Know Your Gut addresses many issues that arise all the time when patients with heartburn, abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea, bleeding and many other digestive tract concerns make an appointment with their doctor. It is not only what patients are feeling that is on their mind; they also worry about gastrointestinal cancer, the wisdom and value of having their colon cleaned out, where they got the bacterium Helicobacter pylori that lives in their stomach, and whether or not they have SIBO, a condition better described as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. What should a person do if heartburn doesn't go away despite treatment. Then there are those who are sure they pass more gas than other people and they wonder why that gas smells badly when the air they swallow doesn't. People also want to know if they can safely treat diarrhea at home instead of going to a doctor or a hospital emergency department, and more importantly, when should they clearly seek urgent medical help. The same holds for nausea and vomiting, which the book points out can be due to scores of things like being pregnant to a severe illness such as meningitis that is a threat to life. And people often ask their doctor and their friends if diarrhea should be treated with Gatorade, and if not, how can one make a fluid at home that will replace fluid lost from diarrhea (the book has a recipe for doing just that). And the confusing issue of what is the difference between diverticulitis and diverticulosis...are they both illnesses? Should gallstones be removed if they are not causing trouble? Is a CT scan useful in detecting colon cancer, and for that matter, should one test the stool for cancer DNA instead of a getting a colonoscopy? Is it wise to have hemorrhoids (piles) removed by surgery? Diet is discussed briefly in the book to indicate which diets are truly useful in handling digestive tract illnesses, and which are not. And then there is constipation---the book explains what's going on, what are the differences among the laxatives that line the shelf of every pharmacy, and what is the value of fiber in treating bowel disorders. And this book leaves no doubt about how to administer the Heimlich maneuver to provide urgent aid to a person who is choking and unable to breathe, and how a dinner companion can immediately know who needs this lifesaving treatment.
Know Your Gut is a book that arose from questions that thousands of patients have asked the author during his many years of providing medical care. It seemed worthwhile to answer them in plain language that doesn't use complex medical terminology, addressing the main goal of every caregiver to be helpful and informative.