Our Gastroenterology Blog

Posts for category: Gastroenterology

By Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists
September 25, 2019
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: Colonoscopies  

Whether our Hillsborough, NJ, gastroenterologist Dr. Anubha Sinha has just told you that you could benefit from getting a colonoscopy or a loved one is undergoing this procedure chances are you might have questions. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding colonoscopies so you better understand it once it comes time for you to get one.

What is a colonoscopy?

This procedure allows our Hillsborough, NJ, GI doctor to look at the lining of the large intestines, or colon, to detect certain gastrointestinal issues as well as look for early warning signs of colorectal cancer. In fact, a colonoscopy is the most effective tool we have for the early detection of colorectal cancer.

When is a colonoscopy needed?

Most people assume that unless they are experiencing symptoms of colorectal cancer that they don’t need to get a colonoscopy; however, once you reach 45 years old it’s important that you schedule your first colonoscopy. Those who are at an increased risk for colorectal cancer may want to start getting this exam earlier (discuss your risk with your doctor).

What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer?

During the early stages colorectal cancer doesn’t usually produce symptoms. That’s why getting regular colonoscopies is the very best preventive measure you can take to catch cancer early on when it’s treatable. If a polyp is detected during a routine colonoscopy Dr. Sinha can easily remove it to reduce the risk that it could develop into colorectal cancer.

As colorectal cancer progresses it is common to experience changes in bowels, abdominal pain, unexpected weight loss, and rectal bleeding. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it’s important that you see a doctor as soon as possible.

What is involved in getting a colonoscopy?

A day or two before your colonoscopy you will drink a special laxative preparation that will clear out your bowels. It is important to follow all instructions when taking this solution to make sure that it’s effective.

A colonoscopy is usually performed under conscious sedation, in which sedation is administered intravenously to help you relax and feel comfortable during the procedure (someone will need to come with you to drive you home). During the procedure, a thin flexible tube with a camera (an endoscope) is directed through the rectum into the large intestines where it shows our doctor the lining of the intestines to spot bleeds, polyps and other issues. Polyps can also be removed during a colonoscopy.

How often will I need to get one?

If you are at moderate risk for developing colorectal cancer and your colonoscopy comes back normal then you may not need to get another one for 10 years. Those at high risk and those with a history of colon polyp should talk with their gastroenterologist about how often they should get a colonoscopy.

Whether you are dealing with gastrointestinal issues or you just turned 45 years old, a colonoscopy could determine what’s causing you distress and protect you from colorectal cancer. Call Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists in Hillsborough or Flemington, NJ, to schedule your next colonoscopy.

By Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists
August 07, 2019
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: Untagged

By Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists
July 10, 2019
Category: Gastroenterology

Are you dealing with bloating? Do you find yourself dealing with unexplained abdominal discomfort or embarrassing gas after mealtimes? If so, it could just be what you ate or it could be irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). From the office of our Hillsborough and Flemington, NJ, gastroenterologist Dr. Anubha Sinha, here are the warning signs of IBS and when it might be a good idea to see a doctor about your symptoms.

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

IBS is a condition that affects bowel movements and can lead to abdominal pain. What triggers IBS symptoms can vary from person to person. Common triggers include poor sleep, stress and diet. You could be dealing with IBS if you regularly experience,

  • Abdominal pain and cramping (a classic symptom of IBS)
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Mucus in the stools
  • Gas and bloating (other very common symptoms)
  • Intolerance to certain foods
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping (e.g. insomnia; restless sleep)

If you’ve been experiencing unexplained and persistent abdominal pain it’s a good idea to see Hillsborough gastroenterologist Dr. Sinha who can determine if you are dealing with IBS. Since many of these symptoms can be indicative of other diseases it’s important to find out what’s going on as soon as possible.

What causes IBS?

While the cause of IBS is unknown there are certain factors that can affect your likelihood to develop IBS including,

  • Changes in your gut bacteria
  • Certain infections (e.g. severe gastroenteritis)
  • Intestinal inflammation
  • Intestinal muscle contractions

How can I manage my IBS symptoms?

There are a lot of simple lifestyle modifications you can make to reduce your IBS symptoms. This includes,

  • Following a low-FODMAP diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Staying hydrated
  • Taking laxatives (when dealing with constipation)
  • Alleviating stress
  • Avoiding caffeine, alcohol and sugary drinks (which can overstimulate the digestive tract)

Those dealing with mild-to-moderate IBS can often control these symptoms with simple lifestyle changes; however, those with more severe cases may require certain medications like Lotronex or Xifaxan, which can relax the colon or reduce the bacteria overgrowth in the gut that is responsible for diarrhea and other uncomfortable symptoms.

Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists has offices in Hillsborough and Flemington, NJ, to provide comprehensive gastroenterological care to patients of all ages. If you suspect that you might be dealing with irritable bowel syndrome then schedule a consultation with us today.

By Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists
March 25, 2019
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: colon cancer  

colon cancer

 

Colon Cancer Screening Saves Lives!

 

DID YOU KNOW?

Incidence and mortality rates for colon and rectal cancers are DECREASING among adults 50 years and older in the U.S. However, rates of colon and rectal cancers are  INCREASING in young adults!

WHY COLON CANCER SCREENING?

Colorectal cancer occurs in the large intestines (colon) and the rectum. Most colorectal cancers develop from precancerous growths called polyps which develop in the lining of the colon.

Colon cancer screening is important for detecting polyps or early-stage cancers. Colon cancer screening is done in people who have no symptoms. If a polyp or cancer is detected early, it can be removed and there is less chance of it becoming more serious.

Colon cancer screening saves lives!

What are the different types of screening tests?

●Colonoscopy: The doctor examines the colon using a thin tube with a tiny camera attached to it. The tube also has tools on the end to remove polyps or pieces of tissue if needed.

●Computed tomographic colonography: A special X-ray called a "CT scan” is used to examine the colon.

●Flexible sigmoidoscopy: A sigmoidoscopy is very similar to a colonoscopy. However, a sigmoidoscopy only looks at the last past of the colon while the colonoscopy looks at the entire colon.

●Stool test: A stool test can check for blood in samples of your bowel movements. Once you collect the samples from your stools, you place it in a special container which is then mailed to the lab for testing.

●Stool DNA test: The stool DNA test checks for genetic markers of cancer, as well as for signs of blood. This test requires you to collect a whole bowel movement. Instructions for collection and mailing are provided in a special kit.

Who needs colon cancer screening?

The age at which you need to start colon cancer screening depends on several different factors

Most people begin having colon cancer screening at age 50.  However, people who are at increased risk of getting colon cancer sometimes begin screening at a younger age. Most people can stop being screened around the age of 75, or at the latest 85.

How often do you need to be screened?

It depends on your risk factors and which test you have. People who are at high risk of developing colon cancer are tested more often and should have a colonoscopy.

For most people who are at low risk, schedules are as follows:

●Colonoscopy every 10 years

●CT colonography (CTC) every 5 years

●Sigmoidoscopy every 5 years

●Stool testing for blood once a year

●Stool DNA testing every 3 years

How do I choose which test to have?

Colon cancer screening saves lives. We welcome the opportunity to work with you to decide the best test for you and to answer any questions you may have. Please call Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists: Tel (908) 788-8200.

Appointment can be scheduled at:

Flemington Office: 267 US-202, Flemington, NJ 08822 Hillsborough Office: 203 Omni Dr, Hillsborough, NJ 08844

*The above facts are based on published data from UpToDate.

Rates of Colon and rectal cancers are increasing in young adults! Let’s Look at the Statistics

  • CRC incidence and mortality rates are DECREASING among 50+ years (US)
  • Y-On CRC incidence and mortality rates are INCREASING in males and females
  • Symptoms: rectal blood, abdominal pain, change in bowl movements
  • Increase awareness in clinicians and young adults to facilitate early detection

Young Onset Colorectal Cancers are associated with worse outcomes and more likely to be detected at an advanced stage.

  • Ages 20-24 years – CRC incidence is 0.85-per 100,000
  • Ages 45-49 years – CRC incidence is 28.8 per 100,000
  • Although older age groups have substantially lower rates, the rates in younger individuals have spiked.
  • The sharpest increase is among the 40-44 year age group

➢  10.7 per 100,000 in 1988

                      VS

➢  17.9 per 100,000 in 2006

By Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists
March 18, 2019
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: colon cancer  

By Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists
February 27, 2019
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: colonoscopy  

How a colonoscopy from your gastroenterologist in Hillsborough, NJ, can help you

Have you been advised to get a colonoscopy? If so, don’t worry. It’s a very common test if you are age 50 or older, used to detect Colonoscopycolorectal cancer in its early stages. Why is this important? Because early detection means early treatment which could save your life. Dr. Anubha Sinha at Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists offers colonoscopies, and other digestive services to help you feel better. She has two convenient office locations in Hillsborough, and Flemington, NJ.

Your doctor may advise you to get a colonoscopy if you are over 50 as a colon cancer screening, or earlier if you have abdominal pain, chronic constipation, chronic diarrhea, rectal bleeding, or other rectal issues. A colonoscopy may also be indicated if you have a history of intestinal polyps or growths.

To prepare for your appointment, you may be asked to stay on a liquid diet and take a variety of laxatives to help clear out your colon. Your doctor will let you know about preparing for your appointment.

A colonoscopy allows your doctor to view your large intestine and rectum for abnormal tissue, polyps, and signs of precancer or cancer. During the procedure, a long tube is inserted into your rectum and guided up through your intestine. The tube contains a camera at the end which allows your doctor to closely examine the inside of your colon and rectum. During the colonoscopy, your doctor may also remove a small amount of tissue for biopsy and remove any growths or polyps.

Your doctor will give you a sedative before treatment, which means you must bring a driver with you to your appointment. The treatment itself takes about 45 minutes, but you will spend about 2 to 3 hours in the office while you recuperate from the sedative.

A colonoscopy is an important procedure to protect your health. Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in this country. You don’t want to be a statistic. To find out more about colonoscopies and other gastrointestinal services, call Dr. Anubha Sinha at Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists, with offices in Hillsborough, and Flemington, NJ. Call now because it could save your life!

By Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists
January 16, 2019
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: FODMAPs  

FODMAPs or Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Mono-saccharides, And Polyols are a large group of dietary sugars. fodmapFODMAPs can be poorly absorbed in the gut and can cause significant gas, bloating, change in bowel habits, and abdominal discomfort in some people.

What are some common sources of FODMAPs?

Oligosaccharides (Fructans, galacto-oligosaccharides):

Wheat, barley, rye, onion, leek, white part of spring onion, garlic, shallots, artichokes, beetroot, fennel, peas, chicory, pistachio, cashews, legumes, lentils, and chickpeas

Disaccharides (Lactose):

Milk, custard, ice cream, and yogurt

Monosaccharides (Fructose):

Apples, pears, mangoes, cherries, watermelon, asparagus, sugar snap peas, honey, high-fructose corn syrup

Polyols (Sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol, and xylitol):

Apples, pears, apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums, watermelon, mushrooms, cauliflower, artificially sweetened chewing gum and confectionery

Look out for our next blog for FODMAP recipes!

For further discussion of FODMAPs and whether a low FODMAP diet may benefit you, please call Dr. Anubha Sinha at Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists, Tel (908) 788-8200.

An appointment can be scheduled at:

Flemington Office: 267 US-202, Flemington, NJ 08822

Hillsborough Office: 203 Omni Dr, Hillsborough, NJ 08844 

*The above facts are based on published data from UpToDate. 

By Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists
January 02, 2019
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: FODMAPs   abdominal pain  

Do you suffer from significant gas, bloating, change in bowel habits, or abdominal pain?
 
FODMAPs or Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Mono-saccharides, And Polyols are a large group of dietary sugars. fodmapFODMAPs can be poorly absorbed in the gut and can cause significant gas, bloating, change in bowel habits, and abdominal discomfort in some people.
 
 
    A Closer Look at FODMAPs
 
FODMAPs are short-chain carbohydrates:
 
Fructose is a monosaccharide.  It is found in certain fruits, honey and some high fructose corn syrups. Most people absorb fructose, but around 30-40% of all people do not properly absorb excess fructose.
 
Lactose is a disaccharide found in milk and milk products. People who lack the enzyme, Lactase, cannot properly absorb lactose.
 
Polyols (e.g. sorbitol, mannitol) are found in some fruits, vegetables and are sometimes added as artificial sweeteners. Sorbitol and mannitol are the most common polyols in the diet. In most people, they are not completely absorbed in the small intestines.
 
Oligosaccharides (Fructans and Galacto-Oligosaccharides) are found in wheat, rye, onions, garlic, legumes, and lentils. These types of sugars are malabsorbed in everyone and fermented by bacteria in the large intestines. They are thought to have a positive benefit on the gut bacteria. However, in certain people who have a hypersensitive gut they may cause significant discomfort when consumed in larger amounts.
 
Look out for our next blog which takes a closer look at which foods contain FODMAPs!
For further discussion of FODMAPs and whether a low FODMAP diet may benefit you, please call Dr. Anubha Sinha at Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists, Tel (908) 788-8200.

An appointment can be scheduled at:

Flemington Office: 267 US-202, Flemington, NJ 08822

Hillsborough Office: 203 Omni Dr, Hillsborough, NJ 08844 

*The above facts are based on published data from Monash University, Department of Gastroenterology. 

By Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists
December 18, 2018
Category: Gastroenterology

Did you know?  After accounting for age, people born in 1990 are

2x’s more likely to have colon cancer,4x’s more likely to have rectal cancer

compared to people born around 1950.

What is the cause of this rise?

For most young adults, colon and rectal cancer is not on their radar because many believe it is a disease that occurs only in older adults.colon and rectal cancer While it is true that colon and rectal cancer occur far more often in adults 50 years and older, it can occur in young people too. In the US, among young and middle age adults, the incidence of colon and rectal cancer has been steadily climbing at a rate of 2% per year from 1992 to 2013, while the overall incidence has declined. In particular, rectal cancer has been driving this increase seen in young adults. Researcher are not certain what is causing the increasing incidence of colon and rectal cancer in younger adults. However, they believe that it is likely related to obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and eating an unhealthy diet.

What are some possible symptoms of colon and rectal cancer?

The most common symptoms of colon and rectal cancer include:

  • a change in bowel habits that occur for more than a few days
  • rectal bleeding or blood in the stool
  • abdominal pain
  • weakness or fatigue
  • unintentional weight loss

If you have concerns, it is important that you discuss your symptoms with a doctor and not ignore them.

For more information on colon and rectal cancer, please contact Dr. Anubha Sinha at Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists with locations in Flemington and Hillsborough, NJ. Call (908) 788-8200 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Sinha at either location today!

*The above facts are based on published data from UpToDate and the American Cancer Society. 

By Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists
December 03, 2018
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: rectal bleeding  

Find out what might be causing your rectal bleeding and if you should see a doctor.

Sure, we know this isn’t a topic you probably like talking about but it’s important that you don’t just ignore this issue if it comes up. After all, rectal bleedingit can be rather unnerving to find blood on your toilet paper or even in your stool. From the office of our Hillsborough, NJ, gastroenterologist Dr. Anubha Sinha, find out what might be going on and whether it warrants a trip to our office.

What can cause rectal bleeding?

There are quite a few reasons why this problem might be happening. Some causes include,

  • Hemorrhoids
  • Constipation
  • Anal fissures
  • Colon polyps
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • A rectal ulcer
  • Proctitis (rectal inflammation)
  • Diverticulosis
  • Colon cancer

When should I see a doctor?

It’s a good idea to give our Hillsborough, NJ, GI doctor a call if you are experiencing rectal bleeding that doesn’t go away after a day or two. If the bleeding is worrisome it’s also best to play it safe and give us a call. If rectal bleeding is serious or if you are also experiencing severe stomach cramps you should turn to us for care as soon as possible. Based on your symptoms we will decide whether you should come in right away or if we can schedule an appointment in the coming days.

Your age is a factor we will also take into consideration when it comes to whether or not you should take time to monitor the issue or whether you require immediate care. For example, those under 40 years old who experience rectal bleeding are often dealing with a minor issue such as hemorrhoids; however, patients over 40 years old who are dealing with rectal bleeding may require a colonoscopy to rule out certain causes such as colon polyps or cancer.

What should I expect when I come in for a checkup?

When you come in for an evaluation there are several diagnostic options that we can choose from depending on the symptoms you are experiencing. We will ask you certain questions regarding your rectal bleeding to determine which tests to perform. Some diagnostic tests include:

  • Rectal examination
  • Colonoscopy
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • Anoscope
  • Blood test

Once we determine what’s causing the bleeding we can discuss your treatment options with you.

If you are dealing with rectal bleeding or other gastrointestinal issues in Hillsborough or Flemington, NJ, then it’s time to turn to the medical team at Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists to find out what’s going on. Call us today!

By Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists
November 26, 2018
Category: Gastroenterology

Helicobacter pylori infection (H. pylori)

Did you know?  

H. pylori is the most common chronic bacterial infection in humans. It is estimated that more than 50 percent of the world's population is infected.

What is H. pylori infection? 

H. pylori infection occurs when a bacteria called "H. pylori" infects the stomach. For most people, H. pylori infection does not cause hpyloriany sickness or symptoms. However, in some people, H. pylori infection can lead to problems including ulcers in the stomach or small intestine, and stomach cancer. It is unclear why H. pylori causes symptoms in some people but not others. Doctors are not exactly sure how H. pylori is spread from person to person. However, it is believed that H. pylori is most commonly spread through the oral-oral route or fecal-oral route.  

What are the symptoms of H. pylori infection?

Most people with H. pylori infection have no symptoms. But, for some people, H. pylori infection may cause symptoms such as:

-Pain in the belly or abdomen

-Decreased appetite

-Nausea or vomiting

-Bloating

How do I know if I have H. pylori infection? There are several tests that can show H. pylori infection including blood test, stool test, breath test, and biopsy test. Your doctor can determine whether you need to be tested.

How is H. pylori infection treated? H. pylori infection is treated with several different medications including antibiotics and medications that decrease acid in your stomach. Most of the time, H. pylori infection is treated successfully with these medications. But sometimes, H. pylori infection may need to be treated again.

For more information on H. pylori infection, please contact Dr. Anubha Sinha at Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists with locations in Flemington and Hillsborough, NJ. Call (908) 788-8200 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Sinha at either location today!

*The above facts are based on published data from UpToDate and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

By Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists
August 17, 2018
Category: Gastroenterology

Find out why older adults should get routine colonoscopies no matter their current health.

Just as we require routine medical checkups each year, or choose to get flu shots or take other precautionary measures to protect ourcolonoscopy health, we should also do what we can to protect our intestinal health, as well. Sure, it might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but if you are someone who is dealing with unexplained stomach or intestinal issues, or if you just turned 45 years old, our Flemington and Hillsborough, NJ, gastroenterologist, Dr. Anubha Sinha, can tell you why you should schedule a colon cancer screening.

Why is a colon cancer screening important for everyone?

The main reason a colon cancer screening is performed is for the early detection of precancerous polyps. As you can imagine, finding and removing these polyps during the precancerous stage means that they don’t have the opportunity to manifest into cancer.

When colorectal cancer is caught in its earliest stages it’s very treatable; however, the only way to be able to detect colorectal cancer early is through screenings (as symptoms of colorectal cancer don’t typically appear until the cancer has already spread).

What does a colon cancer screening entail?

The best screening tool for being able to detect colorectal cancer is a colonoscopy. Routine colonoscopies should be performed on both men and women once they turn 45 years old. A colonoscopy uses a very thin tube with a camera on the end that is inserted into the rectum and through the intestines to provide our Flemington and Hillsborough GI doctor with detailed images of the colon and rectum to look for early signs of cancer.

Before your colonoscopy, your doctor will give you a medication that will help empty out your bowels. You will not be able to eat anything prior to your procedure, as we will need to keep the colon empty. When you come in for your screening, we will run an IV and provide you with sedation and twilight anesthesia to help you feel calm, relaxed, and pain-free during the procedure. It only takes about 30 minutes to complete the screening but it may take longer if we need to remove polyps (which we can also do during the screening).

From there, we will tell you the results of your test. If everything looks healthy and you’ve never had polyps or a family history of polyps then you may not need another colonoscopy for 10 years. Of course, those who are at an increased risk for colorectal cancer or those who’ve had a personal history of polyps may need to come in more often for colon cancer screenings.

Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists have offices in Flemington and Hillsborough, NJ, to serve you better. Call our office today if you need to schedule a routine colonoscopy with us or if you are experiencing any changes in your gastrointestinal health.

By Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists
July 10, 2018
Category: Gastroenterology

Lactose IntolerantLactose intolerance can affect anyone and is a common issue. Many people do not realize that they are lactose intolerant and often blame their symptoms on other things. However, understanding this condition and its symptoms can help you determine if you suffer from lactose intolerance. Find out more about lactose intolerance with Dr. Anubha Sinha at Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists with locations in Flemington and Hillsborough, NJ.

What is lactose intolerance? 
People with lactose intolerance cannot digest the lactose, or sugar, found in milk. Lactase is an enzyme found in the body which helps break down lactose. Lactose intolerant people often have a deficiency of lactase. Many people have low lactase levels and their bodies can process dairy just fine. However, others may notice uncomfortable symptoms after consuming dairy products, making them lactose intolerant.

Am I lactose intolerant? 
Symptoms of lactose intolerance often begin anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours after consuming dairy. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of lactose intolerance include:

  • bloating
  • nausea or, in some cases, vomiting
  • gas
  • diarrhea
  • cramping

If you experience the symptoms of lactose intolerance, you should consult with your doctor to ensure that you receive the proper diagnosis and care for your condition.

Lactose Intolerance Treatments in Flemington, NJ and Hillsborough, NJ
There are several tests your doctor can perform to determine if you suffer from lactose intolerance. They may include a blood test, breath test, or stool test depending on the circumstances. You cannot increase your body’s production of lactase, but you can control the effects it has by avoiding dairy products. You can avoid lactose altogether, eat dairy-free dairy products, or even regular dairy after it has been mixed with a substance to break down the lactose before it enters your system. Some people may be able to have small servings of dairy with no reactions. If you think you have lactose intolerance, you should consult with your digestive health specialist to ensure that you find the best treatment or lifestyle changes for you.

For more information on lactose intolerance, please contact Dr. Anubha Sinha at Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists with locations in Flemington and Hillsborough, NJ. Call (908) 788-8200 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Sinha at either location today!

By Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists
May 14, 2018
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: celiac disease  

Statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that approximately 3 million Americans struggle with an celiac diseaseautoimmune disorder called celiac disease. It is a condition that is related to diet and food allergies and is often inherited. Learn more about celiac disease, the potential triggers and symptoms, and how a Flemington and Hillsborough, NJ gastroenterologist at Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists can help treat this issue.

What Is Celiac Disease?
Patients who are diagnosed with celiac disease experience chronic symptoms that can be disruptive to a normal lifestyle. It is an autoimmune disease that affects the small intestines. Some of the symptoms include:

- Uncontrollable and chronic diarrhea (or constipation in some patients).
- Excessive gas that urgently needs to be released at inappropriate moments.
- Bloating of the stomach.
- Unexplained weight loss due to lack of food absorption.
- Fatigue during the day even after having a full night of sleep. Also, depression may be related to this condition.
- Skin rashes that may form after consuming certain foods or coming in contact with other allergens.

Celiac Disease Triggers and Causes
Doctors believe that celiac disease is caused by an allergic reaction to gluten. Gluten is a protein that can be found in certain foods that contain wheat, barley, and rye. Those foods include some breads, pastas, beers, and cereals. When affected patients consume this protein, it irritates the small intestine and prevents foods from being absorbed properly. Some patients live for years with no issues, then suddenly begin to have symptoms after a significant life event, like severe stress, childbirth, or a surgical procedure.

Treatments for Celiac Disease
Your Flemington and Hillsborough gastroenterologist will ask you questions about your symptoms, including family history, and run tests to determine if celiac disease is the diagnosis. The first step toward healing is to completely eliminate gluten from your diet. Your doctor will consult you about dietary changes and vitamin supplements. Abdominal exams and follow-up tests are needed to ensure that your digestive system is back to normal.

Call Your Gastroenterologist Today
If you have the symptoms of celiac disease, help is available at Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists in Flemington and Hillsborough, NJ. Call (908) 788-8200 today to set up an appointment with Dr. Anubha Sinha.

By Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists
March 08, 2018
Category: Gastroenterology

Heartburn can be a frustrating and irritating condition that affects your daily life. However, this common symptom affects millions of people gerdand has many over-the-counter and prescription treatments. Sometimes, heartburn can become severe and progress into gastroesophageal reflux disease. Find out more about gastroesophageal reflux disease and what it means for you with gastroenterologist, Dr. Anubha Sinha at Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists with locations in Flemington, NJ and Hillsborough, NJ.

What is Gastroesophageal reflux disease?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, often referred to as simply GERD, affects the digestive system, specifically the muscle between the esophagus and stomach. This condition causes the contents of the stomach to come back up into the esophagus, causing discomfort. GERD allows the stomach’s contents back up into the esophagus due to the muscle connecting the two parts of the body being weakened and not closing properly.

Do I have GERD?

The most common symptom of GERD is heartburn, which feels like a burning sensation in the chest, normally after eating. Difficulty swallowing, chest pain, a feeling of a lump in the throat, and regurgitation of food are also indicative of GERD. To be considered GERD, the reflux, or stomach’s contents coming back into the esophagus, must occur mildly at least twice a week or severely at least once a week.

What are the treatments for GERD?

Treating GERD will vary from patient to patient and depend on the severity of the condition. Often, patients with mild GERD can manage the symptoms of their condition with simple lifestyle changes. Some of the most common risk factors for developing GERD include obesity, smoking, and eating large portion sizes, meaning that stopping smoking, losing weight, or cutting down portion sizes can help manage the condition. Over-the-counter medications may help manage symptoms, but prescription medications are often suggested by your gastroenterologist for patients with more severe GERD. In severe situations, surgery to correct the problem may become necessary.

GERD in Flemington, NJ and Hillsborough, NJ

For more information on GERD or its treatments, please contact your gastroenterologist, Dr. Anubha Sinha at Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists with locations in Flemington, NJ and Hillsborough, NJ. Call (908) 788-8200 to schedule your appointment at either location today!

By Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists
December 21, 2017
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: Hemorrhoids  

Hemorrhoids--they've plagued you since your last pregnancy, flaring up and shrinking periodically. Right now, though, the pain and hemorrhoidsirritation is too intense, and you need relief. Your gastroenterologist in Hillsborough, NJ, Dr. Anubha Sinha, treats these swollen rectal veins right in her office comfortably and with no down time. You can feel better and be rid of this lower GI problem. Find out about her innovative treatments at Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists.

What are hemorrhoids?

Just as some people develop varicose, or swollen veins, in their legs, other develop than in their anus and rectum because of:

  • Simple aging
  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Hereditary tendency
  • Heavy lifting
  • A diet low in fiber
  • A sedentary lifestyle

Harvard Medical School says that millions of American adults suffer from hemorrhoids, and in fact, an occasional bout of GI complaint is an almost certainty for half of the population by age 50 and older.

Treating hemorrhoids

In the past, over the counter and at-home remedies such as sitz baths and application of witch hazel and other topical treatments provided limited relief. In extreme cases, surgical excision or banding in the hospital worked to reduce and remove hemorrhoids. However, recovery time was significant.

Today, gastroenterologists such as Dr. Sinha at Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists in Hillsborough, NJ, use in-office procedures to relieve the pain, swelling, itching and bleeding associated with hemorrhoids. Fortunately, these treatments need no sedation, no lengthy bowel preparation or recovery time, and are very effective. Dr. Sinha diagnoses hemorrhoids with simple visual inspection and digital rectal examination.

Innovative treatments at Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists include:

  1. CRH O'Regan - In less than a minute, Dr. Sinha inserts a small instrument into the rectum and installs a tiny rubber band around the base of the hemorrhoid. The procedure is painless and causes the swollen vein to recede and drop off within a day or two, ending the uncomfortable symptoms patients typically experience.
  2. Infrared coagulation, or IRC - A small probe delivers infrared light to the base of the hemorrhoid. It recedes and falls off in much the same way as with the CRH O'Regan treatment.
  3. HET (Hemorrhoid Energy Therapy) - Generally combined with sigmoidoscopy under sedation at the hospital. This technique involves the use of gentle tissue compression and heat by using a safe energy form of radiofrequency. Takes 8-12 seconds on average to treat one hemorrhoid. All hemorrhoids can be treated in one visit. Results in rapid recovery.

Avoiding hemorrhoids

Sometimes, you just can't. Some people are more prone to develop piles than others are. However, it helps to:

  • Keep a healthy weight
  • Eat a high fiber diet
  • Use over the counter anti-hemorrhoidal medications at the first sign of trouble
  • Stay well-hydrated to avoid constipation
  • Take a warm bath to soothe irritated anal tissues

Learn more

If you suffer from hemorrhoids, contact Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists for an appointment. You can find relief from this painful condition. For an appointment at either the Farmington or Hillsborough office, call (908) 788-8200.

By Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists
November 07, 2017
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: colon cancer   colonoscopy  

According to the American Cancer Society, doctors in the United States diagnosed over 95,000 new cases of colon cancer and almost colonoscopy40,000 cases of rectal cancer in 2017. These staggering numbers make colon cancer screenings to catch this condition at its earliest and most treatable stages more important than ever. Learn more about colon cancer screenings with Dr. Anubha Sinha at Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists with locations in Flemington, NJ and Hillsborough, NJ.

Who is at risk for colorectal cancer? 
One of the biggest risk factors for colorectal cancer is simply getting older. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 90% of colorectal cancer cases occur in individuals over the age of 50. A family history of cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and lifestyle choices like alcohol or tobacco use, a poor diet which lacks an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables, and being overweight or obese also put someone at a higher risk of colorectal cancer.

When should I start having colon cancer screenings? 
Colorectal cancer usually begins as noncancerous polyps found in the colon. These polyps are easily detectable with a colon cancer screening. This screening, which involves a long, thin tube with a camera on the end. This tube, called a colonoscope, allows your doctor to see inside the colon and visually find polyps. Doctors recommend beginning regular colon cancer screenings at the age of 50.

Colon Cancer Screenings in Flemington, NJ and Hillsborough, NJ 
If you are at risk for colon cancer, regular colon cancer screenings can save your life. These screenings are an important part of finding and catching the condition in its earliest, precancerous stages. This leads to effective treatment and prevention, stopping the condition in its tracks and allowing you to get back to your normal life, cancer-free. Doctors recommend starting screening colonoscopy at age 50 in average-risk patients. Average risk African American patients are recommended at age 45.

For more information on colorectal cancer or its diagnosis, please contact Dr. Anubha Sinha at Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists with locations in Flemington, NJ and Hillsborough, NJ. Call (908) 788-8200 to schedule your appointment at either of the two locations today!

By Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists
July 03, 2017
Category: Gastroenterology

Have a question for our Flemington & Hilsborough gastroenterologist? We are here to answer some of your most popular questions.

The GI tract can be rather confusing sometimes. You may be dealing with stomach cramps or have trouble with heartburn. If so, you may end up coming up with a laundry list of questions for our GI doctor. Well, now we are here to provide you with some of the answers you’ve been looking for.

Q. Why should I see a gastroenterologist?

A. If you’ve talked to your family physician about some of the gastrointestinal issues you’ve been experiencing (e.g. heartburn; diarrhea; abdominal pain), then chances are good that your doctor will refer you to a gastroenterologist. You may also want to visit us if you have a family history of colon cancer or if you are over the age of 50 (to start getting routine colon cancer screenings).

Q. What problems can a gastroenterologist treat?

A. As you probably already know, a gastroenterologist is a medical professional who specializes in preventing, diagnosing and treating conditions of the gastrointestinal system as well as digestive organs. This includes everything from the esophagus and stomach to the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.

Q. Should I get a colonoscopy from my Flemington & Hilsborough gastroenterologist?

A. Any man or woman over the age of 50 should start getting routine colonoscopies. If results come back normal, then you may not need to come in for another colonoscopy for another 10 years. Of course, if you have a family history of colon cancer, if you are African American or you have other risk factors, then we may determine that you should come in more regularly and earlier for screenings.

Q. What are some ways to treat heartburn?

A. While some people may be able to remedy their heartburn by taking an over-the-counter medication, if these medications aren’t doing the trick then it’s time you turned to us for a prescription medication that could help reduce flare-ups. Of course, avoiding acidic or spicy foods and eating smaller portions can also help reduce your heartburn symptoms.

Q. How can I prevent colon cancer?

A. There are many easy lifestyle changes you can make to improve your health and reduce your chances of colon cancer including limiting alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, eating a healthy balanced diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight. Everyone, no matter their risk level, should be screened for colon cancer.

If you have any other questions that we didn’t address here, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and your Flemington & Hilsborough gastroenterologist a call. If you need to sit down and talk to us, we would be happy to schedule a consultation for you.