Patient's perspective | Deciphering food labels is key to gluten-free shopping, expert says | Socioeconomic factors linked to CRC screening choice
April 27, 2012
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From American College of Gastroenterology

Patient Perspectives
Patient's perspective
Good news yesterday, though, I didn’t get the CT result until I was actually in with my surgical oncologist, which made for a tense and stressful morning. However, the actual radiology report was very encouraging. ... So for now, my next trip to hell is on the shelf. Instead of measuring my life out in coffee spoons, I measure it out in CT scans. There’s a child to raise and people to love and books to write. Go live, you guys. It’s what I’ll be doing. -- blog post from Jay Lake
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Top Story
Deciphering food labels is key to gluten-free shopping, expert says
Reading food labels is an important part of shopping for people with celiac disease, and registered dietitian Tricia Thompson, founder of Gluten Free Watchdog, says deciphering the labels can be a challenge for the newly diagnosed. "The learning curve is steep," Thompson says. The FDA is expected to finalize gluten-free labeling rules this year that will ban products that contain barley, wheat, rye or triticale and ingredients derived from them unless the gluten is removed. (4/23)
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Guide to Healthy Living
Socioeconomic factors linked to CRC screening choice
More people are choosing colonoscopy to detect colorectal cancer, while rates of at-home fecal occult blood testing have dropped 6 percentage points overall, according to a study from the American Cancer Society. The study found colonoscopy is more popular among people with higher incomes and education levels, while home testing rates remain stable for low-income and less educated adults. "Lower socioeconomic groups are significantly less likely to have health insurance and more likely to have barriers in terms of paying for -- even if they are covered -- more expensive procedures like colonoscopy," said lead author Priti Brandi. Reuters (4/23)
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Smoking makes Crohn's more likely, more severe, doctor says
Smokers are more likely to get Crohn's disease than nonsmokers, and those who continue the habit after their diagnosis can make their symptoms worse, says Dr. Richard Desi of Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. Desi says kicking the smoking habit can lead to fewer Crohn's flare-ups and a reduction in disease severity. WBAL-TV (Baltimore) (4/24)
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Author describes experience growing up with food allergies
Author Sandra Beasley writes in her book, "Don't Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life," about her experiences growing up allergic to various foods, including cucumbers, mango, soy, dairy and beef. She advocates that patients learn about foods they're allergic to so they can anticipate potential problems. (4/23)
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Diagnosis & Treatment
Study: Aspirin cuts mortality risk after CRC diagnosis
A study of colorectal cancer patients in the Netherlands found those who took a daily low dose of aspirin for at least nine months after their diagnosis reduced their mortality risk by 30%, according to Leiden University Medical Centre research. However, aspirin can have serious side effects, and experts said patients should discuss it with their physician before taking it. BBC (4/24)
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Study links NAFLD to cancer even without other liver disease
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is a risk factor for hepatocellular carcinoma in patients who do not have other liver diseases or cirrhosis, according to a study from Newcastle Hospitals in the U.K. Researchers said only 9% of patients in the study got liver cancer without having metabolic risk factors and that alcohol played only a minor role. Medscape (free registration) (4/25)
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Policy Watch
Trustees: Medicare unsustainable without reform
Medicare will remain solvent for the next 12 years, according to the trustees' annual report, but experts say their prediction is based on some unlikely scenarios, including a scheduled reduction in physician reimbursements. The report said the long-term outlook suggests the program in its current form is unsustainable. Reuters (4/23)
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Report says health reform will save Medicare $200B through 2016
The Affordable Care Act will save Medicare enrollees $208 billion through 2020 and the Medicare program $200 billion through 2016, according to data from a Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services actuary report. "In some instances, the private sector is leading to improve the way care is delivered," said Rick Gilfillan, acting director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. USA Today (4/23)
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FDA delays decision on IBS drug by Ironwood and Forest
The FDA postponed for three months an approval decision on linaclotide, a drug candidate for irritable bowel syndrome from Ironwood Pharmaceuticals and Forest Laboratories. The companies said the agency asked for further analysis of clinical data. The Business Journals (tiered subscription model)/Boston (4/23)
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The Last Word
News and information from the American College of Gastroenterology
NSAIDs and ulcers: How to avoid unsuspected damage
If you're one of millions who take NSAIDs for pain relief, you may be at risk for ulcers and GI bleeding. You can reduce the risk of these common side effects by following a few simple guidelines. Learn important safety tips on the use of NSAIDs.
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All things are difficult before they are easy.
Thomas Fuller,
British churchman and historian
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Contact Your Doctor
American College of Gastroenterology
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