Acidity Problems – When to Take Action!

Acidity problems: The gastric glands of your stomach produce and secrete acid – which is necessary to digest the food. When excess acid is produced than needed for the digestion process, the condition is known as acidity. In some cases, normal stomach acid flows back to the esophagus. This condition is known as acid reflux (GERD). The most common symptom of this condition is a burning sensation and chest pain in the breastbone.

What are the common causes of acidity?

Acidity causes: In a majority of cases, lifestyle-related factors are responsible for acidity and stomach problems. They include the following:

  • Excessive eating (overeating)
  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • Excessive consumption of tea or coffee
  • Eating at irregular times or skipping meals
  • Eating just before sleeping
  • High intake of table salt
  • Consuming a sugary diet or a diet low in dietary fiber
  • Consumption of spicy food
  • Excessive consumption of fat-rich foods such as fried foods, doughnuts, pizza, extremely oily, fatty, and spicy foods
  • Excessive intake of carbonated drinks, caffeinated beverages, and soft drinks

Use of medications

Regular use of pain-relieving medications, over-the-counter medications, other temporary medications as well as prescription medicines can cause acidity problems. For instance, medications such as antibiotics, medicines for controlling high blood pressure, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; anxiety and depression medications can cause acidity.

What other disorders can cause acidity problems?

Irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and other conditions can also lead to acidity.

What are the other causes of acidity?

  • Eating gas-forming vegetables such as cabbage or cauliflower
  • Excessive consumption of non-vegetarian food
  • Lack of physical exercise
  • Frequent consumption of alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Excessive stress
  • Insomnia (Lack of sleep)
  • Mental health issues

Do you know – people who have dental health issues, connective tissue disorders, diabetes and asthma, and breathing problems – such as sleep apnea are more prone to acidity? In women, those who are approaching menopause, obese women, depressed women, and even pregnant women suffer from acidity.

What are the symptoms of Acidity and Acid Reflux Disease?

Acidity Symptoms are not the same in all people. Bloating blenching, and gas formation indigestion is the most common symptoms of acidity. However, symptoms differ from person to person. For instance, chest pain and burning sensation below the breast bone are the most common symptoms of acid reflux. The other symptoms of acidity that are uncommon may include:

  • Indigestion
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Restlessness
  • Heaviness in the stomach after taking meals
  • Post-meal discomfort and sometimes pain
  • Burning sensation and pain in the stomach
  • Bad breath
  • Burning sensation and pain in the chest
  • Frequent hiccups or burping for no apparent reason
  • Difficulty in swallowing food
  • A feeling of food being stuck in the throat
  • Burning sensation and pain in the throat
  • Bitter-taste or prolonged sour taste in the mouth due to acid reflux (regurgitation)

Bottom Line

Acidity problems once in a while are alright as you can set it right with some slight lifestyle modification – eating and sleeping habits. But when you frequently suffer from acidity and indigestion or any other acidity-related symptoms, there should be a cause for concern. If a person frequently suffers from bouts of acidity – what does it mean – say – he or she has symptoms lasting for two or more days per week – on a regular basis. It means that there might be an underlying cause associated with acidity. It is therefore advisable that they should consult a specialist doctor without wasting any time.

Hepatitis Causing Viruses (Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E)

Liver disease viral hepatitis

Liver problems can be caused due to many reasons. some of which may include consumption of alcohol, obesity (accumulation of fat in the liver), excessive use of certain medications, and viruses. Let us try to understand the different types of viruses that cause liver diseases. The disease progresses silently. However, there are some common signs and symptoms of liver disease – such as:

  • Yellow eyes and skin
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen legs
  • Dark colored urine

The viruses that cause liver disease can spread through blood, semen, impure water, or through contact with the person who is infected. The other causes of liver diseases may include:

  • Sharing of needles while being injected
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Family history     

Liver Disease Viral Hepatitis                      

Hepatitis A – This type of liver disease spreads through contaminated food and water. It can also spread through dirty hands when the infected person cooks food for other family members. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, low-grade fever, and loss of appetite. A person with hepatitis A must get the proper intake of water eat a balanced diet and avoid the consumption of alcohol. Rest, medication and comprehensive treatment ensure complete recovery within a few months.

Hepatitis B – it is caused when the virus (HBV) is transmitted from one person to the other. It spreads through blood (use of unsterile syringes, needles, and blood transfusion), semen, and other body fluids. Chronic HBV infections may lead to liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, or liver failure.  Hepatitis B can be easily prevented by getting vaccinated. It is the most common vaccine-preventable liver disease.

Hepatitis C – Hepatitis c is also caused by a virus (HCV) that attacks the liver and causes inflammation.  People who are infected by hepatitis c are unaware as there are no symptoms. The appearance of symptoms may take many years.

symptoms may include – loss of body weight, dark color urine, and easy bruising.

It can be prevented by avoiding the usage of illicit drugs and avoiding unprotected sex. Be careful while getting a piercing or while getting tattooing done.

Hepatitis D – may be caused if you have hepatitis b. The infection can be an acute, short-term or long-term, and chronic liver disease. It is a serious liver disease and may lead to lifelong liver damage.

Symptoms may include

  • Dark colored urine
  • Tiredness
  • Yellow eyes and skin
  • Pain in belly

There is no vaccine to prevent liver disease and viral hepatitis D.

Hepatitis E – The common cause of hepatitis E is contaminated drinking water.

Symptoms may include

  • jaundice
  • stomach pain
  • loss of appetite

Many people with hepatitis E do not have any symptoms, especially children. It resolves on its own within five to six weeks with supportive care, rehydration, rest, and medication.

Prevention of Hepatitis

  • Avoid excess alcohol consumption
  • Follow a balanced diet
  • Exercise on a regular basis
  • Manage a proper body weight
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • Wash your hands with soap and water it prevents the spread of hepatitis A & E.

Avoid eating too many refined sugars as they may lead to fat build-up in the liver and can cause liver diseases.

Use medications judiciously

Don’t share items like syringes, needles, razors, and blades because hepatitis B and C – both serious and infectious liver diseases spread through blood and body fluids. Avoid high-risk sexual activities and multiple sex partners.

Be careful! Some drugs, dietary supplements, and herbs can damage your liver. For instance, comfrey, kava, and ephedra are known to cause liver damage.

Don’t breathe in toxins – home cleaning products, aerosol products, and some insecticides have chemicals that can damage your liver – avoid such products.

If you have any additional concerns regarding liver disease or viral hepatitis, then contact Dr. Datta Ram U

BILE DUCT CANCER (Cholangiocarcinoma)

Bile is a fluid made by the liver. It helps in breaking down fats during digestion. Small tubes network called ducts connect the liver, gallbladder, and small intestine. Two small ducts emerging from the liver form left and right hepatic ducts. These ducts join outside the liver and form a common hepatic duct. The cystic duct connects the gallbladder to the common hepatic duct. Bile from the liver passes through these ducts and is stored in the gallbladder. During the process of digestion, the gallbladder releases bile that passes through the cystic duct to the common bile duct and then into the intestine.

What is bile duct cancer?

Bile duct cancer is a rare disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the bile ducts. Bile duct cancer is also called cholangiocarcinoma.

What are the types of bile duct cancer?

Intrahepatic bile duct cancer or intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas: Cancer develops in the bile ducts within the liver. A low percentage of bile duct cancers are intrahepatic.

Extrahepatic bile duct cancer: This type of cancer develops outside the liver in the bile ducts. Cancer is of two types:  perihilar bile duct cancer and distal bile duct cancer.

Perihilar bile duct cancer: This type of cancer develops in the common hepatic duct region. It is also known as perihilar cholangiocarcinoma or Klatskin tumor.

Distal bile duct cancer or extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma: This type of cancer develops in the region of the common bile duct.

What are the signs and symptoms of bile duct cancer?

The signs and symptoms of bile duct cancer include the following:

  • Fever
  • Itching
  • Weakness
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss
  • Upset stomach and vomiting
  • Pain in your belly or sides
  • Yellow skin or eyes (jaundice)
  • Dark urine
  • Light-colored stools

What are the risk factors for bile duct cancer?

The risk factors for bile duct cancer include:

  • Chronic ulcerative colitis
  • Blocking of bile ducts by inflammation and scarring due to primary sclerosing cholangitis – a progressive disease.
  • Infection with a Chinese liver fluke (parasite)
  • Cysts in the bile duct cause infection, inflammation, and swollen bile ducts. They block the flow of bile.

How is bile duct cancer diagnosed?

A surgical gastroenterologist will do a physical examination. The doctor will ask the patient about their general health, habits, lifestyle (smoking and drinking habits), and family history of liver disease and cancer. The doctor will also check for lymph nodes, masses, tenderness, and fluid buildup in the abdomen.

For an accurate diagnosis of cancer, a gastroenterologist may recommend the following tests:

  • blood tests
  • An ultrasound scan, endoscopy, and a CT or MRI scan

Percutaneous Transhepatic Cholangiography (PTC)

It is A specialized test in which a surgical gastroenterologist inserts a needle through the skin and into a bile duct. The doctor inserts a dye and then takes an X-ray.

Cholangioscopy

Peroral cholangioscopy is often performed during ERCP. This specialized procedure is used to detect cancers in the bile ducts and collect tissue samples (biopsy)

Biopsy – cell sample collected from the bile ducts during cholangioscopy procedure. The cells are analyzed for abnormal growth and cancer.

Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) – A MRI machine takes images of bile ducts.

What is the treatment for bile duct cancer?

Bile duct removal: A surgical gastroenterologist removes the affected part of the bile duct if cancer is present in it. Lymph nodes are also removed.

Whipple procedure: This is a surgical procedure to remove the gallbladder, the head of the pancreas, the bile duct, a part of the stomach, and the small intestine. To kill leftover cancer cells after removing cancer, doctors prescribe chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Systemic chemotherapy is used to treat unresectable, metastatic, or recurrent bile duct cancer.

Radiation therapy is used to treat bile duct cancer – both external and internal types are used. Radiation therapy helps in relieving symptoms and improving the quality of life as palliative therapy.

Other Procedures

To relieve symptoms associated with a blocked bile duct and to improve quality of life, an experienced surgical gastroenterologist performs the following types of surgical procedures: endoscopic stent placement, biliary bypass, and percutaneous transhepatic biliary drainage.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Facts

Best doctor for IBD in Hyderabad Dr. Datta Ram U explains IBS in simple terms for a layman to understand it better for better management.

What is IBS Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

Irritable bowel disease is an inflammatory condition of the large intestine. People who have this condition suffer from abdominal pain, cramping, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and gas. It is a chronic condition that needs to be managed on a long-term basis.

Though this is a common health issue only a few people with IBD have severe signs and symptoms. The best way to manage this condition is by managing stress, anxiety, lifestyle, and diet. For more severe and nagging symptoms diet, medications, lifestyle, and counseling can help.

IBS doesn’t cause changes in bowel tissue or increase your risk of colorectal cancer.

What are the signs and Symptoms of IBD?

IBD Symptoms – symptoms may vary but may last longer. Common symptoms may include bloating, indigestion, cramping, inflammation, abdominal pain, passing mucus in stools, changes in bowel habits, changes in the frequency of bowel movements, and increased gas or mucus in stools.

Is there any precise cause of IBS?

IBS Causes – So far there is no known or specific cause associated with this condition. The following factors could play a role:

Early childhood stress: This may be the reason for IBS in some people. Those who were exposed to stressful events during their early childhood days tend to have IBD-associated symptoms during their adulthood and continue to have them for a long time.

Gastrointestinal infection: In some people, IBS can develop after severe diarrhea or gastroenteritis caused by a virus or bacterial disease. Bacterial overgrowth can also cause IBS symptoms. Disturbance in the balance of normal gut bacteria (microbial flora) of the gut can also cause IBS symptoms.

Nervous system abnormalities can cause discomfort in the abdominal muscles due to improper and poorly coordinated signals from the brain and intestines. This may result in pain, constipation, and diarrhea.

Stronger and longer intestinal muscle contractions can cause bloating, gas and diarrhea.

What triggers IBS?

Some people experience worse IBS symptoms when they eat or drink certain foods or beverages, carbonated drinks, milk, cabbage, beans, citrus fruits, dairy products, and wheat.

Stress: In some people, stress may trigger IBS symptoms or can make IBS symptoms worse, but doesn’t cause them.

What are the risk factors for IBS?

A strong family history – genes and environmental factors could play a role.

A history of stress, anxiety, depression, and emotional and sexual abuse can make the condition worse.

Sex – females are more prone to it compared to males and the condition is common in young females.

What are the complications associated with IBS?

Chronic diarrhea and constipation can cause Hemorrhoids. Those who have chronic IBS and associated moderate to severe symptoms regularly may have a poor quality of life. They also miss work more often compared to others. People with IBS are more prone to stress, anxiety, and depression and also people with stress and depression may have worse IBS symptoms.

When should you see a specialist doctor?

If you are searching for the best doctor for IBD in Hyderabad, you should not worry much unless you have the following signs and symptoms:

  • Persistent diarrheas – especially at night
  • Iron deficiency
  • Frequent abdominal cramps
  • Persistent abdominal pain
  • Nauseas & vomiting sensation
  • Rectal bleeding and other uncommon symptoms.

Ulcerative Colitis, Causes & Symptoms

Best doctor for ulcerative colitis in Hyderabad, Dr. Datta Ram U Explains

Inflammation in the rectum spreads to the colon. Symptoms are not regular – don’t persist for many. Symptoms may often come and go.  In addition to abdominal pain and cramps, the other symptoms may include pus or blood in stools, loss of iron, anemia, abdominal cramping, weight loss, and diarrhea.  Medicines may help in relieving pain and relaxing abdominal muscles and calming inflammation. However, for more stubborn and complicated cases, surgery remains the best option. If you are looking for the best doctor for ulcerative colitis in Hyderabad, this information is for you.

What is ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD comprises a group of diseases that affect the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

Ulcerative colitis is the inflammation of the rectum and colon (the large intestine). It usually occurs in the lining of the colon. Tiny sores called ulcers form on the lining of the colon due to inflammation. The sores form in the rectum and spread upward. They affect the complete colon. Inflammation may lead to frequent emptying of the bowel and rapid movement of bowel contents, and urgency to defecate. When the cells in the lining of the colon die, ulcers form. Ulcers cause bleeding (rectal bleeding and pain) and discharge of pus and mucus.

What causes ulcerative colitis?

Many experts are not clear about the exact cause of ulcerative colitis, but they think that environmental factors, the microbiome, abnormal immunological reactions, and genes could play a role together. Even stress, food habits, and unhealthy lifestyle factors such as smoking, and eating spicy foods, can trigger symptoms, but they are not directly involved in the causation of ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis runs in families. Therefore, strong family history is a risk factor.

What are the symptoms of ulcerative colitis?

The signs and symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis may include stomach pain, abdominal cramps, frequent and rapid movement of abdominal contents; an urge to empty bowels frequently; recurring diarrhea that may contain pus, mucus, and blood. The other symptoms may include loss of weight, loss of appetite, and extreme tiredness (fatigue). Due to ulcerative colitis, many people have a huge impact on their day-to-day lives.

The extent of inflammation and severity of symptoms may vary depending on the area of the colon and rectum involved.

What are the complications of Ulcerative Colitis?

The complications associated with unattended and chronic ulcerative colitis may include severe bleeding, formation of blood clots in the arteries and veins; swelling of the colon; inflammation of the joints, skin and eyes; bone loss osteoporosis; severe dehydration; and formation of holes in the colon – perforated colon. And also, an increased risk of colon cancer.

When to see a specialist doctor?

You should see a specialist doctor – such as a gastroenterologist or any other best doctor for ulcerative colitis in Hyderabad, if you experience persistent abdominal pain and cramps with changes in your bowel habits or if you have the following symptoms associated with chronic ulcerative colitis: blood and mucus in the stool, rectal bleeding, severe inflammation, ongoing diarrhea that doesn’t respond to OTC medicines and treatment; and diarrhea that wakes you up from the sleep and fever that lasts more than two to three days.

Bottom Line

Usually, ulcerative colitis is not very serious, but it may lead to life-threatening complications and can make you weak and prone to other serious health conditions such as perforated colon and colon cancer. Though the signs and symptoms are debilitating, treatment can greatly reduce them and bring long-term benefits.

To know about the various treatment and the best options for the management of ulcerative colitis, meet Dr. Datta Ram U.