Our Gastroenterology Blog

Posts for category: Gastroenterology

By Daniel J Alpert MD
April 10, 2020
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: Colonoscopy  

A colonoscopy is basically a life-saving medical examination that’s used for detecting any abnormalities or changes in the colon or large intestine as well as the rectum. Your gastroenterologist in New York, NY, Dr. Daniel Alpert will recommend a colonoscopy in the following circumstances:

Exploring Intestinal Symptoms and Warning Signs

A colonoscopy could help your gastroenterologist investigate possible causes of chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, chronic constipation, and rectal bleeding, as well as other intestinal issues.

Screening for Cancer of The Colon

If you are 50 years old or older but do not have any other risk factors for colon cancer other than your age, your gastroenterologist might recommend that undergo a colonoscopy at least every 10 years or sooner in order to screen for cancer. Do note though colonoscopy is just one option for screening and there are other colon cancer screening exams. Your gastroenterologist in New York, NY, will recommend the best options based on your particular symptoms.

Looking for The Presence of Polyps

If you already have polyps, your gastroenterologist might suggest a follow-up colonoscopy to check if you have polyps and get rid of them. This will help decrease your risk of developing colon cancer.

What Happens During a Colonoscopy

During a colonoscopy, your gastroenterologist will insert a colonoscope, which is a flexible, long tube, into your rectum. At the end of this tube is a minuscule video camera that will enable your gastroenterologist to see everything that’s inside your colon. Whenever necessary, biopsies or tissue samples could be taken or polyps or any other abnormalities could be removed during the procedure.

Prior to your colonoscopy, you will have to clean out your colon through an enema or laxatives to ensure a clear and thorough view of your rectum and colon during the procedure. You will likewise need to follow a strict diet a day prior to the exam and adjust any medications you’re taking at least a week before the procedure

Adjusting your medications is especially crucial if you’re a diabetic, have heart issues or hypertension, or if you take supplements or medications that have iron. Also, inform your gastroenterologist if you’re taking any blood-thinning medications. You may have to stop taking them or adjust the dosages temporarily in preparation for your colonoscopy.

For Any Concerns or Queries About Colon Health, or If You Feel You Need a Colonoscopy, Reach Out to Us.

Call (212) 599-7910 to arrange your appointment with Dr. Daniel Alpert here in our New York, NY, practice.

By Daniel J Alpert MD
April 08, 2020
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: Polyps  

If your colonoscopy at Dr. Daniel Alpert's office in New York reveals that you have polyps, do you have cancer? While the answer is generally no, the detection of any polyp does warrant the need for a follow-up screening. Board-certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology, Dr. Alpert, an Instructor and Attending Physician at New York University Medical Center is extremely skilled in the detection and removal of these small benign growths—read on to learn what polyps mean for your colorectal health.

At age 45...

Everyone's chances of developing hyperplastic polyps or adenomas increases. Although both kinds of polyps are benign, a small number of adenomas may develop into cancer. Sadly, when these adenomas are undetected, they can be deadly.

The American Cancer Society states that colon cancer is the third most common cause of cancer death in the United States, and the risk of developing this condition exponentially increases at age 45 when colon polyps begin to show up.

Colon polyps and you

In his New York office, Dr. Alpert sees many people who have colon polyps. As most polyps cause no symptoms whatsoever, colonoscopy is the best means to detect and remove them.

Colonoscopy involves the insertion of a lighted tube into the anus, rectum, and large intestine. With this scope, Dr. Alpert can view the entire length of the colon, looking for abnormalities in the intestinal wall. If he sees polyps, he removes a sample for lab biopsy and also takes out the entire polyp via snare or cautery.

A colonoscopy takes about a half an hour to complete and is done under sedation with a drug called Diprivan, also known as Propofol. Following the procedure, patients recover very quickly and resume most activities the same day and all activities without restrictions the following day. In fact, people who have had colonoscopies indicate that the only bothersome part of the exam is the cleansing bowl prep performed the day before at home.

Limiting colon polyps

While some adults seem to have a genetic predisposition to developing colon polyps, others may develop then because of a high-fat, low-fiber diet. The aging process seems to play a significant role in their growth as well.

To help prevent polyp formation and keep your bowel cancer-free, your GI team recommends:

  • A diet rich in calcium and fiber
  • Routine colonoscopies beginning at age 45 (sooner if bowel problems run in your family)
  • Limiting red and processed meats
  • Eliminating all tobacco products

Learn more

In Manhattan, New York, Dr. Daniel Alpert and his team want their patients well-informed about their GI health and how to stay well. If you have questions about polyps or any other digestive health matter, please contact the office for a consultation at (212) 599-7910.

By Daniel J Alpert MD
May 30, 2019
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: Hemorrhoids  

Are you suffering from hemorrhoids?

Dr. Daniel Alpert, your New York, NY, gastroenterologist, provides his patients with the help they need through this difficult ordeal.

More About Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids, or piles, are engorged blood vessels in the anus and rectum because of increased pressure. Hemorrhoids don't lead to cancer, fortunately, but there are other problems. Pain, however, is not one of them. Hemorrhoids sound painful but they're actually not, even though they cause minor rectal bleeding.

There are two types of hemorrhoids:

  • Internal (inside the anus)
  • External (under the skin around the anus)

Why do people bleed?

Hemorrhoids and rectal polyps that cause rectal bleeding, as mentioned above. The bleeding is usually associated with bowel movements but the exact cause of bleeding unknown. There seems to be a relation, however, to specific factors:

  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • sitting or standing for long periods
  • obesity
  • heavy lifting
  • pregnancy
  • age
  • hereditary

Hemorrhoids Treatment Options

There are several options when it comes to treating hemorrhoids:

The first one is treating hemorrhoids medically:

  • treating constipation
  • taking warm baths
  • applying an over-the-counter cream
  • using suppository that may contain hydrocortisone

The second option is to use a rubber band ligation. It's a common outpatient procedure that involves placing rubber bands around the hemorrhoid to cut off its blood supply. The hemorrhoid shrinks and, within a few days, the hemorrhoid and rubber band fall off

There are a few complications to take into consideration:

  • severe pain
  • significant rectal bleeding
  • fever or infection

Your New York, NY, gastroenterologist, may prescribe medications to reduce pain before sending you home.

The third option, which is the rarest, is surgery. Dr. Alpert removes hemorrhoids surgically when faced with severe cases or if the patient continues suffering after the rubber band ligation procedure.

To learn about hemorrhoids in New York, NY, Call your gastroenterologist, Dr. Daniel Alpert, at (212) 599-7910 today!

By Daniel J. Alpert, M.D., PLLC
February 28, 2019
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: Colonoscopies  

Understand everything you could need to know about getting a colonoscopy at our New York office.

Whether you or someone you know is getting a colonoscopy for the first time, chances are good that you may have questions about this Colonoscopyupcoming procedure. Our New York gastroenterologist, Dr. Daniel Alpert, is available in-office to answer any questions you may have so that you feel comfortable and relaxed during your next colonoscopy. For now, though, here are some of the most commonly asked questions about colonoscopies, and their answers:

 

Q. What is a colonoscopy?

A. This procedure allows our GI doctor to be able to look at the lining and health of the colon with the help of a camera, which is guided into the large intestines through the rectum. This exam is often performed to check for early signs of colorectal cancer.

 

Q. Why is a colonoscopy performed?

A. A colonoscopy can be both a preventive and diagnostic procedure. Everyone over the age of 50 years old should start getting routine colonoscopies. Even if you appear to be healthy and don’t have any risk factors, a colonoscopy is necessary for older men and women.

Of course, you may also require a colonoscopy if you are dealing with certain symptoms such as,

  • Rectal bleeding
  • Unexplained abdominal pain
  • Changes in bowel movements
  • Persistent diarrhea or constipation
  • Unexplained weight loss

 

Q. What are the symptoms of colon cancer?

A. During the earliest stages, colon cancer usually doesn’t present any symptoms, which is why getting routine colonoscopies is important for everyone. In fact, getting a colonoscopy is the best way to prevent colon cancer from developing in the first place, for we can easily remove precancerous polyps during the procedure. As colon cancer progresses, you may notice changes in bowel habits such as diarrhea, constipation, or rectal bleeding.

 

Q. How often should I get a colonoscopy?

A. Once you turn 50 years old you should schedule your first routine colonoscopy with us. Of course, if you have any risk factors, you may want to schedule your colonoscopy earlier. Risk factors include,

  • A family or personal history of polyps or colorectal cancer
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • A poor diet that is high in fat
  • Obesity
  • Ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease

If your colonoscopy results are negative, you may not need to undergo another colonoscopy for 10 years; however, if your results are positive (meaning that we found abnormal changes to the lining of your colon or polyps) then you may need to get a colonoscopy more regularly.

 

Call today!

If you need to schedule a colonoscopy or if you are dealing with any gastrointestinal symptoms that have you concerned, then it’s time to call our New York gastroenterology office to schedule a checkup. We are available at (212) 599-7910!

By Daniel J Alpert MD
November 08, 2018
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: Colonoscopy  

Find out whether it might be time to consider getting a colonoscopy.

A colonoscopy is a procedure performed by our New York gastroenterologist Dr. Daniel Alpert to detect colorectal cancer. To this day, a colonoscopy is still the most effective way to look for subtle changes in the lining of the colon and rectum that could be early warning signs of cancer.

No matter whether you are a man or a woman, a colonoscopy will become part of your medical screening once you reach the age of 50. Depending on the results of your first colonoscopy, we can determine how regularly you will need to come in for your next one. If the results come back normal, you will most likely not need a colonoscopy for another 10 years.

Of course, a colonoscopy isn’t just used to detect colorectal cancer, it can also detect other gastrointestinal issues, as well. For example, if there is an ulcer or bleeding in the lower intestines, this procedure will help our New York GI doctor detect the issue and sometimes treat the problem during the colonoscopy, itself.

So, what symptoms may warrant getting a colonoscopy?

Here are some warning signs that should have you calling us for an evaluation,

  • Bowel habit changes: This means anything from diarrhea and constipation to blood in the stool. If your stool is extremely narrow this could also be a sign of a blockage.
  • Abdominal cramps: While everyone deals with gas-related cramps every once in a while, if this is something that occurs regularly, you will need to talk to our gastroenterologist.
  • Unexplained weight loss: Sure, shedding a few unwanted pounds can be wonderful; however, if you find that you suddenly lost about 10 pounds without trying, then this could be a warning sign of a serious illness.
  • You have risk factors: If you have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis then you are an increased risk for colon cancer. Furthermore, smokers, as well as those with high cholesterol or high blood pressure are also at an elevated risk.

Call today!

If you just turned 50 years old or you are experiencing unexplained gastrointestinal symptoms, it’s important that you have a digestive specialist in New York who can provide you with the diagnostic and screening procedures you need. Call Dr. Daniel Alpert today at (212) 599-7910 to schedule your next appointment!

By Daniel J Alpert MD
July 30, 2018
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: vomiting   nausea  

Nausea and vomiting. We've all experienced these GI symptoms, and when they happen to you or a loved one, you want relief. New York, vomiting and nauseaNY, board-certified gastroenterologist Dr. Daniel Alpert treats symptoms of nausea and vomiting. Usually related to an underlying condition, these gastric upsets can be controlled. However, you also should know when to call Dr. Alpert about them to avoid more serious complications.

Treating nausea and vomiting

Both nausea and vomiting can occur when the lining of the stomach or GI tract may be irritated by certain foods, medications, alcohol and smoking as well as an underlying infectious, inflammatory or malignant process. The characteristic queasiness of nausea may be accompanied or caused by vertigo, or dizziness. Often, nausea is followed by vomiting, or the sudden (and sometimes repeated) emptying of stomach contents.

Nausea may resolve on its own, particularly when it's caused by the hormonal surges associated with early pregnancy. When severe, however, your New York gastroenterologist may prescribe medication to prevent or stop severe nausea and vomiting.

If vomiting does occur, Dr. Alpert recommends some tried and true methods of soothing that irritated GI tract, controlling fever and avoiding dangerous dehydration. They are:

  • Rest and elevation of the head
  • Slowly reintroducing fluids such as water, sports drinks, flat soda pop, broth, or juice
  • Monitoring fever (call the doctor if fever is persistent and over 102 for a child under six or 100 or more for an older child, teen, or adult, say experts at the Cleveland Clinic)
  • Monitoring urine output, level of consciousness, pain, pulse rate, and diarrhea

When vomiting stops completely, you may re-introduce bland foods such as rice and crackers. Eat them in small amounts as tolerated.

If it's persistent...

Dr. Alpert may order various GI tests, such as an endoscopy, to understand underlying causes for nausea and vomiting. Some nausea and vomiting indicate a medical emergency, and you should get to the nearest hospital ER as soon as possible. These conditions include:

  • Concussion
  • Hematoma
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Food poisoning
  • Appendicitis

Whenever you are concerned that your GI symptoms are severe, unusual or not responsive to typical interventions, call Dr. Alpert's office right away.

Feel better

Know the reasons for your nausea and vomiting and how to relieve them. For a consultation with Dr. Alpert and his caring team in New York, NY, please call (212) 599-7910.

By Daniel J Alpert MD
June 01, 2018
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: Acid Reflux  

Are you tired of living with heartburn and other acid reflux symptoms? Our New York, NY, gastroenterologist, Dr. Daniel Alpert, can share acid relfuxsome information about the condition and discusses acid reflux treatments that may be helpful.

Why do I have acid reflux?

Acid reflux symptoms occur when the sensitive lining of your esophagus becomes irritated by stomach acids. Normally, these acids remain in your stomach, where they break down proteins in foods. If stomach acids flow back into your esophagus, you may experience a variety symptoms, including heartburn, nausea, bloating, belching, bad breath, excessive saliva, and a lump-in-the-throat sensation.

You may be more likely to experience acid reflux if the esophageal sphincter that separates your stomach from your esophagus doesn't close properly or is weak. Other risk factors include exercising soon after eating, wearing tight clothing or belts, obesity, pregnancy, smoking, or drinking alcoholic or caffeinated beverages.

What treatment options are available for acid reflux?

Prevention is one of the easiest way to avoid acid reflux symptoms. If you notice that you often experience heartburn after you eat certain foods, such as onions or spicy or fatty foods, eliminating these foods from your diet can be helpful. It's also a good idea to wait about two hours after eating before lying down or exercising.

Over-the-counter antacids can help neutralize the acids that cause your pain, but antacids alone may not be enough to control your symptoms, particularly if you have gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD). The condition occurs if you experience acid reflux symptoms at least twice a week or feel that your symptoms interfere with your life.

When you visit our New York office, we can recommend a variety of over-the-counter or prescription medications that can reduce acid production or help strengthen your esophageal sphincter. Before we suggest a particular medication regimen, we may recommend an endoscopy, a test that provides an up-close view of the lining of your esophagus and stomach.

During the test, a thin, flexible, lighted scope that contains a miniature camera is inserted into your mouth. As the scope passes through your esophagus and stomach, it sends images to a digital monitor. An endoscopy helps us identify any issues that may be causing or contributing to your symptoms and ensures that we offer treatment options that will relieve your symptoms.

Don't let acid reflux control your life. Call our New York, NY, gastroenterologist, Dr. Alpert, at (212) 599-7910 to schedule your appointment.

By Daniel J Alpert MD
February 21, 2018
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: Colonoscopy  

Find out everything you could ever need to know about this preventive and diagnostic procedure.colonoscopy

No matter whether you are dealing with unexplained gastrointestinal symptoms or you just reached the age of 50, there are many reasons why our New York, NY, gastroenterologist Dr. Daniel Alpert will recommend getting a colonoscopy. Of course, we know you might have questions, and we are here to address some of the most popular questions out there regarding this GI procedure.

Q. What is a colonoscopy?

A. A colonoscopy is a procedure that allows our New York GI doctor to examine the colon and rectum to not only screen for colorectal cancer but also to provide a diagnosis for certain gastrointestinal symptoms you may be experiencing.

Through the use of a thin tube, which is inserted into the rectum and carefully guided through the lower GI tract, we are able to capture real-time images to inspect the overall health of the colon.

Q. Why is a colonoscopy recommended?

A. Once you turn 50 years old it’s highly recommended that everyone get a colonoscopy regardless of whether they are experiencing symptoms or not. A colonoscopy is truly the best tool for being able to detect colorectal cancer.

Of course, a colonoscopy isn’t just a screening tool. It can also be used as a diagnostic measure to determine the cause of unexplained gastrointestinal bleeding, abdominal pain or sudden weight loss.

Q. What does a colonoscopy procedure entail?

A. Before a colonoscopy, Dr. Alpert will provide you with a solution or pill that you will need to take about 24 hours before your procedure to help fully clear the bowels. This is a necessary step before getting a colonoscopy.

During the colonoscopy, an IV is started and sedation and pain medication will be administered through the IV. While the medication is not designed to put you to sleep you may feel drowsy or not remember the procedure at all. The procedure takes about 30 minutes to perform (it may take longer if we need to remove polyps) and you’ll be able to go home right after the procedure.

Q. How often should I get a routine colonoscopy?

A. If your test results come back normal you may not need to get a colonoscopy for another 10 years. Of course, if you have risk factors or you’ve had polyps in the past then you may need to come in every five years.

If you still have questions about getting a colonoscopy in New York, NY, or if you are dealing with GI distress, then it’s time to call Dr. Alpert today to get the care you need for a happy, healthy gut.

By Daniel J Alpert MD
November 15, 2017
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: Stomach Pain  

Are you suffering from stomach pain? Has it become intolerable?stomach pain

There are a variety of reasons as to why you may be suffering from stomach pain but it's not something that you should have to live with. If you want to stop the pain, contact your New York, NY, gastroenterologist, Dr. Daniel Alpert, who can help you.

What is Stomach Pain?

Stomach pain is not uncommon and almost everyone feels it at some point in their life. Usually, stomach pain isn't harmful, but that most certainly is not always the case. While diagnosing and treating simple problems isn't difficult, when it comes to the serious cases, you need to recognize their symptoms to know when to call your gastroenterologist.

Red Flag Symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Persistent constipation
  • Blood in the stools
  • Persistent nausea
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Vomiting blood
  • Severe tenderness of the belly
  • Jaundice, which is the yellow discoloration of skin
  • Swelling of the abdomen

Most Common Causes of Stomach Pain:

  • Indigestion
  • Constipation
  • Stomach virus
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Food poisoning
  • Food allergies
  • Gas
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Ulcer
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Gallstones
  • Hernia
  • Kidney stones
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Appendicitis

Screening and Diagnosis:

  • Blood Tests, which consists of a complete blood count.
  • X-ray and Imaging Tests, which are used to take pictures of the interior of your body.
  • Endoscopy, which is a special, flexible instrument that gives doctors an image of your digestive tract.

If you are suffering from stomach pain, or have any questions or concerns, you should contact Dr. Daniel Alpert. Just call his New York, NY office at (212) 599-7910 today to schedule an appointment.