Doctors in Louisiana are ready to start prescribed a revolutionary Hepatitis C drug, Sovaldi, which has been proven to clinically cure up to 90% of cases of Hepatitis C in clinical trials. Nearly 4 million Americans are affected by Hepatitis C, which is most common in the Baby Boomer generation.
Hepatitis C became widespread in the 1980s, when the virus infected blood supplies but was not yet detected. 3 times as many people live with Hepatitis C as lived with HIV, and the virus is often deadly. There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C, and traditional Hepatitis C treatments came with a long laundry list of common side effects and were neither as quick nor as effective as the new drug. The drug has been the subject of some controversy due to its cost, which sits at $1,000 per pill, or $84,000 per 12-week treatment cycle, but doctors say that the cost of the treatment is dwarfed by the lifetime cost of treating advanced Hepatitis C. A comprehensive approach to Hepatitis C treatment is recommended, especially now that early treatment is more effective. Esophageal cancer affects the esophagus, the long tube that takes food from the back of the throat to the stomach.
Anyone can get esophageal cancer, regardless of whether or not they have risk factors; similarly, some people with many risk factors never get esophageal cancer. Tobacco - Using any form of tobacco, including cigars, cigarettes, and chewing tobacco, increases the risk of esophageal cancer. Diet - Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables lowers your risk, while eating a diet high in processed meats may increase your risk. Gastroesophageal reflex disorder (GERD) - Apart from immediate effects such as discomfort, and relatively short-term effects such as oral problems, GERD is associated with a higher risk of esophageal cancer. Barrett's Esophagus - People with chronic GERD can develop Barrett's Esophagus, in which the squamous cells of the lower esophagus are replaced by gland cells more associated with the small intestine. Achalasia - If the sphincter between the esophagus and stomach doesn't relax properly, it can't stretch out all the time.
If you have heartburn symptoms for more than 5 years or if you are 50 years old or older, our endoscopy may identify precancerous conditions like Barrett’s esophagus and assist in early detection or prevention of esophageal cancer.
The bowels are responsible for processing and absorbing nutrients, as well as attacking dangerous pathogens.
Influenza is one of the most common infectious diseases in the world, affecting millions of people each year.
As mentioned above, a recent study has revealed that IBD patients - even young patients - have a significantly higher risk of becoming infected with the flu.
Every year, epidemiologists develop a flu vaccine designed to vaccinate against the year's most prevalent forms of the flu.
Since there are many strains of the flu, vaccination won't eliminate your chances of getting it; however, it will significantly reduce your risk. Colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is one of the most common types of cancer in the United States.
Although some patients do experience symptoms, the majority of patients with early-stage colon cancer don't experience any symptoms at all. People who are at an elevated risk for colon cancer should be screened regularly, so that it can be caught even if it isn't yet causing symptoms. Sigmoidoscopy allows doctors to view the inside of your rectum and the nearest part of your colon, the sigmoid colon. To schedule your colonoscopy today, please contact one of the doctors at Gastroenterology Associates by calling (225) 927-1190. At-risk groups should get colonoscopies and other colon cancer screenings according to the recommended timelines of the American College of Gastroenterology and the American Cancer Society. Studies show that colorectal cancer rates are lower, and survival rates are higher, in populations where the majority of people undergo the recommended screenings. Many general practitioners offer colonoscopies, sigmoidoscopies, and other types of colon cancer screening. The team of experts at the Gastroenterology Associates would be happy to schedule your colonoscopy, as well as any necessary digestive health screenings. Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer in men and women in the United States, behind skin and lung cancers.
Patients with colorectal cancer may experiences changes in their bowel habits, discomfort, or blood in the stool.
If you meet the above criteria, please click the button below to fill out an online request for appointment or call (225) 927-1190 now to schedule your free pre-procedure evaluation at our Colon Cancer Screening Clinic.  Let’s Get BEHIND Screening!
To perform a colonoscopy, your doctor will thread a camera on a thin tube through the colon. From there, the information will be used to support a diagnosis, plan for treatment, or order more tests. Colon cancer and polyps are more common in people over 50, so routine colonoscopies are recommended every several years for all people over 50.

Many people are reluctant to get their colonoscopy because they fear it will be uncomfortable, painful, or embarrassing. During the procedure, your doctor will work to ensure that you have privacy and are as comfortable as possible. To schedule your colon cancer screening today, please contact one of the doctors at Gastroenterology Associates at (225) 927-1190. Almost every American is at least passingly aware of the risks associated with obesity and poor eating, yet the majority of Americans still struggle with being overweight or obese. However, on a societal level, there hasn't been much change in overall activity levels over the last few decades; people are just as active today as they were in the 1970s.
The causes of obesity are complex and hard to address on a societal level, and the epidemic doesn't show signs of slowing down. Exercise is important for long-term health, including GI health, but diet is the key factor. The virus is even more prevalent in developing countries like India, Pakistan, China, and Egypt. Now, it continues to be spread by sharing contaminated needles, and in rare cases by sharing contaminated manicure supplies and toothbrushes. The new Hepatitis C drug requires a 12-week regimen, and the majority of patients studied showed no traces of the virus or need for continued drug therapy. In addition, insurance companies are likely to cover the cost of treatment after prior authorization.
Preventative measures such as addiction treatment, needle exchanges, and blood donation screening will continue to reduce rates of the virus. For that reason, you should see a doctor as soon as possible if you start to develop symptoms of esophageal cancer.
The diseases differ somewhat in their severity and manifestation, but they are all autoimmune diseases, or diseases in which the body attacks its own tissue as foreign. With such an important function, it's no surprise that inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can have wide-ranging effects on overall health. The study did not determine conclusively whether or not IBD patients had a higher chance of developing serious complications of influenza, but future studies may reveal this information. Although many people can benefit from flu vaccination, it's especially beneficial for certain groups. That's why screening is so important for the early detection and prevention of colon cancer. Early screening can also detect polyps that have the potential to become cancerous later on. Fecal occult blood test looks for signs of cancer in three consecutive stool samples, which you can collect at home. If you have inflammatory bowel disease, a family history of colon cancer, or a personal history of polyps, your doctor may recommend that you start getting screened earlier, and get screened more frequently. There are three main screening tools: fecal occult blood test, sigmoidoscopy, and colonoscopy. These polyps, which lie on the walls of the colon or rectum, aren't cancerous, but have the potential to become cancerous later on. These groups should be screened more frequently, and should consider making lifestyle changes to help lower their risk. For most people, screening starts at age 50, but your doctor may recommend earlier, more frequent screening in some cases. The Colon Cancer Screening clinic, sometimes called the Open Access Clinic, is set up specifically for individuals looking to be screened. During a colonoscopy, a camera is used to view the inner lining of your large intestine and rectum. Prior to a colonoscopy, you'll undergo a colon cleanse for 1-2 days, in which you'll take a solution that helps you clear out the intestines. Your doctor may recommend that you have a colonoscopy more often if you have a history of cancer or polyps, or a family history of colon cancer. Colon cancer is very treatable, especially when it's caught early on or before polyps actually develop into cancer. It's true that the process of cleaning out the colon prior to the procedure can be uncomfortable; you may experience loose stools and diarrhea.
Doctors view the colon as just another body part, and see the colon and rectum every day; however, your doctor will understand your discomfort and take steps to combat it. It is relatively quick to undergo, and can help you identify bowel issues before you have serious symptoms and complications.
This rise in obesity has led to widespread effects on health; obese people are much more likely to develop cardiovascular, orthopedic, gastrointestinal (GI) and other health problems at some point in their life - even if their obesity isn't currently causing symptoms. On an individual level, a sedentary lifestyle - commonly identified as a culprit - may be a contributing factor.

Processed food is designed to be pleasing to the palate, with ideal combinations of sugary and salty tastes that lead consumers to keep coming back for more - even if they know the consequences. Considering the fact that food is so closely linked to obesity, it should be no surprise that GI health is particularly impacted.
Experts recommend switching to a diet that is rich in vegetables (the more color, the better), whole grains (100% whole wheat bread, quinoa, oats, brown rice), and healthy sources of fat (olive oil and butter as opposed to hydrogenated oils and margarine) and protein (eggs, poultry, soy, lean cuts of red meat), much like the Mediterranean diet.
Because Hepatitis C can be asymptomatic for years, many people are unaware that they are infected, and may remain unaware until serious symptoms develop.
It can also be contracted in health care settings if equipment is contaminated or needle stick injuries occur. It can be fatal without a liver transplant, and the effects are especially pronounced in patients who also have HIV.
Early detection is also essential, since the virus is more difficult to treat the more damage has been done. Christensen, a gastroenterologist with Gastroenterology Associates, was involved in developing Solvadi. A recent study shows that IBD patients are much more likely to get the flu than people without IBD, and doctors are now recommending that IBD patients receive annual vaccinations. Death can occur after complications of influenza, like pneumonia, sinus infections, or dehydration, or the worsening of pre-existing conditions like congestive heart failure and asthma.
People with young children, people who work in health care or school settings, elderly people, and people with IBD should all be sure to get an annual flu vaccine. All of the above symptoms can also indicate less serious conditions, like hemorrhoids, infection, or inflammatory bowel disease. A colonoscopy is the strongest tool for early detection of cancer, and lets the doctor look at the inside of the entire colon. At the same time, detecting the disease as soon as possible is a priority, because this reduces the chances of pre-cancerous or cancerous growths developing further and improves prognosis. In addition, people in high-risk groups can make lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising. The colonoscopy is the most effective screening tool, and should be performed every 10 years starting at age 50 (earlier for some).
Colonoscopies should be performed routinely in a number of populations, as we'll explore below. During the colonoscopy, you will be placed under mild sedation and anesthesia, so you won't feel or remember the procedure. In addition, your doctor may order a colonoscopy based on symptoms like bleeding, pain, or weight loss. Colon cancer is a leading cause of cancer and death, and colonoscopies can help prevent and treat many cases. If you are over 50, have other risk factors, or have been recommended to do so by your physician, you should schedule a colonoscopy as soon as possible. Children are far from immune from these effects: an unprecedented 17% of children are obese, with 5% classified as severely obese.
Indeed, studies have shown that increased amounts of television watching are associated with an increase in weight. Since the 1970s, portion sizes have increased dramatically, and refined sugar has found its way into almost every processed food. Changing your diet is difficult, but it can reduce your risk of a wide range of conditions, and even help treat and manage any current GI conditions you have. This is especially important since Louisiana is experiencing some of the highest nation-wide rates of influenza. That's why, even if you're getting your other recommended screenings, it's still important to get your colonoscopy. For example, blood in the stool may be a symptom of colon cancer or hemorrhoids, but neither of these should be left to the individual for diagnosis. During a colonoscopy, the doctor can detect and possibly remove any polyps, as well as take a biopsy of any abnormal growths in the colon. Children who are obese are very much more likely to stay obese throughout their lives, with only a small number reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.
The modern American diet is high in calories, simple carbohydrates, salt, and saturated fat.
Any of these tests may also be used to help diagnose the cause of your gastrointestinal symptoms.
An examination by a board-certified gastroenterologist, like the ones at Gastroenterology Associates, will provide concrete answers to the cause of symptoms and a course of action for any treatments.

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