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Conditions we treat

Digestive and disease solutions

As your center of excellence for digestive and liver disease solutions, we offer screening colonoscopy to detect colon cancer – and endoscopy to detect disorders of the upper digestive tract. We treat a wide variety of problems, including:

  • Digestive disorders – includes any problem that occurs anywhere along the digestive tract, from the esophagus or throat to the rectum

  • IBS, Crohn's and ulcerative colitisIBS is an embarrassing condition that causes abdominal cramping and pain, plus changes in bowel movements; Crohn's disease is similar in that it causes cramping, pain and diarrhea. Ulcerative colitis causes diarrhea, loose stools and lost appetite.

  • Liver, pancreatic and gallbladder problems

  • GERD – Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is characterized by burning chest pain, a sour taste in your mouth and regurgitation of food or sour liquid (as in acid reflux)

  • Barrett’s esophagus – an abnormal change in the cells of the lower esophagus and a strong association with esophageal adenocarcinoma, which is a deadly form of cancer

  • Ulcers – these small holes in the digestive tract can appear in the stomach (peptic or gastric ulcers), the esophagus, the colon or the intestines

  • Swallowing disorders – Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) can be caused by several conditions, including GERD, esophageal cancer, Lou Gehrig's disease and stroke 

  • Hiatal hernia – When part of your stomach pushes upward into your diaphragm. The hiatus is a small opening through which your food tube passes on its way to connect to your stomach.

  • Hepatitis B and C – Hepatitis B is a virus that infects the liver and is transmitted through sex or sharing needles, silverware and toothbrushes with an infected individual. Hepatitis C is also a liver virus that is transmitted through blood-to-blood contact (e.g. shared needles, etc.

Ulcers - an effective cure for a common ulcer disease

Over 25 million Americans suffer with an ulcer at some point during their lives. Contrary to popular belief, over 90% of ulcers are caused by infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), not by spicy food, stomach acid or stress. The good news is that ulcers can be cured in one or two weeks with the right antibiotics.

The most common type of ulcer is called a peptic ulcer. This is where a sore or hole develops in the lining of the stomach or duodenum, which is the first part of the small intestine. Ulcers occur in people of all ages, and women are affected just as often as men. The most common ulcer symptom is burning pain in the stomach. Some patients also have nausea, vomiting or blood in their stools in the case of a bleeding ulcer.

H. pylori - A simple test and an effective cure

We can test you for H. pylori infection with a simple blood test or breath test. If you test positive for H. pylori, we can treat it with antibiotics – the new cure for ulcers. Once we eliminate H. pylori infections with antibiotics, the ulcer is usually cured for good.

Liver, pancreatic and gallbladder diseases

Liver disease can impair the liver’s many important functions – converting food nutrients, filtering harmful substances, producing proteins and enzymes, regulating clotting, storing vitamins and minerals, balancing hormones, producing bile for digestion, processing fats and assisting the immune system.

The pancreas stores digestive enzymes that are needed to break down food and releases insulin into the bloodstream. When the pancreas becomes inflamed with pancreatitis, the digestive enzymes damage tissue inside the pancreas and lead to pancreatic cancer. The gallbladder stores bile from your liver to digest fat. As you digest food, the gallbladder releases bile through the bile duct that connects the gallbladder and liver to the small intestine. The gallbladder can give you trouble if a gallstone blocks the flow of bile.

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) examines your bile ducts and pancreas and takes tissue samples if needed. We may also run blood tests, ultrasound evaluation, upper GI studies, imaging scans and tissue biopsy. So it is essential to trust your care to a well-trained specialist with the experience and know-how to treat and manage liver, pancreatic and gallbladder problems effectively.

Symptoms of digestive disorders

There are many digestive disorders and diseases. A digestive disease is any health problem that occurs anywhere in the digestive tract. The first sign of trouble in the digestive tract may include:

  • Bleeding
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Heartburn
  • Incontinence
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain in the stomach
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Unexplained weight gain or loss

A few of the more common digestive disorders are:

  • Fecal incontinence is the impaired ability to control gas or stool. It’s a common problem that is not often discussed due to embarrassment. It is normal for most people to have bowel movements from three times a day to three times a week. Normal bowel habits are affected by diet and fiber or liquid intake. Exercise is also beneficial for regulating bowel habits.
  • Constipation is the inability to have regular bowel movements. About 80% of people suffer from constipation at some time during their lives. Brief periods of constipation are not unusual. If bowel movements occur less than three times weekly, you might have constipation.
  • Hemorrhoids affect half of all Americans at some point in their lives. When most people finally seek help, they really need it. Today, the most common hemorrhoid treatment is rubber-band ligation. About 50 million of these are performed worldwide each year. Over 95% of all hemorrhoids can be treated this way. Today’s more advanced bands allow more accurate placement. The bands are smaller and more comfortable, so patients’ enjoy unprecedented safety, comfort and ease.

Of course, there are many others too numerous to list here, including diseases of the liver, pancreas and gallbladder – hepatitis B and C, gallstones and diverticulitis, to name a few. Our board-certified gastroenterologists can treat them all.

Convenience is equally important to giving top-notch healthcare. Visit East Valley Gastroenterology & Hepatology Associates for dedicated digestive healthcare. Call us at 480.786.6655 or use our online form to schedule your consultation.

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