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Prevention and Screenings

...the Keys to Good Digestive Health

Published: Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 10:01 a.m. CDT

Face it: Digestive health issues are not typically the subject of polite dinner conversation.  Indeed, the “unpleasantries” make it a topic that many choose to simply ignore.

Patrick Lynch, MD, and his gastroenterology partners at Elmhurst Clinic -- Christopher Boutin, MD, Elizabeth Sack, MD, and George Stathopoulos, MD -- all believe that addressing digestive health issues goes a long way in helping people lead healthier, happier lives.

So instead of having to discuss digestive health issues at your next social gathering, Dr. Lynch provides some valuable insight into digestive health topics right here:

Prevention is imperative. “A healthy lifestyle is so important to digestive health. People today are overextended. As a result, they don’t think about what they are putting into their bodies as fuel. You need to take the time to put some effort into eating healthy. It’s also important to reduce stress | whether that be through exercise, yoga or meditation. If people can just change or improve one or two behaviors, it will go a long way in helping to improve their digestive heath.”

Digestive health screening procedures are important. “We offer a variety of screening tests at Elmhurst Outpatient Surgery Center (EOSC). Two of the most common are colonoscopy and upper endoscopy. A colonoscopy is a procedure used to screen for colorectal abnormalities, including cancer and precancerous conditions.

An upper endoscopy enables the physician to view the inside of the upper digestive tract -- the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine. If you are experiencing stomach problems such as abdominal pain, reflux, difficulties swallowing, then it is probably a good idea to schedule an upper endoscopy. This procedure screens for a variety of conditions such as Barrett’s Esophagus, hiatal hernia, ulcer or bowel obstruction.”   

Colonoscopies are a necessary part of life for the over 50 crowd. “Colon cancer is one of the top three cancers for both men and women. Colonoscopies, however, have been shown to scientifically reduce the risk of cancer. In addition, most insurance companies now cover this preventive measure. So, there’s really no reason not to have the procedure done.”

Convenience counts. “EOSC’s mobile message reminder service and online medical history portal (which initially collects background information and then becomes the patient's own personal health record) take the aggravation out of the pre-procedure process. EOSC even offers Saturday appointments, so you don’t have to take off work or inconvenience a family member to transport you to your procedure during the week.”  Make digestive health procedures as pleasant as possible. “At EOSC, the whole process is geared toward patient comfort. They are focused on getting patients in and out quickly and safely. In addition, it’s simply a beautiful, calming facility with a waterfall and very pleasant surroundings.” 

For more information on Drs. Boutin, Lynch, Sack, and Stathopoulos, visit www.elmhurstclinic.org. For more information about Elmhurst Outpatient Surgery Center, visit www.eosc.org.

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