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Removing the Gastric Balloon: What to Expect During and After

Posted by Gastroenterology Associates on Mon, Apr 17, 2017 @ 10:38 AM

Removing-the-Gastric-Balloon-What-to-Expect-During-and-After.jpegSo you got the gastric balloon! Your journey to attaining sustainable weight loss in Baton Rouge has officially begun. 6 months have flown by and now you’re preparing for the gastric balloon to be removed. While you recall the generalities of the removal, you’re a little fuzzy on the details. Don’t worry! We’re here to answer your questions about gastric balloon removal in Baton Rouge.

How is the gastric balloon removed?

Like the gastric balloon insertion, you will be given a mild sedative prior to removing the gastric balloon. Using endoscopic equipment, your gastroenterologist will extract the saline solution from the gastric balloon and then remove the deflated gastric balloon through your mouth. The entire procedure generally takes less than 30 minutes. Following a short in-house observation, you are free to leave with your prearranged ride.

How do I prepare for a gastric balloon removal?

Before the gastric balloon is removed, there are three vital steps you must take:

  1. Before the gastric balloon removal procedure in Baton Rouge—generally 48 hours prior—begin taking the prescribed heartburn medication as directed by your physician. This medication is designed to help counteract any reflux or heartburn that may occur during or after your gastric balloon removal.
  2. For your gastroenterologist to remove the gastric balloon, there must be no solid food in your stomach. This can be achieved by refraining from solid foods for 48 hours prior to the gastric balloon removal procedure. During this time, taking small, frequent sips of low-calorie carbonated beverages, such as diet soda or sparkling water, can help settle your stomach and clean the gastric balloon of any remaining food particles.
  3. Arrange for a ride home:  Due to the mild sedative used during the brief procedure, you will need to stay in-house until the sedative’s effects wear off. Gastroenterology Associates requires that you have a ride home planned before the procedure can take place, as it is not recommended that you drive or operate heavy machinery for 8 hours following sedation.

Failing to follow any of these steps will result in the postponement of your gastric balloon removal procedure.

Will I gain the weight back after the gastric balloon is removed?

The gastric balloon is a temporary, non-surgical procedure designed to jumpstart your weight loss and set you on the path to whole body health. When the gastric balloon is removed, your stomach’s capacity will return to its previous size. Patients who do not commit to the lifestyle changes they made during the 6-month gastric balloon placement may regain lost weight.

When you receive your gastric balloon at Gastroenterology Associates of Baton Rouge, you receive twelve months of coaching from professional nutrition and exercise consultants. As part of the O.N.E. Weigh gastric balloon program, these weight loss experts will work with you during and after your procedure to create diet and exercise programs tailored to you and your body’s needs.  



Topics: Gastric Balloon

What Baton Rouge Needs to Know About Hiatal Hernias

Posted by Gastroenterology Associates on Mon, Apr 10, 2017 @ 4:20 PM

What Baton Rouge Needs to Know About Hiatal Hernias.jpgDigestive disorders are a part of everyday life for millions of Americans. Diet, stress, and chronic conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) all contribute to disrupting proper digestion.

A lesser-known cause of digestive problems is herniation, or the presence of hernias. A hernia occurs when an internal organ or fatty tissue forces itself into an area where it doesn’t belong. In the case of hiatal hernias, a part of the stomach is pushing upward through the diaphragm.

Small hiatal hernias typically lack noticeable symptoms and may not require medical treatment. It’s entirely possible that you could have a hiatal hernia and not even know until it’s discovered by a physician during an examination. On the other hand, large hiatal hernias can cause issues that disrupt digestion and in some cases require surgery

How are hiatal hernias caused?

The hiatus is an opening in the diaphragm which separates the abdomen from the chest cavity. When everything is working properly, the esophagus passes through the hiatus and attaches to the stomach. A hiatal hernia occurs when the stomach swells up into the chest through that opening.

Why certain people suffer from hiatal hernias is less clear. Some may have been born with a large hiatal opening. Injury to the area or excessive pressure from surrounding muscles due to coughing, straining during bowel movements, or vomiting can also lead to hiatal hernias.

Why do hiatal hernias disrupt digestion?

If a hernia is large enough, it can cause food and acid to reflux into the esophagus, causing heartburn or GERD.

What are the symptoms of hiatal hernias?

Smaller hernias may not cause discomfort and present few, if any, other symptoms. Symptoms that indicate larger hernias which are actively disrupting digestion include:

  • Heartburn
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Excessive belching
  • Chest pain
  • Feeling especially full after meals

If left untreated, hiatal hernias can rarely become trapped in the chest or strangulated—which means the hernia begins to cut off blood to the entrapped intestine. Strangulated hiatal hernias can cause sudden pain in the chest and requires immediate medical attention. More common scenario is that hiatal hernias are found at endoscopy and may be associated with the symptoms of heartburn, regurgitation, etc., which need to be controlled. Most people do not need surgery for the hernia.

That’s why it’s crucial to be properly diagnosed by your Louisiana gastroesophageal specialist when you first notice symptoms.

 Who is at risk for hiatal hernias?

People over the age of 50 are most at risk, and women tend to suffer from hiatal hernias more often than their male counterparts. Obesity is also a contributing cause to the presence of hiatal hernias. 

How are hiatal hernias diagnosed in Baton Rouge?

In order to properly diagnose your gastric condition, your Baton Rouge hernia specialist will use a barium swallow or an upper endoscopy. An upper endoscopy allows your doctor to examine the esophagus and determine the cause of heartburn.

People often dismiss digestive issues without being properly diagnosed, but it’s important to be aware of hiatal hernias,. With small changes in self care or diet, most small hiatal hernias can be taken care of with little to no medical attention required. However, larger hiatal hernias can present serious complications if left untreated.

Don’t just accept digestive problems as a part of your life. Visit a gastroesophageal specialist in Baton Rouge to determine the cause of your digestive distress and start on the road to heartburn management today.


Topics: hiatal hernias

Colon Cancer Screening for Millennials in Baton Rouge

Posted by Gastroenterology Associates on Tue, Mar 21, 2017 @ 3:14 PM

COLON CANCER SCREENING FOR MILLENNIALS IN BATON ROUGE.jpgIt’s that time of year again—Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Over the years, we’ve talked about the prevalence of colon cancer among adults over 50, as well as how diabetes, race, polyps, and other genetic factors can increase the risk of colon cancer. But now, it’s time to talk about a startling new demographic at risk—millennials.

New research has shown that the millennial generation—people born between 1978 and 1997—are at greater risk for both colon and rectal cancer than the preceding generations. Since the mid-1990s, colon cancer rates have increased by 1-2.4% every year. Rectal cancer prevalence among 20-39-year-olds has increased 3.2% per year from 1980 to 2013. In 2015, 10% of colorectal cancer patients were under the age of 50. 

But there is good news. Colon cancer is not only treatable, but preventable with early detection.

People who are at an elevated risk for colon cancer should be screened regularly, so that it can be caught even if it isn't yet causing symptoms. Early screening can also detect polyps that have the potential to become cancerous later on.

Three main tests can be used to screen for colorectal cancer in millennials:


The strongest tool for early detection of cancer and also allows the doctor to look at the inside of the entire colon. Even if you have no other risk factors, a colonoscopy should be performed every 10 years starting at age 50. Most insurance companies cover this as a wellness/ preventive program, without any copay or deductible.

If you have any concerns about getting a colonoscopy, such as pain during the procedure or drinking the prep, then you have not been keeping up with the latest developments. If your doctor thinks it is appropriate for you, a smaller prep is better tolerated and a colonoscopy is a sedated, completely pain-free procedure, as anyone who has done it will tell you.

Although some other tests (as below) may be able detect blood in the stool or polyps, they are not as good as a colonoscopy in diagnosing polyps or cancer and you will still need a colonoscopy if a polyp or blood in the stool is found in any other way.

Fecal Immunochemical Test

This colon cancer screening test looks for signs of cancer in three consecutive stool samples, which you can collect at home. This test should be performed annually starting at age 50—or earlier, if you have a family history of colorectal cancer or exhibit other risk factors for colon cancer. This is not a 100% guaranteed test in diagnosing all cases with polyps or cancer, nor does it rule out any abnormalities when it is negative.

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

This screening test allows doctors to view the inside of your rectum and the nearest part of your colon, the sigmoid colon. It should be performed every 5 years starting at age 50. This does not help to examine the right side of the colon where more polyps may be found, and you need to prep and have sedation for this procedure as well.

The only difference is how much of the colon will be examined, so it has not been an ideal test for colon cancer screening.

Patients at an elevated risk of colon cancer—even those under the age of 40—should be screened more frequently. If you have inflammatory bowel disease, a family history of colon cancer, or a personal history of polyps, your doctor may recommend that you start getting screened earlier, and get screened more frequently.

There is no reason to panic because of the numbers. You need to ask your doctor if you need colon cancer screening- anyone 50 years and above, or anyone with a family history of colon cancer or polyps, or at any age if you have symptoms such as rectal bleeding or anemia, you may need to be tested.

There are many factors that contribute to the development of colon cancer. Doing what is good for your bodysuch as eating fresh fruits and vegetables, eating less red meat and processed foods, exercising to avoid or reduce obesity, and having regular checkups with your doctor—is good for your colon as well. Genetics is just one risk factor, so instead of stressing about your family history or what you read online, take action to restore your peace of mind. Call and schedule a consultation today.

To schedule your colonoscopy in Baton Rouge today, please contact one of the doctors at Gastroenterology Associates by calling (225) 927-1190.

Topics: colon cancer awareness Louisiana, colon cancer Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge GI Approves These 5 Kid-Friendly Gluten-Free Recipes

Posted by Gastroenterology Associates on Tue, Feb 21, 2017 @ 10:03 AM

BATON ROUGE GI APPROVES THESE 5 KID-FRIENDLY GLUTEN-FREE RECIPES.jpegWere you or your child recently diagnosed with celiac disease or a gluten allergy? Are you finding it difficult to explain to your child what exactly celiac disease is and how to manage it? Real-life application can help.

Let them get hands-on experience in gluten-free cooking in Baton Rouge with these easy and delicious gluten-free recipes—perfect for busy days and pint-sized chefs!

Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal for the Whole Family

(Adapted from Today)
Serves 8

1 ½ c certified gluten-free steel-cut oats
4 c milk of choice
¾ c maple syrup (or liquid sweetener of your choice)
1 T ground cinnamon
¼ tsp salt

Topping ideas:
unsweetened dried fruit
chopped nuts
diced fresh fruit
toasted coconut

The night before
1. Generously spray the inside of your slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Whisk milk, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt together in a large bowl.
3. Pout oats in an even layer across the bottom of the slow cooker.
4. Pour liquid on top of oats.
5. Set the slow cooker on low for 7-8 hours.
In the morning
1. Set out the toppings
2. Give the oatmeal a good stir, as it will be quite thick.
3. If your slow cooker has turned off, turn it back on warm.
4. If oatmeal is too thick, loosen it with a splash of milk.
5. Let everyone serve and enjoy!

Gluten-Free Turkey Tortilla Pinwheels

(Adapted from Frugal Farmwife)
Serves 4-5

Total Cooking Time: 5 minutes

1 ripe avocado
1 tsp taco seasoning (or Tony’s)
4-5 6” corn or rice tortillas

1. Mash avocado and mix in seasoning
2. Spread a thin layer of mashed avocado on each tortilla
3. Layer turkey on top (Try 2 thin slices per tortilla)
4. Roll tortillas and cut each into inch-wide pinwheels with a sharp serrated knife
**Tip: To avoid breaking the tortilla, don’t roll too tightly and heat the tortilla before adding ingredients   to make it more pliable
5. Pack the pinwheels into your child’s lunchbox along with fruits and veggies and send them off to school with a smile!

Kid-Approved Granola Bars

(Adapted from Beyond Celiac)
Yields 12-16 bars (depending on size you cut them in)

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 50-60 minutes

2 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1 ½ c certified gluten-free rolled oats
1 ½ c organic raisins
2 c sunflower seeds
1/3 c sesame seeds
¾ c peanuts (or favorite nut, chopped)
½ c dried fruit (apples, cranberries, cherries, etc.)
½ tsp salt
1 c honey (or other liquid natural sweetener)
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ c peanut butter (or favorite nut butter)

1. Preheat oven to 275F.
2. Line jelly roll pan or rimmed cookie sheet with greased parchment paper.
3. Thoroughly blend honey, vanilla, and peanut butter.
4. Mix honey mixture with other ingredients until incorporated.
5. Spread mixture into pan and pat firmly with greased hands or rubber spatula.
6. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until golden brown.
7. Remove from oven and pat firmly again to ensure bars hold together
8. Let cool slightly.
9. Cut into bars, squares, or triangles and enjoy!

Cornmeal-Crusted Chicken Nuggets

(Adapted from Eating Well)
Serves 4

Total Cooking Time: 20 minutes

1 lb uncooked chicken tenders, cut in half crosswise
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
3 T cornmeal
1 T extra-virgin olive oil

1. Sprinkle chicken tenders with salt and pepper.
2. Place cornmeal in a medium bowl.
3. Add seasoned chicken and toss to coat.
4. Discard leftover cornmeal.
5. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
6. Reduce heat to medium and add coated chicken to skillet.
7. Cook chicken for 6-8 minutes, turning once or twice, until chicken is browned and cooked through.
8. Serve with a side of steamed veggies and your favorite condiments and enjoy!

Chocolate-Chia Cookies

(Adapted from Super Healthy Kids)
Yields 2 dozen

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

2 c natural peanut butter
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
2 T chia seeds
2 large eggs
2 T maple syrup (or other natural sweetener)

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
3. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well.
4. Scoop dough with tablespoon to make 24 golf-ball-sized balls.
5. Place dough balls on cookie sheet and flatten with a fork.
6. Bake for 10 minutes or until edges begins to crisp and turn golden.
7. Remove from oven and let cool.
8. Serve and enjoy!
**Cookies will keep for up to 2 days in an airtight container at room temperature.**

As you and your family continue down the sometimes-rocky road of gluten-free living, don’t forget to consult with a gastrointestinal expert in Baton Rouge. Your doctor can help you explain celiac disease to your child in terms they’ll understand and create a treatment plan tailored to your family's busy lifestyle. Give the gluten intolerance experts at Gastroenterology Associate a call today to schedule a consultation


9 Signs of Celiac Disease

Topics: Celiac, celiac and children

How to Keep Your 2017 Weight Loss Resolutions in Baton Rouge

Posted by Gastroenterology Associates on Thu, Jan 26, 2017 @ 1:36 PM


“I’ll walk 10,000 steps every day.”

“I’ll drop 5% in body fat and only eat organic, homemade meals.”

The new year invites reflection on past habits, failures, and achievements, as well as future priorities and goals. But far too often, holiday optimism outweighs realistic yearly commitment, which can lead to small failures, discouragement, and—worst of all—giving up.

So what can you do remain resolved?

That’s where we come in.

Check out these 5 tips for keeping those 2017 weight loss resolutions in Baton Rouge and start working toward your goals today!

Set realistic, workable weight loss resolutions

The joy and optimism that comes with the start of a new year can be downright intoxicating. With an entire year ahead, there’s so much time and energy for planning, setting, and realizing all your resolutions! But what happens with the buzz fades and the rose-colored glasses come off? Reality sets in. When setting your 2017 weight loss resolutions, don’t forget to factor in the setbacks and limitations of daily life. By setting realistic, workable goals, you can work towards attaining sustainable weight loss and stop wasting time working against your schedule.

Is your weight loss sustainable?

Acknowledge and work through pessimistic tendencies

Don’t let pessimistic tendencies stand in the way of whole body health in 2017. Too often, over-enthusiasm can slip and slide into pessimism with a single failure. 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail due to stress, discomfort, and unsustained motivation. Before committing your body to big goals, you must first commit your mind. Operating from a place of realism and self-discipline can help you work through any pessimistic tendencies and work toward your goal.

Take your weight loss resolutions one day at a time

You only fail when you stop trying. Take time each night to evaluate whether you worked toward or strayed from your goal that day. If you have strayed, forgive yourself and recommit to pursuing your sustainable weight loss goal the next day.

Give yourself the weight loss tools you need to succeed

The gastric balloon can safely jumpstart your weight loss. A non-surgical outpatient procedure, the gastric balloon is inserted into the stomach and inflated via endoscopic techniques. Once positioned, the gastric balloon remains in the stomach for up to 6 months. On average, patients who have utilized the gastric balloon procedure lose 3 times as much weight as patients who receive just diet and exercise counseling.

Build a weight loss support network in Baton Rouge

There’s no shame in asking for help. 2017 can be the year you keep your weight loss resolutions. When you sign up for the gastric balloon procedure and the O.N.E. Weigh program at Gastroenterology Associates, you also receive 12 months of guidance and comprehensive coaching from diet and exercise specialists, dedicated to giving you the tools and encouragement you need to stay on track for sustainable weight loss and whole body health.

Are you ready to get serious about your weight loss resolutions in Baton Rouge? Take the next step in fulfilling your New Year’s resolutions. Find out if you qualify for the gastric balloon procedure. Call the digestive health experts at Gastroenterology Associates to schedule a consultation today. There are many roads to weight loss, let Gastroenterology Associates help you find your O.N.E. Weigh.


Topics: weight loss Baton Rouge, Gastric Balloon

Is the Stretta Procedure the Right Move for Baton Rouge?

Posted by Gastroenterology Associates on Wed, Jan 04, 2017 @ 11:33 AM

is the stretta procedure the right move for baton rouge.jpegAcid reflux. Coughing. Difficulty swallowing. If you suffer from heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), these symptoms are all too familiar. But how can you stop them?

First, talk with a Baton Rouge gastroesophageal expert.

Over-reliance on medical web resources can lead to improper self-diagnosis and potentially harmful self-treatment. Many different diseases and disorders can present with the same gastroesophageal symptoms. A gastroenterologist can perform tests and examinations, diagnose your gastrointestinal issue, and get you started on a professional treatment plan.

Are you suffering from GERD or Heartburn?

How can I treat my GERD symptoms at home?

While self-diagnosis and self-treatment are harmful and you should turn to a gastroesophageal expert to diagnose and treat your symptoms, there are GI-approved steps you can take to treat your GERD symptoms at home.

  • Avoid trigger foods: Foods and beverages (such as citrus, tomatoes, onions, peppermint, fatty and spicy foods, and caffeine) contain acid and can exacerbate your symptoms, even if you’re currently using medication to control your acid reflux.
  • Quit smoking: Cigarettes can cause your stomach to produce more acid and the nicotine in cigarettes can cause your esophageal muscles to relax, which allows stomach acid to rise more easily.
  • Step away from the alcohol: Any type of alcohol—especially in conjunction with a large meal—can trigger acid reflux and cause any existing symptoms to worsen.
  • Set aside time for meditation: Stress increases your susceptibility to acid reflux. When coupled with lack of sleep—another symptom trigger—it’s a recipe for reflux. Set aside time each day for meditation to relax and unwind, body and mind.
  • Consult with your doctor about weight loss: Excess weight can increase your risk of acid reflux. Ask your doctor if the gastric balloon and the O.N.E. Weigh weight loss program is the right move for you.

What’s my next step in treating GERD in Baton Rouge?

The gastroesophageal experts of Louisiana are excited to now offer Stretta therapy in Baton Rouge for reflux relief. Stretta therapy is a non-invasive outpatient procedure that significantly reduces GERD symptoms through the use of radiofrequency energy. Normally performed in less than an hour, Stretta therapy uses radiofrequency energy to remodel and improve the muscle tissue between the stomach and esophagus, which results in an improved barrier and a decrease in reflux events. Patients who undergo Stretta therapy can normally return to normal activities the following day.

**Some insurance policies do require additional testing prior to approving Stretta therapy.

At Gastroenterology Associates, we are dedicated to your digestive health, so don’t hesitate. If you are suffering from recurrent acid reflux or other internal symptoms, call the experts at Gastroenterology Associates to schedule a consultation and find out if the Stretta procedure is the right move for you today. 

 6 Reasons Not to Ignore GERD


Topics: treatments for GERD, GERD

How to Have a Reflux-Free Holiday Season in Baton Rouge

Posted by Gastroenterology Associates on Thu, Dec 22, 2016 @ 4:56 PM

how-to-have-a-reflux-free-holiday-season-in-baton-rouge.jpegAs we turn the corner toward Christmas, the holiday festivities kick into high gear. With all of the soirees, potlucks, and parties, it’s hard to resist the platters piled high with delicious foods…even when you know they may cause you discomfort later on. But if you struggle with heartburn or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), you’re considerably more likely to deal with painful acid reflux and other gastrointestinal symptoms.

Are you suffering from GERD or Heartburn?

That’s why we’ve compiled these tips for managing your reflux and keeping the cheer in your holiday season.

Let’s check it out.

Don’t constrict your stomach: Sure, wearing bodycon dresses or tight pants may prevent you from overeating. But constricting your stomach during digestion can actually make heartburn more likely. So when you sit down to a holiday meal, make sure you’re dressed for comfort, not constriction.

Is that veggie right for you? You'd be surprised the things that aggravate and calm acid reflux. When filling up your plate, reach first for these heartburn-friendly vegetables: carrots, cabbage, peas, broccoli, and green beans. Ginger (less than 4 grams per day) can help ease heartburn and pairs well with root vegetables.  Steer clear of heavily spiced foods, as well as tomatoes, onions, garlic, and citrus.

Choose your carbs carefully: Mild carbohydrates like multigrain, whole wheat, corn, white breads, and oatmeal are good choices when avoiding heartburn. Specialty breads like jalapeño cheddar rolls or rich buttery croissants can aggravate your reflux, so think twice before blindly choosing from the bread basket.

Be selective: If you don’t absolutely love cornbread dressing, pass it up. By forgoing the likes and sticking to moderate portions of the loves, you’ll create a meal that satisfies your tastebuds and your appetite, without overfilling either.

Limit dairy products when building your plate: The less fat the better, so baked potatoes (with a small amount of low-fat sour cream and limited butter) are less likely to trigger heartburn than mashed potatoes. Stay away from macaroni and cheese—it is known for causing acid reflux.

Skip the skin: White meat, such as turkey or chicken breast, is less oily, lower in fat, and less likely to trigger acid reflux. But the skin of poultry contains high levels of fat that can counteract 

Step away from the chocolate fountain: You’ve made good choices throughout the meal and you can end the meal on the right note by choosing your after-dinner digestives carefully. Chocolate, coffee, and alcohol are all known acid reflux triggers, so if you’re craving a little something extra after the holiday meal, aim for lighter options, like angel food cake or a fruit and yogurt parfait.

And of course…

Keep moving: Hop on the dancefloor, jump on a bike, or take a leisurely after-meal stroll. Staying active for thirty minutes following your meal can aid in digestion and prevent uncomfortable, painful reflux.

While these tips can help prevent heartburn during the holidays, it’s important to regularly consult with your gastroenterologist about your GERD symptoms and reflux treatment options. To schedule a consultation with the gastroesophageal specialists of Louisiana, call the Gastroenterology Associates at (225) 927-1190 or contact us here.

 6 Reasons Not to Ignore GERD

Topics: treatments for GERD, GERD, Acid Reflux

Treating Acute Pancreatitis in Baton Rouge

Posted by Gastroenterology Associates on Mon, Nov 28, 2016 @ 3:20 PM

Treating Acute Pancreatitis in Baton Rouge.jpegA sudden, painful inflammation of the pancreas, acute pancreatitis is difficult to self-diagnose but in desperate need of treatment. The pain can last several days and may have a variety of  causes. Early detection can save your body from pain and further trauma, which is why we’ve compiled a few tips for diagnosing and treating acute pancreatitis in Baton Rouge.

Let’s get started.

Causes of Acute Pancreatitis

The most common causes of acute pancreatitis are alcohol and gallstones. There is no threshold above which you can get acute pancreatitis. Some people do not need much alcohol at all to cause pancreatitis. So if you have experienced acute pancreatitis before, it may be best to steer clear of alcohol entirely. 

Other causes of acute pancreatitis include:

  • Certain medications
  • Trauma
  • Some rare causes such as high triglycerides, etc.

Warning Signs of Acute Pancreatitis

The first things to be aware of as a potential sufferer are the signs and symptoms of acute pancreatitis, such as:

  • Pain radiating from the upper abdomen
  • Swollen, tender abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Rapid pulse

Please note that abdominal pain may be a symptom for a variety of mild or serious conditions, ranging from a viral gastroenteritis to cancer. So refrain from googling it or diagnosing yourself, as this will result in unnecessary anxiety. Stay calm and explain your symptoms to a physician who can diagnose the problem correctly.

In some cases, the seriousness of the problem may be suggested by the severity or duration of pain-for example, mild transient pain is less likely to come from a serious underlying problem.

Acute Pancreatitis Diagnosis Methods Available in Baton Rouge

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. A gastroenterologist can normally confirm the diagnosis by consulting your medical history, performing a physical examination, testing your blood for elevated levels of amylase or lipase.

After confirming the diagnosis, your Baton Rouge digestive specialist may perform imaging tests to help identify the cause. Such tests include:

Everyone doesn’t need all these tests. Let your doctor determine if you need any special workup beyond the routine tests.

Just because it took you a while to make the appointment and see the doctor, although you may be having severe symptoms, please consider the time it takes to be seen, have the tests performed and results to be obtained, before a diagnosis can be made, or treatment started. So it may be disappointing, if you walk in with the expectation that you would be leaving feeling better right away. The ER may help if you have severe symptoms, to temporarily control them by giving pain or nausea medications, but this is not for lasting relief. They are really there to diagnose and treat true emergencies, and nothing less than an emergency.

If you had repeated attacks of pancreatitis, you may need special tests to find the cause. Our physicians are trained in special procedures such as endoscopic ultrasound to diagnose various cases of pancreatitis.

Treating Acute Pancreatitis in Baton Rouge

After confirming the diagnosis and finding the cause of your acute pancreatitis episode, your gastroenterologist will be able to devise a personalized treatment plan for your symptoms.

General treatment methods for acute pancreatitis include:

  • Adequate fluid replenishment
  • Nutritional support
  • Pain control via prescription medication
  • Treatment of the underlying issue (gallstones, medication, high levels of triglycerides or calcium, etc.)

In cases of severe acute pancreatitis, surgery may be necessary.

Unless it is mild, hospitalization may be needed. If you have experienced severe pain, it is not uncommon to go directly to the emergency room and be diagnosed with acute pancreatitis there. Remember that ER is only useful for true emergencies; otherwise, you may waste your time waiting for hours for basic or emergent tests. In fact, if you experience chronic or recurring symptoms, you may still need to see a doctor after your ER visit.

If you are searching for a doctor, keep experience in mind. Outcome studies have shown that experience has a lot to do with successful outcomes. Hospitals and physicians that routinely treat a high volume of pancreatitis cases have better outcomes--such as less complications, lower mortality, etc. 

The Take-Away

If you believe you are experiencing acute pancreatitis, contact your gastroenterologist and seek immediate medical attention. The digestive health experts at Gastroenterology Associates have extensive training and experience in treating pancreatic disorders. If you struggle with recurring bouts of pancreatitis, call and schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified gastroenterologists.


Topics: pancreatic disorders

Tips for Gastric Balloon Recipients to Stay on Track During the Holidays

Posted by Gastroenterology Associates on Thu, Nov 17, 2016 @ 10:15 AM

TIPS FOR GASTRIC BALLOON RECIPIENTS TO STAY ON TRACK DURING THE HOLIDAYS.jpgThe holiday season is upon us. That means gathering around the table to celebrate with family, friends, and food. Lots of food.

For most people, tables filled with indulgent holiday favorites is an exciting and essential part of the season. However, if you recently underwent a gastric balloon procedure to lay a foundation for a healthier lifestyle, the holidays can represent a potential setback. Some people joke about adding a few pounds over the long weekend, but it’s not as funny when you’re serious about needing to lose weight.


The key to victoriously emerging from the holiday season with your weight loss goals intact is to have a plan and to stick to it. It’s critical to develop good eating habits now to enjoy the lasting benefits of your gastric balloon weight loss tprocedure.

Here are 4 tips to help you stay on track during the holidays:

Practice Healthy Eating Habits During Holiday Dinner

If you’re the chef preparing holiday meals, find healthy alternatives for your favorite recipes. If you’re not calling shots in the kitchen, bring a nutritious dish with you to contribute. You don’t have to deny yourself all your holiday favorites, but try to mix in some lighter dishes when making your plate.

Eat a small, nutritious snack and drink water before arriving to the dinner party. The bottomless pan of sweet potato casserole will be less tempting if you’re not arriving on an empty stomach. Because the gastric balloon reduces the available space in your stomach, it’s important to eat slowly and mindfully. Divide your meals into small portions, use a smaller plate—such as a salad plate—and chew your food thoroughly to avoid acid reflux and gastric discomfort.  

And after you’ve finished eating, sip a glass of water slowly to rinse the balloon and avoid indigestion.

Stay Active After Eating (And Postpone the Nap)

We’re all familiar with the post-turkey sleepiness that makes unbuttoning your jeans and camping out in front of the football game so tempting. But with the gastric balloon, it’s important to stay active after a meal. Lying down directly after eating can be uncomfortable, so try to keep moving while your food digests.

For most of the year, Baton Rouge weather is...not ideal. But the benefit of our warm climate is that November and December provide us with fair weather relative to other parts of the country. Take advantage by getting out and going on walks after meals. Or split the family into teams and play a game of touch football. Anything that gets you outside and moving is a plus!

Approach the Table at Holiday Gatherings Intentionally

Don’t avoid holiday gatherings altogether. It’s important to acknowledge your temptations to move forward with your weight loss goals. Skipping holiday gatherings to avoid your triggers can lead to resentment and hurt feelings from the loved ones who want to spend their holiday with you. Place the focus of holiday gatherings on something other than food. Make the mission of your get-togethers to spend time with friends and family rather than eating more than your fill.

Stay Positive (Even If You Do Overindulge)

If you do overeat during the holidays, it’s important to stay positive. Find the food trigger or situation that caused the misstep, and use it as a learning opportunity. Getting down on yourself only compounds the issue which can lead to more binge eating.

You’ve already taken an important step toward a healthy lifestyle by electing the gastric balloon weight loss procedure. Instead of viewing the holiday season as an intimidating challenge to your new lifestyle, view it as an exciting opportunity. Imagine the momentum that can be created if you stay on track and avoid overeating when temptation looms the largest.

Combining good intention with the nutrition and exercise coaching available to you through the O.N.E. Weigh program is the perfect recipe for sustaining weight loss over the holidays.

Why should I visit a gastroenterologist


Topics: Gastric Balloon

How to Survive Holiday Travel with a Digestive Disorder

Posted by Gastroenterology Associates on Thu, Nov 03, 2016 @ 11:08 AM

How to Survive Holiday Travel with a Digestive Disorder.jpg

With Halloween under our belts, the holiday season has officially started in Baton Rouge. It’s a time for jolly and joy, but if you struggle with celiac sprue, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, or another disease of the digestive system, it’s also a time for careful planning. Check out these gastroenterologist-approved tips for managing your digestive disorder this holiday season.

Plan your route and accommodations per your digestive condition: First and foremost, do your best to travel when your condition is stable. If it isn’t possible to plan your trip this way, travel a route you are familiar with. Taking the time to learn the rest stops, en route medical facilities, and friendly food options will save you time and prevent undue discomfort and gastric distress.

Check your medications: If you’re traveling frequently during holiday season, it’s important that you have sufficient medication to see your digestive system through the parties and gatherings. Make sure to carry your prescription medications in their original bottles to avoid confusion or security concerns. If you are traveling to a place where you cannot easily refill your medication, speak with your gastroenterologist about extending your prescription. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL YOU RUN OUT. Please call ahead and provide adequate time for your doctor’s office to get the refill and your pharmacy to get it ready for you. If you haven’t seen the doctor in a while, they may need to see you before giving a refill, so plan well in advance for such situations.

Know your local healthcare options: In case of an emergency, make sure you’re familiar with the local healthcare options available to you during the holiday season. In addition, consider carrying contact information from your regular doctor.

Lend a knowledgeable helping hand: If you’re uncomfortable asking your host to accommodate your dietary restrictions, consider preparing or bringing food you know will meet your needs. In a home kitchen, cross-contamination can happen easily, so think about lending a knowledgeable and helpful hand by offering to contribute to the smorgasbord.

Be candid with your host: Every host wants their guests to have an enjoyable time, but they can only accommodate the dietary restrictions they know about. Whether it’s celiac sprue, Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis, or another digestive disorder, you know how important it is to avoid your triggers. Let your host know that a good way to prevent cross-contamination at a potluck or many-dish meal is to allow those with digestive disorders, allergies, or sensitivities to serve first, so that utensils will not be misused or misplaced.

The holidays should be a time of gathering and good cheer. By following these tips and consulting with your gastroenterologist, you can focus your energy on enjoying the company of your loved ones. Now that’s something to be thankful for.

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Topics: Digestive Health, holiday travel tips

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