How to Prevent Colon Cancer

Colon CancerAccording to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States among both men and women. This deadly disease is expected to cause more than 50,000 deaths in 2014 alone. Prevention and routine testing are still considered to be the best ways of fighting colon cancer. If you have reached your 50th birthday, gastrointestinal (GI) doctors recommend that you begin regular colon cancer screenings, since early detection is key to diagnosis, treatment, and a good prognosis for colon cancer. Continue reading “How to Prevent Colon Cancer”

What is Celiac Disease?

GlutenCeliac disease, often referred to as celiac sprue, is a disease of the digestive system that causes damage to the small intestine, interfering with absorption of vital nutrients from food. The word ‘celiac’ is derived from Greek words, and it means ‘relating to the abdomen.’ People who suffer from celiac disease are unable to tolerate ‘gluten,’ a word actually derived from the Latin word ‘glue.’ Gluten is a mixture of plant proteins that occur in grains such as wheat, barley, corn, and rye. Gluten is used as an adhesive and a flour substitute. Today, gluten is found not just in many processed foods, but it is also used in medications, lip balms, and even vitamins. Because celiac disease prevents nutrients from being absorbed into the body, it causes damage to intestinal linings, and this can lead to certain autoimmune disorders. So, what are the symptoms of celiac disease, and when should you visit a GI doctor for testing? Continue reading “What is Celiac Disease?”

What is Acid Reflux Disease?

Acid Reflux DiseaseIf you’re like most, your busy schedule has you constantly on the go. You run from work to pick up the kids from school; then you take them to ballgames or ballet class. You don’t get home until late, and tomorrow you do it all again. Most nights, you’re running from one activity to another, and all that running around leaves you very little time to prepare healthy meals, and you end up grabbing whatever you can between the chaos. But all the eating on the go can bring on that red-hot pain in your chest that most of us call heartburn, but GI doctors call ‘acid reflux.’ And the busier your schedule, the more acid reflux you get, until it becomes a routine part of life. If you find yourself getting the symptoms of acid reflux more than once a week, it may be time to see a gastroenterologist, or GI doctor. Continue reading “What is Acid Reflux Disease?”

Back Pain and Stress

Back Pain and StressEveryone in Israel has stress, and we all manage it differently. Some of us seem to handle it better than others. Often, though, we only look like we’re handling stress well, but what we’re really doing is pretending we don’t have it at all. Our work, our families, our stressful lives keep us on our toes, and nobody rises to the occasion better than Israelis. Unfortunately, ‘keeping on our toes’ can sometimes mean that stress takes its toll on our bodies, and what suffers, of course, is our health.

Back pain is one of the most prevalent symptoms of unresolved stress. And stress left unchecked can cause a myriad of health problems, often starting as mild pain and sometimes even growing into serious health issues. If you’re a back pain sufferer who deals with stress by concealing it from others … and even yourself … chances are great that your pain is a result of anxiety and stress. Continue reading “Back Pain and Stress”

How to Treat Upper Back Pain

upper Back Pain TreatmentsIf you’ve suffered from upper back pain, then you know what an obstacle it can be in your life, as it makes it harder to perform your normal activities of daily living. So many things you used to enjoy are now put on the back burner because of the discomfort you feel. And some days your upper back pain can be so debilitating, you feel like you can’t do anything but stay in bed. You avoid your life and your family altogether, just hoping to get some pain relief.

There are many causes of upper back pain. Some of them are less serious and can be treated conservatively. Stretching exercises, physical therapy, and over-the-counter medications can be effective treatments for upper back pain. And in other cases, conservative treatments are not enough, especially if your back pain is chronic or getting worse. We Germans, however, tend to suffer silently, going about our daily activities almost as though the pain will go away on its own. Unfortunately, upper back pain is not something that will just go away. It’s your body telling you that something is wrong, and you need to seek help. Continue reading “How to Treat Upper Back Pain”

Causes of Upper Back Pain

upper Back Pain CausesTrue, the upper back does not cause as many visits to the doctor as the lower back does. Because less motion occurs in the upper than the lower back, this area of the spine does not usually see as much instability as the lower back. However, just because upper back pain tends not to be as prevalent as lower back pain, upper back pain can be just as disruptive and even debilitating.

The upper back, or the ‘thoracic spine’ (which literally means ‘pertaining to the chest’) is less likely to develop the more common spinal disorders such as ruptured or herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, and spinal stenosis. These conditions can still, however, occur in the upper back, but are more rare. Because of the limited motion that occurs in the upper back compared to the lower, there is not as much risk of degeneration in this area. Continue reading “Causes of Upper Back Pain”

Causes of Lower Back Pain

Lower Back PainBack pain reportedly affects 80 to 90 percent of all Americans at some point in their lives. More than half of us in this country are suffering from lower back pain right now. And lower back pain does not discriminate … both men and women are generally equally affected. In fact, lower back pain is the fifth most common reason for doctor visits in the United States. Are you one of those people? Do you find that you can’t stand or sit for very long? Do you spend a lot more time in bed than usual, just to get a little relief from your lower back pain? Do you find yourself avoiding some of the things you used to enjoy, such as going to the gym or going for walks around your Essex County neighborhood with spouse or friends? Did you know that exercise can often help to relieve back pain, whereas bed rest can actually make it worse? The causes of lower back pain are many, but the good news is that there are things you and your doctor can do to alleviate or even eliminate your lower back pain. Continue reading “Causes of Lower Back Pain”