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Nutritional conditions

If you are suffering from a condition that affects your ability to eat or absorb nutrients normally, the providers at Novant Health Gastroenterology Brunswick are here to help. Our providers regularly diagnose and treat nutritional conditions that can affect not just a patient's ability to gain or lose weight, but can also impact that patient's quality of life. We understand the need for prompt diagnosis and treatment to relieve symptoms as quickly as possible.

The nutritional conditions we regularly diagnose and treat include:

Celiac disease

An autoimmune disorder, celiac disease is marked by damage in the small intestine caused by eating gluten. When people with celiac disease eat gluten, the body responds by attacking the small intestine. The damage prevents the body for properly absorbing nutrients and can lead to other problems including the development of other autoimmune disorders. Diet modification is often necessary to manage celiac disease.

Crohn's disease

A type of inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's disease is a chronic condition involving the small (and sometimes the large) intestine. Inflammation can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding and weight loss. A colonoscopy or EGD can help diagnose Crohn's disease and determine the best way to manage it.

Ulcerative colitis

Another inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis involves inflammation of the large intestine and rectum. This can cause diarrhea, bleeding, weight loss and loss of appetite. The cause is unknown. An EGD, colonoscopy or barium enema can help diagnose ulcerative colitis. Treatments can involve diet modification, medication and, in some cases, surgery. 

Irritable bowel syndrome

Cramps, gas and bloating are all symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. The exact cause of IBS is unknown, but it could involve a colon that is more sensitive than usual. In some people, IBS is made worse with stress. Abdominal X-rays or ultrasounds, and colonoscopy or EGD procedures can help diagnose IBS.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (also called GERD or more simply heartburn) involves stomach acid flowing into the esophagus. Symptoms can include a burning pain, a dry cough, asthma symptoms or trouble swallowing. Certain foods, caffeine and alcohol can contribute to GERD, as can smoking and the use of certain medications. A barium swallow or EGD can help diagnose GERD. Treatments include diet and lifestyle modifications and, in some cases, medication.

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, or EPI, stops the body from being able to break down food and digest it correctly. Symptoms are diarrhea, weight loss, gas and bloating. EPI occurs when the pancreas produces incorrect amounts of enzymes needed to digest foods. Enzyme replacement therapy and lifestyle modifications can both help manage EPI.

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