June, 2013

Diagnosis and Management of IBS

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Those living with IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, know firsthand the effect it can have on one’s quality of life.  An intestinal disorder, IBS can cause patients to experience bloating, cramps, and abdominal pains, along with diarrhea and constipation.  Affecting roughly 7-10% of the world’s population, IBS is a widespread condition that many still don’t know much about.  So how do we diagnose this condition, and what are the options for patients living with it?

Symptoms and Diagnosis

The most common symptoms of irritable bowel disease are stomach pain, accompanied with diarrhea or constipation.  Many also experience mucus in their stools, bloating, and a feeling as if their bowels haven’t been completely emptied.  While many experience symptoms so light that it doesn’t warrant a visit to the doctor, others are affected more greatly.

The exact causes of IBS are currently unclear, as the triggers may differ from person to person.  However, doctors have a number of ways in which they can diagnose this condition.  Patients will likely be asked about their symptoms and medical history, and a physical exam will be completed.  If a physical exam proves ineffective in identifying IBS, there are a number of tests that can help.  These tests, like blood tests and stool analysis, work to rule out other conditions, allowing the doctor to accurately diagnose irritable bowel syndrome.

Management and Treatment

While there is no cure for IBS, there are ways to manage this condition and prevent it from affecting your quality of life.  Certain lifestyle choices, like diet and exercise, can help to manage symptoms, as well as avoiding known triggers.  As certain foods can work to bring about unwanted symptoms, realizing and avoiding these triggers can greatly help in IBS management.  Avoiding or dealing with stress has also proven to have a role in the management of this condition.

If a patient’s symptoms are more severe, there are medications that can help reduce the symptoms of IBS.  It’s important to speak to your doctor, as they will be able to personalize a treatment plan based on your unique, individual needs.

Board Certified Physician in Astoria

If you think you may be suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or you just want to learn more, contact us today and schedule a consultation.  Our offices are located in Astoria, and you can reach us directly at (718) 204-7550.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Treatment Options for the Common Cold

Monday, June 24th, 2013

You’ve likely experienced it before – a runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, sore throat – all symptoms of the common cold.  It’s estimated that Americans suffer from roughly one billion colds annually, averaging two to four colds a year.  Despite the incredibly widespread nature of these colds, many are unaware of what causes them, and what the available treatment options are.

There are over 100 viruses that can cause the common cold, the most prevalent being the Rhinovirus.  These virus can be easily transmitted through close contact, or through the air.  Defined as a viral infection in the upper respiratory tract, the common cold can cause a number of different symptoms depending on the virus.  Most patients experience fever, a stuffy or runny nose, cough, congestion, and more, which usually lasts for a week or two.  While the common cold is typically harmless, the symptoms leave many patients wondering what treatment options are available.

Top Treatment Options for the Common Cold

Despite the prevalence of the common cold, there is currently no cure.  There are, however, some treatment options designed to help ease the symptoms.  As outlined by the Mayo Clinic, here are the top 3 treatment options for the common cold.

  1. Pain relievers. Mild pain relievers like acetaminophen can help ease some common cold symptoms, like headache, sore throat, and fever.  It’s important to talk to a doctor before taking these medications, however, as any kind of pain reliever should not be taken too frequently or in excess.
  2. Nasal decongestants. Nasal sprays can be an effective way to help clear some of the congestion brought on by the common cold.  Much like pain relievers, prolonged use is not recommended.
  3. Cough syrup. While they shouldn’t be used for young children, cough syrups can prove helpful in suppressing common cold symptoms.

In addition to these medications, there are some lifestyle changes and home remedies that can help get you back on your feet more quickly.  It’s recommended that patients drink lots of fluids, and rest whenever possible.  While all of these remedies can prove to be helpful, all patients are encouraged to speak to their doctor for the most accurate treatment.

Board Certified Physician in Astoria

If you’re suffering from a cold and want to learn more about your treatment options, contact us today and schedule an appointment.  Our offices are located in Astoria, and we can be reached at (718) 204-7550.  We look forward to hearing from you.

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