Category Archives: Pregnancy

Wisdom from our doctors: Troy Gastro’s best quotes

Sure, we’re a little biased when it comes to our favorite doctors. Our medical professionals at Troy Gastro are some of the finest we know – and we have their wisdom to prove it.

Over the years, we’ve asked our docs so many questions about colon and digestive health, and they don’t disappoint with their answers.

Here are some of favorites from the staff at Troy Gastro.

Dr. John Weber on Quitting TobaccoDr. John Weber talks to us about digestive issues and tobacco use.

“Many diseases that people acquire are beyond their control. The risk of developing certain diseases, however, can be decreased by lifestyle choices including diet, exercise and nutrition.

“I think if patients understood the true financial and health costs associated with their tobacco use, then they might be willing to quit – or, even better, not start smoking.

“It’s not easy, but there are now many successful strategies available to help patients quit smoking.”


Dr. Kerri Bewick on Pregnancy and Digestive HealthStaff

“Heartburn can result from hormonal changes and increased abdominal pressure from the growing uterus. Increasing the fiber in your diet or taking a daily fiber supplement can help.

“Not all ‘natural’ products are safe. Some herbal products (including herbal tea) can cause harm to your unborn child. So be sure to check with your doctor before taking any of these substances.

“There are also some things to avoid, like caffeine, chocolate, fatty foods, citrus and peppermint. Avoiding these triggers can help prevent indigestion.”


Dr. Sante Bologna on DiverticulitisStaff

“Diverticula occur at points of weakness in the bowel wall where the blood vessels penetrate.

“A diet high in total fat and red meat is associated with an increased risk of symptomatic diverticular disease. And dietary fiber is associated with a decreased risk.”




Dr. Anezi Bakken on Heartburn and GERDStaff

“Heartburn is one of many possible symptoms of GERD. GERD means reflux of stomach contents into the esophagus. Some food-related causes could be caffeine, spicy or rich foods, overeating, alcohol, tomato sauces or citrus.

“If you have heartburn every day you should seek medical care from a physician to identify the cause. Occasional heartburn from your trigger foods is one thing, but there is an increased risk  for Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer in patients with chronic and persistent GERD.”



Women’s Health Week kicks off on Mother’s Day

Mother's Day kicks off National Women's Health Week May 8.

Mother’s Day kicks off National Women’s Health Week May 8.

Today marks the kickoff of National Women’s Health Week (NWHW). Coinciding with Mother’s Day, the Department of Health and Human Services pushes to empower women to take charge of their health.

Beyond maintaining health, the NWHW initiative wants women to find ways to improve it. The campaign offers advice such as getting regular screenings, making healthier diet choices and quitting smoking. It also works toward focusing on all aspects of well-being, including mental health.

The site informs us of all sorts of facts around women’s health. Like most insurance plans are required to offer an annual wellness exam; heart disease is the most common cause of death in American women; half of pregnancies aren’t planned; women are almost twice as likely to suffer from depression than men.

But there are things you can do to push this initiative further. You can take the pledge to join other women across the country who are working together to get healthier. You can even host an event.

The DHHS wants everyone to get involved. They offer lists of supporters and partners of the cause that you can team up with for your fundraiser or other special event. Even if you have a small-scale idea to raise awareness of funds for the cause, they offer advice on how you can use social media to promote it yourself.

Find out more on the Women’s Health site.



Pregnancy and indigestion: 4 things you need to know

Aside from morning sickness, pregnancy can cause a whole bunch of other digestive discomforts.

And even though many women experience morning sickness, “this typically resolves by the end of the first trimester,” says Dr. Kerri Bewick, board-certified DO in gastroenterology and


Many pregnant women experience heightened digestive ailments.

internal medicine at Troy Gastro. But pregnant folks in their second or third trimesters aren’t off the hook just yet.

We talked to Dr. Bewick about some other things to expect when you’re expecting.

Heartburn is very common in later pregnancy

“Heartburn can…result from hormonal changes and increased abdominal pressure from the growing uterus,” says Dr. Bewick. Acid also has an easier time creeping back up from the stomach. The valve that separates your esophagus and stomach is relaxed throughout pregnancy, which gives acid a way in.

Other “digestive ailments that occur” during pregnancy are “constipation, hemorrhoids, and nausea/vomiting,” says Dr. Bewick.

Prenatal vitamins can worsen indigestion

A very important part of prenatal care, vitamins can also irritate the digestive system. Prenatal vitamins “can lead to worsening constipation and nausea,” explains Dr. Bewick. But there are ways to help alleviate the discomfort.

Adding whole fruits and vegetables to your diet or picking up an over-the-counter fiber supplement can help. “Increasing the fiber in your diet or taking a daily fiber supplement can help,” says Dr. Bewick. But also make sure you drink lots of water every day. “Ideally 40-60 ounces per day,” suggests the doctor. If vitamins are causing nausea, try taking them with food or before bedtime.

Not all over-the-counter medications are safe

Some over-the-counter indigestion medications are considered safe for pregnant women. But you should always check with your doctor before picking one up. As Dr. Bewick says, “Most antacids are safe during pregnancy, but pregnant women should avoid antacids that contain sodium bicarbonate and magnesium trisilicate.”

Additionally, not all “natural” products are safe. “Some herbal products (including herbal tea) can cause harm to your unborn child,” says Dr. Bewick. “So be sure to check with your doctor before taking any of these substances.”

There are some home remedies

You don’t have to run for the medicine cabinet every time you feel indigestion. Try “having a glass of milk mixed with a tablespoon of honey,” suggests Dr. Bewick. Eating yogurt or ice cream, and even chewing gum after eating can help.

There are also some things to avoid, like caffeine, chocolate, fatty foods, citrus and peppermint. “Avoiding these triggers can help prevent indigestion,” continues the doctor.

You can also eat 4-6 smaller meals throughout the day. Avoid lying down within three hours of eating and don’t wear tight-fitting clothing. If things are still bad, try elevating your head a few inches when you sleep and let gravity do the rest.

Pregnancy can be a roller coaster of digestive symptoms, but you can get relief. Just make sure you check with your doctor before you start a new regimen.