Diseases Conditions

Bhatti GI Blog

Each month we will post articles on various GI topics. We hope you will find our blog to be interesting and informative. Stop back often!

Diagnosing GERD

Before determining the best course of treatment for your GERD, it’s essential to get an accurate diagnosis from a qualified medical professional. This is true for any condition. If you don’t know the specifics of the underlying cause of your condition, you can’t hope to treat it effectively. Diagnosing GERD begins with a physical examination, coupled with a review of your medical history. Your doctor will likely ask you a variety of questions to determine what’s triggering your symptoms. Perhaps it’s a particular type of spicy food, for example. This will help your physician get a better understanding of your situation. 

In some cases, endoscopic or upper GI testing may be required to solidify a diagnosis. An upper GI series is a diagnostic x-ray that gives the physician a good view of the esophagus, stomach, and the upper part of the small intestine. This test is more helpful in ruling out other potential underlying causes (like peptic ulcers) rather than solidifying an exact diagnosis of GERD. 

Treatment Options

Once your physician has determined that GERD is the cause of your symptoms, you can begin to discuss treatment options. Effective treatment methods will vary from patient to patient. What works for one may not work for another. Your GI doctor, who has a full understanding of your condition and associated factors, will be able to make a recommendation as to the best course of treatment. 

Depending on your unique situation, treatment options for GERD may include any of the following:

  • Lifestyle and dietary change
  • Weight loss
  • Quit smoking
  • Medications (antacids, proton pump inhibitor, H2 blockers, etc.)
  • Surgery

Treatment typically begins with conservative options like lifestyle and dietary changes. For example, if you notice that a certain food is causing your GERD symptoms to flare up, avoid eating that food. Spicy foods, chocolate, coffee, alcohol, and fatty foods are common culprits of acid reflux flare-ups. Additionally, not eating 2-3 hours prior to sleep can also decrease symptoms.

GERD Doctor in Minneapolis Area

Bhatti Heartburn Center is a premier comprehensive, patient-centered reflux and heartburn center in the Minneapolis area.  Bhatti Heartburn Center offers a convenient, one-stop location for the evaluation, diagnosis, and medical & surgical treatment for patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), heartburn, and esophageal symptoms.premier 

Continue reading

For many people, the thought of getting a colonoscopy sounds dreadful. And many might wonder why they should bother with getting a colonoscopy when they feel fine and don't have any symptoms. Well, the American Cancer Society recommends that the vast majority of people should get screening colonoscopies for the detection of colon cancer, beginning at age 45. Here are five reasons why:

Continue reading

Did you realize that some major insurance plans are no longer covering your colonoscopy or upper endoscopy at a hospital? Insurance companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield are requiring that colonoscopies and EGD’s take place at a free-standing surgery center, or ambulatory surgery center (ASC).

Continue reading


Continue reading

Did you realize that some major insurance plans are no longer covering your colonoscopy or upper endoscopy at a hospital? Insurance companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield are requiring that colonoscopies and EGD’s take place at a free-standing surgery center, or ambulatory surgery center (ASC).

Continue reading


Continue reading


Continue reading

That little “tummy ache” could be attributed to eating too much or too fast, but it could also be a sign of a more serious health problem. In this article, we take a look at the possible causes of stomach pain after eating.

Over Eating

Stomach pain is often caused by simply eating your food too quickly. When you overeat, you might not take the time to chew through your food properly and you might notice that the food generally disappears from your plate very quickly. Take your time and chew slowly when you eat.

Food Intolerances

It is estimated that nearly 20% of the population is intolerant or sensitive to certain foods. Stomach pain and cramping are common symptoms of food intolerances or sensitivities, which are often associated with dairy, gluten, nuts, yeast, and tomatoes.

Food Allergies

Dairy products, nuts, eggs, peanut butter, soy, corn, wheat, and gluten are common food allergies that can cause symptoms such as stomach pain. A food elimination diet or an allergen-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibody test can be conducted to determine whether you are allergic to a particular food or substance.

Celiac Disease

Stomach pain is a common symptom of celiac disease. The condition is characterized by gluten sensitivity. People with celiac disease will immediately react to a specific protein found in gluten called gliadin—it is found in wheat, rye, barley, spelt and oats.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

This is a common gastrointestinal disorder that affects approximately 15% of the population. Some symptoms include gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, cramping, abdominal pain, or stomach pain after eating. Candida, food allergies, and food sensitivities are also associated with irritable bowel syndrome.


Stomach pain after eating can also indicate pancreatitis, especially when the pain lasts for over six hours. Pancreatitis is known as pancreas inflammation. People with pancreatitis will experience pain that begins around the upper abdomen; the pain will then spread to the back. Other pancreatitis symptoms include fever, nausea, and vomiting.


Diverticulitis is a condition where pouches in the colon become inflamed from bacteria. The pouches are also known as cysts or diverticula. Some symptoms include fever, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, nausea, bowel habit changes, and cramping pain, especially around the lower left area of the abdomen. Stomach pain after eating is also common.

Intestinal Obstruction

When there is a blockage in your colon or small intestine, it can be difficult for foods to be digested properly. When you eat too fast, large pieces of food may not be broken down. A hernia or tumor can also lead to intestinal obstruction.

Chronic Candida

Abdominal pain can also be a symptom of chronic candida—a condition also known as yeast overgrowth. Other common symptoms associated with candida include chronic fatigue, bloating, gas, and depression.


Heartburn is also sometimes referred to as acid reflux, or acid indigestion. Heartburn is the result of too little stomach acid, and it can produce burning chest pain after eating. The pain may only last a few minutes, or up to several hours. Stomach pain after eating can also be attributed to gallstones, eating spicy foods, a stomach flu, lactose intolerance, food poisoning, appendicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, Crohn’s disease, and peptic ulcers. Stomach pain after eating may also be the result of a blocked blood vessel.

Continue reading

Many people don't think about their colon health until something goes wrong.  But there are steps you can take to keep your colon (and the rest of your body) healthy.  In this article, we are going to discuss a few tips for keeping your colon happy and healthy.

Continue reading


Continue reading

Feeling bloated is a fairly common symptom that most people will experience at some point in their lives. Most of the time, bloating is not cause for serious concern. But sometimes bloating can indicate a more serious underlying cause. In this article, we’re going to talk about how to recognize when bloating isn’t normal – and what to do about it!

Diarrhea & Stomach Pain

Bloating combined with diarrhea and chronic stomach pain may indicate an inflammatory bowel disease like Chron’s Disease or ulcerative colitis. These conditions cause inflammation in the digestive tract. These symptoms should be examined by a gastroenterologist, who can provide a full diagnosis and recommend treatment options.

Major Abdominal Cramps

If your bloating is coupled with intense pain in your abdomen that recurs over time, there may be something else going on under the surface. Pain in the lower left side of the stomach may indicate diverticulitis – an inflammation in the colon. Typical treatment for diverticulitis is prescription antibiotics, but dietary changes may also be required.

Weight Loss

If you are experiencing unexplained weight loss in addition to your bloating, there may also be a more sinister underlying condition. See your GI specialist for a full diagnosis of your condition and to discuss treatment options.

Gastroenterologist in Chaska, MN

If you are searching for a gastroenterologist in the Twin Cities area, look no further than Bhatti GI. Dr. Ahsan Bhatti is one of the most skilled gastroenterologists in the state of Minnesota and has performed more than 40,000 advanced procedures over the course of his two decades in practice. We aim to treat every single one of our patients with the respect and care they deserve. Contact Dr. Bhatti and his team today to schedule your appointment at one of our GI clinics – located in Edina and Chaska. 

Continue reading

Colon cancer is a serious – potentially fatal – condition that needs to be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible to ensure the best outcome. Unfortunately, the signs and symptoms of colon cancer can be difficult for patients to self-diagnose. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the most common signs and symptoms that may indicate colon cancer, and when it’s time to make an appointment with a GI doctor.

Abdominal Discomfort

Cramping, pain, or discomfort in the abdominal region that lasts for a long time, or recurs over days or weeks is a potential sign of colon cancer. However, abdominal pain is a potential symptom of many different conditions so it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis from a GI specialist.

Bowel Movement Changes

Another sign that may indicate a diagnosis of colon cancer is changes in bowel movements. This can include: blood in the stool, constipation, changes in the consistency of stool, and changes in bowel habits.

Weight Loss

Unexpected or unintended weight loss is another potential symptom of colon cancer. If you find that you’re losing an excessive amount of weight without changing your diet or exercise habits, it may be time to make an appointment with your doctor.

Weakness & Fatigue

Feeling generally weak or fatigued may also be an indication of colon cancer. Again, this is a broad symptom that may indicate a wide variety of conditions. Consult with your physician to get an accurate diagnosis before moving forward to treatment.

MN Gastroenterologists


If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it’s time to make an appointment with a gastroenterologist to fully diagnose your condition. The best way to prevent and diagnose colon cancer is a colonoscopy. Dr. Ahsan Bhatti is one of the most skilled and experienced GI doctors in the state of Minnesota – with more than 40,000 advanced gastrointestinal procedures under his belt over twenty years in practice. Contact us today at Bhatti GI clinics to set up your appointment at one of our Minnesota clinic locations (in Edina and Chaska).

Continue reading

Many patients have been told that they should get a screening colonoscopy at a certain age, but some wonder whether the procedure is worth the effort. The fact is that screening colonoscopies are not just worth it – they can be life-saving. In this article, we are going to explain why it’s worth it to get regular screening colonoscopies.

Continue reading

If you are age 45 or older, you might be wondering if you really need to have a colonoscopy. The answer is a resounding YES. Colorectal Cancer (or Colon Cancer) is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer screening using regular colonoscopies can lead to a dramatic reduction in the number of deaths from cancer of the colon and rectum. In fact, 60% of colon cancer deaths can be prevented with a colonoscopy.

Continue reading

The first Wednesday in April is National Walking Day. While the American Heart Association sponsors #NationalWalkingDay to remind people of the cardiovascular benefits of taking a walk, did you know that taking a walk helps with digestion and improves your gut bacteria as well?

Continue reading

April is Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month. Esophageal Cancer takes the lives of more than 15,000 people each year, making it one of the deadliest forms of cancer. The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is to prevent and cure all forms of cancer. The AACR utilizes April as Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month to educate people of the signs and symptoms of esophageal cancer in an effort to save lives.

Continue reading


Continue reading


Heartburn and GERD affect many people, but most patients incorrectly think that the two are the same.  In this article, we will discuss the similarities and differences between GERD and heartburn so you can know how to better identify and treat each condition.


Continue reading

Colonoscopies can be utilized by your physician in several different situations to diagnose and prevent various conditions, including colon cancer. But not all colonoscopy procedures are the same. In this article, we are going to discuss the difference between two common types of colonoscopies - the screening colonoscopy and the diagnostic colonoscopy.

Screening Colonoscopy

A screening colonoscopy is used to screen patients for colon cancer and related issues. This type of colonoscopy is typically called for when a patient reaches a certain age range, or if they have a family history of colon cancer. It is used as a preventive measure to screen patients for cancerous polyps, and other serious issues so these conditions can be prevented and treated appropriately.

Diagnostic Colonoscopy

A diagnostic colonoscopy, while basically the same procedure, is used in different situations than a screening colonoscopy. Diagnostic colonoscopies are used when a patient exhibits specific symptoms that may indicate colon cancer or other issues. This procedure helps the physician further diagnose the patient’s condition. Diagnostic colonoscopies may also involve biopsies, lesion removals, and the like. Unlike screening colonoscopies, diagnostic colonoscopies are not performed when a patient reaches a certain age, but rather when they begin exhibiting certain symptoms.

Colonoscopy Clinics in Minnesota

Colonoscopies are one of the best tools we have to prevent and treat patients with colon cancer. When you need a colonoscopy, you want to make sure you visit a surgeon you can trust. Dr. Bhatti is one of the most respected and experienced colonoscopy surgeons in the state of Minnesota. He has performed more than 40,000 advanced GI procedures over his twenty years as a practicing gastroenterologist. Whether you need a screening colonoscopy or a diagnostic colonoscopy, Bhatti GI has you covered. Contact Bhatti GI Consultants today to set up your appointment with Dr. Bhatti at our Edina or Chaska clinic. Bhatti GI can see patients within a week! 

Continue reading

Many people fear a colonoscopy and dread the thought of it. The procedure is safe and effective.  And, a screening colonoscopy is hands down the best way to identify and treat colon cancer before it becomes a scary beast.  Despite that, many people avoid it and procrastinate getting one.  For some, the fe

ar is so great that it prevents them from having the procedure done at all!  Below are a few tips for alleviating fear and anxiety about colonoscopies. 

Continue reading