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Education & Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS ENDOSCOPY?

This is a procedure done by a physician using a flexible fiberoptic instrument that enables examination of the lining of the digestive tract. If the physician sees a suspicious area, he may pass a small instrument through the endoscope and take a small piece of tissue (biopsy) for examination by the laboratory. Other instruments can also be passed through the endoscope without causing discomfort including a small brush to collect cells.

WHAT IS HEARTBURN?

Heartburn is a very common problem caused by regurgitation or reflux of gastric acid into the esophagus, which connects the mouth and the stomach.

WHAT SHOULD BE AVOIDED TO ELIMINATE HEARTBURN?

Smoking, fatty food in the diet, caffeine, chocolate, peppermint, overeating, bed-time snacks, tight-fitting clothes that constrict the abdomen, certain medications, and heavy lifting/straining.

WHAT CAN BE DONE TO PREVENT ABDOMINAL DISTENTION?

  • Tighten abdominal muscles by pulling in your stomach several times during the day.
  • Do sit-up exercises if possible.
  • Wear an abdominal support garment if exercise is too difficult.

WHAT ARE ULCERS?

Ulcers are sores that frequently affect the stomach and the first part of the small intestine.

WHAT MAY CAUSE/INFLUENCE AN ULCER?

Bacterial infection is the most common cause of duodenal ulcers. Stomach ulcers are often a side effect of pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat arthritis. Alcohol ingestion, cigarette smoking, and emotional stress may also influence the development of an ulcer or interfere with its healing.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF HEPATITIS?

Five different hepatitis viruses have been identified: type A; type B; type C; type D, or delta virus; and type E. Type A is probably the most prevalent of the viral hepatitis worldwide, followed by types B, E, C, and D.

HOW CAN YOU DETERMINE IF YOU HAVE HEPATITIS?

A simple blood test is used to determine if a person has one or more of the different types of hepatitis.

WHAT ARE SYMPTOMS OF HEPATITIS?

Acute hepatitis is typically characterized by flu-like symptoms (including fever, headaches, fatigues, nausea and vomiting) and jaundice. Chronic hepatitis is often asymptomatic.