Digestive Disorders

Racial disparities and early-onset colorectal cancer: A call to action

In the last decade, overall rates of colorectal cancer have been falling among the general population in the US. However, African Americans are more likely to develop colorectal cancer at younger ages, and to die from it. The reasons for this disparity are unclear, but they are rooted in socioeconomic and racial inequities.

Natural remedies for hemorrhoids

Matthew Solan

Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

Hemorrhoids are painful and unpleasant, and difficult to talk about. But they are common among people over 50, and they are not dangerous and can be managed with simple remedies and self-care.

Coping with IBS

Matthew Solan

Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

Irritable bowel syndrome is a complex and painful condition. Its cause is unknown and there is no cure, so treatment focuses on day-to-day management, but often people need additional assistance beyond medical care to cope with emotional side of living with IBS.

Early, tight control of Crohn’s disease may have lasting benefits

Sarah Flier, MD

Contributor

Treatment options for Crohn’s disease have evolved, and newer drugs are more effective than previously used ones. Researchers examined different approaches to treatment, based on either symptoms alone or combined with objective evidence of inflammation.

The lowdown on the low-FODMAP diet

Studies show that a diet that eliminates or lowers consumption of high-FODMAP foods can reduce symptoms for many people with irritable bowel syndrome. But the process is time-consuming and can be confusing, so it is best undertaken under the supervision of a dietitian.

Functional dyspepsia: Causes, treatments, and new directions

Functional dyspepsia is a digestive condition without a clear cause, characterized by a feeling of fullness or a burning sensation. Depending on test results and symptoms, treatment may involve a course of antibiotics, a proton pump inhibitor, or a low dose of a tricyclic antidepressant.

Probiotics — even inactive ones — may relieve IBS symptoms

People with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may take probiotics to try to restore the balance of bacteria in their gastrointestinal tract. A recent study found that an inactive form of a probiotic (which has some advantages over active versions) helped improve symptoms and quality of life in test subjects.

I have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). What should I eat?

John Garber, MD

Contributor

For people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), knowing which foods to eat and which to avoid is important information. An international organization has developed guidelines for some kinds of food, with the aim of helping people with this condition reduce symptoms and inflammation.

Weight loss can help head off lasting damage caused by fatty liver

Irun Bhan, MD

Contributor

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common cause of liver disease in the United States, caused by the accumulation of fat in the liver. The key to preventing complications is to detect and treat it early, but getting a diagnosis can be tricky.

Ranitidine (Zantac) recall expanded, many questions remain

The FDA has not yet released the results of its testing of the heartburn medication ranitidine. The testing method used by the online pharmacy that originally alerted the FDA may have affected their results.