The American College of Gastroenterology has released a list of symptoms indicating when patients who have abdominal pain should see a doctor. These include steady, severe or recurring pain; pain that impairs the ability to work; and loss of weight or appetite. Symptoms that warrant immediate medical attention include abdominal pain with fever, diarrhea, blood in the stool, change in urine color, vomiting blood, jaundice, abdomen swelling, tenderness in the abdomen or persistent constipation.
Researchers are using thermal energy to destroy problematic cells in the esophagus to keep patients with Barrett's esophagus from developing cancer. One study showed 70% of participants were free of Barrett's after one year of the radiofrequency ablation treatment.
Physicians are beginning to offer patients a less invasive procedure to diagnose cancer involving the digestive tract or lungs through endoscopic ultrasonography. The procedure, which combines ultrasound and endoscopy, can help in testing the depth of invasion of certain cancers, staging and imaging areas of the GI tract.
A new study found proton pump inhibitors can reduce the absorption of dietary non-heme iron in patients with hereditary hemochromatosis, a genetic disease that causes the body to absorb and store excess iron.
Acute stress could expose sensory nerve endings in the esophagus to refluxed gastric contents and contribute to symptoms of GERD, a new study found. Researchers say results could lead to treatments for difficult-to-treat GERD patients.