Recent Blog Articles

Digestive Health Archive


Recognizing and treating disorders of gut-brain interaction

Many conditions of the gastrointestinal tract are easy to diagnose using standard testing. But some such diseases can impact the GI tract without a clear test finding. Disorders of gut-brain interaction are so called because they involve impaired communication between the gut and brain via the nervous system.

Constantly clearing your throat? Here's what to try

When you have a cold, it's normal to feel mucus sitting at the back of your throat, and to have the urge to clear it. Typically this sensation lasts just a few days, but what happens if it lingers for weeks or months?

Feeling the burn of acid reflux

Heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease are two of the most common digestive-related problems, but they often get confused with each other because they share many of the same traits. While the two conditions are connected, they are quite different. Recognizing the difference can help a person adopt lifestyle changes to manage symptoms and know when to seek other options, like medication and surgery.

The plant milk shake-up: Pea and pistachio join oat and almond

Pea, potato, and pistachio milk? Supermarkets now sell multiple kinds of plant-based milks made from nuts, beans, grains, vegetables, or fruit. Before trying these, some people might like to know more about nutritional benefits and any other reasons to choose or avoid them.

You don't say? Excuse me, but should you squelch your belch?

Burping is often seen (and heard) as something rude and crude, but it serves an essential purpose by preventing the stomach from overinflating with air from eating.

Is it a heart attack?

The first-ever guidelines to diagnose chest pain document the range of possible heart attack symptoms. They include a sense of pressure, tightness, squeezing, or heaviness in the chest but also in the shoulders, arms, neck, back, upper abdomen, or jaw. The report also provides a road map to help doctors assess chest pain with selective use of the latest available tests. Chest discomfort can also result from other conditions that affect the heart (such as pericarditis) and nearby organs. These include acid reflux, muscle or joint issues, and lung problems.

Another natural remedy for constipation?

Constipation can describe many types of problems with moving your bowels. It becomes chronic when it lasts for weeks or months. Many people are interested in natural remedies for constipation, and one of the most common is adding fiber to your diet. A new study compared three natural sources of fiber, with encouraging results.

The dos and don’ts of managing diverticular disease

People who have diverticular disease have tiny pouches (diverticula) in the lining of the colon that can bleed or perforate and develop infection (called diverticulitis). People with diverticular disease should eat a healthy diet rich in fiber, drink lots of water, exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, not smoke, avoid straining in the bathroom, and report bleeding or pain to a doctor. However, it’s not necessary to avoid eating nuts, seeds, or popcorn, which were once believed to lodge in diverticula and cause problems. That old advice turned out to be wrong.

Tough to swallow

Losing the ability to properly swallow should not be attributed to older age. If older adults have persistent trouble swallowing, like the sensation something is stuck in their throat, or if it’s painful to swallow, it could be a sign of an underlying problem and should be checked out. Treatment depends on the source of the swallowing problem, but might include medication, lifestyle changes, and in some cases, surgery.

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