How your gastroenterologist in Roswell, Suwanee, and Smyrna, GA can help you feel better
If you suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, you already know how uncomfortable it can be. It can affect your life greatly by keeping you from enjoying certain foods and being as active as you would like to be. The good news, though, is that your gastroenterologist can help you manage the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (abbreviated as IBD) and get you back to enjoying life. Dr. Melvin D. Bullock offers effective solutions from his three convenient office locations in Roswell, Suwanee, and Smyrna, GA, to help you cope with IBD. Read on to learn more!
Inflammatory bowel disease can include a number of conditions including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The condition is characterized by chronic inflammation of all or part of your digestive tract. Although the symptoms can be intermittent and vary from person to person
You may have inflammatory bowel disease if you experience:
- Chronic abdominal cramping or diarrhea
- Frequent fever or fatigue
- Reduced appetite or weight loss
- Anemia or blood in your stool
If you suffer from the above symptoms, you may find it helpful to try these modifications to your diet and lifestyle:
- Eat small meals
- Eat low-fat foods
- Eliminate or reduce dairy products
- Avoid spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine
- Talk with a dietician about diet, including fiber intake and other issues
You should also quit smoking because smoking can increase your risk of developing Crohn’s disease and make symptoms worse. Make sure that you are managing stress effectively by getting enough exercise and practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation, breathing exercises, and yoga.
If you are suffering from IBD, the best action you can take is to seek out the help of your gastroenterologist, who may suggest several effective ways to manage your IBD, including:
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Immune system suppressant medication
- Anti-diarrheal medications
- Pain relieving medications
- Iron and calcium supplements
- Dietary and nutritional support
- Surgical treatment in severe cases
Don’t let inflammatory bowel disease disrupt your life. Get some help from an expert. Call your gastroenterologist, Dr. Melvin D. Bullock, with offices in Roswell, Suwanee, and Smyrna, GA, at (770) 442-5882 now and feel better fast!
Though a simple stomach ache is often nothing to worry about, gastric issues like irritable bowel syndrome can cause serious complications and frustrating symptoms. Luckily, your gastroenterologist can help you manage your IBS symptoms to ensure that you live a happy, healthy life. Find out more about recognizing and treating irritable bowel syndrome with Dr. Melvin Bullock with locations in Roswell, Suwanee, and Atlanta, GA.
What is irritable bowel syndrome?
Commonly referred to by its abbreviation, IBS affects the large intestine. IBS is most often a mild condition but can be serious and produce frustrating symptoms. Some of the common signs of irritable bowel syndrome include:
- abdominal pain
- mucous in the stool
- abdominal pain
- abdominal cramping
If you notice a sudden change in your bowel movements or symptoms like unexplained vomiting, anemia, difficulty swallowing, bloody stool or bleeding rectum, or unexplained weight loss, you should see your doctor. Common triggers of IBS include certain foods, stress, and, in some cases, hormones.
How will my doctor diagnose irritable bowel syndrome?
Though doctors can help to minimize its symptoms, they do not know the exact cause of IBS. Some contributing causes of IBS may be related to intestinal muscular contractions, inflammation of the intestines, changes in gut flora, infection, or issues with the nervous system. Your doctor will use a physical examination alongside your medical and family history and various testing methods to determine if you have irritable bowel syndrome. Females, individuals under 50, and those who have mental health issues are more prone to IBS.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatments Roswell, Suwanee, and Atlanta, GA
Treating IBS may be as simple as avoiding what triggers it. However, your doctor may also suggest dietary restrictions, eating certain foods, and getting plenty of exercise and sleep to begin IBS treatment. Supplements, laxatives, antidepressants, or certain medications to treat IBS specifically can also help manage your symptoms.
For more information on colonoscopy or to schedule your consultation for one, please contact Dr. Melvin Bullock with locations in Roswell, Suwanee, and Atlanta, GA. Call (770) 442-5882 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Bullock today!
Your digestive health is important to your overall well-being. If you suffer symptoms of acid reflux, or GERD, address them during a consultation with Dr. Melvin Bullock in his Roswell office. The American College of Gastroenterology says this chronic ailment afflicts 60 million Americans; however, acid reflux can be controlled.
What is acid reflux?
When your stomach contents, including essential digestive acids, back up into your esophagus, this is acid reflux. Also known as heartburn or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), acid reflux causes very uncomfortable sensations of:
- Pressure in the chest
- Sour taste
- Pain at the sternum or breast bone
Often brought on by certain foods or eating too much or eating too soon before bedtime, reflux can be related to structural problems in the GI tract, too. An incompetent, or malfunctioning, sphincter at the bottom of the esophagus or a hiatal hernia (part of the stomach intrudes into the diaphragm) cause GERD, too.
Should you be concerned?
The answer is yes if you have symptoms more than a few times a week. Stomach acid erodes the esophagus and also causes problems with swallowing, ulcers and more. Call Dr. Bullock at his Roswell office for evaluation of your acid reflux symptoms. He may recommend a procedure called an endoscopy.
An endoscopy involves insertion of a thin, lighted tube into your throat and down into your esophagus and stomach. Equipped with a real time camera, the endoscopy gives Dr. Bullock a clear view of your GI tract. He can take video and still images, and he can sample tissue for biopsy.
Dr. Bullock also uses a diagnostic test called pH screening. During an endoscopy, he places a miniature acid monitor within the esophagus. This tiny medical device sends Dr. Bullock readings on the level of acidity in your GI tract. The information helps the doctor tailor treatment to your unique physiological needs.
Common treatments for acid reflux
Mild symptoms of acid reflux can be controlled with lifestyle changes. While no one can change their age, other factors such as excess weight, sleep position (sleep with your head elevated), smoking and excessive alcohol usage can be altered. Dr. Bullock may recommend medications, too, such as H2 receptor antagonists or proton pump inhibitors which limit acid production in the stomach.
Dietary choices change the pH of stomach contents as well, decreasing the number and severity of symptoms. If you're struggling with reflux, consider consuming more of these stomach-friendly foods:
- Egg whites
- Fresh vegetables
- Skim milk
- Ginger tea
- Low-fat meats and fish
Feel your best
Dr. Melvin Bullock and his friendly staff want to help you with your acid reflux symptoms. Don't suffer any longer. Instead, call the Roswell, GA office today for a personal consultation: (770) 442-5882.
Statistics published by the CDC estimate that about three million Americans struggle with a condition called IBD or inflammatory bowel disease. It creates painful or strained bowel movements and often causes embarrassing side effects, including the urgent need to use the bathroom at the most inopportune times. Know the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease so that you can discuss this condition, along with possible treatments, with Dr. Melvin Bullock at his office in Roswell, GA.
Understanding Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease, also called IBD, is an intestinal disorder caused by inflammation of the lining of the intestines and colon. The two main types of IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. IBD is most commonly diagnosed in adults over the age of 20 and patients over the age of 45 are at the highest risk of symptoms. There’s no known cause for IBD, but it may be aggravated by any of the following:
- A food allergy, poor diet, or nutritional deficiency.
- A dysfunction related to the immune system.
- Stress or environmental factors.
- Heredity (may run in families).
- NSAID medications that can irritate the stomach and intestines.
Symptoms of IBD
Patients urgently want relief from inflammatory bowel disease because of the unpredictable symptoms it causes. They can significantly disrupt a patient’s work, ability to recreate, and general confidence when facing the day. Those symptoms include:
- Urgent diarrhea
- Blood in the stool
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Problems sleeping and fatigue
- Stomach bloating
Calming IBD Symptoms
It may not be possible to cure inflammatory bowel disease, but there are steps that can calm symptoms and flare-ups. Your Roswell gastroenterologist can treat the condition by prescribing anti-inflammatory medications. Antibiotic therapy and immune system suppressants may also help. If the problem is related to a food allergy or dietary issue, your doctor can consult you on better nutritional options. It’s also helpful to get proper sleep and physical exercise on a daily basis. It may take time for the symptoms to subside after treatment. Surgery is an option, but only in very serious cases.
See Your Doctor for Treatment Options
Inflammatory bowel disease could lead to additional gastric problems if it isn’t treated or managed. Call (770) 442-5882 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bullock at his office in Roswell, GA.
What your gastroenterologist in Roswell, Suwanee, and Atlanta wants you to know about Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain can strike without warning, and when it does, it can keep you from enjoying your life. So, what’s causing your abdominal pain? Should you see a doctor? These are both excellent questions. Dr. Melvin Bullock wants to share the facts about abdominal pain and when you need to seek out your gastroenterologist. He has three convenient office locations in Roswell, Suwanee, and Atlanta, GA, to help you feel better.
Abdominal pain can be acute, chronic, or progressive. The sudden onset of acute abdominal pain symptoms can be caused by:
- Appendicitis, cystitis, or diverticulitis
- Bladder or kidney infection or kidney stones
- Pancreatitis or peritonitis
- Urinary tract infection or gastroenteritis
Causes of chronic, recurrent abdominal pain include:
- Celiac disease or gastritis
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Hiatal or inguinal hernia
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Peptic ulcer or ulcerative colitis
Progressive abdominal pain that gets worse over time can be caused by:
- Crohn’s disease or hepatitis
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Cancers including kidney, pancreatic, stomach, gallbladder, or liver
These are just a few of the common causes of abdominal pain. There are many others. It’s important to know when to seek out professional help from your gastroenterologist. Make an appointment with your doctor if you experience:
- Severe pain or fever
- Persistent nausea or vomiting
- Sudden weight loss
- Bloody stools
- Abdominal swelling or tenderness to touch
- Yellowing skin
Dr. Bullock may suggest several screening methods to determine the cause of your abdominal pain. Common recommended procedures include an endoscopy, colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or abdominal ultrasound.
Abdominal pain can indicate a serious medical condition. That’s why it’s important to seek out medical care from your gastroenterologist. Early diagnosis results in early treatment which can lead to a better outcome. For more information about abdominal pain and other gastroenterology issues, call Dr. Bullock, with offices in Roswell, Suwanee, and Atlanta, GA. Call today!
Could your frequent bouts of diarrhea and abdominal pain be signs of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)? Roswell, GA, gastroenterologist Dr. Melvin Bullock discusses the disorder and shares information about treatment options.
What is irritable bowel syndrome?
IBS affects an estimated 25 to 45 million people in the U.S., many of them women, according to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. The disorder affects the large bowel and causes a variety of unpleasant symptoms including:
- Abdominal pain
- Difficulty emptying your bowels completely
Pain and cramping can often be relieved by having a bowel movement. Unfortunately, the urge to go often happens quickly, forcing IBS suffers to familiarize themselves with the locations of public restrooms everywhere they go. Some people only experience diarrhea or constipation, while others deal with alternating bouts of both diarrhea and constipation.
If you have IBS, you may find that your symptoms are worse after you eat certain foods. Eating large meals may also trigger cramps, gas, and diarrhea.
What causes IBS?
Although the cause of IBS often isn't known, you may be more likely to develop the disorder if:
- You are female: Hormones appear to play a role in IBS.
- Other family members have IBS: The disorder tends to run in some families.
- You had an infection that caused severe diarrhea: Even one serious gastrointestinal infection in the past can increase your risk of IBS.
- You feel stressed: IBS seems to occur more frequently in people who report feeling stressed. You may also be more likely to develop the disorder if you suffer from a mental health disorder or experienced a traumatic event at some point in your life.
What can I do about IBS symptoms?
There are a few steps you can take on your own to reduce your symptoms, including avoiding foods that trigger your symptoms, staying away from foods that are known to produce gas, exercising regularly, using fiber supplements and reducing stress.
If your symptoms are severe or affect the quality of your life, you may want to visit our Roswell office. In addition to offering advice that will help you manage the disorder, Dr. Bullock may also recommend certain medications that will control pain and bloating, reduce diarrhea and constipation, and help you pass stool more easily.
Help is available for your uncomfortable IBS symptoms. Call Roswell, GA, gastroenterologist Dr. Melvin Bullock at (770) 442-5882 to schedule your appointment.
As you age, staying active and healthy becomes more and more important. Preventative care also gains importance, ensuring that your doctor finds and treats any potential health concerns early before they become more complex issues requiring more invasive treatments. Colonoscopy is a super-effective preventative tool, helping patients stay healthy for years to come. Should you have a colonoscopy? Learn more about this important procedure with your gastroenterologist, Dr. Melvin Bullock with locations in Roswell, Suwanee, and Atlanta, GA.
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a procedure performed by your gastroenterologist to investigate gastrointestinal symptoms or as a screening for colorectal cancer. The procedure itself uses a long, thin tube called a colonoscope inserted rectally to scan the lining of the colon and large intestine for abnormalities. These abnormalities, called polyps, may be cancerous or pre-cancerous and doctors will often take a biopsy to test for the presence of cancerous or pre-cancerous cells. The procedure normally takes anywhere from 30-60 minutes and occurs in your doctor’s office. Your doctor will administer sedation medication prior to beginning your procedure to help you feel relaxed.
Do I need a colonoscopy?
The American Cancer Society recommends that all women and men over the age of 50 should have a colonoscopy every 10 years. However, those with a high risk for colorectal cancer may need a colonoscopy more often. Those at a higher risk of colorectal cancer include individuals who have a family history of cancer, especially colorectal cancer or polyps, a personal history of colorectal cancer or polyps, or someone with an inflammatory bowel disease.
Colonoscopy in Roswell, Suwanee, and Atlanta
After your procedure, your doctor will probably ask you to stay in a recovery room for about a half hour to ensure that there are no adverse effects due to the procedure or medications used. Prior to your procedure, you will fast and take laxatives to cleanse the colon and ensure that it is clean and free from debris during your procedure.
For more information on colonoscopy or to schedule your consultation for one, please contact Dr. Bullock with locations in Roswell, Suwanee, and Atlanta, GA. Call (770) 442-5882 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Bullock today!
What can you do to help prevent colon cancer with the help of your Roswell doctor?
According to the American Society For Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, about 150,000 cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed every year and that approximately 50,000 people die from the disease. These figures are alarming, but your Roswell, GA, gastroenterologist has advice.
Things to Know About Cancer:
- There's this notion that man are more susceptible to colorectal cancer than women. This is false, however. Both men and women should begin getting cancer screenings and checkups staring at 50-years-old.
- A colonoscopy is a 45-minute exam that needs a mild sedative so you are comfortable. The doctor inserts a thin tube into your rectum so that he has a better view of your colon. You should also have other tests conducted, like a stool blood test and a flexible sigmoidoscopy.
- Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in the USA, but the American Society For Gastrointestinal Endoscopy states that an "increased awareness and screening would save at least 30,000 lives each year."
- If your doctor detects polyps, which are growths in the colon, it is probably best to speak to your doctor about having them removed. Removing them may reduce your chance of developing cancer.
A Healthy Diet:
According to the Johns Hopkins Medicine Colorectal Cancer, here are a few things that can help prevent cancer:
- Eating brightly-colored fruits and vegetables, as well as incorporating fresh fish into your diet about 1-3 times a week
- Red meat is something you may want to eat less of, as well as reducing the amount of salt and saturated fats in your diet.
- Avoid unhealthy habits like chewing tobacco or smoking and maintain a healthy weight by staying active.
For more information or to consult your Roswell, GA, physician, call Dr. Melvin Bullock's office today. You shouldn't ignore your health!
What your gastroenterologist in Roswell wants you to know
If you are suffering from acid reflux, a condition commonly called heartburn, you are not alone. In fact, according to the American College of Gastroenterology, over 60 million Americans experience symptoms of chronic acid reflux. You don’t want to be one of them! Dr. Melvin Bullock in Roswell, GA wants to share the facts about acid reflux and what you can do about it.
If you suffer from occasional bouts of acid reflux, that’s normal, but if you have chronic acid reflux, you may have gastro-esophageal reflux disease or GERD. Some signs and symptoms of chronic acid reflux or GERD include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal or chest pain
- A dry cough or frequent wheezing
- Frequent pain or problems with your throat
- Chronic bad breath and a sour taste in your mouth
- Erosion of your tooth enamel and tooth sensitivity
There is a sphincter muscle located between your esophagus and your stomach. It closes off to prevent excess stomach acid from traveling up your esophagus. When this sphincter muscle doesn’t work correctly, it may stay open, and stomach acid can reach your esophagus, causing acid reflux.
So, how can you deal with acid reflux? It turns out, there are a few things you can do to cope with annoying symptoms. Remember to:
- Avoid lying down immediately after eating; stay up for at least 2 to 3 hours after you eat
- Avoid spicy foods and eat small meals several times daily
- Limit citrus, tomatoes, and carbonated drinks
- Maintain a healthy weight by eating a healthy diet
- Avoid belts and exercises that put pressure on your abdomen
- Avoid tobacco, excess alcohol, coffee, and chocolate
- You can also try over-the-counter antacids to buffer excess stomach acid
If you think you have GERD, or your acid reflux doesn’t respond to conservative treatment, it’s time to visit Dr. Bullock. He can recommend diet and lifestyle changes, and prescription medications to eliminate excess stomach acid. Don’t suffer from acid reflux when relief is just a phone call away. Dr. Bullock in Roswell, GA is ready to help, so call today!
Has it been a while since you visited a gastroenterologist? Our Roswell, GA, gastroenterologist, Dr. Melvin Bullock, explains why you won't want to put off your visit, particularly if you need a colonoscopy or other diagnostic test.
When should I see the gastroenterologist?
Gastroenterologists diagnose treat diseases and conditions of the digestive tract. They offer treatments that can improve your comfort and help you avoid serious consequences related to your disease or condition. If any of these circumstances apply to you, it's a good idea to schedule an appointment with our Roswell office:
- You Have Frequent Heartburn: It's not unusual to experience heartburn occasionally, particularly after a heavy meal, but when heartburn is frequent, it may be a sign that you have gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD). The condition occurs when acids in your stomach flow backwards into your esophagus, causing pain, a bad taste in your mouth, hoarseness, excess saliva, worsening asthma and other symptoms. Taking medications that reduce the production of stomach acids or lower the amount of time acids stay in your stomach may help relieve your symptoms if you have GERD.
- Diarrhea and Constipation Are Chronic Problems: There's no need to live with diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain and other uncomfortable or unpleasant symptoms. The symptoms can be caused by a variety of diseases and conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease or Crohn's disease. Prompt treatment can relieve your symptoms and also help you avoid complications.
- You Just Had a 50th Birthday Party: At age 50, your risk of colon cancer begins to rise. Colonoscopy, a minimally invasive diagnostic test that transmits images of your colon via a small camera inserted through your anus, can be a life-saving procedure. During the test, we look for polyps or other signs of possible cancer. If polyps are removed when they're pre-cancerous, your risk of developing the cancer greatly diminishes. Colonoscopies may also be needed if you have certain gastrointestinal conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, chronic anemia or a history of cancer or polyps.
Protect your health by visiting your gastroenterologist and following the recommended colonoscopy schedule. Call our Roswell, GA, gastroenterologist, Dr. Bullock, at (770) 442-5882 to make your appointment.
What your gastroenterologist in Roswell wants you to know
There are many causes of stomach or abdominal pain, and one of the most persistent causes is a condition known as irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. Irritable bowel syndrome can be managed successfully. It should be treated by a gastroenterologist. Dr. Melvin Bullock wants to share the facts about IBS and treatment. He has three convenient office locations in Roswell, Suwanee, and Atlanta, GA, to help you feel better.
Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic condition affecting your large intestine. The condition is thought to be related to abnormal functioning of your gastrointestinal nervous system. The muscles lining the walls of your intestines don’t move the way they should, resulting in impaired movement of food from your stomach through your intestinal tract.
Some common signs and symptoms of IBS include:
- Abdominal cramping and pain
- Bloating and gas
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Mucus in stools
If you have irritable bowel syndrome, there are triggers which may make your symptoms worse. You need to pay attention to:
- Certain foods including chocolate, spices, fats, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, beans, fruits, milk, carbonated beverages and alcohol
- Increased stress levels or hormonal changes
Dr. Bullock may suggest several effective treatments to lessen your symptoms of IBS including:
- Changes in your diet, eliminating gas-producing foods such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, raw fruits and carbonated liquids; you may also want to eliminate gluten and foods containing high amounts of sugars like fructose and lactose.
- Medications to manage symptoms including fiber supplements, anti-diarrheal medications, medications to reduce intestinal spasms and antibiotics
- Medications to treat severe cases of IBS including Alosetron to relax the colon, and Lubiprostone to increase secretion of fluid and help pass stools more easily
If you think you might be suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, you don’t have to deal with it alone. It’s time for some help from an expert. It’s time to call Dr. Bullock with three convenient office locations in Roswell, Suwanee, and Atlanta, GA. Feel better tomorrow by calling today!
Abdominal pain is a tricky subject when it comes to finding out its cause. However, pinpointing the reasons behind your abdominal discomfort is essential in coming up with a successful and effective treatment plan. Find out more about what could cause your abdominal pain with Dr. Melvin Bullock with offices in Roswell, Suwanee and Atlanta, GA.
Common Causes of Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain comes from many sources ranging from mild to severe. Some common causes of abdominal pain include:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- kidney stones
- urinary tract infection (UTI)
- food poisoning
- lactose intolerance
When should I see my gastroenterologist?
If you experience abdominal pain which is very severe or worsens quickly within a short period of time, you should contact your gastroenterologist for an examination. Additionally, if pain which lasts for a long period of time, goes away and comes back, or bowel movements change significantly, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. If your stomach feels painful to the touch, you have bloody or sticky stools, are unable to urinate, have trouble breathing, or your pain comes on suddenly and severely, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Abdominal Pain Treatments in Roswell, Suwanee and Atlanta, GA
Treating abdominal pain varies depending on your diagnosis. In order for your doctor to successfully provide a diagnosis, you will need to have a physical examination and, if necessary, some testing to pinpoint the cause of your abdominal pain. Treatments may begin conservatively with over-the-counter medications or dietary changes. However, for more severe symptoms, your doctor may prescribe medications. Some cases require surgery to repair the problem. Your gastroenterologist can help you determine the best course of treatment for you and your abdominal pain.
For more information on abdominal pain or its treatments, please contact Dr. Melvin Bullock in Roswell, Suwanee and Atlanta, GA to schedule your appointment!
The thought of having a colonoscopy can be a bit intimidating for many people. However, a colonoscopy is a fairly straightforward procedure that doesn’t take very long to perform. To help you better prepare for one, below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about colonoscopies. Dr. Melvin Bullock, your Roswell, Suwanee, and Atlanta, GA, gastroenterologist, can answer any additional questions you might have.
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a medical procedure that makes it possible for a doctor to examine the lining of your colon, which also happens to be your large intestine. Colonoscopies are used to check for signs of colon cancer, polyps and other gastrointestinal problems.
How is a colonoscopy performed?
A tool called a colonoscope is used to perform a colonoscopy. A colonoscope is a flexible tube with a camera on the end. The camera allows the doctor to observe the lining of the colon during the procedure. To perform the colonoscopy, the colonoscope is inserted into the colon through the anus. The doctor slowly moves the colonoscope along the inside of the colon until the entire length has been examined.
How long does the procedure take?
The colonoscopy procedure typically lasts between thirty minutes to one hour. If the doctor discovers polyps during the colonoscopy and removes them at that time, then the procedure could take a bit longer. Total time at the doctor’s office might be about three hours including preparation and recovery time. Most patients return home the same day.
Does a colonoscopy hurt?
A colonoscopy is generally well-tolerated by most individuals and does not hurt. Most doctors give patients a sedative to help them relax during the procedure. A painkiller can also be administered to ease any potential discomfort.
What happens before the colonoscopy?
To prepare for the colonoscopy, your doctor will prescribe a cleansing routine as the colon needs to be completely clean in order to perform the procedure. The cleansing routine can consist of dietary restrictions, oral laxatives or a special cleansing solution.
Who needs a colonoscopy?
All adults should have a colonoscopy exam at age fifty. Individuals with a family history of colon cancer should have their first colonoscopy at an earlier age, as should individuals with certain medical conditions, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Your Roswell, Suwanee, and Atlanta gastroenterologist can help determine how soon you need a colonoscopy.
A colonoscopy is a fairly simple procedure that can help you stay healthy by detecting any early warning signs of colon cancer or other gastrointestinal problems. A gastroenterologist can tell you if a colonoscopy is right for you at this time. To schedule an appointment to with Dr. Bullock, your Roswell, Suwanee, and Atlanta, GA, gastroenterologist, call (770) 442-5882.
Even if you have no family history of colon cancer, having colonoscopies at regular intervals after the age of 50 is vital to your digestive and whole-body health. These tests look for a variety of issues, including ulcers and polyps (a small growth that develops on the inner lining of the intestines), that may not currently show symptoms but could potentially cause more significant problems. Dr. Melvin Bullock, your gastroenterologist in Roswell, Georgia, explains the benefits of regular colonoscopies here.
By committing yourself to regular colonoscopies with your Roswell gastroenterologist, Dr. Melvin Bullock, you're ensuring that you have up-to-date medical records for any complications that may arise. Dr. Bullock or any other medical specialist rely on this historical data to provide the best treatment for a variety of conditions.
If you have any abnormalities, like polyps, your gastroenterologist in Roswell, GA, can compare your results from each colonoscopy to ensure no changes have developed. This eliminates the need for unnecessary surgical procedures and keeps your records up-to-date, as discussed above.
Like other cancers found throughout the body, colorectal cancers have a much higher cure rate when they are discovered in situ, the place where they originated. If cancer is left to spread elsewhere, the cure rate drops significantly, with treatments becoming more invasive and potentially less effective. That's why your Roswell gastroenterologist recommends that both men and women between the ages of 50 and 75 have a colonoscopy at least once every ten years; patients who have increased risk of colon cancer should schedule their exams more frequently.
If you're overdue for a colonoscopy, or if you've never had one done, we encourage you to contact Dr. Melvin Bullock in Roswell, Georgia, to schedule a consultation. We are committed to helping you lead a healthy and active life through prevention!
Do you suffer from bouts of diarrhea, constipation and abdominal pain? You may have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Dr. Melvin Bullock, your Roswell, GA gastroenterologist, shares some information about the disorder.
What is IBS?
IBS actually describes a collection of symptoms that include:
- Diarrhea: You may experience loose stools and may feel the need to visit the restroom very urgently.
- Constipation: When you don't have diarrhea, you may develop constipation.
- Pain: Abdominal pain and cramps are common if you have IBS.
- Fullness: Do you ever feel stuffed even though you didn't overeat?
- Incomplete Bowel Movements: It's not unusual to feel as if there's still stool in your bowel after you've used the toilet when you have IBS.
- Bloating: Bloating and gas tend to occur when your IBS symptoms flare up.
- Mucus: If you take a look at the toilet, you may notice mucus in your stool.
No one is quite sure what causes IBS, although you may be more likely to suffer from it if you are female, have a family history of the disorder, are younger than 50 or have depression, anxiety or other mental health problems. Researchers think IBS may be caused or worsened by a stomach or intestinal infection, changing hormone levels, food sensitivities, bacterial overgrowth in your intestines or a problem with the way your intestines move food through your gastrointestinal system.
Will IBS cause permanent damage?
Perhaps the only good thing about IBS is that, despite its painful symptoms, it doesn't damage your gastrointestinal tract. It also doesn't cause cancer or other serious diseases.
How can I relieve my IBS symptoms in Roswell?
If your symptoms seems to be triggered by certain foods, avoiding these foods can help reduce them. Foods that tend to cause problems include dairy products, alcohol, soda, caffeinated drinks, fried foods, high-fiber fruits and vegetables, fatty foods or refined grains.
Counseling can be helpful, as can stress reduction techniques. If your symptoms cause severe pain or interfere with your life, your gastroenterologist can prescribe medication that will help control your symptoms and relieve your pain.
Tired of dealing with IBS on your own? Call Dr. Bullock, your Roswell, GA gastroenterologist, at (770) 442-5882 and make an appointment to learn how you can successfully manage your disorder.
Gastrointestinal issues, while sometimes simple and easily treatable problems, can be the sign of a more complex condition. About 60 million Americans live with a digestive disease. Luckily, capsule endoscopy can help your doctor determine the cause of your gastrointestinal issues. Find out more about capsule endoscopy with help from Roswell, GA gastroenterologist Dr. Melvin D. Bullock.
What is capsule endoscopy?
Capsule endoscopy is a medical procedure which uses a tiny camera to visually see abnormalities in the digestive tract. The patient swallows the camera, which lies within a vitamin-sized capsule. As it moves through the digestive tract, the camera captures images which transmit to a recorder. Unlike traditional endoscopy, which uses a long tube passed through the mouth and into the digestive tract, capsule endoscopy allows your doctor to get a good look at your small intestine, which is hard to reach using traditional methods.
What can capsule endoscopy do for me?
Doctors use capsule endoscopy for many reasons, including:
- diagnosing cancer
- diagnosing inflammatory bowel diseases
- diagnosing celiac disease
- screen for polyps
- follow ups for imagining methods
- investigate the source of gastrointestinal bleeding
Capsule Endoscopy in Roswell, GA
The capsule endoscopy procedure requires some preparation work. Before undergoing this procedure, you should avoid eating or drinking anything for at least 12 hours. Your doctor will let you know if you should stop taking certain medications. During the capsule endoscopy, your doctor places patches with antennas on your body. These antennas send the pictures from the camera to the receiver, which you wear on a belt around your waist. With the receiver in place, you swallow the capsule and may go about your day as normal. The process takes about eight hours until you see the camera capsule in the toilet after a bowel movement.
For more information on capsule endoscopy and what it can do for you, please contact Dr. Melvin D. Bullock in Roswell, GA. Call (770) 442-5882 to schedule your appointment for an examination today!
Few things are more embarrassing to deal with than sudden abdominal cramping, gas, diarrhea, or constipation. Yet if you live in or near Roswell, GA and you frequently suffer from any of these conditions, you should consider talking to a qualified gastroenterologist – sooner rather than later -- because chances are, it’s more than just an upset stomach.
It may be Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
If you live in or near the Roswell, GA area and you are suffering from any of these symptoms, consider contacting a qualified, experienced gastroenterologist such as Dr. Melvin D. Bullock. People who suffer from IBS may not know it – they may think what they are experiencing is just an upset stomach -- an unfortunate but normal reaction to certain foods, beverages, even stress.
One reason some people, especially younger people, might not think about IBS is because they tend to stereotype such conditions with older people. The truth is, however, IBS tends to strike younger people. In fact, you are more likely to have IBS if you are under 45, have a family history of IBS, and/or have mental health issues or are under pressure at work or in life. You have almost double the risk if you are a woman; IBS occurs in almost twice as many women as men, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The causes of IBS are not fully known. Symptoms can vary in presentation, frequency, and intensity from person to person. IBS, while painful, annoying, embarrassing, and occasionally even debilitating, does not cause changes to bowel tissue like inflammatory diseases such as Crohn’s disease can, nor is it associated with a higher risk of colorectal cancer.
IBS can often be treated with diet and lifestyle management; occasionally it disappears completely and may reappear later. However, IBS is chronic; it must be managed long-term.
Your Roswell Gastroenterologist will be able to tell you whether you have IBS and will help you determine the best treatment plan. If you present with symptoms, including but not limited to developing a new case after age 50, rectal bleeding, sudden weight loss, nausea, abdominal pain that doesn’t go away after bowel movements, or fever, your Roswell Gastroenterologist will probably want to test you for other, more serious conditions.
If you live in or near Roswell, GA and are suffering from any of these symptoms or think you may have IBS, contact Dr. Bullock at 770-442-5882.
What you need to know about esophageal dilation.
Do you have trouble swallowing? Do you feel like there is always a lump in your throat, or food has gotten stuck somewhere and never made it down to your stomach? You may be having trouble with your esophagus, the tube of muscle that connects your throat to your stomach. Dr. Melvin Bullock at Digestive Health and Preventive Care in Roswell, GA, wants you to know about esophageal dilation, a procedure that can help you feel better.
You can have trouble with your esophagus from scarring related to gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). Because of GERD, the sphincter muscle that acts as a valve to protect your esophagus from stomach acid doesn't work. Stomach acid is able to flow up into your esophagus, burning your esophageal lining. The tissue heals, but forms scar tissue. This scar tissue can build up and begin to narrow your esophagus, making it difficult to swallow.
Other conditions causing damage or narrowing of your esophagus include excess tissue accumulation in your esophagus, esophageal cancer, scarring after radiation treatment or a disorder of movement (motility) in your esophagus.
Your Roswell gastronologist can perform esophageal dilation, which will help widen your esophagus, making food pass through more easily. Swallowing will be easier too. He can perform esophageal dilation during an upper endoscopy while you are under sedation. Dr. Bullock will determine whether to use plastic dilators or a dilating balloon to stretch the walls of your esophagus.
After your first treatment, you may require additional treatments to allow for a gradual widening of your esophagus, which is better and easier for you. If your Roswell gastronologist determines your esophageal problems are due to GERD, he may prescribe antacids to decrease your risk of acid reflux-related scarring.
If you are having trouble swallowing and feel like your throat is closing up, don’t suffer! Call Dr. Melvin Bullock at Digestive Health and Preventive Care in Roswell, GA. He can discuss how esophageal dilation can help you feel better. Call today!
Prepare yourself for this upcoming GI procedure by finding out what it will entail.
A colonoscopy is a fairly common procedure that your Roswell gastroenterologist Dr. Melvin Bullock may recommend if you are experiencing rectal bleeding or other suspicious GI symptoms. Any new procedure can feel a bit scary, especially if you don’t know what to expect. Find out what will happen during your colonoscopy so you can breathe a little easier.
In order for your procedure to be successful, your bowels must be empty. This will allow your Roswell GI specialist to be able to clearly see your colon. We will prescribe either a liquid or pills that will help to empty out your bowels. We will also give you special instructions that you will need to follow before your colonoscopy to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
Once you put on your hospital gown an IV will be started. Sedatives and pain relievers will be administered through the IV to help you feel relaxed and drowsy. Before your procedure, we will discuss what kind of anesthesia we will use, whether general or conscious sedation.
Once the medication has taken effect, you will lay down on your left side with your knees up to your chest. A colonoscope—a small, flexible tube—will be inserted into the rectum and slowly directed into the large intestines. Some air will be used to expand the colon so we can check the health of the colon walls.
If there are any suspicious growths we can also take a biopsy of this tissue during your colonoscopy. Colonoscopies are so beneficial because it often allows us the opportunity to diagnose and treat colorectal conditions without needing a major operation to do it.
Once we have checked the health of your colon we will slowly remove the colonoscope from your bowels. The procedure can take anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour.
Have any questions about your upcoming colonoscopy? Dealing with gastrointestinal issues that aren’t going away? Then turn to your Roswell, GA GI doctor for the care you deserve.
An estimated 1.6 million Americans are currently affected by Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD), according to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. Could you be one of them? If so, you will want to visit your gastroenterologist in Roswell GA, Melvin D. Bullock MD, for a diagnosis and treatment plan right away.
What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
Inflammatory Bowel Disease is a chronic health condition in which the immune system overreacts to the normal bacteria in the digestive system, causing all or part of the digestive tract to become inflamed. The two major types of IBD include Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, though other types do exist. While scientists do not yet know what causes IBD, heredity, stress and diet are thought to aggravate it.
What are the Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
Common symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease include severe diarrhea, pain, blood in the stool, an urgent need to move the bowels, and unintended weight loss. Fever, fatigue and a reduced appetite are common symptoms as well.
Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease tend to come and go over time. It is not uncommon to go months or even years without symptoms, only to have them return. The symptoms may also be mild or severe.
What Inflammatory Bowel Disease Treatments are Available?
Currently, Inflammatory Bowel Disease is treated with medicine, surgery and lifestyle changes such as modifying your diet, reducing your stress level and getting enough rest. Your gastroenterologist in Roswell GA may also advise you to take nutritional supplements or eat smaller, more frequent meals. The goal of these treatments is to reduce the inflammation and manage your symptoms. There is no cure for Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease typically isn't fatal, but it can cause life-threatening complications in some cases if not properly controlled.
Visiting a gastroenterologist in Roswell GA to discuss your IBD symptoms may not be pleasant, but it is the first and most important step you need to take in order to finally get your symptoms under control. If the above information describes you, it's time to take action. Call Dr. Bullock and set up an appointment for a consultation today.
Are you one of the approximately 1.4 million Americans currently suffering from inflammatory bowel disease? If so, you owe it to yourself to visit Melvin D. Bullock, MD in Roswell to learn as much about this chronic disease as you can.
What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
Inflammatory bowel disease is the name of the group of conditions that cause the intestines to become regularly inflamed and irritated. The two most common types of inflammatory bowel disease include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, but these are not the only two.
What Causes Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
While Roswell gastroenterologists do not know the exact cause of inflammatory bowel disease for sure, doctors do have a few theories. Some doctors believe the conditions may result from an immune system malfunction while others suspect that heredity may also play a role.
What are the Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
For people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease, symptoms can be mild or severe, and they can come and go without warning. Common symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease include diarrhea, fever, fatigue, pain, a reduced appetite, unintended weight loss and blood in the stool. If left untreated, these symptoms can become debilitating or even life-threatening.
What Treatments are Available for Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
If your inflammatory bowel disease is regularly interfering with your daily life, speak to Dr. Bullock about developing a treatment plan. While there is currently no cure for inflammatory bowel disease, you may be able to find some relief with the right treatment plan.
When treating inflammatory bowel disease, your gastroenterologist Dr. Bullock in Roswell will likely recommend medication at first. The type of medication your doctor recommends will depend on your condition and your symptoms, but may include anti-inflammatory drugs, immune system suppressors, antibiotics, anti-diarrheal medications, pain relievers or nutritional supplements.
You will likely be asked to make certain lifestyle changes as well, such as limiting dairy products, spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine and tobacco and increasing your intake of low-fat, high-fiber foods. You may also be asked to eat smaller meals, drink plenty of liquids and begin taking multivitamins if you aren't taking them already.
If medication and lifestyle changes alone are not enough to ease your symptoms, your doctor may also recommend surgery. Surgery for inflammatory bowel disease is quite invasive and may not even cure your condition, so your doctor will likely save surgery as a last resort.
Living with inflammatory bowel disease can be painful, embarrassing and inconvenient. If you are currently suffering from this painful condition, visit Dr. Bullock in Roswell to create your treatment plan today.
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