Digestive Health

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Over the counter medications to avoid for gastrointestinal health

November 28, 2014

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like Celebrex, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Excedrin, Alleve, Advil, Diclofenac, and Naproxen are medications frequently used to treat general aches and pains like headaches, musculoskeletal, and joint pains. However, these medications may cause harm to the gastrointestinal system.

Can food allergies be undiagnosed?

October 29, 2014
With food allergies on the rise in the past several years, you probably know at least one person who is allergic to cow’s milk, eggs, soy, wheat, nuts, or seafood. Individuals with a food allergy typically experience symptoms every time they eat a particular food. These symptoms range from relatively mild like hives and swelling to more severe such as coughing, vomiting, or loss of consciousness.

Unfortunately, there are no approved treatments for food allergies today. Individuals cope by avoiding the food and having proper medications nearby in case of an allergic reaction. As most children eventually outgrow some food allergies, it’s important to get tested for an accurate diagnosis.

To diagnose a food allergy, allergy specialists usually ...

A patient's experience with the Swedish Digestive Health Network

October 07, 2014

We recently received this post from a patient who asked us to share her story and her experiences with Dr. Schembre and Dr. Tschirhart with the Swedish Digestive Health Network. Thank you, Yevette, for sharing your story with us!

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Dec 2nd, 2012 I was out of town doing some promotion for work when I collapsed in my hotel room. I went to the local hospital ER.  They found I had a gallstone lodged in my common bile duct. As they attempted to remove this, the surgeon ripped my intestine.  This created a whole host of life threatening problems. After 5 days I was airlifted to Swedish Medical Center in Seattle.  Dr. Tschirhart was assigned my case.  By June I was stable enough for surgery.  Dr. Schembre referred to this surgery as ...

KOMO 4 Covers Swedish 'POEM' Procedure

September 09, 2014

KOMO 4’s Molly Shen tells viewers about a new procedure being offered at Swedish Medical Center. Per oral endoscopic myotomy (also known as ‘POEM’) is only being offered in Washington State at Swedish.

View the clip on KOMO 4 here.

Swedish provides Washington's first "POEM" procedure

September 05, 2014

Per oral endoscopic myotomy could help a range of esophageal, stomach disorders

SEATTLE — September 05, 2014— Swedish surgeons became the first in Washington State to perform a per oral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) procedure when they successfully treated a 36-year-old patient diagnosed with a rare esophageal disorder known as achalasia.

Per oral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) for achalasia

August 25, 2014

P.O.E.M. has come to Seattle at Swedish Medical Center. No, not the kind that rhymes but one that is elegant in its own way. Per Oral Endoscopic Myotomy or POEM is relatively new procedure used in the treatment of achalasia, which is a disorder of the esophagus due to degeneration of the nerve network within the walls of the esophagus. The diseases leaves patients with little propulsive power to push food toward and into the stomach as well as causing the “valve” at the top of the stomach to remain closed. This makes it difficult for patients to eat or drink. Patients may need to drink a lot of fluid to get food to pass into the stomach whereas others may feel pain or discomfort after eating and still others may have undigested food come up many hours after eating or when lying down.

What you can do about nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

August 13, 2014

Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is a term used to describe the presence of fat accumulation in the liver. A healthy liver may contain some fat. However, NAFLD occurs when the liver has trouble breaking down fats, causing excess fat to build-up in the liver.

How to deal with gas and bloating

July 28, 2014
We all have occasional gas, usually from something we have eaten, but many people feel that they pass too much gas or burp too frequently. Intestinal gas can result in abdominal pain, bloating and embarrassment.
 
The amount of gas produced by the body depends upon your diet and other factors. Most people with symptoms of excessive gas do not produce more gas than the average person, but are more aware of normal amounts of gas.
 
Where does the gas come from?

Research on LINX recently published

July 02, 2014

The Swedish Thoracic Surgery team recently had results from a study published in Annals of Thoracic Surgery, "Short-Term Outcomes Using Magnetic Sphincter Augmentation Versus Nissen Fundoplication for Medically Resistant Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease", in which a retrospective case-control study was performed of consecutive patients undergoing either procedure who had chronic gastrointestinal esophageal disease (GERD) and a hiatal hernia of less than 3 cm. Based on the study, the LINX device appears to restore the sphincter barrier function and preserve normal physiology which enables belching and vomiting.

Kids and lactose intolerance

June 23, 2014

Do you wonder if your child might have “lactose intolerance”?    Have you ever thought of removing dairy from your child’s diet?  If the answer to either of these questions is yes, here are a few things to remember when it comes to lactose intolerance in kids:

  • Lactose is broken down by lactase.

While lactose is the carbohydrate (sugar) found in milk, lactase is the enzyme that digests the sugar. This enzyme is found in the lining of the small intestine, breaks down lactose into simpler molecules that are easier to absorb.  When there isn’t enough lactase, the sugar isn’t properly absorbed, which leads to the symptoms of “intolerance”, which include gas, bloating, pain and diarrhea.

  • True lactose intolerance is rare in young children.

Although children as young as infants can “transiently” have l...