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Gastroenterology Blog

How to Keep Your 2017 Weight Loss Resolutions in Baton Rouge

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

HOW TO KEEP YOUR 2017 WEIGHT LOSS RESOLUTIONS IN BATON ROUGE.jpg “I’ll lose 20 pounds.”

“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.

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Topics: Gastric Balloon, Weight Management

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: Gut Health, Weight Management

4 Fiber-Filled Make-Ahead Meals for a Louisiana Fall

Posted by Gastroenterology Associates on Tue, Sep 06, 2016 @ 11:35 AM

4_Fiber-Filled_Make-Ahead_Meals_for_a_Louisiana_Fall.jpgAs the school year rolls in and your schedule starts filling up, it can be exhausting to balance work, family, and friends, let alone a healthy diet. While you’re running from the office to ballet or soccer, the siren call of fast food is all too tempting.

But busy days don’t have to derail your diet and digestive health.

You need something that you can pop in the microwave and enjoy all week long. Check out these 4 gastroenterologist-approved recipes that are high in fiber to keep you satisfied. Each takes less than an hour to make and is easily customizable to any dietary need.

BREAKFAST

In addition to fiber, rolled oats are a gluten-free whole grain source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Oats also offer such benefits as sustainable weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, and a reduced risk of heart disease. So why not kick off your morning with a deliciously nutritious serving of baked oatmeal?

Make-Ahead Baked Oatmeal (Serves 8)
(Adapted from Chocolate-Covered Katie)

Prep Time: 5 minutes 
Cook Time: 53 minutes
Total: 58 minutes 

Ingredients:

4 c. rolled oats
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp uncut stevia (OR 1/2 cup pure maple syrup)
2 2/3 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 ¼ c. milk of choice or water (reduce by 1/2 cup if using maple syrup)
¼ cup oil (OR more milk of choice or water)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Optional: cinnamon, mini chocolate chips, shredded coconut, raisins

Instructions

  1. Grease a 9×13 rectangular pan and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 380°
  3. In a very large mixing bowl, fully stir together all dry ingredients, then add all remaining ingredients.
  4. Transfer to the pan, smooth down with a spatula, and bake 28 minutes, broiling the final minute if desired.
  5. Then, keeping the oven door CLOSED, turn off the heat.
  6. Leave the pan in the closed oven for another 25 minutes.
  7. When the time is up, remove from the oven.
  8. Cut into bars or squares, and top with syrup or coconut butter

Serve and enjoy! 

Freezer-friendly: Bars should be cooled, wrapped in freezer-friendly plastic wrap, then foil, and stored in the freezer up to a month.

To use: Thaw in the fridge overnight and heat in the microwave until warm (about 1-2 minutes).

LUNCH

Is your office breakroom filled with dastardly tempting vending machines? Shield yourself from cravings with this easy and filling Asian-inspired dish that’s delicious warm or cold.

Peanut Noodles with Shredded Chicken & Vegetables (Serves 4)
(Adapted from Eating Well)

Prep Time: 10 minutes 
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes 

Ingredients:

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ c. smooth natural peanut butter
2 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 ½ tsp chili-garlic sauce
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
8 oz. whole-wheat spaghetti
1-12 oz. bag fresh vegetable medley (such as carrots, broccoli, and snow peas)

Instructions:

  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil for cooking pasta.
  2. Meanwhile, place chicken in a skillet or saucepan and add enough water to cover; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, shred into bite-size strips.
  4. Whisk peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic, chile-garlic sauce and ginger in a large bowl.
  5. Cook pasta in the boiling water until not quite tender, about 1 minute less than specified in the package directions.
  6. Add vegetables and cook until the pasta and vegetables are just tender, 1 minute more.
  7. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Rinse the pasta and vegetables with cool water to refresh.
  8. Stir the reserved cooking liquid into the peanut sauce; add the pasta, vegetables and chicken; toss well to coat.

Serve warm or chilled and enjoy!

DINNER

Here’s where we all fall off the bandwagon. Whether you’re stuck in the office or running ragged on the roads of Baton Rouge, drive home with a smile knowing these satisfying, gut-healthy meals are only a microwave-zap away.

Lentil-Rice Stew with Turkey Sausage (Serves 7)
(Adapted from Prevention)

Prep Time: 8 minutes 
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 48 minutes

Ingredients:
8 oz. low-fat Italian turkey sausage
2 c. chopped cabbage
1 c. yellow onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
32 oz. low sodium chicken broth, divided
1 c. dried lentils
 ½ c. brown rice
1 tsp curry powder
¼ tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced

Instructions:

  1. Coat a Dutch oven with no-stick spray or a small amount of olive oil and place over medium-high heat until hot.
  2. Add the sausage and cook—stirring frequently—for 5 minutes, or until browned.
  3. Add the cabbage, onions, green peppers, garlic, and 1 cup of the stock and cook—stirring occasionally so that nothing sticks—for 5 minutes or until the onions are soft but not browned.
  4. Add the lentils, rice, curry powder, and the remaining 3 cups of stock and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce stovetop to medium heat. Cover and cook—stirring occasionally—for 25 minutes, or until the lentils are soft and the stew is thick.
  6. Add the black pepper and parsley.

Serve and enjoy!

Freezer-friendly: If you’re not planning to eat the stew in one week, pack the cooled soup in a freezer-quality portioned bags or plastic containers.
To use: Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Transfer to a saucepan and warm over low heat—stirring frequently—for 15 minutes or until hot. Serve and enjoy!

And last but certainly not least...

Tailgate-Worthy Black Bean Enchilada Casserole (Serves 6)
(Adapted from Prevention)

This crowd-pleasing casserole is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or a weekend tailgate with friends!

Prep Time: 20 minutes 
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total: 50 minutes 

Base Ingredients:
2 c. cooked black beans
4 oz. reduced-fat extra-firm tofu
½ c. salsa
1/3 c. shredded low-fat monterey jack cheese
¼ c. canned diced green chili peppers
2 scallions, minced
1 ½ c. reduced-sodium tomato puree
1 tsp chili powder
¼ tsp ground cumin
10 corn tortillas (6" diameter)
Topping:
¼ c. shredded nonfat mozzarella cheese
¼ c. nonfat sour cream
¼ c. fresh cilantro, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Coat a 9 x 13 baking dish with no-stick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the beans, tofu, and salsa. Mash together with a fork. Add the Monterey Jack, chili peppers, and scallions.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the tomato puree, chili powder, and cumin. Mix well.
  4. Spoon half of the bean mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with 5 of the tortillas. Spoon half of the tomato mixture over the tortillas. Repeat to use the remaining bean mixture, tortillas, and tomato mixture.
  5. Top with the mozzarella, sour cream, and cilantro. Cover and bake for 15 minutes.
  6. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes, or until bubbly. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Serve and enjoy!

Freezer-friendly: Cool the cooked casserole. Wrap the entire dish in freezer-quality plastic wrap, then in freezer-quality foil.
To use: Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Remove the foil. Microwave on high power for 5 minutes, or until hot.

 

In the wake of recent events, as we scramble to restore our businesses, homes, and lives, don’t forget to restore yourself. Keeping up with your daily fiber intake is just one way to keep your body running smoothly.  OTC fiber supplement powders—such as Metamucil, Konsyl, and Citrucel—are an easy way to ensure your fiber intake is up to par.

A busy lifestyle doesn’t have to be an unhealthy one. If you’re struggling with weight loss, talk to a digestive specialist today and find out how the O.N.E. Weigh program can put you on the right path to your healthy weight.

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Topics: Weight Management, Gut Health

5 Things to Do Before Your Gastric Balloon Procedure

Posted by Gastroenterology Associates on Fri, Jul 22, 2016 @ 12:59 PM

5_Things_to_Do_Before_Your_Gastric_Balloon_Procedure.jpgSo you’ve made the decision. You’ve talked with your gastroenterologist and decided that the gastric balloon procedure is the best way for you to kick off your weight loss journey. Before you have the quick outpatient procedure, we’ve got 5 things you should do:

  1. Check Your Meds: Before the procedure, ensure that any current prescriptions won’t negatively impact stomach or digestive tract. Your gastroenterologist may also prescribe something to prevent soreness or throat irritation following the endoscopic procedure. Make sure you’ve filled your prescriptions before the balloon inflation!
  2. Plan the Pantry: Following the procedure, you’ll need to follow a transition diet for 1-2 weeks. Your gastroenterologist will fully chart out your transition, but be sure to stock up on clear liquids (broth and zero-calorie electrolyte drinks, such as Propel, Powerade Zero, and Crystal Light) as well as semi-skimmed dairy products, protein drinks, and fruit and vegetable purees. These foods will be easier on your sore throat, as well as your smaller stomach.
  3. Fast the Break: Before the procedure, check with your gastroenterologist. They may recommend you fast for 12-24 hours prior. It’s important to follow these directions properly to ensure a safe procedure and smooth recovery.
  4. Catch a Ride: Arrange for someone to drive you to and from the procedure. On average, the procedure takes 30-60 minutes. However, as with any medical procedure, it’s important to have someone on hand to drive you home and check on you, as you will be mildly sedated for the procedure.
  5. Smooth the Transition: Did you know that when you elect to have the gastric balloon procedure as part of the O.N.E. Weigh weight loss program, you also receive 12 months of personalized weight loss and nutrition counseling? But why wait until after the procedure? Start your manageable exercise routine with 20-30 minutes of light cardio everyday—how about watching the sun set while you stroll around the lake at City Park? Or finding local, seasonal produce while you meander around the booths of the Red Stick Farmer’s Market?

You’ve given time and thought to your decision to have the gastric balloon procedure. Now let us help you direct that attention to yourself and your health. Call today to learn more about the nutrition and weight loss coaching you’ll receive with O.N.E. Weigh.

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Topics: Gastric Balloon, Weight Management

Attain Sustainable Weight Loss with the Gastric Balloon

Posted by Gastroenterology Associates on Mon, May 16, 2016 @ 2:30 PM

Attainable_Sustainable_Weight_Loss_with_the_gastric_balloon.jpegFor 17 seasons, America tuned in to watch contestants battle their histories, habits, and bodies to thinness. With the help of personal trainers and associated medical personnel, the contestants dieted their way through the 30-week season—3 months sequestered on the Biggest Loser Ranch and 4 months spent at home applying what they’d learned—before the final weigh-in. The majority of contestants dropped 100+ pounds over the course of the season.

But, as a recent study has shown, they found it difficult to maintain their weight loss. The competitive dieting and exercise slowed their metabolism drastically—burning 500 fewer calories a day—and decreased levels of leptin—the hormone associated with hunger regulation. After 6 years, 13 of the study’s 14 participants had regained significant weight and 4 had even surpassed their initial competition weight.

So how do you attain sustainable weight loss?

You’ve struggled with weight loss for years. Fad diets and yo-yo weight loss cycles have left you discouraged. If contestants who had ready access to medical professionals, personal trainers, and a nation of motivators to jumpstart their weight loss couldn’t keep the weight off, how can you be expected to? The key is to create a realistic, trackable weight loss plan. With the help of a weight loss counselor, you can set attainable weight loss goals and master weight-maintenance skills—which studies have shown leads to less backsliding or weight re-gain.

Do you need a little extra push?

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.

But that seems like a short-term solution, doesn’t it?

With O.N.E. Weigh, the gastric balloon procedure is just one part of a long-term weight loss program. After the gastric balloon is inflated, you’ll receive guidance and comprehensive coaching from diet and exercise specialists for an entire year. These experts will provide you with the tools to set and meet healthy weight loss goals, as well as maintain a healthy lifestyle long after the balloon is removed.  

So what are you waiting for?

Call the specialists at Gastroenterology Associates and schedule a consultation today. There are many paths to weight loss, find the O.N.E. Weigh that’s right for you.

 

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Topics: Gastric Balloon, Weight Management

Overweight? You Need to Know About Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)

Posted by Gastroenterology Associates on Tue, Jul 21, 2015 @ 2:36 PM

liver_problems_baton_rougeBeing overweight can have serious effects on several parts of your body, including your liver. Although your liver usually has a small amount of fat in it, too much can result in a condition known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

While this condition usually doesn’t cause symptoms, it can lead to more serious health problems. If you’re overweight, your risk of having NAFLD is higher. Understanding this disease and learning how to prevent it can help you keep your liver healthy. 

Other causes of fatty liver include alcohol intake, diabetes, having high cholesterol, etc. When fatty liver was noticed in patients who did not have significant alcohol intake, it was named non-alcoholic fatty liver, to differentiate from the alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Causes of NAFLD

Although the underlying cause of NAFLD isn’t known, doctors do know how it occurs. This disease develops when your liver is unable to break fats down effectively, leading to higher amounts of it. NAFLD affects up to 25 percent of people in the US, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDKD). 

Symptoms of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

In most cases, this disease does not cause any symptoms. If it progresses, it can cause liver inflammation and scarring, known as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). In the later stages of NASH, some people experience pain in their upper right abdomen, fatigue, and unexplained weight loss. 

Potential Complications

Having a fatty liver can lead to NASH, which affects up to five percent of people in the US, according to NIDDKD. NASH is typically known as a silent disease, since it does not cause symptoms in the early stages. NASH can result in cirrhosis, or severe scarring of the liver, which prevents this organ from functioning properly. In the most serious cases, cirrhosis can lead to liver failure. 

Risk Factors for NAFLD

Being overweight is one of the most common risk factors of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which typically affects middle-aged people. Having other health conditions that are typically associated with an unhealthy diet, such as type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and high triglyceride levels, can also raise your risk of developing fatty liver disease. Other risk factors include: 

  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Sleep apnea
  • Underactive thyroid or pituitary gland

Diagnosis of NAFLD

Since NAFLD does not normally cause symptoms, how will you know if you have it? Your doctor might conduct blood tests, imaging procedures, or liver tissue testing if you have abnormal results on a routine physical. These tests check your liver function and the size and physical condition of your liver. 

Most of the patients with NAFLD or NASH are asymptomatic and their liver enzymes may be entirely normal, even when they develop cirrhosis. Hence, a basic laboratory panel does not give any clues to the presence or absence of NAFLD. If you are diagnosed with NAFLD, your doctor will discuss treatment options with you.

Treatment of NAFLD

NAFLD is not treated with medication or any other type of medical treatment. Instead, treatment focuses on making healthy lifestyle changes to help reduce the amount of fat in the liver- this would be achieved by controlling the risk factors that caused NAFLD - such as diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity. Some of the changes your doctor might suggest include:

  • older_black_couple_on_bikes-_smallerEating healthy by including more fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet and reducing the amount of calories you eat
  • Exercising for at least 30 minutes per day
  • Managing diabetes
  • Bringing high cholesterol and triglyceride levels down through healthy eating and medication, if necessary
  • Avoiding alcohol 
  • Being careful about taking over-the-counter pain relievers and other medications that can affect your liver
  • Seeing a healthcare provider who specializes in liver disease

 Prevention

If you haven’t been diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, you can lower your risk of developing it by losing excess weight. Continuing to maintain a healthy body weight through diet and exercise can help protect your liver from high amounts of fat. 

 If you have liver problems, the skilled specialists at Gastroenterology Associates, housed in the Digestive Health Center of Louisiana at 9103 Jefferson Hwy in Baton Rouge, La, are here to help. Contact us to make an appointment with one of our gastroenterologists.

 Why should I visit a gastroenterologist

Disclaimer: All information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not replace the consultative advice and experienced feedback from your physician.    Always consult with your physicians on any of your questions and concerns.

Topics: Weight Management, Liver Disease

Get Your Rear In Gear Baton Rouge

Posted by Gastroenterology Associates on Tue, Apr 14, 2015 @ 12:11 PM

#fightcoloncancerColon cancer prevention is one of the missions of Gastroenterology Associates.  Making sure that everyone, 50 years old and up, has timely screening for colon cancer in order to reduce the numbers of colon cancer cases and deaths.  If an individual has a family history of polyps or colon cancer, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn's disease, colon cancer screening should begin at a younger age, usually around age 40.  The American College of Gastroenterology also recommends that African Americans start to be screened at the age of 45.

One of the ways that Gastroenterology Associates informs the general public of these screening guidelines is through the Get Your Rear in Gear 5K.  Since it's inaugural run in 2012, the Get Your Rear In Gear 5K has grown significantly, improving the spread of information on colon cancer and screening.

Dr Neelima Reddy is one of the 5K founders and event directors.  She discusses the race in the video below:

If you'd like to sign up to run or walk the 1 mile fun run or 5K, the link can be accessed here.  The event is free and open to the public from 8 am to noon.  The 1 mile fun run starts at 8:30 and the 5K begins at 9:00 am.  The race will take place on April 18, 2015 at the Pennington Biomedical Research Facility.

Contact Our Colon  Cancer Screening Clinic

Disclaimer: All information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not replace the consultative advice and experienced feedback from your physician.    Always consult with your physicians on any of your questions and concerns.

Topics: Cancer, Weight Management

Prediabetes / Insulin Resistance and Colon Cancer Linked

Posted by Gastroenterology Associates on Tue, Dec 09, 2014 @ 1:00 PM

Prediabetes_and_colon_canerPrediabetes, a state of elevated blood sugar that can lead to diabetes as time goes on, is most obviously associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes. However, there are a number of other conditions that prediabetic patients are at an elevated risk of developing, including colon cancer. Given the health consequences of prediabetes, it is important to carefully manage prediabetes.

Prediabetes Basics

Prediabetes is a state in which blood sugar is consistently elevated, but not enough to be classified as diabetes. Prediabetes is sometimes referred to as insulin resistance, which means that the body is becoming less receptive to insulin, which keeps blood sugar in check in healthy individuals. The condition is also known as metabolic syndrome, syndrome X, and borderline diabetes. 

Prediabetes is closely related to obesity. Although not all obese people develop metabolic syndrome, they are much more likely to do so than people with a healthy body weight.

Obesity, Prediabetes, and Diabetes in Louisiana

Louisiana faces higher than average rates of being overweight, obesity, and diabetes. According to The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America, Louisiana has the 6th highest rate of overweight and obese individuals in the nation. About one-third of Louisiana adults are obese, a rate which has risen dramatically in recent years. 

Louisiana also ranks 6th highest in the rate of diabetes, with over 11 percent of Louisiana adults living with diabetes. Cases of heart disease, arthritis, cancer, and other obesity-related conditions are expected to rise along with the rate of obesity.

Lifestyle is the single biggest factor in maintaining a healthy weight and preventing the development of prediabetes and diabetes. A sedentary lifestyle and a diet high in fat, refined grains, and sugar contribute to obesity and prediabetes. 

The Link Between Prediabetes and Colon Cancer

A recent review of 16 studies found that prediabetes is strongly linked with colon cancer. The study looked at nearly 900,000 individuals and found that people with prediabetes were twice as likely to develop colon cancer as healthy individuals.

In people with prediabetes, the overall risk of cancer is 15 percent higher. When the results were adjusted for body mass index (BMI), prediabetes was associated with a 22 percent higher risk of cancer.

There are several possible reasons for the link. One strong theory is that people with prediabetes have insulin resistance, which causes the body to produce higher amounts of insulin-like proteins, which promote the growth of cancer.

Controlling Prediabetes and Preventing Colon Cancer

By preventing or controlling prediabetes, it is possible to reduce one's risk of developing colon cancer. Blood sugar-reducing medications such as metformin are sometimes used to control diabetes.

Although medication is a valuable part of treatment, it is usually possible to reverse prediabetes using only lifestyle changes. With lifestyle changes, many prediabetic patients become more sensitive to insulin and can come off medication. This is preferable because it addresses the whole problem, and prevents medication side effects like diarrhea. 

Important lifestyle changes for managing prediabetes include: 

  • Weight loss - even losing as little at 10% of one's body weight can have a huge impact
  • Exercise - promotes weight loss and lowers blood sugar. Exercise makes the muscles take up more glucose and reduce blood sugar, thus making them more “sensitive” to insulin, hence this is the opposite of insulin “resistance”
  • Diet high in fiber, low in sugar, and low in refined grains can prevent blood sugar spikes and promote weight loss

Routine screening is another key tool for the prevention of colon cancer. To schedule your consultation with the Gastroenterology Associates, please click below and enter your information or give us a call at (225) 927-1190. 

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Disclaimer: All information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not replace the consultative advice and experienced feedback from your physician.    Always consult with your physicians on any of your questions and concerns.

Topics: Cancer, Weight Management, Common Stomach Problems

Obesity and GI Health

Posted by Gastroenterology Associates on Mon, Feb 17, 2014 @ 3:42 PM

obesity and GI health Baton RougeRates of obesity have risen rapidly since the 1980s, thanks to a variety of factors. This rise in obesity has led to widespread effects on health; obese people are much more likely to develop cardiovascular, orthopedic, gastrointestinal (GI) and other health problems at some point in their life - even if their obesity isn't currently causing symptoms.

The Rise in Obesity

Obesity has become an epidemic over the last several decades. 60.5% of Americans were overweight as of 2005, while 23.9% were classified as obese, and 3% were severely obese. Children are far from immune from these effects: an unprecedented 17% of children are obese, with 5% classified as severely obese. Children who are obese are very much more likely to stay obese throughout their lives, with only a small number reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.

Causes

Almost every American is at least passingly aware of the risks associated with obesity and poor eating, yet the majority of Americans still struggle with being overweight or obese. On an individual level, a sedentary lifestyle - commonly identified as a culprit - may be a contributing factor. Indeed, studies have shown that increased amounts of television watching are associated with an increase in weight.

However, on a societal level, there hasn't been much change in overall activity levels over the last few decades; people are just as active today as they were in the 1970s. More to blame are changes in diet. Since the 1970s, portion sizes have increased dramatically, and refined sugar has found its way into almost every processed food. The modern American diet is high in calories, simple carbohydrates, salt, and saturated fat.

What's more, experts believe that this diet can be addictive. Processed food is designed to be pleasing to the palate, with ideal combinations of sugary and salty tastes that lead consumers to keep coming back for more - even if they know the consequences.

Effects

Obesity can impact almost every area of health. Considering the fact that food is so closely linked to obesity, it should be no surprise that GI health is particularly impacted. Obese people have an increased risk of many GI disorders, including:

Treating Obesity

The causes of obesity are complex and hard to address on a societal level, and the epidemic doesn't show signs of slowing down. However, there is still a great deal of hope for every individual patient with obesity. Changing your diet is difficult, but it can reduce your risk of a wide range of conditions, and even help treat and manage any current GI conditions you have.

Exercise is important for long-term health, including GI health, but diet is the key factor. Experts recommend switching to a diet that is rich in vegetables (the more color, the better), whole grains (100% whole wheat bread, quinoa, oats, brown rice), and healthy sources of fat (olive oil and butter as opposed to hydrogenated oils and margarine) and protein (eggs, poultry, soy, lean cuts of red meat), much like the Mediterranean diet. Refined grains and sugar should play a smaller role in the diet. 

A regimen of a healthy diet involving portion control, watching calories consumed, and exercising regularly are all integral components needed for weight loss.  More information can be acquired and made more applicable to your individual circumstances by talking to your doctor.  To schedule a consultation about your gastrointestinal health, please contact one of the doctors at Gastroenterology Associates at (225) 927-1190.

Race and colon cancer

Disclaimer: All information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not replace the consultative advice and experienced feedback from your physician.    Always consult with your physicians on any of your questions and concerns.

Topics: Weight Management