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Anyone who has suffered with food poisoning knows how painful it is. Check out our video where we discuss this condition in detail.
Transcript: If you've never come down with food poisoning, consider yourself lucky. This stomach ailment -- typically...
If you've never come down with food poisoning, consider yourself lucky. This stomach ailment -- typically caused by eating food or drinking fluids contaminated with bacteria, parasites, viruses, or toxins - can result in: A fever or chills, Headache, Nausea, Stomach cramping, Vomiting, Diarrhea and fatigue within 2 to 6 hours of eating or drinking the contaminated food. Really, it's no picnic. However, some people have been known to come down with food poisoning after eating at a picnic or large social functions; in school, work or other cafeterias; at restaurants, especially buffets or from street vendors. In the U.S., bacteria such as Staphylococcus or Escherichia coli -- E. coli are commonly responsible for most food poisoning cases, but foodborne parasites such as protozoa, roundworms, and tapeworms can also be to blame. These bacteria and parasites can contaminate: Raw seafood; Undercooked meats or eggs; Meat that has been improperly processed or has come in contact with intestinal bacteria; Unrefrigerated dairy products; Fruits and vegetables that have not been washed properly; Food prepared by a person who did not wash his or her hands properly; Food prepared with contaminated utensils. Most people fully recover within 12 - 48 hours, as long as they drink plenty of fluids and make sure they protect their electrolyte balance with replacement drinks like Gatorade. But if you get hit with this gut-wrenching problem and are pregnant, have a serious medical condition, such as kidney disease or diabetes, a weakened immune system or have recently traveled out of the U.S., you'll want to see your doctor. You'll also want to see a doctor if: There is pus or blood in your stool; Diarrhea lasts more than 5 days; Your heart is racing, pounding, or skipping beats. The doctor may take a stool culture and draw blood to rule out any other conditions. If your symptoms are from food poisoning, the doctor probably won't prescribe you anything. In most circumstances, you don't want to take something that stops diarrhea. You want to expel the toxins. Instead, the doctor will probably suggest nutrient-rich fluids and some bed rest until you recover. To learn about other common digestive ailments, check out other video in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-12 | Tags »
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Treating and Diagnosing Colorectal Cancer at an early stage is more affective with a 90% recovery rate. Learn more about the disease and its treatment in this video.
Transcript: Colorectal cancer affects hundreds of thousands and causes more than 50,000 deaths each year. So can...
Colorectal cancer affects hundreds of thousands and causes more than 50,000 deaths each year. So can colorectal cancer be cured? Colorectal cancer can be cured, but only if it's caught early. When diagnosed and treated quickly, five-year survival rates are usually around 90 percent! The standard treatment for cancer in the colon and rectum is surgery, which involves removing the tumor, a small amount of healthy tissue on either side of the cancer, and nearby lymph nodes. If the rectum is affected as well as the colon, the rectum will also be removed. After removal of the rectum, the surgeon will create an opening on the abdominal wall, called a colostomy. A bag is then attached to this opening, allowing body waste to be expelled. Some patients, like those with cancer in an early stage, or those with pre-cancerous polyps, may not need to undergo a full surgery. Instead, a doctor may perform a minimally invasive laparascopic procedure, which doesn't require a large incision. a. Instead, a few small cuts are made on the abdomen, b. and a lighted, flexible tube, called a laparascope, c. is inserted into the body. The laparascope transmits pictures of the intestines onto a video monitor, allowing the surgeon to see them. Surgical instruments are then inserted through the small incisions and the tumors are removed. Sometimes, the size or location of a tumor may make it difficult to perform surgery. In addition, surgery is less effective for cancers that are more advanced, attached to an internal organ, or to the abdomen lining. In patients such as these, radiation therapy, which is treatment with high-energy x-rays, may be used to kill cancer cells. Although radiation treatment is effective, side effects can include skin irritation in the treated areas, fatigue, nausea, and low libido. Chemotherapy is a treatment which uses medication to kill cancer cells. It is often the method of choice for cancer that has spread to adjacent lymph nodes or that has penetrated more deeply into the colon. The treatment can also be used to destroy microscopic cancer cells which may remain after colorectal surgery. This is known as adjuvant therapy. Chemotherapy medication can be taken orally, intravenously, or it can be injected directly into the artery leading to the tumor, which is called regional chemotherapy. Chemotherapy may also have temporary, but severe, side effects, including nausea and vomiting, hair loss, and extreme fatigue. In addition to these current treatments, new research is being conducted to find alternative therapies, as well as more effective cures for advanced cancers. Colorectal cancer can be life-threatening if allowed to progress, yet it can usually be cured with early treatment! Therefore, it's important to talk to your doctor about regular screening if you're over 50, or if you have a family history of cancer.More »
Last Modified: 2013-04-17 | Tags »
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Looking and reading your poop might sound strange but it is a very good habit to have. It can help you diagnose a lot of health related issues. Click here to learn more.
Transcript: Everybody poops. Almost everybody looks at it. And that's smart. Its shape, color, consistency and buoyancy...
Everybody poops. Almost everybody looks at it. And that's smart. Its shape, color, consistency and buoyancy can tell you a lot about your digestive and overall health. In fact, it's so informative that there is an official diagnostic chart -- The Bristol Stool Chart -- that describes feces in three categories: Those indicating constipation are: * Separate hard lumps, like nuts. Usually hard to pass. * Sausage-shaped but lumpy. Those indicating that everything is operating optimally: * Sausage-shaped but with cracks on the surface. * Sausage-shaped or snake-like, usually smooth and soft. And those that are too soft or that indicate diarrhea. They range from soft but formed shapes to entirely liquid without solid pieces. Color also matters: Normally feces are brownish. That's from the digestive fluids, bile and bilirubin, that are in them. Yellow indicates either an infection, such as Giardiasis, that's caused by a parasite, or Gilbert's Syndrome, that comes from excess bilirubin. A whitish, clay color indicates a lack of bilirubin and is a sign of a medical emergency. Black indicates the presence of digested blood, typically due to bleeding in the upper digestive tract, such as from a peptic ulcer. Medications including those for indigestion and dietary supplements, such as iron pills, can turn feces black. Eating foods high in animal blood, and those containing beetroot, black licorice, or blueberries can turn feces black, too. If you have black, tar-like sticky stool, you should see a doctor immediately since this could indicate internal bleeding. Bright red indicates the presence of undigested blood, either from lower in the digestive tract, hemorrhoids, or from a more active source in the upper digestive tract. Beets could also be responsible. If you see large amounts of blood in the toilet, go to the doctor immediately. Green indicates the feces moved too rapidly through the intestines or that there is a large amount of unprocessed bile in the digestive tract. It could also be the result of consuming too much green or blue food dye. Blue indicates too much consumption of foods and drink containing blue food dye. Food may sometimes make an appearance in the feces. Common undigested foods found in human feces are seeds, nuts, corn and beans, mainly because of their high dietary fiber content. Some people even spot parasites such as pinworms and/or eggs in their feces. This indicates an infection. As for buoyancy, your feces can either sink or float. Now while most people think it's an increase in fat content that makes feces float, it's actually an increase in gas caused by either malabsorption of nutrients or an infection. Getting your feces to sink may be possible by some probiotics into your diet. Remember though, all changes in feces should always be mentioned to your doctor, especially if they occur for more than a week. For more information on common digestive issues, check out other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2013-05-17 | Tags »
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Certain foods can trigger an irritable bowl syndrome flare. Check out this video to find out which videos to avoid if you're experiencing IBS symptoms.
Transcript: Recording what you consume each day will help you find the trigger foods and beverages that cause IBS...
Recording what you consume each day will help you find the trigger foods and beverages that cause IBS flare-ups. Common trigger foods include artificial fats and sweeteners, fried foods and oils, red meat and solid chocolate. Avoiding these foods may help. A. Caffeinated and carbonated drinks can also contribute to cramping. If you have IBS, B. drastically limit your intake of these drinks.More »
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You can relieve your IBS symptoms by eating certain foods. Watch this to learn more.
Transcript: Most IBS sufferers find relieve from fiber-filled foods. That's because fiber may prevent colon spasms...
Most IBS sufferers find relieve from fiber-filled foods. That's because fiber may prevent colon spasms that lead to cramps and keeps stools soft and easy to pass. Enjoy brown rice, barley, figs, prunes, raisins and oatmeal. Fruits, vegetables and juices are also great sources of fiber. One of the most helpful foods you can eat is yogurt! This low-fat treat is rich in the probioitic, acidophilus. This "friendly bacteria" helps to aid in digestion.More »
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How does heartburn develop? Watch this video to learn how this pesky, but common, condition occurs.
Transcript: Despite its name, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart! Actually, heartburn is a painful burning...
Despite its name, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart! Actually, heartburn is a painful burning sensation in the esophagus which is caused by acid that refluxes, or seeps up, from the stomach. When you swallow, food passes down the throat through a long tube, the esophagus, to the stomach. A muscular valve called the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES, opens to allow food into the stomach, and then it closes again. At this point, the stomach releases strong acids to help break down the food you've eaten. But if the LES opens too often or doesn't close tightly, that stomach acid can reflux into your esophagus, causing the painful sensation known as heartburn.More »
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Heartburn is a common condition that may be triggered by a variety of situations and foods. Watch this to find out what's causing your heartburn and how to avoid it.
Transcript: The foods most commonly linked to heartburn include chocolate, citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes and...
The foods most commonly linked to heartburn include chocolate, citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes and tomato sauces, peppermint-flavoring, and spicy foods, although every sufferer has unique triggers and trigger combinations. Alcohol, especially red wine, caffeinated beverages and tobacco products can also contribute to a flare-up. Another cause of heartburn is constant pressure on the stomach. For this reason, many people who are obese suffer from the condition. Additionally, 50 percent of pregnant women experience recurrent heartburn, due to the weight of the baby on their stomach. Occasionally, certain medical conditions can cause bouts of heartburn. In people with diabetes, for example, gastroparesis can lead to the condition. Gastroparesis is a disorder in which the stomach takes too long to empty, occasionally causing its contents to regurgitate into the esophagus. A hiatal hernia is a condition in which a portion of the stomach protrudes into the esophagus. This can allow stomach acid to back-up and cause heartburn.More »
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There are several over-the-counter treatments available to treat heartburn. Watch this to learn how they compare and which one you should take to treat your symptoms.
Transcript: Anatacids work by neutralizing acid in the stomach, so that when the acid enters the esophagus, it will...
Anatacids work by neutralizing acid in the stomach, so that when the acid enters the esophagus, it will be weaker, and therefore, less painful. Antacids work rapidly, but they don't last for long. If you need to take antacids more than several times a month, or don't experience relief using them, your doctor may recommend you try a different medication, such as histamine-2, or H2, blockers. Histamine is a chemical in the body that stimulates acid secretion. H2-blockers stop the histamine from binding to acid-secreting cells, thereby hindering acid production. Most H2-blockers are available over-the-counter in low doses, although some require a prescription for higher concentrations. H2-blockers, like Zantac and Axid, last longer than antacids, but they also take longer to absorb into the body. Sometimes an hour is needed to feel the effects. For this reason, you may want to try an OTC medication that combines an antacid and an H2-blocker, so you get the quick onset of action combined with sustained relief.More »
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Proton pump inhibitors are medications that prevent heartburn before it starts. Find out what a proton pump is and how this medication works.
Transcript: Acid is released from cells in the stomach by a mechanism known as a proton pump. PPIs block the pump...
Acid is released from cells in the stomach by a mechanism known as a proton pump. PPIs block the pump from releasing acid, effectively stopping heartburn before it starts. Both H2-blockers and PPIs are preventative medications, meaning that they work best if taken about an hour before a big, or potentially problematic, meal is consumed.More »
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GERD can cause several other health problems. Learn about how it can affect the esophagus.
Transcript: Esophagitis, or inflammation of the esophagus lining, is a condition that occurs in about 20 percent...
Esophagitis, or inflammation of the esophagus lining, is a condition that occurs in about 20 percent of GERD sufferers. It can lead to difficult, painful swallowing, and, on occasion, ulcers. Another more serious side effect of GERD is esophageal stricture, a narrowing of the esophagus, which is caused by the body repeatedly attempting to repair reflux damage. Esophageal stricture can cause difficulty swallowing, food regurgitation and severe weight loss. Another negative consequence of GERD is Barrett's esophagus, a condition in which the body changes the structure of the cells lining the esophagus. This occurs due to the body's repeat attempts to heal acid damage. The problem with these disorders of the esophagus is that many people just believe they have heartburn, and are unaware of the more serious consequences of GERD.More »
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Severe GERD is treatable with surgery. Check out this video to learn how the surgery works.
Transcript: Medication and lifestyle changes can control about 95 percent of GERD, but for some people, surgery will...
Medication and lifestyle changes can control about 95 percent of GERD, but for some people, surgery will become necessary. The goal of GERD surgery is to tighten the lower esophageal sphincter that, when lose, allows acid to leak. The most common GERD surgery is fundoplication, or a stomach wrap. This procedure involves grabbing a piece of the stomach and looping it around the lower end of the esophagus to create a sphincter. The wrap must be tight enough to prevent reflux, but loose enough to allow food and belches to pass. Sometimes, a doctor will use radiofrequency catheter ablation to treat GERD. Also known as the Stretta procedure, it involves applying small doses of radiofrequency energy into the esophageal sphincter. This causes the lining of the esophagus to expand, in turn resulting in a tightening of the valve that releases acid. The LES can also be tightened with sutures using the Bard endoscopic suturing system. During this surgery, stitches are placed at either side of the LES and are then tied together.More »
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When you have celiac disease, gluten causes uncomfortable symptoms. Learn why that happens in this video.
Transcript: To understand what happens when a person with celiac consumes gluten, it helps to look at the functioning...
To understand what happens when a person with celiac consumes gluten, it helps to look at the functioning of the small intestine in the digestive system. In a healthy individual, the small intestine is lined with thin, hair-like protrusions called villi, which work to absorb essential nutrients from food. In a person with celiac disease, the body's immune system mistakenly views gluten as a threat. In response, protective proteins known as antibodies are made to destroy the gluten. Unfortunately, these antibodies also injure the villi in the small intestine, temporarily causing them to flatten, and making it impossible for them to absorb nutrients.More »
Last Modified: 2014-06-30 | Tags »
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