Category: Just So You Know

Patient Education: Obesity and Bariatric Surgery

Patient Education: Obesity and Bariatric Surgery

Weight loss surgery, sometimes called bariatric surgery, is a surgery to help you lose weight. It works by making you take in fewer calories and nutrients. Doctors use a measure called “body mass index” or BMI, to decide who can have this weight loss surgery. Your BMI will tell you whether your weight is normal for your height. (See BMI Chart in my previous postings.)

Weight loss surgery is appropriate only if you have not been able to lose weight through other means and if you:

  • have a BMI above 40 and have not responded to diet, exercise, or weight loss medicines; or
  • have a BMI above 35 and also have a medical problem related to obesity, such as diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure; or
  • have a BMI above 30, but only if you have certain medical conditions.

Types of Surgery

Gastric Bypass: Gastric bypass is short for “Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass,” and sometimes called “RYGB.” For this surgery, the doctor closes off part of the stomach, leaving only a small pouch for food. Then, he or she connects the stomach pouch to the middle part of the small intestine. This allows food to “bypass” or reroute around a part of the stomach and small intestine. There are other surgeries that are simlar to gastric bypass in how they cause weight loss.

Gastric Sleeve: Gastric sleeve, also known as “sleeve gastrectomy,” is a surgery that turns the stomach into something that looks like a sleeve. In other words, the doctor removes a large portion of the stomach and leaves a narrow tube.

Gastric Balloon: For this, the doctor puts a special balloon into your stomach. He or she does this using a thin tube that goes into your mouth and down your throat. The balloon stays in your stomach for up to 6 months. While it is there, your stomach has less space for food, which limits the amount you can eat at one time.

Gastric bypass and gastric sleeve can be done as “open” surgery or as a laparoscopic surgery. For open surgery, the surgeon cuts open the belly and works on the organs directly. For laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon makes a small cut and inserts a narrow tool that has a tiny camera on the end into the belly. This tool is called a laparoscope. It allows the surgeon to see inside the belly without opening it up all the way. Then, the surgeon can do the surgery using other tools that fit through small openings in the belly and that can be controlled from the outside.

Gastric balloon is a procedure, it is not actually a surgery. It does not involve cutting the skin the way the other options do.

Each type of weight loss surgery is different and each has different benefits and downsides.

  • Gastric Bypass leads to the most weight loss and works the fastest, but it involves the most serious surgery with the highest risks. It can also cause problems in how your body absorbs nutrients. As a result, it can lead to “nutritional deficiencies,” meaning your body is missing important nutrients. This can sometimes make you sick. If you have gastric bypass, your doctor will monitor your nutrient levels afterward.
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy is safer than gastric bypass because it does not involve rerouting or cutting and reattaching the intestines, and because it is less likely to cause problems with how you absorb nutrients. It might also be safer because it does not involve any plastic materials that stay in your body.
  • Gastric balloon is becoming a more popular option for weight loss. That’s because it is safe, easy-to-do, and does not involve any cutting. But, it also does not lead to as much weight loss as the other surgical options. After the balloon is removed, some (but not all) people are able to keep the weight off.

The decision about which type of surgery to have is important. Discuss your choices with your doctor. If you have different options, ask the following questions.

  • About how much weight can I expect to lose with each option?
  • How long will it take me to lose the weight?
  • What are the risks of each option for someone like me?
  • What changes will I need to make to my diet and lifestyle with each option?

Whatever you decide, make sure your surgeon is experienced with weight loss surgery. Also, check with the staff at your treatment center, or make sure it is a certified “Center of Excellence.” Those centers have a team of nurses and doctors who specialize in taking care of patients like you. If you are unsure about your decision, you can ask for an opinion from another doctor. Most hospitals that have experience with weight loss surgery offer patient education sessions where you can learn more about weight loss surgery and the options you have.

In addition to helping you lose weight, surgery can help improve or even get rid of certain health problems including:

  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • sleep apnea, a condition that causes you to stop breathing for short amounts of time while you sleep.

The risks of surgery are different depending on the following.

  • What type of weight loss surgery you have.
  • Whether your surgery is open or laparoscopic.
  • Your age and overall health.
  • How experienced your surgeon is.

In general, the risks could include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection inside the belly or in the wounds from surgery
  • Leaks from the incisions on the stomach or intestine
  • A blockage or tear in the intestines
  • Problems with the heart or lungs
  • Gallstones
  • Nutritional problems
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Need for more surgery

As with any kind of surgery, it is possible for these procedures to lead to serious problems or even death. Death following weight loss surgery is very rare. But it’s still important to talk to your doctor about all the possible risks of each type of surgery.

You will need to eat healthy foods that “work with” your surgery. For example, you should choose foods high in protein and low in fat and calories. You should also avoid liquid foods that are high in calories, such as ice cream. If you eat the wrong things, you could hurt your chances of losing weight.

If you have weight loss surgery, you will need to avoid certain foods that could make you sick. Plus you will probably need to take special multivitamins with minerals. That’s because weight loss surgery, especially gastric bypass, can make it hard for your body to get all the nutrition it needs. You must keep taking vitamins for the rest of the life. Your body will always need them to stay healthy.

Adopted from Up-to-Date Education Basics.

Please follow and like us:
2018 Cholesterol Clinical Practice Guidelines: Synopsis of the 2018 American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology/Multi society Cholesterol Guideline

2018 Cholesterol Clinical Practice Guidelines: Synopsis of the 2018 American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology/Multi society Cholesterol Guideline

CLINICAL GUIDELINES |4 JUNE 2019 Annals Of Internal Medicine

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, including for African American, Hispanic, and white persons (1) and for both women and men. The leading cause of death attributable to cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the United States is coronary heart disease (43.8%), followed by stroke (16.8%)—the 2 components of fatal atherosclerotic CVD (ASCVD) (2). The economic impact of ASCVD is large: It accounted for 14% of total health expenditures in 2013 to 2014, more than any major diagnostic group.

The American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology (AHA/ACC), with the support of 10 collaborating organizations, have recently released their 2018 cholesterol guideline (3). In addition, they have released a companion special report on the use of risk assessment tools to guide decision making in primary prevention 

Recommendation:

The guideline endorses a heart-healthy lifestyle beginning in childhood to reduce lifetime risk for ASCVD. It contains several new features compared with the 2013 guideline. For secondary prevention, patients at very high risk may be candidates for adding nonstatin medications (ezetimibe or proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 [PCSK9] inhibitors) to statin therapy. In primary prevention, a clinician–patient risk discussion is still strongly recommended before a decision is made about statin treatment. The AHA/ACC risk calculator first triages patients into 4 risk categories. Those at intermediate risk deserve a focused clinician–patient discussion before initiation of statin therapy. Among intermediate-risk patients, identification of risk-enhancing factors and coronary artery calcium testing can assist in the decision to use a statin. Compared with the 2013 guideline, the new guideline gives more attention to percentage reduction in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol as a treatment goal and to long-term monitoring of therapeutic efficacy. To simplify monitoring, nonfasting lipid measurements are allowed.

Synopsis of Recommendations

1. Healthy lifestyle over the lifespan. A healthy lifestyle reduces ASCVD risk at all ages. In younger persons, healthy lifestyle can reduce development of risk factors, can prevent the need for subsequent statin use, and is foundational therapy for ASCVD risk reduction. In young adults aged 20 to 39 years, an assessment of lifetime risk facilitates the clinician–patient risk discussion and emphasizes intensive lifestyle efforts. In all age groups, lifestyle therapy is the primary intervention for metabolic syndrome.

2. Use of maximally tolerated doses of statins in secondary prevention of ASCVD. In patients with clinical ASCVD, the guideline recommends reduction of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels with high-intensity or maximally tolerated statin therapy. The more LDL-C is reduced during statin therapy, the greater the subsequent risk reduction will be. High-intensity statins typically reduce LDL-C levels by an average of at least 50%, which is an attainable goal in most patients with ASCVD.

3. Use of nonstatin medications in addition to statin therapy for patients at very high risk for ASCVD. Very high risk is defined as a history of multiple major ASCVD events, or 1 major ASCVD event and multiple other high-risk conditions. In very-high-risk ASCVD, the guideline recommends an LDL-C threshold of 1.8 mmol/L (70 mg/dL) as reasonable for adding a nonstatin medication (ezetimibe or proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 [PCSK9] inhibitors) to maximally tolerated statin therapy. In patients who had very high risk, had a baseline LDL-C level of approximately 1.8 mmol/L (70 mg/dL), and were receiving statin therapy, addition of ezetimibe reduced risk for major events by 2 percentage points (6). Two RCTs recruited patients at very high risk who were receiving maximally tolerated doses of statins, had LDL-C levels greater than 1.8 mmol/L (70 mg/dL) (average, about 2.3 mmol/L [90 mg/dL]), and were treated with PCSK9 inhibitors for approximately 3 years (7, 8). Addition of PCSK9 inhibitors reduced risk for subsequent ASCVD events by about 15%. On the basis of these RCTs, the guideline states that addition of ezetimibe to maximally tolerated statin therapy is reasonable when LDL-C levels are 1.8 mmol/L (70 mg/dL) or higher. In patients at very high risk whose LDL-C levels remain above this threshold while they receive maximally tolerated statin and ezetimibe therapy, the guideline suggests that a PCSK9 inhibitor is a reasonable addition, although long-term safety (>3 years) is uncertain and cost-effectiveness was low at mid-2018 list prices. Some prescription programs have recently been initiated to reduce the cost of PCSK9 inhibitors. As cost decreases, cost-effectiveness will increase (9).

4. Severe primary hypercholesterolemia, often starting in childhood. In patients with primary, severe hypercholesterolemia (LDL-C level ≥4.9 mmol/L [≥190 mg/dL]), calculating 10-year ASCVD risk is not necessary. Maximally tolerated statin therapy is required to reduce LDL-C levels toward a lower risk range. If the LDL-C level remains at or above 2.6 mmol/L (100 mg/dL), adding ezetimibe is reasonable. If the patient still has an LDL-C level above this threshold while receiving a statin plus ezetimibe and has multiple factors that increase subsequent risk for ASCVD events, a PCSK9 inhibitor may be considered, although long-term safety (>3 years) is uncertain and economic value is low based on list prices from mid-2018.

5. Adults aged 40 to 75 years with diabetes mellitus and an LDL-C level of 1.8 mmol/L (70 mg/dL) or higher. In these patients, the guidelines recommend starting moderate-intensity statin therapy without the need to calculate 10-year ASCVD risk. In patients with diabetes and higher risk, especially those who have multiple risk factors or are aged 50 to 75 years, use of a high-intensity statin is reasonable to reduce the LDL-C level by at least 50%.

6. Clinician–patient risk discussion. In adults aged 40 to 75 years who are evaluated for primary ASCVD prevention, the guidelines continue to recommend a clinician–patient risk discussion before statin therapy is started. Risk discussion should include review of major risk factors (such as cigarette smoking and elevated levels of blood pressure, LDL-C, hemoglobin A1c level [if indicated], or calculated 10-year risk for ASCVD), risk-enhancing factors (see recommendation 8), the potential benefits of lifestyle and statin therapies, the potential for adverse effects and drug–drug interactions, consideration of costs of statin therapy, and patient preferences and values in shared decision making.

7. Adults aged 40 to 75 years without diabetes mellitus who have LDL-C levels of at least 1.8 mmol/L (70 mg/dL), and a 10-year ASCVD risk of 7.5% or higher. In this population, the guidelines recommend moderate-intensity statin therapy if a discussion of treatment options favors statins. Patients without ASCVD are categorized and stratified for risk by age, coexisting conditions, and risk factors (Figure). When those with diabetes or LDL-C levels above 4.9 mmol/L (190 mg/dL) are excluded, RCT evidence for the benefit of statin therapy in persons aged 40 to 75 years continues to accumulate (10). Patients in this age range are triaged into 4 categories of 10-year risk for ASCVD: low (<5%), borderline (5% to 7.4%), intermediate (7.5% to 19.9%), and high (≥20%). In the latter category, the guideline recommends high-intensity statin therapy because of its proven benefit. Evidence from RCTs supports the efficacy of statin therapy for patients whose 10-year risk is 5% or higher. Nonetheless, in those with borderline or intermediate risk, clinical judgment is required to initiate statin treatment on the basis of risk–benefit considerations and patient preferences.

8. Decision making in primary prevention in adults aged 40 to 75 years. The guideline endorses a 3-tiered decision process for treatment in adults aged 40 to 75 years with borderline (5% to 7.4%) or intermediate (7.5% to 19.9%) risk for ASCVD. The decision process begins with estimation of 10-year risk. As in prior guidelines, 10-year risk of 7.5% or higher does not result in automatic statin assignment. To personalize risk, the current guideline recommends evaluation of risk-enhancing factors—that is, stable factors that associate with ASCVD beyond the major risk factors incorporated into the risk calculator. These include family history of premature ASCVD; LDL-C levels of 4.1 mmol/L (160 mg/dL) or higher; metabolic syndrome; chronic kidney disease; history of preeclampsia or premature menopause (in women); chronic inflammatory disorders; high-risk ethnicity, such as South Asian ancestry; triglyceride levels persistently elevated above 2.0 mmol/L (175 mg/dL); and, if measured, elevations in apolipoprotein B (may be especially useful if hypertriglyceridemia >2.3 mmol/L [>200 mg/dL] persists), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels of 19.0476 nmol/L (2.0 mg/L) or higher, lipoprotein(a) levels with elevations above 125 nmol/L (50 mg/dL) (especially useful in those with a family history of premature ASCVD), or reduced ankle–brachial index. Presence of risk-enhancing factors in patients at intermediate risk favors statin therapy. In addition, if risk status remains uncertain, measurement of coronary artery calcium (CAC) can be considered.

9. CAC scoring to improve risk stratification. In adults who do not have diabetes, are aged 40 to 75 years, have LDL-C levels of 1.8 to 4.9 mmol/L (70 to 189 mg/dL), and have a 10-year risk of 7.5% to 19.9% as estimated by the pooled cohort equations (PCEs), but who are uncertain about statin benefit, CAC scoring may help resolve the uncertainty. If the CAC score is 0 Agatston units, statin therapy may be withheld or delayed, except in cigarette smokers and those with a strong family history of premature ASCVD or diabetes. A CAC score of 1 to 99 units favors statin therapy, especially in patients older than 55 years. For any patient, if the CAC score is at least 100 Agatston units or is at or above the 75th percentile, statin therapy is indicated unless otherwise deferred by the outcome of a clinician–patient risk discussion.

10. Follow-up for adherence and adequacy of response. The current guideline continues to recommend assessment of adherence to medications and lifestyle and percentage change in LDL-C level at 4 to 12 weeks after statin initiation or dosage adjustment; this assessment should be repeated every 3 to 12 months as needed. Clinicians may often underestimate adherence unless specific questions are asked (11).

Please follow and like us:
Patient Education: Diet and Health

Patient Education: Diet and Health

The food choices we make can have an important impact on our health. However, expert opinions continue to change about which and how much of these foods are optimal.

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES — Several studies have demonstrated important health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables.

  • Increased intake of fruits and vegetables is linked to a lower risk of premature death.
  • Fruits and vegetables decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases including coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and death from CHD.
  • High intake of fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of developing cancer. Tomato and tomato-based foods may be beneficial at lowering the risk of prostate cancer.
  • Recommended intake is at least five servings of fruits and/or vegetables every day.

FIBER — Eating a diet that is high in fiber can decrease the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), colon cancer, and death. Eating fiber also protects against type 2 diabetes and eating soluble fiber (such as that found in vegetables, fruits, and especially legumes) may help control blood sugar in people who already have diabetes.

The recommended amount of dietary fiber is 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men. Many breakfast cereals, fruits, and vegetables are excellent sources of dietary fiber. By reading the product information panel on the side of the package, it is possible to determine the number of grams of fiber per serving.

GRAINS AND SUGAR — Whole grain foods (like 100 percent whole wheat bread, steel cut oats, and wild/brown rice) should be chosen over foods made with refined grains (like white bread and white rice). Regularly eating whole grains has been shown to help weight loss and lower the risk of diabetes. Regularly consuming refined grains and added sugars has been associated with weight gain and increased risk of diabetes.

FAT — Eating foods higher in healthy fats and lower in unhealthy fats may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD).

The type of fat consumed appears to be more important than the amount of total fat. Trans fats should be avoided in favor of polyunsaturated fats, particularly those polyunsaturated fats found in fish (omega 3). Other sources of polyunsaturated fats that may be beneficial include certain oils, nuts, and seeds (like corn oil, flax seeds, and walnuts).

Trans fats appear on food labels as “partially hydrogenated oils” and are solid at room temperature. They are found in many margarines and commercial baked goods as well as in oils kept at high temperatures for a long period, such as frying vats in fast food restaurants.

Although saturated fats (found in animal products such as cheese, butter, and red meat) have typically been viewed as unhealthy, and monounsaturated fats (found in combination with other fats in many oils, such as olive oil) as healthy, newer evidence suggests that saturated and monounsaturated fats do not significantly increase or decrease the risk of CHD, although saturated fats raise cholesterol levels.

If cutting back on certain fats, it is important not to replace them with refined carbohydrates (eg, white bread, white rice, most sweets). Increases in refined carbohydrate intake may lower levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (good cholesterol), which actually increases the risk of CHD.

RED MEAT — It is now well-established that regularly eating red meat, particularly processed meats (like salami, pepperoni, and ham), is detrimental to health. It increases the risk of numerous diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

FOLATE — Folate is a type of B vitamin that is important in the production of red blood cells. Low levels of folate in pregnant women have been linked to a group of birth defects called neural tube defects, which includes spina bifida and anencephaly. Vitamins containing folate and breakfast cereal fortified with folate are recommended as the best ways to ensure adequate folate intake.

ANTIOXIDANTS — The antioxidant vitamins include vitamins A, C, E, and beta-carotene. Many foods, especially fruits and vegetables, contain these vitamins as well as have additional antioxidant properties. Studies have not clearly shown that antioxidant vitamins help prevent disease, specifically cancer, and some studies show they may cause harm. There is no evidence to support taking antioxidant vitamin supplements, except for individuals who have specific vitamin deficiencies.

CALCIUM AND VITAMIN D — Adequate calcium and vitamin D intake are important, particularly in women, to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. A health care provider can help to decide if supplements are needed, depending upon a person’s dietary intake of calcium and vitamin D. Although the optimal level has not been clearly established, experts recommend that premenopausal women and men consume at least 1000 mg of calcium per day and postmenopausal women should consume 1200 mg per day. No more than 2000 mg of calcium should be consumed per day.

For vitamin D, 800 international units (20 micrograms) per day is recommended for adults over 70 years old and postmenopausal women. For other adults, the optimal intake is not clearly established, but 600 international units (15 micrograms) per day is generally recommended.

ALCOHOL — Moderate alcohol intake may reduce the risk of heart disease. However, drinking is also associated with many adverse events. Regularly drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer in women; cancers of the mouth, esophagus, throat, larynx, and liver; other illnesses such as cirrhosis and alcoholism; and injuries and other trauma-related problems, particularly in men.

Based on the trade-off between these risks and benefits, the United States Dietary Guidelines recommend alcohol intake in moderation, if at all. This means no more than one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. Those who do not drink alcohol do not need to start.

Drinking is discouraged for those under 40 years who are at low risk of cardiovascular disease because the risks are likely to outweigh the benefits in this group.

CALORIC INTAKE — Of all aspects of diet, calories are possibly the most important when it comes to good health and preventing disease. Too many calories lead to weight gain and obesity. Excess weight is linked to premature death as well as an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, numerous cancers, and other important diseases.

The total number of calories a person needs depends upon the following factors:

  • weight
  • age
  • gender
  • height
  • activity level

GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR A HEALTHY DIET — Eat lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains and a limited amount of red meat. Get at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Tips for achieving this goal include:

  • Make fruits and vegetables part of every meal. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Frozen or canned can be used when fresh isn’t convenient.
  • Eat vegetables as snacks.
  • Have a bowl of fruit all the for kids to take snacks from.
  • Put fruit on your cereal.
  • Consume at least half of all grains as whole grains (100 percent whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole grain cereal), replacing refined grains (like white bread, white rice, refined or sweetened cereals)
  • Choose smaller portions and eat more slowly.

Cut down on unhealthy fats (trans fats and saturated fats) and consume more healthy fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat). Tips for achieving this goal include:

  • Choose chicken, fish, and beans instead of red meat and cheese.
  • Cook with oils that contain polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, like corn, olive and peanut oil.
  • Choose margarines that do not have partially hydrogenated oils. Soft margarines (especially squeeze margarines) have less trans fatty acids than stick margarines.
  • Eat fewer baked goods that are store-made and contain partially hydrogenated fats (like many types of crackers, cookies, and cupcakes).
  • When eating at fast food restaurants, choose healthy items for yourself as well as your family, like broiled chicken or salad.
  • If choosing prepared or processed foods, choose those labeled “zero trans-fat.” They may still have some trans-fat, but likely less than similar choices not labeled “zero.”

Avoid sugary drinks and excessive alcohol intake. Tips for achieving this goal include:

  • Choose non-sweetened and non-alcoholic beverages, like water, at meals and parties.
  • Avoid occasions centered around alcohol.
  • Avoid making sugary drinks and alcohol an essential part of family gatherings.

Keep calorie intake balanced with needs and activity level.

Please follow and like us:
Gutchek Introduction

Gutchek Introduction

Twenty-three years ago, I started writing articles to give updates to my fellow colleagues under the banner “JUST SO YOU KNOW.” As president of Unity Hospital medical and dental staff, these articles were hugely popular and have become my tradition ever since. In late 80s and early 90s, I was writing articles regarding common GI medical issues to educate our physicians under the name GUTCHEK as newsletter. Once I had set up our practice website in late 90s, articles were then posted under Gutchek.com and were enjoyed by patients and physicians alike.

Now as a retired Gastroenterologist, I am beginning a new chapter as a blogger. Going forward, gutchek.com will contain common digestive disease-related pearls for the benefit of patients. Also, this website will periodically post articles of medical and non-medical interest from other sources as well. I will offer surveys time to time.

Gutchek.com will offer free information to the general public about their digestive disorder symptoms. Within Monroe County, I will be able to provide support about seeking experts in the area.

I am open to suggestions as to what other content to include on gutchek.com.

Tarun Kothari, MD, FACG, FACP

Disclaimer Notice: Gutchek.com and the information contained within is provided for general education and informative purposes only. Articles do not constitute medical advice. Please consult with your own health care provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Please follow and like us:
Guideline Issued for Treatment of Mild, Moderate Ulcerative Colitis

Guideline Issued for Treatment of Mild, Moderate Ulcerative Colitis

Guideline Issued for Treatment of Mild, Moderate Ulcerative
Colitis
 
A new clinical guideline from the American Gastroenterological
Association (AGA) published Dec 18 in Gastroenterology focuses
on the medical management of patients with mild-to-
moderate ulcerative colitis (UC).

To inform the guideline, Siddharth Singh, MD, from the University of California in San Diego, and colleagues compiled the clinical evidence in accordance with the Grading of Recommendations

Assessment, Development, and Evaluation framework.
In the guideline, Cynthia W. Ko, MD, from the University of
Washington in Seattle, and colleagues note that most UC patients
have a mild-to-moderate course characterized by periods of
activity or remission. For patients with extensive mild-to-moderate UC, using standard-dose mesalamine or diazo-bonded 5-ASA is recommended rather than low-dose mesalamine, sulfasalazine, or no treatment. Rectal mesalamine should be added to oral 5-ASA for patients with extensive or left-sided mild-to-moderate UC.

High-dose mesalamine with rectal mesalamine is recommended
for patients with mild-to-moderate UC with suboptimal response to standard-dose mesalamine or diazo-bonded 5-ASA. Once-daily
dosing is recommended rather than multiple-daily dosing for
patients with mild-to-moderate UC being treated with oral
mesalamine. For induction of remission, standard-dose oral
mesalamine or diazo-bonded 5-ASA is recommended rather than
budesonide MMX or controlled ileal-release budesonide.

“We identified several knowledge gaps and areas for future research in this patient population,” Ko and colleagues write. “Due to evidence gaps, the AGA makes no recommendation for use of probiotics, curcumin, or fecal microbiota transplantation in patients with mild-to- moderate UC.”

Please follow and like us:
Endoscopy Overview

Endoscopy Overview

ENDOSCOPY OVERVIEW — An upper endoscopy, often referred to as endoscopy, EGD, or esophago-gastro-duodenoscopy, is a procedure that allows a physician to directly examine the upper part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which includes the esophagus, the stomach, and the duodenum (the first section of the small intestine)
The physician who performs the procedure, known as an endoscopist, has special training in using an endoscope to examine the upper GI system, looking for inflammation (redness, irritation), bleeding, ulcers, or tumors.
REASONS FOR UPPER ENDOSCOPY — The most common reasons for upper endoscopy include:

●Unexplained discomfort or pain in the upper abdomen.
●GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease (often called heartburn.)
●Persistent nausea and vomiting.
●Upper gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding (vomiting blood or blood found in the stool that originated from the upper part of the GI tract). Bleeding can be treated during the endoscopy.
●Iron deficiency anemia (low blood count associated with a low iron level in the blood) in someone who has had no visible bleeding.
●Difficulty swallowing; food/liquids getting stuck in the esophagus during swallowing. This may be caused by a narrowing (stricture) or tumor or because the esophagus is not contracting properly. If there is a stricture, it can often be dilated with special balloons or dilation tubes during the endoscopy.
●Abnormal or unclear findings on an upper GI x-ray, CT scan, or MRI.
●Removal of a foreign body (a swallowed object).
●To check healing or progress on previously found polyps (growths), tumors, or ulcers.

ENDOSCOPY PREPARATION — You will be given specific instructions regarding how to prepare for the examination before the procedure. These instructions are designed to maximize your safety during and after the examination and to minimize possible complications. It is important to read the instructions ahead of time and follow them carefully. Do not hesitate to call the physician’s office or the endoscopy facility if there are questions.
You may be asked not to eat or drink anything for up to eight hours before the test. It is important for your stomach to be empty to allow the endoscopist to visualize the entire area and to decrease the possibility of food or fluid being vomited into the lungs while under sedation (called aspiration).
You may be asked to adjust the dose of your medications (such as insulin) or to stop specific medications (such as blood thinning medications) temporarily before the examination. You should discuss your medications with your physician before your appointment for the endoscopy.
You should arrange for a friend or family member to escort you home after the examination. Although you will be awake by the time you are discharged, the medications used for sedation may cause temporary changes in the reflexes and judgment and interfere with your ability to drive or make decisions (similar to the effects of alcohol). Patients who receive sedation are often required to be accompanied home after the procedure.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING ENDOSCOPY — Prior to the endoscopy, the staff will review your medical and surgical history, including current medications. A physician will explain the procedure and ask you to sign consent. Before signing consent, you should understand the benefits and risks of the procedure, alternatives to the procedure, and all of your questions should be answered.

If you are going to receive sedation for the procedure, an intravenous line (a needle inserted into a vein in the hand or arm) will be inserted to deliver medications. You may be given a combination of a sedative (to help you relax) and a narcotic (to prevent discomfort), or other medications that are commonly used for sedation.
Your vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, and blood oxygen level) will be monitored before, during, and after the examination. The monitoring is not painful. Oxygen is often given during the procedure through a small tube that sits under the nose and is fitted around the ears. For safety reasons, dentures should be removed before the procedure.

Although most patients are sedated for the examination, many tolerate the procedure well without any medication. Usually, these patients are given a medication to numb the back of their throats (either a gargle or a spray) just prior to the endoscopy to prevent gagging during the passage of the instrument. This may be offered to patients felt to be at higher risk for receiving sedation. Otherwise, if you are interested in having your endoscopy in this sedation-free manner, you should discuss this with the doctor beforehand to see if this is a possibility for you.

THE ENDOSCOPY PROCEDURE — The procedure typically takes between 10 and 20 minutes to complete. The endoscopy is performed while you lie on your left side. A plastic mouth guard is placed between the teeth to prevent damage to the teeth and endoscope.

The endoscope (also called a Gastroscope) is a flexible tube that is about the size of a finger. The endoscope has a lens and a light source that allows the endoscopist to see the inner lining of the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract, usually on a TV monitor. Most people have no difficulty swallowing the flexible Gastroscope because of the sedating medications. Many people sleep during the test; others are very relaxed and generally not aware of the examination.
An alternative procedure called trans nasal endoscopy may be available in some facilities. This involves passing a very thin scope (about the size of a drinking straw) through the nose. You are not sedated but a medication is applied to the nose to prevent discomfort. A full examination can be performed with this instrument.
The endoscopist may take tissue samples called biopsies. Obtaining biopsies is not painful. The endoscopist may also perform specific treatments (such as dilation, removal of polyps, treatment of bleeding), depending upon what is found during the examination. Air or carbon dioxide gas is gently introduced through the endoscope to open the esophagus, stomach, and intestine, allowing the endoscope to be passed through these areas and improving the endoscopist’ s ability to see completely. You may experience mild discomfort as air is pushed into the stomach and intestinal tract. This is not harmful; belching may relieve the sensation. The endoscope does not interfere with breathing. Taking slow, deep breaths just before and during the procedure may help you to relax.

RECOVERY FROM ENDOSCOPY — After the endoscopy, you will be observed for a period of time, generally less than one hour, while the sedative medication wears off. Some of the medicines commonly used cause some people to temporarily feel tired or have difficulty concentrating. You typically will be instructed not to drive and not to return to work for the balance of the day of the procedure.

The most common discomfort after the examination is a feeling of bloating as a result of the air introduced during the examination. This usually resolves quickly. Some patients also have a mild sore throat. Most patients are able to eat shortly after the examination.

ENDOSCOPY COMPLICATIONS — Upper endoscopy is a safe procedure and complications are rare. The following is a list of some possible complications:
●Aspiration (inhaling) of food or fluids into the lungs, the risk of which can be minimized by not eating or drinking for the recommended period of time before the examination.
●Reactions to the sedative medications are possible; the endoscopy team (doctors and nurses) will ask about previous medication allergies or reactions and about health problems such as heart, lung, kidney, or liver disease. Providing this information to the team ensures a safer examination.
●The medications may produce irritation in the vein at the site of the intravenous catheter. If redness, swelling, or discomfort occurs, you should call your endoscopist or primary care provider, or the number given to you at discharge.
●Bleeding can occur from biopsies or the removal of polyps, although if bleeding occurs, it is usually minimal and stops quickly on its own or can be easily controlled.
●The endoscope can cause a tear or hole in the area being examined. This is a serious complication but fortunately occurs extremely rarely.
The following signs and symptoms should be reported immediately:
●Severe abdominal pain (more than gas cramps)
●A firm, distended abdomen
●Vomiting
●Any temperature elevation
●Difficulty swallowing or severe throat pain
●A crunching feeling under the skin of the neck

AFTER UPPER ENDOSCOPY — Most patients tolerate endoscopy very well and feel fine afterwards. Some fatigue is common after the examination, and you should plan to take it easy and relax the rest of the day.
The endoscopist can describe the result of the examination before you leave the endoscopy facility. If biopsies have been taken or polyps removed, you should call for results at a time specified by the endoscopist, typically within one week.

Please follow and like us:
Colonoscopy Overview

Colonoscopy Overview

COLONOSCOPY OVERVIEW — A colonoscopy is an exam of the lower part of the gastrointestinal tract, which is called the colon or large intestine (bowel). Colonoscopy is a safe procedure that provides information other tests may not be able to give. Patients who require colonoscopy often have questions and concerns about the procedure.
Colonoscopy is performed by inserting a device called a colonoscope into the anus and advancing through the entire colon. The procedure generally takes between 20 minutes and one hour.
Other tests that are sometimes used to screen for colon cancer, like virtual colonoscopy (also called CT colonography),

More detailed information about colonoscopy is available by subscription..
REASONS FOR COLONOSCOPY — The most common reasons for colonoscopy are:

●To screen for colon polyps (growths of tissue in the colon) or colon cancer
●Rectal bleeding
●A change in bowel habits, like persistent diarrhea
●Iron deficiency anemia (a decrease in blood count due to loss of iron)
●A family history of colon cancer
●A personal history of colon polyps or colon cancer
●Chronic, unexplained abdominal or rectal pain
●An abnormal x-ray exam, like a barium enema or CT scan

COLONOSCOPY PREPARATION — Before colonoscopy, your colon must be completely cleaned out so that the doctor can see any abnormal areas. This is vitally important to increase the chances that your doctor will identify abnormalities in your colon. If your colon is not completely cleaned out, the chances your doctor will miss abnormalities increases. Your doctor’s office will provide specific instructions about how you should prepare for your colonoscopy. Be sure to read these instructions as soon as you get them so you will know how to take the preparation and whether you need to make any changes to your medications or diet. If you have questions, call the doctor’s office in advance.

You will need to avoid solid food for at least one day before the test. You should also drink plenty of clear fluids on the day before the test. You can drink clear liquids (a liquid you can hold up to the light and see through) up to several hours before your procedure, including:

●Water
●Clear broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable)
●Coffee or tea (without milk)
●Ices
●Gelatin such as Jell-O (avoid red gelatin)

Avoid drinking red liquids. Your doctor may also ask you to avoid high fiber foods including seeds and nuts for the week before the procedure.

To clean the colon, you will take a strong laxative and empty your bowels. You may be asked to take the entire preparation the night before the test, or you may be asked to take it in two doses, with the second dose taken four to six hours prior to the colonoscopy. Taking the preparation in two “split” doses may help get the colon even cleaner. This may require you to wake up early in the morning to complete the preparation. The instructions you are given will tell you how you should take the preparation.

A commonly used preparation is a 4-liter (1 gallon) solution that is purchased at the pharmacy with a prescription. There are several low-volume (2- to 3-liter) preparations on the market as well. Some doctors prefer citrate of magnesia (also called magnesium citrate), a 300 mL (10 ounce) bottle that requires no mixing and is over-the-counter. Packets of powdered laxative are available that are mixed with a smaller volume of water. Sodium phosphate-based preparations are now usually avoided due to concerns over safety.

Refrigerating the solution can make it easier to drink, but do not put ice in the solution since it will melt and you will have to drink even more fluid. Drinking the solution through a straw, adding sugar-free powdered flavor packets (ex. Crystal Light), and taking half the preparation the night before and the other half later (four to six hours before your colonoscopy) may also make it easier to drink. Drinking this solution may be the most unpleasant part of the exam. Watery diarrhea is the desired result. This may occur shortly after drinking the solution or may be delayed for several hours. The result should be diarrhea that looks like urine. If you become nauseated or vomit while drinking the solution, call your doctor or nurse for instructions. Tips that can help with nausea and vomiting include temporarily stopping drinking the solution, walking around, and resuming drinking at a slower pace.
Medicines — You can take most prescription and nonprescription medicines right up to the day of the colonoscopy. Your doctor should tell you what medicines to stop. You should also tell the doctor if you are allergic to any medicines.

Some medicines increase the risk of heavy bleeding if you have a polyp removed during the colonoscopy. Ask your doctor how and when to stop these medicines, including warfarin/Coumadin, Clopidogrel/Plavix, or any other anticoagulant (blood thinning) medicine. Do not stop these medications without first talking with your doctor.
Transportation home — Most patients are given a sedative (a medicine to help you relax) during the colonoscopy, so you will need someone to take you home after your test. Your doctor may prefer that an anesthesiologist administer the sedative and monitor you during the colonoscopy. Although you will be awake by the time you go home, the sedative/anesthetic medicines cause changes in reflexes and judgment that can interfere with your ability to make decisions, similar to the effect of alcohol. You will not be able to drive home or go back to work after the examination if you received sedation for the procedure. You should be able to return to work the next day.

WHAT TO EXPECT — Before the test, a doctor will review the procedure with you, including possible complications, and ask you to sign a consent form.

An IV line will be inserted in your hand or arm. Your blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing will be monitored during the test.

THE COLONOSCOPY PROCEDURE — You will be given fluid and medicines through the IV line. With sedation/analgesia provided during the colonoscopy, many people sleep during the test, while others are very relaxed, comfortable, and generally not aware. Your doctor may request an anesthesiologist give you an anesthetic agent (for example, Propofol), which is a stronger sedative and will put you to sleep while you are being closely monitored.

The colonoscope is a long black flexible tube, approximately the diameter of the index finger. The doctor will gently pump air or carbon dioxide and sterile water or saline through the scope into the colon to inflate it and allow the doctor to see the entire lining. You might feel bloating or gas cramps as the air opens the colon. Try not to be embarrassed about passing this gas (it is just air), and let your doctor know if you are uncomfortable. You may feel like you have to go to the bathroom, which is a normal feeling during the procedure.
During the procedure, the doctor might take a biopsy (small pieces of tissue) or remove polyps. Polyps are growths of tissue that can range in size from the tip of a pen to several inches. Most polyps are benign (not cancerous). However, some polyps can become cancerous if allowed to grow for a long time. Having a polyp removed does not hurt.

RECOVERY FROM COLONOSCOPY — After the colonoscopy, you will be observed in a recovery area, usually for about 30 to 60 minutes until the effects of the sedative medication wear off. The most common complaint after colonoscopy is a feeling of bloating and gas cramps. You should pass gas and not feel embarrassed doing this either during or after the procedure. This will relieve your feelings of bloating and cramping. You may also feel groggy from the sedation medications. You should not return to work, drive, or drink alcohol that day. Most people are able to eat normally after the test. Ask your doctor when it is safe to restart aspirin and other blood-thinning medications.

COLONOSCOPY COMPLICATIONS — Colonoscopy is a safe procedure, and complications are rare but can occur:
●Bleeding can occur from biopsies or the removal of polyps, but it is usually minimal and can be controlled.
●The colonoscope can cause a tear or hole in the colon. This is a serious problem that sometimes requires surgery to repair, but it does not happen commonly.
●It is possible to have side effects from the sedative medicines like nausea or vomiting.
●Although colonoscopy is the best test to examine the colon, it is possible for even the most skilled doctors to miss or overlook an abnormal area in the colon.
You should call your doctor immediately if you have any of the following:
●Severe abdominal pain (not just gas cramps)
●A firm, bloated abdomen
●Vomiting
●Fever
●Rectal bleeding (greater than a couple of tablespoons [30 mL])

AFTER COLONOSCOPY — Although many people worry about being uncomfortable during a colonoscopy, most people tolerate it very well and feel fine afterward. It is normal to feel tired afterward. Plan to take it easy and relax the rest of the day.
Your doctor can describe the results of the colonoscopy as soon as it is over. If s/he took biopsies or removed polyps, you should call for results within one to two weeks if your doctor has not already contacted you.

Please follow and like us:
Updated Guidelines From GI Societies

Updated Guidelines From GI Societies

Updated ACS guidelines on colorectal cancer screening (May 2018)

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has updated its colorectal cancer (CRC) screening guidelines [2]. On the basis of an apparent increase in the incidence of CRC in younger adults, the ACS guidelines now make a “qualified” recommendation to begin screening persons at average risk for CRC at age 45 years, with a strong recommendation to screen at age 50 years and above. The guidelines also now offer six testing options to select among: colonoscopy every 10 years, computed tomographic colonography (CTC) every five years, sigmoidoscopy every five years, take-home high-sensitivity guaiac-based fecal occult blood testing yearly, take-home fecal immunochemical testing (FIT) yearly, and multitargeted stool-DNA test every three years, noting that any positive result on a non-colonoscopy test should be followed up with timely colonoscopy. In including more tests, rather than prioritizing tests that could detect both polyps and cancer, the ACS notes that screening with a test acceptable to the patient is preferable to the patient declining screening. For average-risk patients, and in keeping with most guidelines, we continue to initiate screening starting at age 50 years. We prefer colonoscopy when possible, and FIT or CTC if the patient cannot or will not have colonoscopy.

Hemostatic nanopowder approved for use in gastrointestinal bleeding (July 2018)

Hemostatic nanopowder can be used to treat bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract due to lesions such as ulcers and tumors. It is sprayed onto a bleeding site under endoscopic guidance and forms a stable mechanical barrier at the site of bleeding. In prior reports, success rates for achieving initial hemostasis in patients with nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding are 75 to 100 percent, with rebleeding rates of 10 to 49 percent. In May 2018, Hemospray, a hemostatic nanopowder, was approved as a device by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [5]. The data submitted to the FDA showed hemostasis on index endoscopy in 97.8 percent of 750 patients, with an overall rebleeding rate of 10.2 percent [6]. In patients with bleeding peptic ulcers, hemostatic sprays may be particularly helpful when a temporizing measure is needed to stabilize a patient pending definitive therapy or when traditional endoscopic techniques fail to control massive bleeding.

Revised diagnostic criteria for eosinophilic esophagitis (July 2018)

The 2018 Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE) conference has published new consensus criteria for the diagnosis of eosinophilic esophagitis [7]. The diagnosis of eosinophilic esophagitis requires symptoms of esophageal dysfunction, at least 15 eosinophils per high-power field on esophageal biopsy, and exclusion of other causes that may be responsible for or contributing to symptoms and esophageal eosinophilia. In contrast to prior guidelines, persistence of mucosal eosinophilia in the esophagus after two months of treatment with a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) is no longer a diagnostic criterion for eosinophilic esophagitis. The rationale for exclusion of a PPI trial is that patients with eosinophilic esophagitis who are PPI-responsive do not appear to be clinically distinct from patients who are not PPI-responsive, and their management should not differ.

AGA guidelines on acute pancreatitis (April 2018)

The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) updated its guidelines on the management of acute pancreatitis [14]. They recommend goal-directed therapy for fluid management and advise against the use of hydroxyethyl starch-containing fluids. Prophylactic antibiotics should also be avoided. The guidelines also recommend early oral feeding and the use of enteral feeding rather than parenteral nutrition in patients who are unable to tolerate an oral diet.

 

 

 

Please follow and like us: