as doing so may cause overeating.

What healthy foods for children should your child's diet include?

Our Hinsdale, IL pediatric gastroenterologists suggest a balanced eating plan that includes fruits, veggies, protein, grains, and dairy. If possible, you should try and limit trans fat and sugar at meals and during snack time. By adhering to a nutrition plan that includes these ideal food groups, you can help your little one be more energetic and live a healthier life. For parents who like to plan, we have provided some of our favorite lunchbox food options for school-aged children. You can find those suggestions here:

How can I get additional resources about healthy diets for children?

Along with the information detailed here, our staff members wish to serve as a full-bodied resource for parents, so they can always locate current facts concerning healthy eating for kids. A number of the resources we recommend are as follows:

At Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates, our professionals are focused on providing kids a healthy start in life. Our pediatric gastrointestinal doctors routinely team up with parents and caregivers to help establish and maintain a balanced nutritional foundation for their little ones. Get in touch with our Hinsdale, IL GI specialists to discover more about the positive effects of healthy diets or selecting appropriate snacks and meals for your children.



Summary: Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) is a health disorder that impacts the bile ducts in the liver. It may cause liver damage and other concerns.

As a vital organ, the liver maintains numerous essential functions in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, including separating unwanted byproducts from the bloodstream, regulating glucose levels, and storing vitamins and minerals. Within the liver, a group of canals (referred to as bile ducts) carries the bile to the small intestine to assist with digesting food. In the event the bile ducts become occluded or deteriorate, the liver’s ability to function becomes impaired. One concerning health condition that can cause trauma to the bile ducts is an autoimmune concern termed primary biliary cholangitis (PBC).

The vast majority of individuals who have primary biliary cholangitis are females age 40 – 60, though men along with women under 40 could also develop the disorder. Without treatment, PBC may lead to liver failure and create the need for a liver transplant. Identifying the condition early is key to experiencing the most favorable prognosis. A gastrointestinal (GI) specialist can provide a diagnosis for primary biliary cholangitis and determine treatment options that can help slow disease advancement.

September is Primary Biliary Cholangitis Awareness Month. If you may be at risk for PBC, we encourage you to schedule a visit at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates. Our Hinsdale, IL gastrointestinal doctors can provide personalized treatment and help you manage the disorder.

What is PBC?

Primary biliary cholangitis is a rare autoimmune disease that occurs when an individual's hyperactive immune system attacks otherwise healthy bile ducts. This can cause inflammation that incrementally damages the bile ducts. If bile is unable to flow into the small bowel, it collects in the liver and causes liver damage. Primary biliary cholangitis was previously termed primary biliary cirrhosis, but the name was amended to distinguish it from alcohol and drug-related liver diseases. Although the precise causes of primary biliary cholangitis remain undetermined, medical professionals surmise the body’s immune system response might be triggered by environmental or genetic factors.

What are the symptoms of primary biliary cholangitis?

Throughout its initial phases, PBC will likely show no distinct symptoms, which makes it pertinent to receive periodic lab work to check the function of the liver. Patients who do have symptoms of PBC may report:

  • Dry mouth (xerostomia)
  • Itchy skin (pruritus)
  • Dry eyes
  • Tiredness

When the liver disease becomes more advanced, the inflammation in the organ can cause cirrhosis, a situation where scar tissue develops in the liver and hinders its ability to function. The signs and symptoms of serious damage to the liver are:

  • Lesions on the skin containing cholesterol and fat (called xanthomas)
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin)
  • Weight loss
  • Swollen feet and ankles or edema

In the event you or a member of your family have any of the above signs or symptoms, seek medical assistance promptly. You can talk with a gastrointestinal specialist near you by contacting Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates. Our experts treat individuals in the Hinsdale, IL community who have primary biliary cholangitis and other liver problems.

In what way is primary biliary cholangitis detected?

A gastrointestinal specialist can evaluate individuals for primary biliary cholangitis by examining specific markers in the blood having to do with liver function. Greater quantities of the enzyme ALP (alkaline phosphatase) and AMAs (antimitochondrial antibodies) in the blood could signal the presence of PBC. Diagnostic imaging procedures can also be ordered to get a closer look at the bile ducts and liver to scan for indications of damaged tissue. These diagnostic images could help dismiss other reasons for liver impairment. A liver biopsy might be carried out in patients where the exact condition is still undetermined. During a biopsy, a tiny amount of the person's liver tissue is removed and forwarded to a medical laboratory to be assessed microscopically by an expert.

Are there treatments for primary biliary cholangitis?

While there is no way to cure PBC, certain medications might help slow the advancement of the liver condition. Ursodiol, a naturally occurring bile acid, is frequently administered to assist in the movement of bile from the liver to the small intestine. If utilized in the early stages of the disease, the medication might improve liver function and postpone liver transplant needs. Side effects of PBC (such as itchy skin, dry eyes, and high cholesterol levels) may also be treated and controlled by taking medication.

Treat primary biliary cholangitis in Hinsdale, IL

Should you or a member of your family receive a PBC diagnosis, experienced care can be received at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates. Featuring an accomplished team of GI specialists, Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates offers modern treatment and advanced research into GI health issues, including primary biliary cholangitis. Contact our practice in Hinsdale, IL today to discover more about PBC and how it can be addressed.

Article Reference Source: https://www.interceptpharma.com/our-focus/pbc/