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Spring allergies may make it difficult to swallow

Eosinophilic esophagitis is a disease characterized by the presence of a large number of eosinophils, a type of white blood cell, which causes inflammation in the esophagus. This inflammation can lead to stiffening or narrowing of the esophagus, which can lead to difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) or food getting stuck in the esophagus. The cause in adults has not been clearly identified, but an allergic reaction to environmental and/or food allergens have been suggested in individuals who are genetically susceptible. There is a strong association with food allergies, environmental allergies, asthma, and atopic dermatitis.

Hence, the worsening of symptoms during Spring and Fall...

Guide to milk alternatives

Navigating the world of dairy-free living can be overwhelming! There are so many milk alternatives on the market these days and unfortunately, not all are created equally.

The following guides break down the pros and cons of each milk substitute while looking into specific nutrients, availability, use in cooking, and other allergens. Remember that if your child is not drinking milk, we need to ensure they receive enough fat, protein, calcium and vitamin D, so always compare food labels to make sure you are making the best choice for your dairy-free child.

Choosing a specialty center for colonoscopy and complex polypectomy instead of surgery for large colon polyps

It is widely known that colonoscopy not only detects colon cancers but enables the removal of pre-cancerous polyps.  Large polyps are sometimes detected during a colonoscopy that the physician feels are too large to safely remove by standard polypectomy techniques.  Many patients with large benign polyps are sent for surgery because their physicians feel they cannot remove them through the colonoscope.

However, the vast majority of large, non-cancerous colon polyps can be completely removed by colonoscopy at specialized centers, allowing patients to avoid the discomfort and potential risks of partial colon resection.  Studies have shown that

Worried about getting a colonoscopy?

Are you worried or anxious about getting a colonoscopy?  Have you been putting off getting a colonoscopy?  If so, no need to worry, you are not alone because most individuals are nervous, too.  However, it is important to remember that a colonoscopy may be a lifesaving procedure.

It is recommended that beginning at 50 both men and women start being screened for colon cancer.  A common screening for colon cancer is a colonoscopy which searches for polyps.  An early detection of colon cancer increases survival rates.

Raman Menon, M.D., from the Swedish Colon and Rectal Surgery Clinic, will be speaking at a free upcoming event in Edmonds and answering your questions.The goal of the event is to help you become educated about what a colonoscopy entails in order to ease any anxiety and/or fear you may be experiencing.  The event will be interactive and Dr. Menon will explain the role a colonoscopy plays as a preventative measure of colon cancer.  He will speak about each step of the colonoscopy procedure and will be available to answer any questions you may have.

Recommended vaccinations for those with IBD

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a persistent inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal system affecting over one million Americans. Treatment of IBD often requires altering a patient’s immune response and can increase the risk for infectious complications. To help prevent this, the American Gastroenterological Association and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation have published immunization guidelines for IBD patients. Despite these recommendations, less than half of IBD patients are up-to-date on their recommended immunizations. Studies show that the most common reason for missing vaccinations is the lack of awareness that immunizations are safe and recommended.


If you are immune-suppressed, inactivated vaccines are safe and should be given. I would recommend:

Different treatment options for acid reflux

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the most common disorder of the upper gastrointestinal track, affecting nearly 40% of the American population.  Antisecretory medications such as omeprazole are the mainstay of treatment, but 40% of patients have incomplete control of symptoms.  While surgical repair (fundoplication) is highly effective, only 1% of patients have an operation, leaving a large group of individuals incompletely treated.

The Stretta procedure is another option to treat GERD. 

How to deal with acute or chronic diarrhea

Diarrhea is described as loose watery stools sometimes with increase in frequency requiring frequent trips to the toilet.  In most cases diarrhea symptoms usually last for a few days, but if the symptoms occur for more than the 30 days it can be a sign of a serious disorder. 

Diarrhea occurs when the food and fluids you ingest pass too quickly through your colon.  Diarrhea can be classified into acute or chronic and its symptoms can be classified as uncomplicated and complicated.  Uncomplicated symptoms of diarrhea are abdominal cramping/bloating, thin loose watery stools, and the sense of urgency to have a bowel movements.  Symptoms of complicated diarrhea include blood or undigested food in the stool, weight loss and fever.  If you have symptoms of complicated diarrhea you need to notify your primary care provider for further evaluation.
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