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All Digestive Health Special Reports

On the Horizon: Two New Surgical Treatments for GERD

For the millions of Americans who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), medication alone is enough to treat their symptoms. But up to 20% of people are not helped by GERD medications. More...

Focus on Peptic Ulcers

Ulcers are often blamed on stress and spicy food, but the reality is that bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) cause most of these painful erosions in the stomach and small intestine. The goal of ulcer treatment is to prevent stomach acid from continuing to erode the lesion and to eradicate H. pylori. Research shows ways to fight even the most recalcitrant H. pylori infection. More...

Life Without a Gallbladder

Although 20.5 million Americans have gallstones -- small, hard concretions or stonelike structures that form in the gallbladder -- 70 to 80% don't experience any symptoms. If you're in the other, less fortunate group, in which your gallbladder is irritated or inflamed and causing you pain, your doctor will likely recommend removing the gallbladder entirely -- a procedure known as cholecystectomy. Here's what you should expect … … More...

7 Tips to Help You Reduce Bloating

No one cause is responsible for all cases of bloating. Often, the cause is something benign. Perhaps you overate or are constipated. Maybe you ate more fiber than your body is accustomed to or are taking a medication that causes bloating as a side effect. What to do? In this Special Report Johns Hopkins specialists provide no-nonsense advice to relieve this uncomfortable condition. More...

How Your Gut Can Affect Your Bones

When you think of the ways a digestive disorder can affect your life, bone fractures probably don't come to mind. But some digestive problems or their treatments can increase your risk of osteoporosis and lead to broken bones. Lactose intolerance is the most common example of a digestive disorder that can weaken bones, but it's not the only one. People with untreated celiac disease and those who take corticosteroids or proton pump inhibitors for their… More...

What to Expect From Your Endoscopy

If you are having problems with your upper digestive tract -- nausea, vomiting, acid reflux, gastrointestinal bleeding, or indigestion -- you may need to undergo an upper endoscopy, which examines the inside of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. Most people are nervous about having an upper endoscopy, but the procedure is safe and usually produces little or no discomfort. … More...

Four Relaxation Techniques to Soothe Your Digestive Discomfort

Although digestive disorders are physical conditions, they do have an emotional component as well. This is not the erroneous and outdated notion that these conditions are 'all in your head,' but rather the idea that your mental and emotional states may affect your physical one. In this Special Report, Johns Hopkins reviews the benefits four proven relaxation techniques – progressive muscle relaxation, autogenic training, meditation, and guided imagery. … More...

How to Banish Bloating

If you've ever felt the need to loosen your belt after a large meal, then you know what bloating is -- that uncomfortable feeling of fullness or tightness in your upper or lower abdomen. What to do? In this Special Report, Johns Hopkins specialists provide no-nonsense advice to relieve this uncomfortable condition. … More...

When Diverticulosis Leads to Diverticulitis

Diverticulosis and diverticulitis are found most often in affluent industrialized countries, where low-fiber diets are popular. Here’s discussion of this common condition. As we age, most of us develop small pouches (diverticula) that bulge outward through weak points in the wall of the large intestine -- a condition termed diverticulosis. The condition is present in about half of Americans between the ages of 60 and 80, and in virtually everyone older than 80. A disorder called… More...

Recognizing 12 Common Digestive Disorders

When things go wrong in the digestive system Digestive disorders encompass a wide array of conditions that affect the gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth to the anus. These digestive disorders vary in severity from the minor annoyance of mild heartburn to potentially life-threatening illnesses, such as a perforated ulcer. Approximately 70 million Americans are affected by digestive disorders, which prompt nearly 60 million visits to doctors, outpatient care facilities, and emergency departments. Although digestive disorders can… More...

Dispelling Myths About Constipation

What works and what’s harmful when it comes to constipation. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, Americans make at least 2.5 million visits to the doctor for constipation each year. Because constipation is so ubiquitous and has been noted since ancient times, there are many widely held beliefs and myths about its treatments and consequences -- beliefs that have persisted, despite the absence of medical evidence to prove they are true. … More...

The H. Pylori Story

For most of the 20th century, peptic ulcers were rarely cured. The reigning theory said that ulcers resulted from psychological stress and dietary factors (such as spicy foods), and patients were routinely hospitalized, told to get bed rest, and instructed to eat a bland diet. Doctors later added excess stomach acid to the list of potential causes for peptic ulcers, and patients typically received long-term therapy with medications that reduced stomach acid or blocked its… More...

Digestive Disorders Glossary

This glossary is derived from The Johns Hopkins White Papers: Digestive Disorders. More...

You've Got Gas and What You Can Do About It

Health After 50, www.healthafter50.com
Some people find gas -- and the belching (burping), flatulence, and stomach bloating that go with it -- an embarrassing subject, but it’s actually a normal occurrence. In fact, the human body produces between one and four pints of gas a day, which it releases via the mouth or the rectum about 14 times a day. More...

Indigestion--The Discomfort of Sour Stomach

Health After 50, www.healthafter50.com
If you suffer from indigestion, you’re not alone. Indigestion accounts for roughly 70% of all gastrointestinal complaints. Every year Americans spend millions on medications for dyspepsia, a catchall term for an assortment of upper abdominal symptoms -- including pain, bloating, and burping -- commonly referred to as indigestion. At any given time, about one fourth of American adults suffer from some degree of indigestion. Indeed, indigestion accounts for 5% of all office visits to primary care doctors and up to a More...

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