Rectal and Anal Disorders: What to know, what to do

September 1, 2019 / Daniel Motola, MD, PhD

One of the most common complaints I see in the office is medical issues affecting the anus and rectum. This is a sensitive topic and probably not one that makes for great conversation around the water cooler / coffee shop/ office break room.  Anal or rectal symptoms usually involve one...

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Heartburn & Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) Explained:

May 29, 2019 / Daniel Motola, MD, PhD

What Is GERD? The passage of gastric/stomach contents into the esophagus is called gastroesophageal reflux. It is not abnormal for gastroesophageal reflux to occur, and in fact it is a normal part of our physiology. The physiologic process of reflux becomes a disease (GERD) when symptoms occur, occur frequently, or...

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AETNA is Now Covering Colon Cancer Screening at Age 45

April 30, 2019 / Daniel Motola, MD, PhD

March was Colon Cancer Awareness Month and even though we are well into April I wanted to pass along some important news to you related to colon cancer screening.Just this past month AETNA become the first commercial insurer to cover colon cancer screening beginning at age 45, if recommended by a doctor.  This news comes on the...

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Practical Information for Someone with Acute Diarrhea

April 26, 2019 / Daniel Motola, MD, PhD

What is acute diarrhea?  Acute diarrhea is a diarrheal illness occurring for up to two weeks. Once diarrhea lasts beyond 2 weeks it is called Persistent Diarrhea. If diarrhea persists beyond 4 weeks, it is called Chronic Diarrhea. What causes acute diarrhea? Acute diarrhea can be caused by one of...

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What’s the deal with gluten?

March 29, 2019 / Daniel Motola, MD, PhD

What is gluten?Gluten is a collection of proteins found in wheat, barley, and rye.  In genetically susceptible individuals, ingestion of gluten initiates an abnormal immune response resulting in inflammation of the small intestine, or Celiac disease (CD).CD is not an allergy or an intolerance. The immune response in CD is not the same as that seen...

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The What, Why, and How of Hemorrhoids

March 17, 2019 / Daniel Motola, MD, PhD

What are hemorrhoids? Hemorrhoids are a collection of vessels (arteriovenous channels) that are located both within the rectum (internal hemorrhoids) and around the anus (external hemorrhoids). Despite being present in everyone, the term “hemorrhoid” has taken on more of a pathologic or disease state, e.g. when they become enlarged causing bleeding, itching, prolapse...

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Health Insurance Benefits 101

October 9, 2017 / Daniel Motola, MD, PhD

If you are a young person just coming off your parents' medical insurance or are starting a new job and need to decide what medical plan to choose during a benefit enrollment period, this primer may help explain some of the more esoteric terms you'll come across.  Those dollar values...

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What’s causing my abdominal pain? When size does matter!

October 2, 2017 / Daniel Motola, MD, PhD

Abdominal pain is a common reason to visit a gastroenterologist's office.  The most common scenario I encounter is a patient presenting with right sided abdominal pain after eating.  The intensity and temporal relationship to their meals often allows me to more easily determine the cause. Patients often report pain within...

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Cyclospora on the rise as cause of watery diarrhea

August 8, 2017 / Daniel Motola, MD, PhD

The CDC just announced that gastrointestinal infections with Cyclospora are on the rise.   Patients with acute diarrhea, or diarrhea that persists beyond 2 weeks should be tested for this pathogen.  Doctors need to keep in mind that Cyclospora must be requested specifically as typical stool examinations for ova and...

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FODMAPs in The Press!

May 2, 2017 / Daniel Motola, MD, PhD

I am pleased to see news coverage of the low fodmap "diet." Many of my patients that I have diagnosed with either Irritable bowel syndrome (#IBS), bloating, or chronic diarrhea have found it helpful. The term "diet" in association with fodmaps is a misnomer. I feel more like this is...

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A Diet Low in FODMAPS Can Improve Symptoms of Bloating in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Go Low FODMAP!

April 27, 2017 / Daniel Motola, MD, PhD

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects 1 in 6 people and is characterized by chronic abdominal pain associated with a change in bowel form or frequency. Typically pain or discomfort related to IBS is relieved with bowel movements. Bloating is often a common symptom and one of the many reasons patients...

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