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Summary: Our GI doctors explain how often adults should have a colonoscopy and why getting colon cancer screenings early on improves cancer survival rates.

Most people recoil at the notion of having a colonoscopy exam. Yet did you know that once you obtain the first examination, if it is within normal limits, you won’t be required to have the procedure for another ten years? That is an entire ten years without a colonoscopy!

We understand that having a colonoscopy screening might not be among your top priorities. Still, getting a screening offers peace of mind for your overall wellness. According to cancer.org, colon cancer fatalities have diminished for multiple decades because of these examinations.

It is advised for a person of normal risk to have their first colonoscopy around age 45. This is recommended since colorectal cancer is highly treatable when diagnosed early. If diagnosed early on, the five-year rate of survival is 90%.

At Gastroenterology Consultants of San Antonio, our staff will always offer superior treatment. Our San Antonio, TX digestive health specialists wish to ensure you receive the colonoscopy procedure you require for continued health and wellness.

How are colonoscopy screenings performed?

A colonoscopy is a procedure that identifies tissue irregularities and changes in the large intestine (colon) and rectum. Over the course of the procedure, the gastrointestinal physician places a pliable scope into the colon through the rectum. A small camera enables the specialist to see within the colon.

Your comfort is of extreme importance throughout the entire examination. You will be provided the chance to receive intravenous (IV) sedation before the procedure begins. Talk to our specialists for details on how we can help ensure your colonoscopy is as painless as possible.

What can a colonoscopy procedure diagnose?

Having an initial colon cancer screening is advised for individuals who are between 45 and 52 years of age. To learn more about how frequently you should schedule a colonoscopy exam, please speak with one of our experienced gastroenterologists in San Antonio, TX.

A colonoscopy screening at Gastroenterology Consultants of San Antonio helps find precancerous polyps (growths) or tissue abnormalities that might be present in the colon or rectum. Before you undergo a colonoscopy, it is essential to recognize what represents the average risk for colon cancer. An average risk for cancer signifies you are a candidate for an initial colonoscopy exam.

Patients have an average risk if they do not have:

  • Suspected Lynch syndrome (hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer or HNPCC)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease, like Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Family history of colon or rectal cancer
  • Hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome, like familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)
  • Previous radiation to the abdomen or pelvic area to treat a previous cancer
  • Previous colorectal cancer or polyps

Why the year's end is a great time to have a colon screening

The time for new year's resolutions is nearly upon us. The end of the year is an ideal time to set up an appointment with a San Antonio, TX colonoscopy specialist. Doing so enables you to take a step back and revel in the holidays with your loved ones having peace of mind your health is in check.

Completing a colorectal cancer screening lets you begin the new year with a fresh perspective. In addition, remaining proactive with your health is an optimal approach when it comes to prioritizing your overall goals. It is also important to realize that reducing your risk of colon and rectal cancer begins you.

Schedule your colorectal cancer screening in San Antonio, TX today

We want to help you live a healthy, long life with the ones you love most. A colon and rectal cancer screening at Gastroenterology Consultants of San Antonio is an ideal way to begin the new year with a healthy approach. Not shying away from this important exam helps provide a warranty against colon and rectal cancer. To learn more or to schedule a colonoscopy consultation, please contact our skilled gastrointestinal specialists in San Antonio, TX.

Summary: Urinary and bowel incontinence might impact your comfort and confidence, but an advanced therapeutic solution can help improve your quality of living.

Incontinence is a prevalent yet often infrequently mentioned medical condition that commonly leads to emotional, physical, psychological, and social impacts. It is a health issue for a multitude of Americans and can interfere with an individual's quality of living from minor to considerable ways. Individuals may have urinary or fecal incontinence, or even both, which may range in the magnitude of dysfunction and severity. A lot of adults find speaking about urinary or fecal incontinence humiliating, even with a medical professional, keeping many from getting the care they need.

Often, even sporadic occasions of incontinence may hamper an individual's inclination to take part in activities outside of the home. The thought of being outside of their home for a long time or needing to use the restroom at any given moment stands in the way of high-quality living for a large number of patients. Should you or a loved one have any amount of bladder or bowel incontinence (or both), please realize that help is close by and you are not alone. Effective treatments are available to help you take back urinary and bowel control and improve your confidence and comfort.

Accidental fecal or urinary leakage is a significant worry for adults all throughout the region. The seasoned gastrointestinal (GI) doctors at Gastroenterology Consultants of San Antonio are pleased to offer expert services for incontinence issues, including an advanced service called sacral neuromodulation (SNM). We invite you to contact our San Antonio, TX gastroenterologists today to discover more about urinary and fecal incontinence and determine the ideal treatment option for you.

What causes bladder leakage?

Characterized as the loss of control over bladder function, urinary incontinence leads individuals to unexpectedly leak urine. It includes a wide range of concerns, like overactive bladder (OAB) or urgency incontinence, overflow incontinence, stress incontinence, and urinary retention. While the chance of developing this health concern is greater for patients who are over 50, adults of all ages may be impacted. As a matter of fact, the National Association for Continence states that more than 25 million people in the United States have urinary incontinence every day. Common factors that can cause urinary incontinence include the following:

  • Pelvic floor dysfunction
  • Anatomical defects
  • Being pregnant
  • Birth trauma
  • Surgery
  • Obesity
  • Menopause
  • Nerve damage
  • Certain medications
  • Caffeine consumption
  • Infection in the pelvic organs
  • Long-term constipation

What leads to bowel control problems?

While a lot of individuals in San Antonio, TX feel embarrassed to seek care for urinary incontinence, problems with bowel incontinence are often even harder to disclose. The inability to control bowel movements, or bowel dysfunction, can encompass conditions ranging from minimal bowel leakage to a complete inability to control the bowels. Per the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, studies show that around 1.8 – 18% of the U.S. population deals with fecal incontinence. Common causes of bowel incontinence are listed below:

  • Prolapse of the rectum
  • Birth trauma
  • History of surgery
  • Ongoing constipation or diarrhea
  • Muscle weakness due to age
  • Nerve damage
  • Irritable bowel diseases
  • Defects in normal anatomy
  • Conditions involving the central nervous system (CNS)
  • Excessive laxative use

Are bladder incontinence and fecal incontinence related conditions?

Bladder and fecal incontinence are suffered by double the number of women compared to men. While they can arise individually or in tandem, a physiological connection exists between these two conditions. The brain and muscles that direct the bladder and bowels work together to ensure proper bladder and fecal function. If neural communications between the brain and these muscles are interrupted, various degrees of incontinence might occur. Generally, both urinary and bowel incontinence may result when a person's brain is unable to transmit the proper signals to the muscles that control bladder and bowel functions.

Are there effective treatment options for incontinence?

Treating cases of bowel and urinary incontinence often begins with conservative therapies, like altering diet and fluid consumption, pelvic floor exercise, and medications. These therapies might incorporate adding fiber to daily nutritional intake, or cutting back on caffeine consumption or other products that produce diuretic results. If such options do not help, or patients are not ideal candidates for conservative solutions or other treatment options, the GI doctors at Gastroenterology Consultants of San Antonio might advise sacral neuromodulation treatment. Although a variety of therapeutic measures are in place for treating bladder leakage, not many options exist for addressing cases of bowel incontinence, beyond sacral neuromodulation.

What should you know about sacral neuromodulation?

Sacral neuromodulation treatment is a minimally invasive way to address incontinence. It is accomplished through the placement of a mini rechargeable stimulator, akin to a pacemaker. The device is placed near the sacral nerve in the tailbone area, close to the top region of the buttocks, or gluteus muscles. Approved for use in people age 18 or older, SNM therapy is suggested by the American Society of Gastroenterology and the American Society of Colorectal Surgeons (after conservative treatment options). It provides a long-term therapeutic approach that has produced successful treatment results for a large number of patients. Furthermore, patients are able to complete a trial phase beforehand to learn whether it works for them.

How does SNM therapy work?

Adults who are candidates for SNM therapy often receive a 7 to 14-day trial period to begin the treatment process. The sacral neuromodulation device is then positioned through a minimally invasive surgical procedure completed by a GI specialist at Gastroenterology Consultants of San Antonio. SNM is a restorative treatment that regulates pelvic floor function by improving signals between the brain and the muscles that control bladder and bowel functions. The sacral neurostimulator is charged by the individual on a 2 to 4-week basis by way of an external source and requires only a short recharging session. Many sacral neuromodulation patients consider the process of recharging the neurostimulator generally efficient and simple overall.

Is SNM an effective option for treating urinary and bowel incontinence?

Gastroenterology Consultants of San Antonio is proud to offer SNM as a safe, effective, and long-lasting approach to addressing bladder or bowel incontinence in San Antonio, TX adults. SNM is clinically proven to improve symptoms of overactive bladder, urinary incontinence, urinary retention, and bowel incontinence. Research conducted indicates that sacral neuromodulation therapy carries a high rate of success and patient satisfaction ratings for both urinary and fecal incontinence concerns, and also exhibits a very high safety profile. This approach has shown success in people for whom a conservative approach to therapy was ineffective and can allow for substantial enhancements in their quality of living. SNM treatment is also linked to much lower rates of incontinence episodes.

Get advanced treatment for incontinence in San Antonio, TX

The introduction of SNM therapy has been paramount in providing a less invasive method to control urinary and fecal incontinence, thus enhancing the lives of those dealing with these issues. At Gastroenterology Consultants of San Antonio, we know the humiliation and concerns patients experience when living with bladder and bowel incontinence. Our San Antonio, TX gastrointestinal specialists provide advanced options and confidential consultations to treat these medical issues with the utmost respect, care, and clinical excellence. For further details on incontinence and sacral neuromodulation therapy, contact our practice in San Antonio, TX and schedule an appointment with our skilled GI team.

Summary: Gastric (stomach) cancer can develop in any portion of the stomach and is generally addressed with surgical treatment to remove the malignant tissue.

A serious disease that results from the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells, cancer can develop just about anywhere in the body. With November being the dedicated National Gastric Cancer Awareness Month, Gastroenterology Consultants of San Antonio is dedicated to educating the community on the signs and symptoms of stomach cancer and how the condition might be managed. Nearly 26,000 new cases of gastric cancer are reported each year, as per the American Cancer Society. Gastric cancer, also called stomach cancer, leads to approximately 1.5% of initial cancer diagnoses in the country.

In the event you or a loved one receives a stomach cancer diagnosis, it is important to visit a gastrointestinal (GI) specialist to ensure you get the specialized treatment required. Get in touch with Gastroenterology Consultants of San Antonio in San Antonio, TX for further details.

About gastric cancer

The stomach is located in the top portion of the abdomen where food is held and broken down. When cancer cells develop in the inner lining of any location within the stomach, it is called gastric or stomach cancer. Although cancer can impact any part of the stomach, among patients in the U.S., the condition is most commonly found at the gastroesophageal junction, which is the area where the esophagus transitions into the stomach. Gastric cancer rates have been falling in the United States; however, the disease is still a major cause of cancer death in the world.

What are common signs of stomach cancer?

Gastric cancer is slow growing and may take more than a year or longer to develop. Because cancer of the stomach is not all that common among individuals in the United States, there are no official healthcare organizations that advise periodic screenings for those at average risk for this disease. In the early stages, cancer of the stomach might not display any signs or symptoms, although people who do notice signs or symptoms generally have one or more of the following:

  • Acid reflux
  • Ongoing queasiness
  • Enlargement of the abdomen
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Poor appetite

Should you or a person you love notice any of the symptoms above, it is imperative to seek expert medical treatment from a San Antonio, TX gastrointestinal specialist. Reach out to Gastroenterology Consultants of San Antonio to consult a GI doctor as soon as possible.

What are the risk factors associated with gastric cancer?

A number of people are at an increased risk of developing gastric cancer. These risk factors include having a genetic predisposition to certain conditions, like Lynch syndrome. This particular health issue also elevates the chance of colorectal cancer, uterine cancer, and pancreatic cancer. Additional factors that may place a person at greater risk for gastric cancer include the following:

  • Drinking alcohol
  • Previous stomach surgery
  • Obesity
  • Being of the male gender
  • A family history of stomach cancer
  • Occupational exposure
  • Being over 55
  • Smoking

Talk to a San Antonio, TX GI specialist to learn about undergoing regular screenings for stomach cancer, like an upper endoscopy, if you have an elevated likelihood of developing gastric cancer. You can arrange to have an upper endoscopy and speak with an experienced GI doctor by reaching out to Gastroenterology Consultants of San Antonio.

What are the treatment options for stomach cancer?

Stomach cancer is usually addressed with surgical intervention. After the cancerous mass is taken out, radiation treatment and chemotherapy could also be utilized to reduce the chance of the cancer returning. In general, there are three predominant surgeries for the removal of cancerous tissue in the stomach:

  • Gastrointestinal endoscopic mucosal resection: With this surgery, a flexible tube known as an endoscope is used to remove the cancerous tissue within the stomach.
  • Total gastrectomy: During this type of gastric cancer surgery, the whole stomach and neighboring lymph nodes are removed, and a new stomach is recreated by the small bowel.
  • Subtotal (or partial) gastrectomy: With a subtotal gastrectomy surgical approach, a portion of the stomach is removed, and the surrounding areas are reconnected. Subtotal gastrectomy might also include excising nearby lymph nodes or other tissue.

Experienced gastric cancer care in San Antonio, TX

Throughout the month of November, we are dedicated to spreading awareness of gastric cancer to patients across our community. Should you or someone you love receive a gastric cancer diagnosis, it is important to understand that professional care is close by. Gastroenterology Consultants of San Antonio is a physician-led network of gastrointestinal specialists and a reliable name in the field of digestive health. Get in touch with our office in San Antonio, TX today to further explore how a GI doctor can help you.

Summary: We are excited to offer tips on how to manage holiday stress, weight gain, and GI issues. Find out how to minimize stress eating and boost GI health.
The winter holidays are about gathering with family and friends, traditions old and new, and fostering deep-rooted memories with loved ones. But what happens when stress and anxiety get you down? From managing everyone’s schedules to cooking and baking, this joyous time of year can be a lot to handle.
In the event you’re feeling stressed out, rest assured in knowing you're not the only one. Testing executed by the American Psychological Association said 38% of individuals have higher stress levels around the holidays. We’ve compiled a few tips from our experienced digestive health specialists at Gastroenterology Consultants of San Antonio on how to minimize mindless eating and help you handle any holiday stress you encounter. Please reach out to our GI practice in San Antonio, TX for more information.

Tip 1: Minimize overly processed foods to help with digestive health

The grumbling in your tummy might not be due to going back for seconds. The bacteria in your stomach may alter after you ingest processed foods. The consumption of processed foods allows molecules to escape your GI system and pass into your immune-processing pathway. This increases inflammation in the stomach.

You'll want to limit these foods and opt for prepping your holiday foods with fresh, local foods instead. Prep your family's green bean casserole with locally grown green beans. Create desserts with local strawberries. Replacing canned and processed items for fresher options makes a huge difference.
In the event your gut health issues need professional attention, the talented digestive health specialists at Gastroenterology Consultants of San Antonio are here to assist. Contact our gastroenterology team in San Antonio, TX to set up a consultation.

Tip 2: Grab a bite of food before you go

Overeating is all too natural during the holiday months and can lead to gut problems. Between scrumptious pies, seasonal casseroles, and cookies, avoiding holiday weight gain is hard.

Having a snack that includes carbohydrates and protein can help you remain satisfied in the interim before dinner. This could be as low-key as toast with a nut butter. A few other great protein and carb options include:
Hard-boiled eggs and fruit
Grapes with cheese
A healthy granola bar
Hummus and vegetables

Tip 3: Consume smaller meals to avoid overeating

There's no doubt that with the extent of the yummy food at your disposal, you'll probably want to grab it all and go. Be sure to monitor yourself and include less food on your plate. Choosing smaller amounts of food can enable your stomach to more easily process what you consume. Furthermore, you likely won’t feel as full and uncomfortable when you eat less.

Taking cues from your stomach is helpful when attempting to keep yourself from overindulging. Should you become full before finishing your meal, don’t stress. Your digestive system is letting you know it’s time to take a break and go socialize with your loved ones.

Tip 4: Follow a list to minimize stress

Developing lists can enable you to stay focused and organized throughout the holiday season. Creating a list helps make certain shopping trips stay on task. In addition, it enables you to keep up with your family's bustling schedules and offers a feeling of satisfaction.

Taking a few minutes to compose a list provides a sense of order to disorder. It helps minimize anxiety and alleviates the holiday tension you're facing.

Tip 5: Meet holiday tension with compassion

The phrase “Treat everyone how you wish to be treated” rings true every day of the year. But it's especially impactful during the holiday season when tensions are high.
When identifying methods to lower stress, answer every hurdle with a kind approach. Diffusing your feelings of frustration and offering compassion abates stress. It also makes all individuals feel wanted and assured.
Experience less stress this holiday season 
Regardless of what your holiday festivities might hold, our San Antonio, TX office is pleased to provide suggestions to help you savor this time of year with your family and friends. Having these tips on hand can prevent stress and help make the holiday season easier and more carefree. In the event you have GI health issues or require further recommendations, get in touch with the skilled digestive health specialists at Gastroenterology Consultants of San Antonio.

Summary: Hemorrhoid banding is a nonsurgical process that blocks blood flow to a hemorrhoid, causing it to fall off. Discover more about this treatment option.

Countless people will experience hemorrhoids during their lifetime. Though the main cause of hemorrhoids might not be known, some factors associated with the condition are obesity, frequent constipation or diarrhea, recurrent straining while having a bowel movement, and pregnancy. Hemorrhoids, while highly uncomfortable, cause few serious complications and a number of treatment solutions are offered to address them. If you currently struggle with hemorrhoids, we invite you to seek professional hemorrhoid care at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates. Our local Hinsdale, IL gastroenterologists have advanced expertise in hemorrhoids and other digestive conditions. The team at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates can explain the various hemorrhoid removal procedures that may be available, including hemorrhoid banding. 

What are the signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids (also called piles) are swollen or bulging veins in the anal canal or in the rectum. Akin to varicose veins in the legs, hemorrhoids are generally uncomfortable, but most often harmless, and can be located internally or externally. Internal hemorrhoids, those within the rectum, typically cause no pain or discomfort, though they may bleed on occasion. External hemorrhoids, found beneath the skin surrounding the anal area, can result in greater pain. In cases where a blood clot occurs in an external hemorrhoid, it is called a thrombosed hemorrhoid and can be even more painful and uncomfortable. Common indications of hemorrhoids are: 

  • Bloody stools
  • Itching or discomfort in the anal region
  • Bleeding in the rectum

Who is a good candidate for hemorrhoid banding?

Additionally referred to as rubber band ligation for hemorrhoids, hemorrhoid banding at our Hinsdale, IL gastroenterology practice is a simple procedure where a small elastic band is positioned around the base of the hemorrhoid. This band cuts off the hemorrhoid’s blood supply and within about a week, the hemorrhoid typically shrivels and detaches. Patients who are candidates for this nonsurgical procedure have internal hemorrhoids that bleed or induce considerable discomfort and those who have been unable to diminish their pain with over-the- counter medicaments, alterations in lifestyle, or further remedies. Hemorrhoid banding might not be advised for people affected by rectal cancer, an allergy to latex, bleeding disorders, or inflammatory bowel disease. 

What is the hemorrhoid banding process?

The experienced physicians at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates commonly perform rubber band ligation for the treatment of hemorrhoids. The GI specialist places an anoscope into the anus and utilizes a device to secure the hemorrhoid in place while placing a small rubber band around its base. Typically, the procedure is only conducted for one hemorrhoid at a time unless the person is under general anesthesia. Refined techniques enable this hemorrhoid treatment to be relatively comfortable for patients even without having an anesthetic, but the majority of patients will notice a sense of fullness in the rectum for the first 24 hours after the procedure. When the hemorrhoid is banded, it typically takes only several days for it and the ligature to fall off. At times, people do not even notice when this occurs.

How effective is hemorrhoid banding treatment?

Hemorrhoid banding is deemed more successful than a number of other hemorrhoid treatment options. The nonsurgical procedure is significantly less invasive as opposed to surgery and only requires approximately ten minutes to conduct when performed by the GI doctors at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates. Approximately 80% of those who receive hemorrhoid banding will not require further procedures. Hemorrhoids addressed with rubber band ligation are considerably less likely to return. 

Find out more about hemorrhoid ligation in Hinsdale, IL

We understand that many people who have hemorrhoids feel embarrassed about getting medical assistance for the condition. Hemorrhoid banding is a nonsurgical and simple procedure that offers increased comfort and relief to patients in Hinsdale, IL. For further details surrounding rubber band ligation and other treatment options for hemorrhoids, contact Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates to book an appointment with a GI specialist.


Summary: Colonoscopies offer the best defense for detecting and protecting against colon cancer and other GI issues. Discover when to get your first screening.

Among the best methods of guarding against or identifying colon or rectal cancer early on is receiving periodic colorectal screenings. However, over 50% of adults who are eligible have not completed their first colonoscopy screening. The American Cancer Society (ACS) advises that individuals who have an average risk of getting colorectal cancer start receiving routine colonoscopy screenings at age 45. As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), millions of individuals throughout the U.S. are not undergoing colorectal cancer screening tests as recommended, reducing the opportunity for detecting the condition early. To discover whether you are eligible for an initial colonoscopy test, reach out to the team at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates to book an appointment. Our exceptionally trained digestive health physicians regularly provide colonoscopies for Hinsdale, IL individuals. 

What should I know about having a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy test is a type of colon cancer assessment that is conducted with a thin, flexible device containing a small camera. It is placed into the rectum and on into the colon by a Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates GI specialist to check for growths (polyps) or other abnormal tissue that may have developed. In the event abnormal tissues are found, they can be removed at the time of the procedure and tested for cancer. Patients receive a rapid-acting, safe sedation medication prior to the colonoscopy to allow them to undergo the process without discomfort.

What to expect following a colonoscopy screening

After your first colonoscopy is complete and sedation begins to dissipate, our Hinsdale, IL medical staff will explain any discoveries to you. If we do identify any concern that calls for a more extensive investigation, your GI specialist will develop a treatment approach personalized for your medical needs. We strongly suggest that you have someone close to you escort you home following your procedure. When the effects of the sedative medication have passed, you should be able to resume your regular routine and diet within a day. At times, people notice minor side effects, like abdominal cramps, gassiness, and bloating, for several days. In the event you are affected by extreme discomfort, bleeding, or fever, you should seek immediate medical care.

How often should people have colonoscopy screenings?

It is recommended that those having an average chance of getting colon or rectal cancer start screenings when they are 45. Additional colonoscopy assessment should take place every ten years up through age 75. After age 75, each person should discuss their doctor to determine screening intervals that best suit their healthcare requirements. 

Why schedule regular colorectal screenings?

Though a colonoscopy screening can allow for the discovery of initial colorectal cancer, the process can also detect possible reasons behind other gastric problems, including long-term changes in bowel habits (loose stools and/or constipation), anemia and bleeding, hemorrhoids, causes of abdominal/anorectal pain, and sudden unexplained weight loss. The exceptionally trained GI specialists at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates use the most up-to-date techniques and processes to diagnose and address many diseases of the digestive system.

Where can I set up my first colonoscopy in Hinsdale, IL?

Regular colorectal cancer screenings are the recommended option for discovering this serious GI concern. If you are over the age of 45 with an average risk of colon cancer, we recommend that you arrange for your first colonoscopy screening at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates as soon as you can. Reach out to our team today for a colonoscopy consultation with one of our Hinsdale, IL digestive health specialists.


Summary: Colon and rectal cancer arises in the large intestine. Receiving routine colonoscopies can allow for early detection and an improved health prognosis.

Behind cancer of the breast, colorectal cancer is the second cause of cancer-related fatalities among women. The colon encompasses the majority of the digestive tract and draws water and remaining nutrients from remnants of food that has passed through the small intestine. The final segment of the large intestine is referred to as the rectum. In some cases, polyps, or small growths of cells, arise in the innermost surface of the colon or rectum. Such polyps generally present very few symptoms if any; however, intestinal growths can progress into colon or rectal cancer. Given that they are highly similar, colon and rectal cancer are generally categorized in the same group. Routine colon and rectal cancer screenings can catch evidence of colon cancer early and considerably boost a person's health forecast. You can schedule a colonoscopy and other forms of colon and rectal cancer screenings at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates. For a knowledgeable gastrointestinal (GI) doctor in Hinsdale, IL you can count on, consult our team to protect against colorectal cancer and other digestive issues.

Are there symptoms of colon and rectal cancer?

Colon cancer begins in the colon or rectum. Many people with colon or rectal cancer will show no symptoms in the early stages. The people who do experience symptoms could notice the following:
  • Ongoing abdominal cramps or discomfort
  • Changes in bowel movements
  • Unexplained weight loss
  •  Blood in stool or rectal bleeding
In the event that you or a family member experience any of these symptoms, get in touch with Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates as soon as possible to visit with a digestive health specialist. If a cancerous polyp extends into the outside wall of the colon or rectum, it can infiltrate the lymph system or blood vessels and spread to additional portions of the body. Patients whose colon or rectal cancer spreads beyond the large intestine have substantially decreased rates of survival than patients whose cancer remains localized. As such, early identification and medical care are imperative.


What are common colon and rectal cancer risk factors?

Even though any patient can get colorectal cancer, a few factors may put some at an elevated risk. Risk factors for colorectal cancer are:
  • Smoking
  • Having a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Obesity
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Being over 50
Individuals having such factors or those with increased risk should get routine colorectal cancer screenings, such as colonoscopy procedures.

How is cancer of the colon or rectum diagnosed?

A variety of procedures for colon cancer screening are available to individuals at risk of developing colorectal cancer. These screening methods include fecal analysis, blood tests, and colonoscopy. To conduct a colonoscopy, a gastroenterologist places a flexible device housing a small camera into the large bowel to look for concerns, including growths in the colon. When colon polyps are discovered during a colonoscopy, they can often be removed at the time of the procedure and analyzed for signs of cancer. After colorectal cancer has been diagnosed, more involved testing can be carried out to establish if the cancer has spread and the options that might be the most effective in addressing it.

How is colon or rectal cancer treated?

The chosen treatment for colon cancer will be decided according to the location, stage, and size of the cancer and could include cancer removal surgery, radiation treatment, or chemotherapy. Colon polyps might take up to 10 or 15 years to turn into cancer. When a growth is diagnosed early, it can frequently be removed before it even transitions into cancer. For individuals who have localized colorectal cancer and receive proper medical treatment, the five-year chance of survival is approximately 90%. Undergoing a routine colonoscopy can save your life, but about 30% of adults in the country are not up to date on their screenings for colon cancer.

Set up a colonoscopy in Hinsdale, IL 

As the second-greatest cause of death from cancer among women, colorectal cancer is a serious health concern. However, the condition is generally treatable and easily detectable through a routine colonoscopy procedure. People older than 50 or who are experiencing conditions that heighten their risk of colon cancer should schedule regular colonoscopy screenings. Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates utilizes the most cutting-edge technology and processes to enhance digestive health, and our physician-led network works with a patient-centric mentality. To find out additional information concerning colon and rectal cancer or other GI conditions, contact our GI office in Hinsdale, IL. 

Summary: Breast cancer is a concerning health condition affecting many in the U.S. It's important to undergo routine screenings to diagnose the disease early.


Cancer of the breast is a health problem that affects a significant number of individuals yearly throughout the U.S. With October as the official Breast Cancer Awareness Month, there's no better time than now to learn more about the risk factors of this health condition, along with preventive measures and treatment options.
Like all forms of cancer, breast cancer is caused when clusters of cells begin dividing erratically and exceedingly, rather than going through their usual life cycles and processes. Breast cancer often starts in the milk-generating ducts when DNA in these cells starts to mutate. If mutated cells develop more rapidly than the body can get rid of them, the mass of cells forms a tumor.
Tumors in the breast can develop in many areas of glandular tissue, or even in the fatty breast tissue that encompasses and shields the milk-secreting structures of the breast. In some rare cases, cancer of the breast can even metastasize to additional regions around the body, including the gastrointestinal system. Under such circumstances, the specialists at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates collaborate with other healthcare practitioners in Hinsdale, IL to provide care for cancer that metastasizes to the digestive system. Obtaining an early breast cancer diagnosis is vital to protecting your general health and wellness. 

What are common breast cancer risk factors?

Cancer of the breast is among the most prevalent cancers impacting women. One out of every eight women will experience the condition at some point in their lives. It's estimated that over 280,000 women will receive a breast cancer diagnosis in 2021, and around 50,000 women will be diagnosed with noninvasive carcinoma in situ breast cancer.
The majority of women diagnosed with cancer of the breast are over 55; however, breast cancer ranks among the main causes of mortality among women between the ages of 35 and 55. NonHispanic white women and non-Hispanic African American women have the highest risk for breast cancer, although Latina women and African American women have a higher probability of dying from this form of cancer.
Genetic factors also increase the chance of being diagnosed with the disease. Patients with relatives who have had cancer of the breast are more likely to experience the condition during 
their lives. Though being female, of older age, or hereditary factors can’t be changed, there are a number of things you can do to reduce the risk or help prevent the development of breast cancer.

Various other breast cancer risk factors include:


  • Breastfeeding for under a year
  • Poor diet 
  • Chemical contraception and other forms of hormone intake
  • Lack of exercise 
  • Tobacco use 
  • Becoming pregnant over the age of 30
  • Radiation therapy before age 30
  • Low levels of vitamin D
  • Alcohol use
  • Being overweight
  • Use of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

Making changes to your lifestyle while regularly receiving screenings can help minimize your risk of getting breast cancer, especially if any of the above factors apply to you. 

What should I know about the different types of breast cancer?

Cancer of the breast is diagnosed as noninvasive carcinoma in situ or malignant (invasive) cancer. Noninvasive cancers are groupings of cells that grow more or less in one location, splitting irregularly but not becoming modified outside of their primary functions in other ways. They can commonly be removed via a surgical process and carry a lower probability of returning.
Invasive breast cancers are more injurious since they spread threads of cells into the nearby area, occasionally even breaking off bits of themselves and circulating to other regions throughout the body. Malignant tumors can also create and emanate harmful hormones and other factors that unfavorably impact bodily tissues.

The general categories of breast cancer include: 

  •  Lobular carcinoma: Lobular carcinoma begins in the milk-producing glands (lobules). When this kind of tumor is in situ, it's the least dangerous form of breast tumor since it's not likely to branch out. However, it should still be cared for as recommended by a doctor, as its existence can point to the possibility of further tumor development as time goes on. If lobular carcinomas are diagnosed as invasive, they're generally more concerning and especially challenging to diagnose.
  • Paget disease of the nipple: This is a type of breast cancer that starts in the nipple or the areola area of the breast.
  •  Phyllodes tumors: These are non-malignant tumors that begin in connective tissue fibers. 
  •  Ductal carcinoma: This type of cancer originates in milk ducts. It can be invasive, spreading beyond the mild duct and invading other tissues of the breast, or in situ, which means it stays in the milk ducts. In the event that it's caught in the very early stage, in situ cancers are relatively easy to address, but they might become malignant if without proper treatment. Unfortunately, around 80% of breast cancers involve invasive ductal carcinomas.
  • Angiosarcoma: A rare type of cancer, angiosarcoma begins in the skin, blood vessels, or lymph vessels.

What does a breast cancer screening include?

The most effective way to reduce the risk of break cancer, along with living an active, healthy lifestyle, is to schedule screenings for breast cancer on a regular basis. These screenings often include a clinical examination of the breast tissue in addition to a mammogram, or radiographic imaging of the breast conducted to check for excessively dense breast tissue. Regular breast exams are very critical for identifying breast carcinomas in the early stages and allowing for the greatest possible health outcomes. Patients can also carry out self-breast cancer exams and should do so on a routine basis. A physician can provide instructions on how to perform selfexams properly. 

Book your breast cancer screening

The doctors at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month and urge people in Hinsdale, IL to help preserve their overall health by having regular screenings for breast cancer. To determine the ideal procedures for diagnosing breast cancer and the best way to preserve your health, it’s recommended to undergo routine breast cancer screenings conducted by a skilled physician.



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/

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.

By Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates
July 14, 2021
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Summary: If you have signs of a liver issue, FibroScan testing may be recommended to assess the degree of fibrosis and fatty change in the liver.

FibroScan is a noninvasive test done by physicians to examine the wellness of the liver as well as diagnose illnesses that could affect the function of the liver. Performed using ultrasound scans, this advanced medical procedure, also known as transient elastography, evaluates the amount of fat tissue within a person's liver (fatty liver disease). This liver test also enables gastroenterologists in Hinsdale, IL to assess the amount of stiffness in the tissue in the liver. A high degree of stiffness can point to the existence of fibrosis, hepatitis, or further issues. When hepatic steatosis or fibrosis is suspected, the highly trained physicians at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates may carry out a FibroScan analysis to discern and gauge the scope of the disease.

Why would I need FibroScan testing?

Gastrointestinal (GI) doctors typically treat diseases involving the liver and can order a FibroScan analysis for individuals with signals of mild to advanced liver dysfunction. A GI physician might recommend FibroScan evaluations for individuals who show one or more signs of a liver condition or damage, including:

  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Alcohol-related liver disease
  • Different types of liver inflammation
  • Severe liver fibrosis (cirrhosis)
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

How is FibroScan done?

FibroScan is carried out at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates in Hinsdale, IL and could be suggested as an alternative to a liver biopsy. It is usually done along with other types of imaging procedures or lab tests to comprehensively evaluate a liver condition. Throughout the test, patients lie down on a treatment table. The technician then places the FibroScan ultrasound handpiece on the right upper abdominal area, just below the ribcage. A set of waves are applied straight into the liver, gauging the speed at which ultrasound waves move through the liver.

FibroScan tests are relatively pain-free and typically take approximately 10 minutes or so to accomplish.

How to interpret FibroScan outcomes

Whenever FibroScan assessments are finished, the outcomes are given to the physician who ordered the assessment. The test offers a numerical output that shows the measurement of fat buildup in the liver, which is called a controlled attenuation parameter (CAP) result as well as a fibrosis result.

-The FibroScan controlled attenuation parameter result is calculated in decibels per meter and is used to determine the extent of steatosis in a person's liver. An elevated CAP result demonstrates a more advanced degree of steatosis and a more serious stage of fatty liver disease.

-The fibrosis result gives information on the presence of fibrotic scar tissue (fibrosis) within the liver, ranging from no scarring to mild or advanced liver fibrosis (cirrhosis).

A follow-up appointment with your GI doctor will be booked to analyze and discuss the exam outcomes. Advice for therapies or ways to alter your lifestyle may then be given based on the specific situation of each patient. Secondary FibroScan procedures can be conducted on a regular basis to check the well-being of the liver or to determine whether the liver illness has advanced.

Get more information on FibroScan in Hinsdale, IL

As the second largest organ in the body, the liver fulfills a critical role in total health. Fatty liver disease along with fibrosis could impact multiple aspects of an individual's systemic wellness, causing generating tiredness, abdominal bloating, and a higher chance of liver cancer and liver failure. The GI staff at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates offers noninvasive FibroScan testing to determine the presence of a fatty liver or fibrosis. For more information on this diagnostic test or to schedule a visit with a skilled GI specialist, please contact our Hinsdale, IL gastroenterology practice today.

By Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates
July 14, 2021
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Summary: Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) results if there is excess fat in your liver. It can cause swelling and damage to the organ.

NASH, or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, is a condition that leads to liver irritation and damage from of an accumulation of fatty tissue in the liver. A form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), this health issue might lead to scar tissue and concerning symptoms, including liver fibrosis. Our gastrointestinal (GI) specialists in Hinsdale, IL provide diagnostic services and personalized care for NASH and other liver issues. To hear more about this health issue and how it might be managed, we encourage you to read this post or set up a visit with our team. At Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates, our team is dedicated to helping you improve your gastrointestinal health and quality of life.

What factors contribute to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis?

A critical organ, the liver assists in removing bodily waste and is necessary for healthy digestion. When the liver becomes significantly damaged, cirrhosis of the liver may arise, which typically necessitates the need for considerable treatment and care. Health conditions that might increase your risks for acquiring nonalcoholic steatohepatitis include:

  • Being overweight
  • Diabetic conditions
  • High cholesterol
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Sleep apnea
  • Underactive thyroid

A progressive condition, NASH may eventually lead to symptoms, like jaundice, queasiness, bleeding easily, telangiectasia (spider veins), abdominal bloating, and fatigue. In an effort to stop the condition from advancing, our gastrointestinal specialists in Hinsdale, IL may order diagnostic testing, review your signs or symptoms, and use cutting-edge imaging procedures, including FibroScan®, ultrasound, and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), to identify fat content in your liver. This will allow our GI team to create a treatment plan that covers your medical concerns.

What are the various stages of NAFLD?

he four stages of NAFLD disease include simple fatty liver disease (also called liver steatosis), nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), fibrosis, and cirrhosis. In the first stage of simple fatty liver disease, most individuals usually do not present symptoms and are often unaware that they are experiencing the condition. The following stage, NASH, is a more concerning state of the liver problem, which leads to inflamed tissues within the liver and may cause minor pain in the upper abdomen. When the condition reaches this stage, liver damage has occurred.

In some instances, individuals who have NASH develop stage three or fibrosis. If inflammation in the organ continues, scar tissue may develop, but often there is still healthy enough tissue to support normal liver function. In the fourth stage, cirrhosis develops, which compromises liver function. At this point, the body has a difficult time filtering waste, often leading to life-threatening liver failure.

How is NASH managed?

Among the important elements of preventing the progression of nonalcoholic hepatitis is to adopt new lifestyle changes. By following proper nutritional intake, healthy eating habits, regular exercise, and receiving care for underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes or underactive thyroid, people may considerably decrease the health consequences of this form of NAFLD. Likewise, avoiding alcohol, certain medications, or some supplements can minimize the effects this chronic disease has on the liver. Our gastroenterologists can provide suggestions on the most effective options to moderate the possibility of developing NAFLD (and ultimately NASH) and help halt the progression of liver damage. Dedicated to the highest standard of care, our team members work to ensure every person who visits Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates receives a personalized treatment plan curated for their unique condition.

Get help for NASH in Hinsdale, IL

Our GI team wants to help patients stop the advancement of NASH and enable them to live an improved quality of life. The liver plays a critical role in gastrointestinal health so we urge individuals throughout Hinsdale, IL to take a proactive approach to seek care for any type of liver problem. Schedule a visit with one of our experienced gastrointestinal specialists at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates to discover more information about this concerning liver concern, and how to prevent the disease from advancing.

By Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates
June 28, 2021
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Summary: Without proper care, fatty liver disease can lead to cirrhosis, a health problem that damages the liver and may cause symptoms like jaundice.


Keeping a well-functioning GI system is necessary for having good total health, and among the most important organs of the digestive system is the liver. The liver is in control of various important operations, such as breaking down carbohydrates, fats and proteins, generating bile, preserving glycogen and minerals, excreting hormones and drugs, and many more. But when the liver is impacted by disease, it can have a harmful effect on your general quality of life. A couple of these illnesses are hepatic steatosis (fatty liver disease) and cirrhosis. At Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates, our exceedingly experienced staff of gastroenterologists in Hinsdale, IL partner with patients to better understand their medical concerns and discern any conditions.

What is fatty liver disease?

A fatty liver is an issue defined by the existence of adipocytes in the liver. This disease has a couple of basic types: alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD) and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Whereas AFLD can be attributed to excessive drinking, NAFLD may be prompted by type 2 diabetes, obesity, or lipid disorder, and it is the sole most prevalent type of hepatic steatosis in the United States. It is hard to know if you are experiencing a fatty liver considering that the condition usually does not generate any obvious signs; however, it can be diagnosed by our Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates team via a blood test, diagnostic imaging, or sometimes a biopsy of the liver.

What is cirrhosis of the liver?

If you practice lifestyle habits that cause harm to the liver, it's possible that you could develop cirrhosis. Cirrhosis of the liver is marked by the development of scars on top of healthy liver tissue, which deteriorates over time. Cirrhosis is not a disease that starts overnight; instead, it is normally an effect of years of impairment to the liver, whether by excessive alcohol use or from another disease that remains untreated for many years. Similar to fatty liver disease, the early points of cirrhosis of the liver do not often cause symptoms to show up. Nevertheless, signs of cirrhosis you might encounter as scar tissue continues to increase are:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Dark urine
  • Fluid retention
  • Nausea
  • Memory loss
  • Fatigue
  • Jaundice
  • Irregular stools

Key differences between cirrhosis and fatty liver disease

Although fatty liver disease and cirrhosis both affect the liver, it's important to note a few primary differences.

  1. Fatty liver disease is defined by the existence of fat cells in the liver while cirrhosis involves the growth of scarring on top of healthy areas.
  2. Both groups of fatty liver disease (AFLD and NAFLD) could result in cirrhosis when not addressed.
  3. Both illnesses take many years to form, but cirrhosis of the liver is a significantly more serious concern.
  4. Hepatic steatosis is significantly more common.

In the event that you have one of these issues, you should receive care as soon as you can. Though both problems can be long lasting, having your symptoms managed and your health cared for is essential for your well-being.

Improve the health of your liver

Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates is glad to feature a highly capable staff of talented gastroenterologists who have a thorough knowledge of the gastrointestinal system and the life-giving components that make it up. We work diligently to find out about your concerns to the most exhaustive degree and use innovative medical equipment to offer the most reliable analysis of your illness. To learn more about improving the health of your liver or to schedule a visit, reach out to our team in Hinsdale, IL today.

By Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates
June 09, 2021
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Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates

June Week 1 Blog


What Are the Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease?


As the second-largest organ in your body, the liver serves a number of critical functions, including the filtration of blood, production of bile, and processing of glucose. Sustained damage to the liver might lead to hepatic cirrhosis, which is where scar tissue takes the place of healthy tissue in the liver. Several health issues and liver problems have been known to cause cirrhosis, or severe tissue scarring, of the liver. A common condition, referred to as fatty liver disease, affects nearly one out of every four Americans and is on the rise.

About 20 – 40% of Americans have a fatty liver condition. If ever you or someone you love might be at an elevated risk for developing fatty liver disease, a diagnosis could help set you on the path to reverse the damage caused to the liver. The gastroenterology specialists at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates routinely diagnose and treat fatty liver disease. Schedule an appointment with one of our Hinsdale, IL gastrointestinal (GI) doctors to further explore this serious but often avoidable health problem.


What are the types of fatty liver?

If a fatty liver condition is present, it indicates that there is an excess accumulation of fat in the liver. Even though a minor amount of fat in the liver may be of no concern, a fat constitution of larger than 5% could lead to liver cirrhosis and inflammation, which is medically known as hepatic steatosis. The two primary variations of fatty liver disease are alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD) and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Common risk factors for NAFLD

Drinking alcohol in excess can lead to an oversupply of fat in the liver. In instances where this buildup of fat produces scarring or inflammation, it is called alcoholic steatohepatitis. When people drink zero to minor amounts of alcohol, the risk factors for NAFLD include:

  • Being overweight

  • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)

  • Elevated cholesterol 

  • Type 2 diabetes

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease that results in swelling and damage to the liver is referred to as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). This liver condition is on course to overtake the hepatitis C virus as the leading need for liver transplants among patients in the United States.

How can I identify the symptoms of a fatty liver?

Often, a patient who is affected by a fatty liver condition is not likely to show any noticeable symptoms or signs, especially at first. If symptoms are experienced, however, it could mean that there is considerable damage to the liver. Those indications can include:


  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes

  • A change in bowel movements

  • Nausea

  • Abdominal swelling and swollen ankles

  • Extreme drowsiness

  • Dark urine

Without proper care, a fatty liver condition in Hinsdale, IL patients could develop into cirrhosis, which can lead to complications, like ascites (fluid buildup in the abdominal area), the swelling of blood vessels in the esophagus, hepatic encephalopathy (impaired brain function resulting from liver disease), cancer of the liver, and liver failure. In the event that you or a family member is noticing these health issues, contact Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates and have a gastroenterologist can evaluate the condition. 

Can a fatty liver condition be treated?


Generally, the most effective methods of managing hepatic steatosis commonly involve lifestyle changes. Those who are diagnosed with alcoholic fatty liver disease should avoid consuming alcohol, which could halt the advancement of a fatty liver condition. Avoiding alcoholic beverages is also advised when the patient’s fatty liver condition


does not stem from alcohol use. For patients having nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, decreasing body weight by at least 10% could substantially reduce liver fat accumulation. Consistent heart-healthy exercise may also minimize fat in the organ. Adhering to a healthy dietary intake can both manage conditions that are risk factors for a fatty liver, such as elevated cholesterol and type 2 diabetes, and lower the amount of fat in the liver.

Get specialized care for fatty liver disease in Hinsdale, IL

Fat in the liver might progress to life-threatening cirrhosis and the chance of liver failure in the absence of qualified care. In the event that you or your family member may have fatty liver disease, set up an appointment at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates to get information on the methods used to manage and treat this concern. Our Hinsdale, IL team is made up of qualified gastroenterologists who prioritize the health and wellness of their patients ahead of all else.

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By Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates
May 28, 2021
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A person's gastrointestinal tract is among the most important systems in the body because it is composed of such necessary parts as the esophagus, intestines, pancreas, gallbladder, and stomach. Dysfunction in the GI tract can impact how your body receives proper nutrition and excretes stool. If you are having bothersome signs associated with your GI wellness, it may be time to seek out a GI physician in Hinsdale, IL. Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates is your source for professional gastrointestinal treatment.

What is a GI specialist and what do they treat?

A gastroenterologist is a physician that specializes in treating the gastrointestinal tract and liver. A GI specialist helps support a patient’s gastrointestinal wellness and addresses conditions, such as:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Hepatic steatosis (fatty liver disease)
  • Colorectal cancer and colon polyps
  • Acid reflux (heartburn)
  • Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease (inflammatory bowel disease)
  • Celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity

When to see a doctor for digestive diseases

In the event that you have been having issues related to your digestive system, such as abdominal pain, difficulty swallowing, persistent heartburn, or abnormal bowel habits, then arrange a consultation with a GI practitioner immediately. It is also vital to arrange regular appointments with a GI specialist for regular maintenance and colon cancer testing starting as soon as age 45.

How to identify the best gastroenterologist near me

Locating a physician can seem like a complicated process, but our team in Hinsdale, IL is here to provide support. Here are some pointers to locate a gastroenterology physician near you.

  • Ask for a recommendation from your primary care doctor. Because they're your principal line of defense for any medical problems you have, your general medicine practitioner is an efficient source for nearby gastroenterologists.
  • Ask your friends or relatives for suggestions. In the event that a person in your life also has gastrointestinal problems, they could lead you in the direction of a reliable Hinsdale, IL GI physician. Inquire from your friends and family who they see for their GI wellness needs as well as preventive cancer testing.
  • Search your insurance company's network for a covered gastroenterologist. In order to help keep your out-of-pocket costs inexpensive, look through your insurance carrier’s system or contact your insurance representative for a list of nearby gastrointestinal physicians.
  • Check your gastroenterology physician's training. Before reserving a visit with a GI doctor, make sure to do a little bit of research on their expertise and credentials. Learn where they acquired their education and how long they have been in practice. Additionally, search patient feedback to see how patients feel regarding their experience with a certain gastrointestinal specialist.
  • Book a consultation. As soon as you have simplified your search considerably, reach out to your preferred gastrointestinal specialist and book a consultation. When you meet with your specialist, pay attention to how they communicate and make you feel. Finding a physician who prioritizes your well-being and security can help you feel comfortable and calm when getting treatment.

Seeking a GI specialist in Hinsdale, IL?

Partnering with a skilled GI physician can allow you to protect your GI health and total wellness. The specialists at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates take a personalized approach to gastrointestinal health and are dedicated to your well-being, security, and overall excellent visit. We encourage you to get in touch with our team in Hinsdale, IL at your convenience to arrange a consultation.

By Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates
May 28, 2021
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Gluten is often a staple in anyone's diet and is present in many of the foods and grains we enjoy day-to-day. However, for patients with celiac disease, ingesting foods with gluten can result in serious medical issues. The single effective remedy for celiac disease is eliminating gluten from the diet. When you suspect you may be suffering from celiac disease, partner with a physician at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates to diagnose and treat your gluten sensitivity. Our Hinsdale, IL staff will help you process your new condition and show you how to adapt your choices and diet appropriately.

An introduction to celiac disease

Known as an inflammatory disease, celiac disease is a condition wherein ingesting gluten leads to the deterioration of the small intestines. Celiac disease can affect people of all ages and at any time. Professionals estimate that roughly two million people in this country are suffering from celiac disease and that around two-thirds of them are not diagnosed or incorrectly diagnosed. When left alone, celiac disease might lead to severe health complications.

Some signs of celiac disease

An individual who has celiac disease might experience a single or several of these listed signs after ingesting gluten:

  • Decayed teeth
  • Pain, prickling, or loss of sensation in the feet
  • Heartburn
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Passing out
  • Rashes
  • Loose stools
  • Difficulty while making bowel movements

If you, or someone you know, are seeing these typical celiac disease symptoms, get in touch with our Hinsdale, IL office to set up a checkup with a GI specialist. Acquiring appropriate treatment may help elevate your overall wellness, as well as your digestive health.

Identifying celiac disease

A gastrointestinal specialist will diagnose celiac disease. Your gastroenterologist could offer just one or both of the two gluten sensitivity tests to help identify or eliminate this illness:

  • A tissue transglutaminase (tTG)-IgA test is a blood exam that can detect the presence of celiac disease in patients.
  • An HLA genetic test looks for the HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8 alleles. Although it won't diagnose celiac disease, not carrying these alleles will exclude the illness.

The following stage of diagnosing celiac disease is to do an upper endoscopy. During this diagnostic, your GI physician will evaluate your small intestine for abnormalities by placing a thin camera device gently through the mouth. Endoscopy is often a simple procedure that is completed on an outpatient basis at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates.

Treating celiac disease

Celiac disease is a life-long illness. However, it can be managed by developing a diet that comprises gluten-free foods. For most patients with celiac disease, adopting a gluten-free diet may temper issues or even encourage the intestines to heal. Individuals who have the condition and adhere to a gluten-free diet often experience improvements to their digestive health within a few weeks. Removing gluten from the diet may prove to be difficult in the beginning, but with the help of a knowledgeable dietitian and gastrointestinal specialist at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates, people in Hinsdale, IL who have celiac disease can adapt their lifestyle and experience happy lives.

Have celiac disease in Hinsdale, IL?

Being gluten intolerant may influence your total health and change the way you live your life. To learn more about celiac disease and the ways you can treat this GI disease, we encourage you to get in touch with Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates. If you think you might have celiac disease and want to get your health back in top shape, reach out to our Hinsdale, IL office to schedule an appointment.

By Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates
May 28, 2021
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Finding red bloody stool can be alarming and may leave you worried about your digestive health. But bowel movement blood (called hematochezia) might not always signify a serious medical problem. A number of conditions can result in having fresh or red blood in the stool. The gastrointestinal doctors at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates commonly evaluate this concern and can identify the source of gastrointestinal bleeding among adults and children throughout the Hinsdale, IL region.

What might having bloody stools indicate?

Bloody stool indicates that bleeding has happened somewhere along the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Bleeding could develop in any portion of the GI system, which starts at the esophagus and ends at the anus. In some cases, rectal bleeding or blood in the stool may be a result of minor internal conditions that are simple to manage and treat. But since red or fresh blood in the stool could also be an indication of several serious gastrointestinal conditions, it's essential to visit a specialized physician as early as possible to identify the cause.

What causes bloody stool?

Even though bloody stools may be completely a benign symptom, it can also be a sign of a more complex health concern that should be further investigated. The causes of bloody stools or rectal bleeding could include:

  • Cancer of the colon
  • Gastric cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Anal fissures
  • Hemorrhoids

Who should consult a GI doctor about blood in the stool?

Any signs of rectal bleeding or bloody stools that persist should be evaluated by a gastrointestinal doctor. Immediate care should be sought if heavy bleeding occurs or if symptoms (like pain in the abdomen, loose bowels, fatigue, dizziness, or additional issues) also arise. The experts at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates may perform a series of tests to learn in what area along the GI tract the bleeding is originating. Additionally, they can specify bloody stool causes and determine whether there are any treatment needs. Common services used to diagnose the condition causing blood in the stool or rectal bleeding are:

  • Fecal tests (stool analysis): These common lab tests can identify the presence of occult (hidden) blood in a stool sample, which can be evidence of colon cancer or additional GI diseases.
  • Colonoscopy: With this procedure, an endoscope outfitted with a video camera is utilized to provide a real-time image of the internal structure of the large intestine (colon). GI specialists throughout the Hinsdale, IL area use this endoscopic procedure to visualize growths or conditions within the rectum or colon that could be the source of bloody stools or rectal bleeding. Colon polyps can often also be removed during a colonoscopy, which could help to reduce the chance of colon cancer in the future.
  • Capsule endoscopy: With capsule endoscopy, a small capsule containing a wireless camera is ingested, much like an oral pill. The small camera captures and forwards photos of the various areas of the digestive system as it makes its way through the upper GI tract and into the small intestine.
  • Upper endoscopy: Also called an upper GI, this diagnostic procedure entails the insertion of a long scope that houses a small camera through the mouth and into the GI tract. Upper endoscopies can help identify whether bloody stools are the result of an issue associated with the throat, esophagus, or stomach, which make up the upper part of the digestive system.

Specialty care for gastrointestinal health in Hinsdale, IL

Gastrointestinal health is a very important part of your systemic wellness. Any time red blood in the stool is present after having a bowel movement, it's vital to see a GI physician to pinpoint the cause and help preserve your health. Please contact Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates today to schedule a consultation with a qualified gastroenterologist.