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GI North Blog

What Exactly is an Adenoma?

photo of keyboard with a button for colon polyps | AdenomasAn adenoma is a tumor that is benign, not cancerous and is comprised of epithelial tissue, which is the thin layer of tissue that covers organs, glands and other internal body structures. An adenoma has glandular characteristics and can grow from many different glandular organs such as the thyroid, prostate, pituitary gland, adrenal gland and others.

These benign tumors can be formed from the small intestine, the stomach, the colon, salivary and sebaceous glands. While it is possible for benign adenomas to become cancerous, it is atypical and most adenomas remain benign. But even benign adenomas possess the potential to create health problems by putting pressure on internal systems and producing large amounts of unregulated hormones. Even adenomas that are too small to be detected by sight can still clause clinical symptoms to occur.

Here at GI North, gastroenterologists Dr. Cofrancesco and Dr. Quijano are highly experienced in routinely removing adenomas or adenomatous polyps from the colon during colonoscopy procedures and deciding on a course of treatment. Since common adenomas develop at rates that are predictable, the most common response to them is to remove them with surgery and regularly monitor the patient for any indication of further growths.

The ADR (adenoma detection rate) in colonoscopies has become increasingly important, since these routine procedures are used to remove both benign adenomas and more suspicious growths. It’s difficult to find current statistics pertaining to the results of detecting and removing adenomas during colonoscopies. But there are some numbers and facts that provide important information to you and your physicians about colonoscopies and adenomas.

The ADR is the percentage of patients over 50 years old who are undergoing a colonoscopy screening test for the first time and who have one or more adenomas found and removed during the procedure. Colorectal cancer will be present in approximately 5% of adenomas removed from the colon. Size is a reliable indicator of potential problems, since adenomatous polyps that are smaller than one centimeter (between 1/3 and 1/2 inch) have just over a 1% chance of being malignant, while adenomas over 2cm (slightly over ¾”) have up to 40% chance of being found malignant. According to a Cleveland Clinic study published in 2004, almost 40% of Americans 50 years and older harbor adenomatous polyps, but it is estimated that only 2% of adenomas will progress to cancer.

GI North is located in Cumming, GA, and serves the entire area including Dahlonega, Dawsonville, Alpharetta, Suwanee, Canton, Duluth, and Johns Creek. Dr. Simon Cofrancesco, Dr. Sergio Quijano, and their staff are committed to providing the best care possible to their patients. Dr. Quijano is fluent in Spanish, which helps makes the practice accessible to many residents of north Georgia.

Here at GI North, we pride ourselves on providing our patients with the most up-to-date tests and treatments for adenomas and accompanying issues. Anyone should feel confident here, knowing that they will be treated not only with the latest technological advancements, but with caring, personalized attention from the doctors and the staff.

© 2016 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

medical illustration of a Hiatus Hernia | GI North | Cumming, GOne of the most overlooked causes of discomfort and pain is a hiatal hernia. This is because the symptoms are similar to other health ailments. The condition induces a variety of symptoms like indigestion, bloating, acid reflux, pains in the chest and abdominal gas. However, other reasons for these same complaints can be caused by enzyme problems and/or ones diet.

In addition, hiatal hernias do not always show any symptoms, especially if they are small in size. Nevertheless, large ones can show numerous signs like belching, heartburn and chest pain. What is more, it is more common for people who smoke, are overweight or over the age of 50 to get a hiatal hernia. However, it is not unheard of for children to be born with it (congenital). In fact, according to Medline Plus, hiatal hernias often happen with gastroesophageal reflux in infants.

Possible Causes

The precise cause of hiatal hernias is still unknown. However, the condition generally occurs when the stomach bulges through the diaphragm due to weakened muscle tissues. As well, the condition may cause a backflow (reflux) of gastric acid from the stomach to enter the esophagus. In result, many of the symptoms start arising.
In addition, many specialists believe that a hiatal hernia can be caused by other factors such as:

  • Injury to the surrounding area
  • Being born with an abnormally large hiatus
  • Intense and constant pressure on the surrounding muscles like when you cough; lift heavy objects, strain during a bowel movement or vomit.

Different Types

There are various types of hiatal hernias that can range in severity. The most common type is sliding hiatal hernias. In fact, in accordance to Medicine Net, this type accounts for 95% of all hiatal hernias. But, it is not known how often the condition occurs in the general population. With this type, a part of the stomach and the GE junction slide upwards in the space between the lungs and the chest known as the mediastinum. Additionally, this type of hernia is more bulbous during stimulus or when there is action such as the diaphragm contracting and descending or when the esophagus is shortened during swallowing.

Another type of hiatal hernias is the paraesophageal hernia. This type of hernia is quite uncommon. It generally occurs when the gap in the phrenoesophageal membrane is bigger. As well, a large part of the stomach herniates into the chest beside the esophagus and remains there. However, the GE junction stays below the diaphragm.

In a paraesophageal hernia, the space within the phrenoesophageal membrane is larger than normal. In addition, the GE junction is still below the diaphragm but much of the stomach herniates into the chest alongside the esophagus and stays there.

Additionally, both sliding and paraesophageal hiatal hernias can occur in combination. This is when diaphragm becomes bigger and the GE junction and more of the stomach herniates and shifts into the chest.

Seeking Professional Advice

If you suspect that you have a hiatal hernia, if you have prolonged or new symptoms, it is best to seek professional advice. At GI North, gastroenterologists Dr. Cofrancesco, Dr. Quijano and their professional staff are committed to providing all patients with outstanding care. Together, each physician brings years of experience, specializing in the diagnoses and treatment of digestive issues. As well, Dr. Quijano speaks fluent Spanish. And for your convenience, GI North serves Cumming as well as the surrounding areas of Alpharetta, Canton, Dahlonega, Duluth and Canton, Dawsonville, Johns Creek, Milton, Roswell and Suwanee.

© 2016 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

Chronic digestive problems can be caused by infection, stress, bacteria in food and medications. But the bottom line is if you suffer from upset stomach, gas and sudden attacks of diarrhea, if you feel like your entire life is scheduled around the proximity of bathrooms, it’s time to have a doctor evaluate you and recommend a course of treatment to help you reduce or get rid of the problem.

What You Eat

Keep a daily journal that lists the food, beverages and medications you take every day and record any reaction you notice. If you’re like most people, it won’t take long to hone in on the culprits. Some of the most common triggers are spicy foods, fried foods, beans, dairy products, coffee and citrus fruits.

How You Eat

Make sure you are eating a balanced diet. Focus on making your portions smaller, and eat five or six small meals daily instead of eating three big meals a day, which can cause cramping and bowel contractions. Increase fiber intake, but start slowly and build up because too much fiber can actually cause digestive issues.

Managing Stress

To help manage the anxiety and stress that contribute to digestive problems, try meditation or tai chi, gardening, walking and deep breathing. If there’s a situation that you are having real trouble with, talk to a therapist.

Prevention Magazine explains, “When the brain detects any kind of threat—whether an impending layoff or a dustup with your spouse—it shoots stress hormones to your gut. Sensory nerves there respond by adjusting acid secretion and shutting down both appetite and digestion—a throwback to more dangerous times in our past. . . The result may be a nagging stomachache or a full-blown bout of GI distress.”

Stay Hydrated

We all know water is good for us, and staying hydrated is necessary for all parts of your system including normal bowel function. Diarrhea can dehydrate the body badly, so if you are struck with a bout, be sure to replenish your body with water or sports drinks with electrolytes. Avoid caffeine and alcohol; if you are traveling, use bottled water only for drinking and brushing your teeth and try to avoid raw vegetables and fruit which has been rinsed in tap water and tea or coffee that has been made with it.

Be Prepared

Reduce your anxiety by being prepared for an emergency. Pack small travel bags with stomach soothing medication, wipes, extra underwear, and plastic bags for disposal. Keep one at home, one in the car, one at work or school, etc.

Digestive problems are more common than you may think, so if your life is being ruled by your digestive tract, it might be time to make an appointment with one of the gastroenterologists at GI North in Cumming, GA. GI North serves all of northern Georgia including Alpharetta, Suwanee, Roswell, Canton and beyond and specializes in diagnosing and treating digestive issues using the latest technological advances and treatment. Dr. Simon Cofrancesco, Dr. Sergio Quijano (who is fluent in Spanish) and the staff at GI North bring care, respect and a wealth of knowledge to these difficult problems.

© 2016 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

illustration showing good and bad bacteria in the colon | GI North

Although there are many different brands of colon cleanses on the market and most with natural ingredients, it does not necessarily mean it is a healthy thing to do.

Clean living is all the rage, and while watching what you put into your body can have positive outcomes, flushing your body out can create problems.

The Facts

Colon cleanses have been in practice for centuries, yet there are no studies that support any benefits.

There is no medical backing that toxins build up in the colon and need flushing. The body naturally rids itself of toxins through the bacteria in the colon, and the colon sheds its old cells every few days to avoid build-up. Furthermore, the liver and kidneys neutralize and filter toxins. And the mucus membranes located in the colon work to prevent toxins from entering the blood and bodily tissue.

There is no list of toxins that a cleanse eliminates; therefore, their function cannot be tested, and the benefit of flushing them out cannot be studied.

There is no regulation of the products used for a cleanse. And even though most cleanses contain all natural ingredients that does not make them safe or effective.

The Dangers

As with any medical process, there are risks involved with colon cleanses, and those risks increase greatly with frequency.

Common, Mild Side Effects

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Cramps
  • Dizziness
  • Dehydration
  • Stomach pain
  • Depletion of beneficial bacteria
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Potassium decrease

Less Common, Severe Side Effects

  • Bowel perforation
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney problems
  • Fluid in the lungs
  • Liver toxicity
  • Coma
  • Death

High Risk Factors

  • Diverticulitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Rectal or colon tumors
  • Heart disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Severe hemorrhoids
  • Kidney disease
  • Connective tissue disorders
  • Recent bowel surgery
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding

The Proven Alternatives

If you are interested in ridding your body of toxins, there are several lifestyle changes that can effectively detoxify your colon and the rest of your digestive system.

Eat Right. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, and make sure you wash them thoroughly. Also increase your soluble and insoluble fiber to 20-35 grams daily.

Hydrate. Drinking plenty of water helps to keep your system functioning well.

Moderate. Alcohol and red meat should be consumed in moderation.

Quit Smoking. Tobacco has negative effects on the body and introduces unwanted toxins.

The Advice

While most doctors do not recommend colon cleanses, there are occasions when they are used medically. For example, patients undergoing a colonoscopy or patients suffering severe constipation, when other treatments have failed. When done, you should always consult your doctor, the equipment should be sterile, you should stay well hydrated, and any ingredients should be listed with their quantities.

If you are considering a cleanse or would like more information, the professionals at GI North are available to assist you. Dr. Cofranceso and Dr. Quijano, who speaks fluent Spanish, are both gastroenterologists, who specialize in digestive functions. Their office, GI North, is located in Cumming, GA, and they gladly serve the areas of Cumming, Alpharetta, Roswell, Canton, and Suwanee.

© 2016 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

photo of a hand marking a calendar for a colonoscopy | GI North

Make sure to follow the recommended ages for screening tests. A colonoscopy checks the large intestine for polyps and cancer. This test also effectively removes any polyps that are found.

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common types of cancers around. In fact, it is second leading cause of death from cancer in the United States. Not only does it affect all ethnic and racial groups but also it is often found in people over 50 years old.

However, you can prevent colorectal cancer in numerous ways. One of the most important is to get screened regularly, especially once you reach the age of 50. This is because there really are no signs or symptoms of colorectal cancer. This is why it is imperative to get screening so you can catch the cancer right away.

For increased awareness of this devastating cancer, March is now known as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.


The majority of colorectal cancers start out as a polyp, which is a growth in the tissue that lines the inner surface of the rectum or colon. Polyps are generally either raised or flat and can grow with or without a stalk. Although most are not cancerous, the adenoma type polyp has a greater risk of becoming a cancer. Therefore it is very important to have screening done on a regular basis if you are age 50 or older.

Types of Screening

Screening is a big part of colorectal cancer awareness. For the most part, there are various types of screening. Each type of screening has different routines and ways of testing.


A colonoscopy checks the large intestine for polyps and cancer. This test effectively removes any polyps that are found. Generally, the test takes about three hours and requires the patient be sedated. Hence, there needs to be a designated driver to help the patient home.

Hemoccult or High-Sensitivity Fecal Occult Blood Tests (FOBT)

If you are 50 years of age or older, your doctor may recommend that you have an FOBT test once a year. Since polyps and colorectal cancers, an FOBT test can check for tiny amounts of blood in feces (stool) that is not normally seen. Research claims that if the gFOBT is done every 1 to 2 years in people aged 50 to 80 years, it can lower the number of deaths due to colorectal cancer by 15 to 33 percent.

At present, there are two types of FOBT tests that screens for colorectal cancer: fecal immunochemical (or immunohistochemical) test (FIT or iFOBT) and guaiac FOBT (gFOBT). With both types of FOBT, feces samples are tested:

iFOBT – To detect human hemoglobin, antibodies are used. Generally, there are not dietary restrictions for testing.

gFOBT – chemicals are used to detect heme, an element of hemoglobin (a blood protein). Since certain foods contain heme (e.g., red meat), the diet is restricted prior to the test.

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

Similar to a colonoscopy except that only the lower part of the large intestine and the rectum are examined with a sigmoidoscope. Typically, the test only takes a few minutes. Also, the lower colon needs to be cleared of stool before the test.

Regular Screening

The best prevention of colorectal cancer is regular screening. At GI North, their professional practice offers innovative experience and focused care in the treatment and prevention of colorectal cancer. As well, Dr. Cofrancesco and Dr. Quijano at GI North service the north metro Atlanta communities such as Dawsonville, Dahlonega, Duluth, Alpharetta, John’s Creek, Suwanee and Milton, GA. And if you would like a Spanish-speaking physician, you can request an appointment with Dr. Quijano.

© 2016 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

photo of man holding his chest | GI North

If you are unsure what is causing your heartburn, keep a diary and track your food and behavior to find patterns.

Heartburn or acid reflux is a common occurrence for most Americans, and whether it is a minor annoyance or affects your daily activities, there are several usual causes that you can cure with lifestyle changes.

Defining the Problem

Heartburn is a reaction from stomach acid entering the esophagus when the LES (lower esophageal sphincter) does not function properly. This valve keeps acid in the stomach and opens to allow food in or gas out, but if it opens too often or doesn’t close tight enough, you can experience a burning sensation in your lower chest or throat.

Usual Causes

Food. Most occasional sufferers notice a correlation to the food they eat. While any food can affect people differently, there are a few foods that are more likely to cause irritation.

  • Tomatoes
  • Citrus fruit and orange juice
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Spicy food
  • Black pepper
  • Chocolate
  • Peppermint
  • Caffeinated drinks (coffee, tea, soda)
  • Alcohol

Additionally, any meals high in fat and oil can have a negative effect, and meal size is a major factor. Regardless of what you are eating, eating before bed or lying down and eating large meals are the most common causes.

Behavior and Emotion. Unfortunately, like your eating habits, your other daily habits and your emotional state can affect your suffering. Smoking is a major contributing factor to acid reflux as well as stress and a lack of sleep. Additionally, exercise can aggravate the LES.

Conditions. Other reasons you may suffer are due to medical conditions.

Medications. Unfortunately, more often than naught, medicine designed to help one condition causes undesirable side effects. Common medicines that can cause acid reflux include:

  • Aspirin
  • NSAIDS (ibuprofen, naproxen)
  • Blood pressure medication
  • Sedatives
  • Narcotics
  • Progesterone
  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Osteoporosis medication
  • Supplements, especially iron and potassium

Treatments and Cures

Lifestyle changes can cure or lessen the majority of cases.

  • Eat small, more frequent meals
  • Avoid problem foods
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid eating before bed
  • Elevate your upper body while sleeping
  • Quit smoking
  • Lose weight
  • Change exercise habits (avoid pressure on abs, bending over, jostling exercises, and exercising on a full stomach)

If you are unsure what causes your suffering, keep a diary tracking your food and behavior to find patterns. Usually, doctors prescribe prescription medicine to treat acid reflux.

Some chronic suffers may have more serious conditions such as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), ulcers, scarring, stricture, or Barrett’s Esophagus. You should see a doctor if you suffer more than two times a week, over-the-counter medicines don’t help, you have difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomiting, black stools, or weight loss.

Dr. Cofrancesco and Dr. Quijano at GI North can help diagnosis and treat your heartburn and other stomach problems. As certified gastroenterologists, they are uniquely qualified to provide you with quality, personalized care. Dr. Quijano even speaks fluent Spanish to better assist all the patients at GI North. Conveniently located in Cumming, GA, GI North serves the areas of Roswell, Alpharetta, Canton, and Suwanee. Contact us today and stop suffering.

© 2016 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

photo of woman holding her stomach | GI NorthOne of the most challenging topics to discuss is bowel movements, even with your doctor. However, changes in bowel movements can be a sign of health issues. But before you start worrying, it is important to define normal regularity. Since regularity is unique to every individual, there are many variables to consider. In fact, what is normal for one person may not be normal for another.

Even the color of your stools is an indicator of your health. According to WebMD, a drastic change in color can be a red flag. For instance, black stools can mean that you are bleeding internally, which can indicate cancer or ulcers. Black stools are also common with certain medications or vitamins such as iron. Although rare, light colored stools such as grey clay can mean liver disease or a block in the bile flow.

The Bowel Movement Process

The bowels are the lower parts of your digestive tract. Digestion starts in your mouth then the stomach and ends in the bowels. When food reaches the bowels, the remaining salts and water are absorbed. This digested food then coverts to a more solid material and exits as bowel movements. According to many specialists, normal bowel movements consist of formed brown stools that are not too loose or hard.

Hard and dry stools are an indicator of constipation. Symptoms of constipation include hard and dry stools that are painful or difficult to pass. Not having a bowel movement for more than three days is also a common symptom of constipation. Symptoms of diarrhea include loose or watery stools.

Size, Shape and Color of Bowel Movements

By and large, bowel movements should be soft and easy to pass. But some people have softer or harder stools than others. Also, stools should be a golden brown or brown in color. They should be formed and have a shape similar to a sausage. However, there is no cause for concern if your stools vary a bit. Though, it is advisable to talk to s specialist if your stools change suddenly.


Constipation is a very common problem. In fact, it is estimated that 2.5 million people visit a specialist every year complaining of constipation. People who are most affected are children, women and those 65 and older.

Common symptoms are dry, hard, lumpy stools that are painful or difficult to pass. Constipation can also be accompanied by bloating and discomfort. There are many things that can cause constipations such as low dietary fiber, not enough exercise and dehydration. For good overall health and regularity, it is recommended that you exercise 30 minutes a day, eat plenty of fiber and keep hydrated.


Diarrhea is defined as loose and watery stools that occur more than 3 times a day. It lasts about one to three days and generally does not require treatment. Diarrhea can be caused by numerous factors such as food allergy or intolerance, infection, common flu or side effects of medication. It is best to seek treatment if your diarrhea is accompanied by dehydration, fever, severe pain, has a black color, contains blood or lasts more than three days.

Change in Bowel Movements

Normal regularity varies for each person in consistency and frequency. However, there are many indications of an abnormal bowel movement, which can be a sign of a more serious condition. It is especially important to see a specialist if you are 50 years of age or older because the risk of digestive disease is higher.

Schedule an appointment with a qualified specialist if you feel that you do not have normal regularity. It is always best to be on the safe side. The professional expertise at GI North offers advanced knowledge and individualized care in gastroenterology and treating diseases of the digestive system. Dr. Quijano and Dr. Cofrancesco at GI North service the metro Atlanta communities including Suwanee, Milton, John’s Creek, Duluth, Dawsonville, Dahlonega and Alpharetta. In addition, you can request an appointment with Dr. Quijano if you prefer a Spanish speaking physician.

© 2016 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

Once a risk for elderly and those exposed to hospitals and long-term care facilities, CDI (Clostridium Difficile Infection), is on the rise. Often referred to C. difficcile or C. diff, this bacterium attacks the intestinal lining of its host causing symptoms that range from mild to severe.

The Spread

C. diff is found throughout our environment in food, water, air, soil, and in some people who carry the bacteria and don’t know it, but mostly commonly it is found in feces, and it is through feces that C. diff is usually spread.

Hospitals. C. diff can live for months outside the body on nearly any surface, so the spread of the infection can become rampant if proper sanitation is not practiced. In places where people are in close contact and feces are handled regularly, such as hospitals and long-term care facilities, the number infected is much higher.

Antibiotics. Our bodies carry both good and bad bacteria, yet when we take antibiotics both the good and bad are affected leaving us vulnerable to infection. Therefore, long term use of antibiotics, especially broad-spectrum antibiotics, elevate our risk for contracting CDI.

Additional Risks. Even those who aren’t on antibiotics can carry an added risk. Higher risk individuals include anyone who has under gone GI surgery, has a weakened immune system, takes chemotherapy drugs, has kidney disease, takes proton-pump inhibitors, or has a colon disease such as IBS or colorectal cancer.

Precautions. Since C. diff is transferred from person to person through infected surfaces, proper hygiene is the most effective precaution. Washing hands regularly, especially after handling feces, and frequently cleaning of surfaces are vital in stopping the spread of infection. In addition, if you are taking antibiotics use them only as prescribed.

The Symptoms

C. diff attacks the intestinal lining causing a variety of symptoms that can range widely in severity. Those infected experience diarrhea, abdominal pain or tenderness, nausea, loss of appetite, fever, blood or pus in stool, weight loss, or severe pain. A mild case of CDI usually causes diarrhea three times a day where a severe case can increase to about 15 times a day. Any symptom or suspected case of CDI is dangerous leading to dehydration with possible kidney failure, a hole in the intestines, toxic mega-colon (inability to expel gas and stool), and even death.

The Help

Seek medical attention immediately if you experience symptoms of Clostridium Difficile Infection as the longer you wait the more at risk for serious complications you become. For any stomach concerns, contact GI North. As gastroenterologists, Dr. Cofrancesco or Dr. Quijano, are especially qualified to help. Located in Cumming, GA, GI North is conveniently located to service Cumming and the surrounding areas of Alpharetta, Roswell, Canton, and Suwanee. Contact GI North for a medical experience combining advanced technology and personalized care.

© 2016 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

illustration showing esophageal cancer | Gi North Detecting esophageal cancer in its early stages can be very difficult. Generally the initial signs seem like ordinary digestive problems. And unfortunately, it oftentimes goes undetected until the disease has advanced. Moreover, when esophageal cancer is at advanced stages it limits treatment options.

However, there are several signs and symptoms of esophageal cancer. It is advised that you consult a doctor if you experience any symptoms, especially if they persist for several weeks.

When to see Your Doctor or a Specialist

According to the Mayo Clinic, you should schedule an appointment with a specialist if you have any continual signs and symptoms that are troubling you. As well, your risk of esophageal cancer is increased if you have been diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus. Ask your physician what signs and symptoms to watch for.

Difficulty Swallowing

One of the most common symptoms of esophageal cancer is pain or difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia). Most often the throat feels irritated or there is pressure. Pain can sometimes be felt right after swallowing, when liquid or food reaches a tumor and cannot pass. There may also be pain if the cancer has caused a lesion in the lining of the esophagus or surrounding tissues. Generally this type of pain is felt in the back between the shoulder blades or in the chest.


It is best to see your doctor if you are hoarse and feel the need to clear your throat often, especially if the irritation cannot be explained by any other illness or condition.

Unexplained Weight Loss

You should consult a physician if you are unintentionally losing weight. Although unexplained weight loss can mean many things, it is best to make an appointment with a doctor.


Constant heartburn is also a symptom of esophageal cancer. The heartburn is painful and can be accompanied with a burning sensation behind the breast bone or in the throat.

Persistent Cough

A persistent cough that does not go away is a symptom of esophageal cancer. To be on the safe side, schedule an appointment with a specialist.

Hiccups with Difficulty Swallowing or Pain

It is advisable to contact a specialist if you get the hiccups often and also have difficulty swallowing or pain. If you often have the hiccups and also have pain or difficulty swallowing, you need to see a doctor. The two conditions combined together are common in esophageal cancer.


If at any time you suspect that you may have esophageal cancer, it is best to schedule an appointment with a qualified physician. At GI North, their professional practice offers advanced experience and attentive care in gastroenterology and treating diseases of the digestive system. Dr. Cofrancesco and Dr. Quijano at GI North service many metro Atlanta communities such as Alpharetta, Dahlonega, Dawsonville, Duluth, John’s Creek, Milton, Suwanee and beyond. And if you prefer a Spanish speaking physician, you can request your appointment to be with Dr. Quijano.

© 2016 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

Fish contains less fat than meat | GI North

Salmon is a good source of protein and contains heart-healthy omega-3’s and less fat than meat.

Protein is a prerequisite for optimum health. You need it to maintain healthy bones, muscle and blood. Rendering the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), proteins are even more important during puberty, childhood and pregnancy. But how much protein does the average person require in order to stay healthy?

Many experts agree that the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of proteins is in direct correlation with age and gender. It also depends upon certain life stages such as puberty. In addition, some specialists believe that a higher-protein diet may help you maintain a healthy weight and also support strong muscles with aging. However, some researchers suggest that too many proteins may cause weight gain, intestinal irritation, increased liver enzymes and other health issues. Unquestionably, most experts agree that selecting the right type of proteins is vital to health.

For instance, a diet high in red meat can be detrimental to your health and lead to certain problems like cancer. A great write-up on the subject: Red Meat and Colorectal Cancer: Understanding the Relationship

Composition and Recommendations

Proteins consist of amino acids. Essential amino acids are the amino acids your body cannot make itself. There are 20 different amino acids in the food you eat. But your body can only make 11 amino acids. The nine essential amino acids must be obtained from the diet. Therefore, it is imperative that your diet contain the proper amounts of complete proteins. In fact, 10 and 35 percent of your daily calories should come from high quality proteins.

RDA Recommendations

The RDA for children varies with age and certain life changes:

  • Ages 1 to 3 years – 13 grams
  • Ages 4 to 8 years – 19 grams
  • Ages 9 to 13 years – 34 grams
  • Girls ages 14 to 18 – 46 grams
  • Boys ages 14 to 18 – 52 grams

As well, the RDA for adults can vary with age:

  • Adult women ages 19 to 70+ years – 46 grams
  • Adult men ages 19 to 70+ years – 56 grams

Good Sources of Proteins

The type of proteins you eat plays a big factor in your overall health. As research suggests, consuming large qualities of processed meats like sausages and deli meats have been linked to the increase of cardiovascular disease, colorectal cancer and type 2 diabetes. For a healthy diet, you should limit your consumption of red meat and avoid processed meats completely. Best protein sources include the following:

  • Fish: Contains heart-healthy omega-3’s and less fat than meat
  • Poultry: High in protein. Reduce most of the saturated fat by removing skin.
  • Nuts: One ounce of walnuts has 7 grams of protein. This is almost as much protein as one ounce of broiled rib eye steak.
  • Legumes: High in protein and fiber to help keep you full for hours.
  • Whole grains: One slice of whole wheat bread contains 3 grams of protein, plus valuable fiber.

A Healthier Approach

If you often feel tired even with the daily recommended amounts of proteins, there may be an imbalance in your system such as a digestive disorder or other issues. If you have any concerns or worries, it is best to visit a gastroenterologist.

For a healthier approach to your dietary needs visit GI North located in Cumming, GA. At GI North, gastroenterologist Simon R. Cofrancesco, M.D. and Sergio Quijano, M.D. have extensive knowledge and experience in treating diseases of the digestive system. In addition, Dr. Quijano is fluent in Spanish. GI North also services the surrounding areas Alpharetta, Roswell, Canton, and Suwanee.

© 2015 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

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