Lady working under stress

Dr Ganesh Ramalingam: Could your gut health be the source of your stress?

Have you experienced “butterflies in your stomach” or just had a strong “gut feeling” in difficult situations? There’s a good reason why these terms came about – the gastrointestinal tract is inextricably linked to the brain, and stresses from the environment can send signals from the brain to the gut and vice versa, which produces these physical symptoms of the digestive system. This is why you often feel the need to go to the toilet when you are nervous or anxious about something. 

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Lady covering up her butt

Is it true that frequent constipation results in piles?

You may have heard your mum tell you at least once not to spend too much time straining on the toilet bowl, otherwise it would result in painful piles. Mothers know best — chronic constipation is indeed one of the causes of piles, or haemorrhoids.

Haemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels in the anus and lower rectum that become enlarged and swollen due to pressure. They are felt as small, round lumps around your anus or outside the anal canal. While they sound serious, haemorrhoids are actually very common in Singapore and occur in adults from time to time.

What are the symptoms to look out for, and is surgery necessary if you have piles? Let’s find out.

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Man holding on to a toilet roll in the toilet

Normal vs. Abnormal bowel movement: What does your poop say about your health?

Your bowel habits aren’t the nicest and most socially appropriate topic to talk about, but it’s a huge part of our functioning body and a greater indicator of your health than you might think. When I see patients, I usually try to get a gauge of their bowel movement to assess their colon health — how often are they pooping? Is the process difficult? 

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Female holding on to her butt

What is an anal abscess and why does it occur?

An anal or rectal abscess is a condition where an infected cavity filled with pus develops near the anus. It is extremely painful and can cause fatigue, fever and rectal discharge. Most patients experience perianal abscess, a painful burning sensation near the anus. About 50% of patients with an anal abscess will develop a complication known as a fistula, a small tunnel which abnormally connects the site of the abscess and the skin of the anus.

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Picture of human intestines

Common signs of an unhealthy gut and how to fix them

Our digestive tract contains about 300 to 500 different species of bacteria — some harmful, and some necessary for a healthy body. We term these bacteria collectively as gut microbiomes. Many doctors who specialise in gut health agree that having a wide variety of good bacteria can provide benefits like enhance your immune system and improve symptoms of depression. Several studies were done in the past two decades also demonstrate the link between gut health, autoimmune diseases, cancer and more. Simply put, if you have a bad gut, it can take a toll on your entire body.

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Doctor holding on to a colonoscope equipment

Colonoscopy in Singapore: All you need to know

A colonoscopy is a medical procedure to visually image the lining of your colon in order to examine it for any irregularities. Colonoscopies are usually carried out by general surgeons or Gastroenterologists. A long and soft tube with a camera & light known as a Colonoscope is carefully inserted via the anus, carrying a live image to a screen which allows the doctor to examine the colon, all the way to the exit of the small intestine.

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