Our Gastroenterology Blog

Posts for: June, 2021

By Gastroenterology Specialists, Inc.
June 23, 2021
Tags: Chest Pain   Gas  
Is Gas Causing My Chest PainFeeling any kind of pain or discomfort in your chest can certainly be scary; however, if you are simply dealing with gas pains you may notice a fullness or tightness in the chest. You may also notice that this pain radiates to your abdomen. This is another telltale sign that the chest discomfort you’re feeling is due to gas. Other signs that it could simply be gas include,
  • Increased flatulence
  • Indigestion
  • Bloating
  • Belching
  • Nausea
Is it gas or is it my heart?
 
We understand how much of a concern this is and if you are in doubt it’s always best to play it safe and see a doctor right away. After all, it isn’t always as easy as you might think to tell these issues apart. Your chest pain may very well be cardiac-related and not due to gas pains if you experience,
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Profuse and sudden sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Jaw pain (this is more common in women)
  • Intense pressure on your chest (some people liken it to “an elephant sitting on their chest”)
  • Pain that radiates from the chest to the neck, back, arms, or shoulders
  • Sudden decrease or increase in heart rate
These are common symptoms of a heart attack and you must call 911 or go to your local ER to get immediate care. This is a serious and potentially fatal condition that requires urgent treatment.
 
Why am I dealing with gas?
 
If you are dealing with this problem rather often you certainly want to know what’s going on so that you can put a stop to it. If you are regularly dealing with painful gas it could be due to,
  • Food intolerance or allergy
  • A very high-fiber diet
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Food poisoning
Of course, frequent gas pains may also be a sign of an underlying digestive disorder such as heartburn, acid reflux, gallbladder problems, or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease.
 
If you are dealing with recurring gas pains and other digestive issues it might be best to consult your gastroenterologist to find out what might be triggering your symptoms and if there is an underlying problem that could be to blame. A gastroenterologist can address all of your digestive health concerns.

By Gastroenterology Specialists, Inc.
June 10, 2021
Primary Biliary CholangitisPrimary biliary cholangitis (PBC) may not be a disease that you’ve heard about, yet this autoimmune disease is more common than you may realize. In fact, about 1 in every 1,000 women over the age of 40 are dealing with this type of progressive liver disease, and while some men do develop PBC this is most often reported in women. Here’s everything you want to know about liver disease, living with PBC, and how to treat it.
 
What is PBC?

While this progressive condition does affect the liver it is actually an autoimmune disorder. This means that the immune system is attacking the bile ducts. When the bile ducts are damaged or destroyed, this leads to inflammation and scarring (cirrhosis) of the liver.
 
What are the signs and symptoms of PBC?

As with most conditions, symptoms aren’t typically apparent during the earlier stages. As the condition progresses, a woman may start to notice symptoms. This is a slow disease, sometimes taking as long as 20 years for symptoms to appear.
 
Some of the early warning signs are fatigue and itchy skin. Over time, women may also develop,
  • Skin darkening
  • Dry mouth and eyes
  • Abdominal pain
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Weight loss
  • High cholesterol
  • Yellowing of the skin
  • Swelling of the legs and feet
  • Swelling of the abdomen
  • Osteoporosis
Since many women with PBC don’t experience symptoms, it’s important that you visit your doctor regularly for checkups and routine bloodwork. A routine liver blood test can detect elevated liver enzymes, which may lead your doctor to perform further testing.
 
How is PBC treated?

While PBC is not curable, your gastroenterologist can provide you treatment that can help slow the progression of the disease. One of the standard treatments is ursodeoxycholic acid, which helps the bile to flow from the liver to the intestines. Other medications are also prescribed to improve liver function.
 
If you are concerned about PBC or if you have questions about this autoimmune disorder your gastroenterologist can provide you with more detailed information, including treatment options and a prognosis.