Expert outlines important issues in IBD treatment | Ingesting wire bristles from grill brushes can cause GI problems | Many cancer patients make lifestyle, treatment changes to afford care
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October 24, 2014
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Digestive Health SmartBrief
From Stanley K. Fergus and the American College of Gastroenterology

Top Story
Expert outlines important issues in IBD treatment
Thiopurines may have a future in Crohn's disease therapy, and combining immunomodulators and anti-TNF inhibitors has yielded promising results, Dr. Charles Bernstein said during the American Journal of Gastroenterology Lecture at the American College of Gastroenterology's 2014 Annual Scientific Meeting. Bernstein, director of the IBD Clinical and Research center in Winnipeg, Canada, said understanding inflammatory bowel patients is important to safely stop treatments that are no longer needed, and he urged caution when prescribing opioid medications to treat IBD pain because it could lead to increasingly higher dosages. Healio (free registration)/Gastroenterology (10/21)
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Guide to Healthy Living
Ingesting wire bristles from grill brushes can cause GI problems
People enjoying a barbeque may unintentionally ingest wire bristles left by brushes used to clean grills, which can lead to gastrointestinal problems and require surgery, Brown University researcher Pranith Perera said at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating which brushes may be hazardous and if there is a link to specific foods, and the CDC recommends using other ways to clean grills and to inspect grill surfaces after cleaning. MedPage Today (free registration) (10/20)
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Many cancer patients make lifestyle, treatment changes to afford care
A survey of patients with colorectal, breast and other solid tumor cancers who sought help paying for their medical care found that 89% made lifestyle changes to help handle treatment costs. The study from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute found 39% of patients coped with expenses by adjusting their medical care, including not getting prescriptions filled or taking less medicine than their doctor prescribed. Healio (free registration)/HemOncToday (10/21)
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Study ties regular aspirin use to lower NAFLD risk in some patients
An analysis of data on 11,416 adults ages 20 to 74 showed men and older patients who regularly took aspirin had lower odds of developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. A similar link was not found in female and young aspirin users, researchers reported at the American College of Gastroenterology annual meeting. Healio (free registration) (10/21)
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Milk alternatives may be tied to vitamin D deficiency in children
Children who consumed nondairy milk products such as rice, almond or soy milk had a twofold increased risk of having low vitamin D levels compared with those who drank cow's milk, Canadian researchers found. Study author Dr. Jonathon Maguire said people should be more aware of the nutrient content of alternative milk products so they can make informed decisions when choosing products for their children. Science World Report (10/20)
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Diagnosis & Treatment
Hepatitis C oral combination therapies are effective, studies show
Studies presented at the American College of Gastroenterology meeting showed that oral combination treatments for hepatitis C have high efficacy rates. Data showed the treatments worked for patients with cirrhosis and also when additional ribavirin was not given. MedPage Today (free registration) (10/21)
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Genetic testing may not increase CRC screening, study says
A study of 783 adults who had an average risk for colorectal cancer showed those who received genetic testing and an environmental risk assessment were not any more likely to have colorectal cancer screening than those given usual care. Study author Dr. David Weinberg, of the Fox Chase Cancer Center and Jefferson Medical College, said there was a "widely agreed-upon risk-reduction strategy, but nobody did it." Medscape (free registration) (10/21)
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Policy Watch
Vt. senator may hold hearing on impact of hep C drugs' costs on VA
A spokesman for Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., said the lawmaker could hold a hearing this year on the impact of new hepatitis C drugs' costs on the Department of Veterans Affairs. The hearing may take place after the Nov. 4 midterm elections, the spokesman said. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)/Pharmalot blog (10/20)
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FDA restructuring boosts emphasis on quality
The FDA will embark on a new push to focus on drug products' quality by launching the Office of Pharmaceutical Quality on Jan. 1. Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Director Dr. Janet Woodcock will serve as the office's first acting director and said the reorganization will better align CDER's drug quality functions, which include research, inspection and review. Regulatory Focus (10/16)
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Patient's Perspective
The importance of maintaining a routine
"Over the years I have found that my body/system likes routine. It responds well to a natural rhythm and usually objects to abrupt changes. 'Gently' is my holiday time mantra ... where the mind leads -- the body follows. By focusing on doing some stuff for myself -- for example; catching up with friends over a coffee or possibly booking a spa day for myself -- I am gently switching mental gears which, in turn, helps to switch my physical gears in a more controlled manner." -- blog post from Stephen on The Crohn's Colitis Effect
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The Last Word
News and information from the American College of Gastroenterology
Don't let IBS ruin your day: Take control of your symptoms
Tired of the abdominal pain, diarrhea and constipation associated with IBS? IBS is a common digestive disorder affecting millions of Americans every day. Learn the facts about IBS and find out which treatment options are right for you.
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Minds are like parachutes; they work best when open."
-- Thomas Dewar,
Scottish businessman
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Contact Your Doctor
Stanley K. Fergus
Gastroenterolgy Associates of West Tennessee
1400 Kings Boulevard
Memphis, TN 38105

Phone: (901) 555-1234
Contact ACG
American College of Gastroenterology
P.O. Box 342260
Bethesda, MD 20827-2260
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The information contained in Digestive Health SmartBrief is not intended to be medical advice. Consult your physician before making any decisions regarding your health care.
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