Digestive Disorders

Ranitidine (Zantac) recall expanded, many questions remain

The FDA has not yet released the results of its testing of the heartburn medication ranitidine. The testing method used by the online pharmacy that originally alerted the FDA may have affected their results.

OK, boomer: You’re not the only one who needs testing for hepatitis C

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Recent guidelines for screening for hepatitis C focused on baby boomers because that population had most of the undiagnosed infections, but because new infections are increasing fastest in those 20 to 39, the guidelines have been revised.

Harvard Health Ad Watch: What’s being cleansed in a detox cleanse?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The idea of a detox diet or cleanse seems like it might be beneficial, and the advertising is certainly compelling, but these products are not regulated in any way. Evidence of beneficial effects from using them is limited, and there are reports of side effects and complications.

C. difficile (C. diff): An urgent threat

The bacteria known as C. diff has become a leading cause of infection among hospitalized patients. The infection is more common following antibiotic therapy, and it is challenging to treat because of a high relapse rate.

Food allergy, intolerance, or sensitivity: What’s the difference, and why does it matter?

Many people have experienced unpleasant symptoms related to food, but such a reaction does not necessarily mean that you have a food allergy. The symptoms could indicate a food intolerance, food sensitivity, or possibly celiac disease.

Eosinophilic esophagitis: A new food-related allergic condition on the rise?

John Garber, MD

Contributor

Eosinophilic esophagitis is an allergic inflammation of the esophagus that most typically develops as an allergic response to certain foods. The exact cause is unclear, but if left untreated it can lead to permanent scarring or narrowing of the esophagus.

Living with Crohn’s disease: Recognizing and managing flares

John Garber, MD

Contributor

Crohn’s disease is a chronic, lifelong inflammatory bowel condition that affects approximately 500,000 Americans. It typically alternates between flare-ups and periods of remission. Dietary and lifestyle changes can help people manage the disease’s flare-ups.

Popular heartburn drug ranitidine recalled: What you need to know and do

The maker of a generic version of ranitidine, a heartburn medication taken by millions, announced that it is recalling all of its products sold in the US because of the discovery of low levels of a probable carcinogen in these products.

Feeling gassy — is it ever a cause for concern?

Matthew Solan

Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

Intestinal gas can be embarrassing, but is a normal part of digestion. Only rarely is excess gas cause for concern. Which foods you eat –– and how you digest them –– can make a difference.

Avoiding nuts and seeds for better gut health? You shouldn’t

Nuts and seeds are rich in fiber, which is important for gut health and keeping you regular. And, contrary to a common concern, no evidence links eating nuts and seeds to a painful gut infection called diverticulitis.