Q: My doctor wants me to have an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. I am terrified of this. He said I will be sedated, what does that mean? I want to be completely asleep. Do I have a choice? Emma P., Riverview
A: You will be in a state called “twilight” or conscious sedation. Medications will be given intravenously (via an IV). You will be able to discuss any of your questions or concerns with the anesthesiologist before the procedure. Sedation is designed for your comfort and safety during the procedure and yes, you will be in a state of deep sleep while breathing on your own.
Q: Can you share with me what I can do to drastically reduce my hiatal hernia symptoms? Felipe D., Woodhaven
A: Start with anti-reflux measures such as reducing spicy and acidic foods, not eating two to three hours before bedtime and raising the head of your bed at night. However, this may not provide relief and it is possible you will need an acid reducing medication. If an acid reducer does not work, a surgical procedure called fundoplication may fix your hiatal hernia.
Q: Is it true that Zoloft can help manage irritable bowel syndrome? Also, what symptoms are needed before asking for an anti-spasmodic prescription? Brianna M., Trenton
A: Yes. Zoloft is a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) that reduces the hypersensitivity of the gastrointestinal tract; it is especially helpful for patients with IBS. Anti-spasmodics prevent abdominal cramps that have been attributed to IBS. Constipation-predominant IBS sufferers need to be careful taking anti-spasmodics because they can worsen constipation.
Rana Sabbagh, M.D., is board-certified in internal medicine, gastroenterology and nutrition. She is the founder of GastroCenter of Michigan and Experior Weight Loss Clinic, 23500 Park St., Suite 2B in Dearborn. Do you have a health question for Dr. Sabbagh? Submit it by email to: [email protected].
All information provided in Ask The Doctor is intended for your general knowledge. Consult with your personal doctor or pharmacist for any specific health or nutrition issues. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of information you have read in any publication.