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Our Gastroenterology Blog

Posts for tag: stomach pain

By Melvin D. Bullock MD
September 21, 2018
Tags: stomach pain   Acid Reflux  

Acid RefluxYour 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:

  • Burning
  • 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
  • Oatmeal
  • Avocados
  • 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.

By Melvin D. Bullock MD
August 29, 2016

Do you suffer from bouts of diarrhea, constipation and abdominal pain? You may have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Dr. Melvin ibsBullock, 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.