When all the tests are normal

"The doctors all said my test results were normal. Are they missing something?" Don’t discount this common cause of gastrointestinal distress without some careful introspection first.

Why is my butt so itchy?

The offending food was loosely related to poison ivy, and I was eating large quantities of it for the few days before the itching started as we just bought a big container of these delicious little things…can you guess what I’m referring to?

Gas, bloating, and belching: What’s food got to do with it?

Gas, bloating, belching- YIKES! Although these are normal parts of our digestion and bodily processes, too much can be uncomfortable and embarrassing! Read along as Clinical Dietician Nutritionist Stefani Pappas shares some tips on eliminating gas and bloating through diet.

How do I get rid of this horrible smelly gas?

So how do we prevent our colon from acting like a cesspool? Keep things moving by eating plenty of non-gaseous fiber, drinking lots of water, getting regular exercise, and pooping regularly. But what if you're doing all of those things and still suffering from constipation and foul gas?

My family member has H. pylori. Should I get checked too?

What is the point of treating one member of the family for H. pylori if he or she is just going to get reinfected by other people living in the house that also have the infection? Just how contagious is H. pylori?

What does a positive Cologuard test mean?

What is immediately apparent from these numbers is that Cologuard rarely misses cancer. However, if we count polyps as a significant finding, there are plenty of false-positive results (45%) and plenty of false-negatives too (34%). So is Cologuard a good test overall?

Are you a “pill person”?

When someone has a real disease and tells me they're not a pill person, I can't help but wonder what exactly does that mean? Someone with dangerously high blood pressure, who is not a pill person will soon become a stroke person.

Find the hidden polyp! Colon cancer screening in action!

I thought it would be a good time to show a real-life example of colorectal cancer prevention in action. Let's pretend that you are a friendly neighborhood gastroenterologist, just minding your own business and doing a screening colonoscopy on a patient.

A precolonoscopy office visit costs about 123 dollars: Is it worth it?

Here in Long Island, NY where I practice, it seems to be the norm to have a precolonoscopy visit. This visit serves several important purposes in my mind: I can meet the patient, take a history, and make sure they actually need a screening colonoscopy. I can answer all of the above questions in more detail than the primary doctor can. I also get to give them my basic talk about the purpose of a colonoscopy, how and why we remove polyps, the importance of good bowel prep and how to do it, and the small associated risks of a colonoscopy. We can talk about what to do with medications, and where to arrive on the day of the test, and parking, and all those seemingly small details that can make a patient stressed-out about the test for no good reason.