Tomas Strid, MD, Gastrointestinal specialist and head of clinic in the Kalmar County Hospital, in south-eastern Sweden, has daily contact with patients suffering from gastric and bowel problems.
– Although constipation patients are dominating, patients with diarrhoeal problems are very common. It is extremely important to investigate the diarrhoeal patient, especially when blood is present in the faeces.
– Blood in faeces can have a number of causes such as inflammatory bowel diseases, sensitivity to gluten, tumours, metabolic diseases etc.
A frequent and harmless cause of loose bowels is the natural reflex for the GI tract to “get started” after a meal, especially after breakfast.
Alcohol, different diets and certain medicines can have a laxative effect and worsen the situation for patients who already have a tendency to diarrhoea.
Lifestyle or heredity?
Being a gastroenterologist means you’ll have to thing wider than just focusing on the GI tract, says Tomas Strid.
– How does the patient live and work? Is she or he extra sensitive to stress? How, and what, does the patient eat? Smoking? Regularly physical activity? “You have your soul in your stomach”, says Dr. Strid.
Colorectal cancer is a disease where heredity plays an important role. Soon a screening program will start in Stockholm for early detection of this common form of cancer. Based on the Stockholm findings the next step is to go national.
GI problems? Tell us about them!
Dr. Strid calls for more openness when it comes to GI problems.
– Don’t be embarrassed to talk to your district doctor or nurse about your toilet problems.
– Speak up! An early diagnosis can improve people’s quality of life – and even save lives!