Matthew Gaeta, MD, and Megan Buehler, APRN, specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions involving the digestive/gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Dr. Gaeta is an expert on how food moves through the digestive system and is chemically broken down, with nutrients being absorbed and waste excreted. Dr. Gaeta and Buehler treat the following health conditions:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Abdominal pain.
- Elevated liver enzymes.
- Biliary disease.
- Irritable bowel syndrome.
- Inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease).
Dr. Gaeta performs the following procedures at Perry County Memorial Hospital:
- Colonoscopies to detect changes or abnormalities in the large intestine (colon) and rectum.
- EGDs to examine the lining of your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum.
- ERCPs to treat conditions of the bile and pancreatic ducts such as gallstones, strictures, leaks and cancer.
If you are due for your colorectal cancer screening, call to schedule a time to talk to Perryville Family Care Clinic Specialties about it. This screening is performed by a colonoscopy, which is an important screening to add to your care. Learn why you shouldn't wait to schedule your colonoscopy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dr. Gaeta put together a list of FAQs to help guide you in understanding how you can minimize digestive discomfort.
45 years of age.
Constipation, bloating, acid reflux and abdominal pain. Functional disorders are those in which the gastrointestinal (GI) tract looks normal but doesn't work properly. They are the most common problems affecting the GI tract (including the colon and rectum). Constipation and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are two common examples.
Many factors may upset the GI tract and its motility (or ability to keep moving), including:
- Eating a diet low in fiber.
- Not enough exercise.
- Traveling or other changes in routine.
- Eating large amounts of dairy products.
- Resisting the urge to have a bowel movement.
- Resisting the urge to have bowel movements due to pain from hemorrhoids.
- Overusing laxatives (stool softeners) that, over time, weaken the bowel muscles.
- Taking antacid medicines containing calcium or aluminum.
- Taking certain medicines (especially antidepressants, iron pills and strong pain medicines such as narcotics).
You can keep many digestive problems away with lifestyle changes. Bad habits, such as eating too quickly or skipping meals, can upset your stomach. Be sure to eat slowly and chew thoroughly. You might want to try eating several small meals throughout the day.
A balanced diet can help too. Unhealthy foods can cause trouble for your digestive system. Eat less processed food and sugar and more fiber, fruits and vegetables.
If you're sensitive to certain types of food, such as dairy or gluten, stay away from these items or cut back on them. Talk with a nutritionist before you ban a food from your plate to make sure you still get important nutrients from other sources.
PPIs are the most potent inhibitors of stomach acid available, and they're a welcome addition to the medical armamentarium. But every pill—indeed, every medical intervention—is a risk-benefit balancing act. The PPI-clopidogrel interaction seems to be less important than once feared, but there are other reasons to be cautious about PPIs. You don't need to take a PPI for the incidental case of heartburn. If you have a prescription, the reasons for it should be reviewed periodically to make sure they're still valid; it's common for people to take medications far longer than is necessary, and that is particularly true of the PPIs.
If you need a PPI prescription—and many people do—it should be for the lowest dose that's effective. There are differences in the chemical properties of the seven PPIs and how they are metabolized. But comparative studies haven't yielded any clear-cut winners, so the less expensive PPIs are the best choice for most people.
Source: Harvard Health, April 2011
Many diseases of the colon and rectum can be prevented or minimized by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, practicing good bowel habits and submitting to cancer screening. If you have symptoms of colorectal cancer, you should consult your doctor right away. Common symptoms include:
- A change in normal bowel habits.
- Blood on or in the stool that is either bright or dark.
- Unusual abdominal or gas pains.
- Very narrow stool.
- A feeling that the bowel has not emptied completely after passing stool.
- Unexplained weight loss.