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Digestive discomfort is something everyone has. And even though people may want to know more about it and what to do, few of us want to talk about it.


“Don’t let a gastrointestinal disorder take away from having a full life,” said Lori Rancik, nurse case manager of The Women’s Health Center of DuBois, a service of DuBois Regional Medical Center.

“More than 70 million Americans are dealing with digestive disorders on a daily basis – but very few of us are talking about it seriously,” Rancik said. “We might make jokes about stomach upset, but it is no laughing matter.  More than 70 percent of the cells of our immune system are in our gut. We need to make healthy digestion a priority for our overall health.”

DRMC wants people to learn more on March 13.  The Women’s Health Center of DuBois along with DRMC Development are hosting an event called “All Right Now!: Solving Digestive Disorders” to discuss the hidden burden of gastrointestinal disorders. It is co-sponsored by First Commonwealth Advisors.

This All Right Now! event is one in a three-part series through Spirit of Women, a network of hospitals that promotes women’s health. This event stands separately and totally focuses on GI health. It will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the DuBois Country Club, DuBois. Cost is $5 per person to cover a light dinner.

Music will be provided by Wallace Audio, and a belly-dancing demonstration will be part of the entertainment. A gluten-free diet will be discussed, community-business partners will be on-hand with information and First Commonwealth will provide information on picking a financial advisor.

But the main speaker of the evening will be Dr. Richard Latuska, DRMC gastroenterologist.

Latuska is board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology. He specializes in diseases of the esophagus, stomach, small intestines, liver, pancreas, gallbladder and colon. His office is located at 867 Beaver Drive, DuBois.

Latuska will talk about common complaints, such as:
• Chronic constipation when you have fewer than three stools per week for 12 weeks;
• Fecal incontinence when one has leakage or loss of bowel control;
• Heartburn;
• Hemorrhoids;
• Irritable bowel syndrome which is a set of symptoms that include camps, diarrhea, constipation, bloating pain for more than 12 weeks;
• Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis which are diseases of the immune system mistakenly attacking the GI tract;
• Celiac disease which is a physical intolerance for gluten;
• Diverticulitis when pouches inside the colon wall become painfully inflamed;
• Peptic ulcers which are sores in the lining of the stomach or first part of the small intestine.
• Colon polyps or growths.

The talk will provide answers for anyone who hopes to break free of their disruptive digestive condition and avoid the threat of colon cancer. A special focus will be on ways in which women are affected by GI disorders, as they are considerably more likely to suffer from digestive health problems than men, Rancik said.

“The gastrointestinal tract is an amazing piece of machinery – were the small intestines to be smoothed out flat, they would cover an entire tennis court,” Rancik said. “But with so much square footage internally, there are more chances for things to go wrong. New treatments including new surgical options are now available for longtime sufferers of GI malfunction who can't find relief in over-the-counter remedies.”

To register, call 371-9666 or mail a check for $5 per person attending to The Women’s Health Center, PO Box 447, DuBois.  Future All Right Now! Programs are Hand in Hand on April 24 for couples to raise awareness about gender-specific cancers and Solving Joint Pains on May 22.

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