Comprehensive Care To Diagnose, Manage, and Treat Your GI Conditions.

Your interdisciplinary care team works to diagnose, manage, and treat a wide range of GI conditions. Wherever you are in the process, whether you are experiencing symptoms for the first time, unsure about your diagnosis, concerned you were misdiagnosed, recently diagnosed and looking for solutions, or have been struggling with a condition for years, your care team will work to understand your personal story, assess the root cause of your symptoms, and develop the right treatment plan for you. Through personalized care plans, rapid access to care teams, multidisciplinary treatment approaches, ongoing care, and maintenance support, your care team will work with you to achieve long-term, sustainable symptom control.

Here are some of the conditions we cover.

Colorectal Cancer

Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. Professional societies recommend screening around age 45-50, and even earlier for people who have a family history of colorectal cancer, associated conditions like IBD, or a genetic condition that predisposes for this type of cancer. Early screening can allow for early intervention.

  • Symptoms
    • Rectal bleeding
    • Change in bowel movements
    • Unexplained weight loss
    • Fever
    • Night sweats
  • Testing Options

    There are many screening options available for colorectal cancer. Some are done in your provider’s office, and others can be completed at-home. Screening options include stool testing, computed tomography (CT) colonography, colonoscopy, or sigmoidoscopy. If the initial screening is found to be positive, then the patient will be referred for a prompt colonoscopy. Colonoscopy determines the diagnosis of colorectal cancer.

  • Treatment Plan

    Treatment will greatly depend on the progression of the disease. If the cancer is found at an early stage, then the cancerous area can often be removed surgically. However if the cancer is advanced, then more complex treatment may be needed, such as chemotherapy, radiation, and/or invasive surgery. Conversations with your GI provider and the interdisciplinary care team can prepare you for these decisions and ensure that your care goals are met.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when gastric acid repeatedly backs up from the stomach into the esophagus. Most of us will experience acid reflux from time to time, and it isn’t a problem. However constant reflux can cause chronic damage, resulting in uncomfortable symptoms and an increased risk for serious health conditions later down the road.

  • Symptoms
    • Heartburn
    • Regurgitation of food or bile
    • Difficulty swallowing
    • Chest pain
    • Increased salivation
    • Nausea and vomiting
    Often these symptoms will be worse right after meals.
  • Testing Options

    GERD is considered a clinical diagnosis, meaning that your provider can diagnose you based on symptoms and treat accordingly. In certain cases, your provider will do an upper endoscopy to examine the esophagus and other parts of the upper GI tract for damage.

  • Treatment Options

    Lifestyle and dietary modifications are often recommended at the time of diagnosis. The elimination of dietary triggers is emphasized as part of this process. If symptoms do not improve with lifestyle changes, then there are several medication options available. These include over-the-counter medicines like antacids, along with prescribed medications like histamine-2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs) and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).

Gluten Intolerance or Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is one of the most common genetic conditions worldwide. For people with celiac, eating gluten triggers an autoimmune response that is linked to uncomfortable and painful symptoms of indigestion. Gluten is found in most grains, like wheat, barley, and rye, and is often in many processed foods. Once a person is diagnosed with celiac, gluten avoidance is stressed as preventative treatment.

  • Symptoms
    • Stomach pain
    • Bloating
    • Flatulence
    • Diarrhea
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Inability to gain/lose weight
  • Testing Options

    Your provider may order a series of blood tests as well as an upper endoscopy. The blood tests identify markers that have been associated with celiac disease, while endoscopy can provide a more specific diagnosis. This procedure involves the provider inserting a small tube into your digestive tract to take a sample of your small intestine for biopsy. In addition, the provider will often place you on a gluten-free diet trial. If symptoms resolve, then this further supports the diagnosis.

  • Treatment Plan

    The treatment for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet. Although this can be difficult at first, consulting with experts like registered dieticians can help to smooth the transition. Dieticians experienced in celiac can recommend specific foods, vitamins, and supplements to create a balanced plate. Dieticians can also help to identify other foods that may be difficult to digest, like lactose, and provide satisfying alternatives to keep you energized and healthy.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a term that generally refers to two conditions, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Both of these conditions are associated with significant inflammation of the GI tract. In general, ulcerative colitis will affect the colon, whereas Crohn’s can affect any part of the digestive tract from mouth to anus. Both can have serious effects on your quality of life, as well as long term health.

  • Symptoms
    • Stomach pain
    • Diarrhea
    • Rectal bleeding
    • Urgency
    • Incontinence
    • Sensation of incomplete bowel movements
    • Fatigue
    • Weight loss
  • Testing Options

    If you have the symptoms of IBD your provider will conduct a series of tests, including blood tests, stool tests, and endoscopy. Testing is done to rule out underlying infection and check for inflammatory markers. Imaging and biopsy are key to the diagnosis, as this helps to characterize the site of inflammation and informs whether you are more likely to have ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s.

  • Treatment Plan

    The treatment plan will differ depending on whether you have ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s. Medications are available to treat both conditions, ranging from topicals to oral agents depending on your symptoms. Nutritional therapy is also recommended, under the purview of a registered dietician. The overall goal of treatment is to achieve long-term remission.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – D/C/M

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects around 10-20% of adults in the U.S. Thought to be caused by increased sensitivity in the intestine, IBS results in uncomfortable GI symptoms that can affect your day-to-day life. Some people have milder symptoms, whereas others may suffer from severe forms of IBS. Fortunately, lifestyle changes and medications can help with symptom management and your quality of life.

  • Symptoms

    Symptoms will vary for each person, but in general include:

    • Stomach pain
    • Bloating
    • Gas
    • Changes in bowel movements, especially:
      • Constipation
      • Diarrhea
      • Changes in timing of bowel movements
      • Changes in appearance of bowel movements
  • Testing Options

    There is currently no single test to confirm IBS. Your provider will likely begin with a comprehensive diagnostic assessment to rule out other GI causes for your symptoms. If you do not have a concurrent GI diagnosis, then your provider will order a series of tests to obtain more information. This may include blood tests, stool studies, and in select cases diagnostic procedures such as endoscopy.

  • Treatment Plan

    The treatment plan for IBS depends on many factors, from your medical history to the disease profile. In general, lifestyle changes will be recommended as a first step, including diet and exercise modifications. If symptoms persist, then your GI provider can prescribe medications to treat your specific disease subtype, whether that is constipation-dominant, diarrhea-dominant, or mixed. Psychosocial support, whether through support groups or individual therapy with a licensed psychologist, is also a mainstay of treatment.

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is a condition in which there is an imbalance in microbial homeostasis, leading to excessive bacteria in the small intestine. SIBO is often connected to other conditions, especially intestinal motility disorders. Over time, the presence of high numbers of bacteria can harm the intestine, leading to malabsorption, maldigestion, and vitamin deficiencies.

  • Symptoms

    The main symptom associated with SIBO is bloating, and others may include:

    • Stomach pain
    • Watery diarrhea
    • Flatulence
    • Indigestion
    • Loss of appetite
    • Unintentional weight loss
  • Testing Options

    SIBO can be diagnosed in two ways. The first is called the carbohydrate breath test. This test involves comparing the composition of your breath before and after supervised consumption of carbohydrates to see if there is microbial activity in the gut. The other test is completed through upper endoscopy. This test requires that the provider obtain a sample of fluid from your small intestine, which is then sent to a lab to determine whether and which microbes are present.

  • Treatment Plan

    The main treatment for SIBO is antibiotics, which are prescribed by your provider. Nutritional supplements and dietary changes can also be helpful as supportive treatment.

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