Our Gastroenterology Blog

Posts for category: Conditions

By Kamran Ayub, MD, MRCP
March 07, 2022
Category: Conditions
Tags: Bile Ducts  

Learn more about bile ducts and how to tell whether you could be dealing with bile duct disease.

Whenever you eat, your liver releases a substance known as bile that helps break down fat. Bile is stored in the gallbladder and released through bile ducts into the small intestines. Along with digestion, bile can also help flush out toxins in the liver. If you are dealing with bile duct problems, it’s important that you turn to our New Lenox, Oak Lawn, Joliet, Frankfort, Orland Park, IL, gastroenterologist Dr. Kamran Ayub for immediate care.

What types of problems can impact the bile ducts?

Certain diseases can lead to obstructions or blockages of the bile duct. Anything that impacts the flow of bile can lead to serious complications, so it’s important to detect and treat these issues early. Common causes of blocked bile ducts include,

  • Gallstones
  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Certain birth defects
  • Cancer

What are some warning signs?

One of the classic signs of bile duct issues is jaundice or yellowing of the skin or eyes. Jaundice tells our New Lenox, Oak Lawn, Joliet, Frankfort, Orland Park, IL, gastroenterologist that waste is building up in the blood due to liver issues or a problem with the bile ducts. Other warning signs of bile duct issues include,

  • Dark urine
  • Fatigue
  • Night sweats
  • Unexplained or sudden weight loss
  • Abdominal pain (often on the right side)
  • Pale stools
  • Loss of appetite
  • Itching of the skin that may be worse at night

If you are experiencing jaundice, fever or abdominal pain, or any of the symptoms above, it’s best to play it safe and turn to our New Lenox, Oak Lawn, Joliet, Frankfort, Orland Park, IL, gastroenterologist for answers.

How are bile duct problems diagnosed?

After going through your medical history and asking you questions about your symptoms, we may perform a blood test to check bilirubin levels. If we believe that you could be dealing with a bile duct obstruction or problem, imaging tests are often performed to get a better look at the bile ducts. Common imaging tests include ultrasound, CTA scan and MRIs.

How are bile duct problems treated?

We need to determine what’s causing your symptoms before we can treat them. Once we have a diagnosis then we can map out a treatment plan. Here at our practice, Dr. Ayub and his team provide a wide range of procedures to treat digestive issues of all magnitudes. Some of the procedures we perform include,

  • Biopsy: to check for cancerous cells
  • Resection of the bile duct: to help the bile drain properly
  • Choledochectomy: a minimally invasive procedure to detect and remove stones
  • Placing a T-tube or stenting: to treat narrowing or strictures of the bile ducts

If you are dealing with bile duct or digestive issues, your best bet is to turn to our New Lenox, Oak Lawn, Joliet, Frankfort, Orland Park, IL, gastroenterologist who specializes in treating diseases, disorders, infections and injuries that impact the gastrointestinal tract. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Ayub, call us at (708) 475-5233.

By Kamran Ayub, MD, MRCP
January 11, 2022
Category: Conditions
Tags: Pancreatic Cysts  

The pancreas plays important role in your digestive system by producing enzymes that help your body break down food and also regulate blood sugar by producing insulin. Pancreatic cysts can form on the pancreas and though they are predominantly benign it's still important to monitor them, which you can do with the help of your local gastroenterologist, Dr. Kamran Ayub in New Lenox, Oak Lawn, Joliet, Frankfort, Orland Park, IL.

Pancreatic Cysts

Pancreatic cysts are pockets of fluid formed on your pancreas that typically are benign in nature and also, most do not have any noticeable signs.

Finding these cysts is often done during the process of imaging tests for other problems or regular checkups.

There is the chance, however, that these cysts can become cancerous, overly enlarged, or painful. In these cases, you are likely to experience symptoms.

Signs and Symptoms

Because pancreatic cysts do not often pose an immediate danger the best strategy is usually to monitor their progress. Your doctor can further examine concerning cysts for cancerous cells.

So if you have been made aware that you have pancreatic cysts you'll want to be on the lookout for persistent abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, and fever. You'll want to contact your doctor right away if you experience these signs as they could signal a cyst infection or even another gastrointestinal issue that needs to be addressed.


The exact cause for pancreatic cysts is not known but there are certain factors that put you at greater risk for developing them.

Pancreatitis is a condition that causes your pancreas to become irritated and it can result in cysts forming.

Gallstones can lead to pancreatitis so removing the gallbladder can reduce your chances of developing the condition. Overconsumption of alcohol can also lead to pancreatitis, so cutting back can help you avoid both pancreatitis and pancreatic cysts.

Pancreatic Cysts Treatment in New Lenox, Oak Lawn, Joliet, Frankfort, Orland Park, IL

Routine examinations can help your doctor detect and treat pancreatic cysts. While most will not require any direct treatment, being able to monitor their growth and condition can help prevent complications.

When cysts become a problem then more invasive treatments may be required, such as draining very large cysts or surgery for painful or cancerous cysts.

If you are concerned about pancreatic cysts you can schedule a consultation today with Dr. Ayub in New Lenox, Oak Lawn, Joliet, Frankfort, Orland Park, IL, by dialing (708) 475-5233.

By Kamran Ayub, MD, MRCP
April 26, 2021
Category: Conditions
Tags: Barret's Esophagus  

If you suffer from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, also known as GERD, it’s important to be aware of the signs of a more serious issue that GERD can cause, Barrett’s Esophagus. Your gastroenterologist, Dr. Kamran Ayub, in Oak Lawn, Joliet, and New Lennox, IL, and serving Orland Park and Frankfort, IL, is here to answer any questions about Barrett’s Esophagus that you may have and help you identify if this issue is affecting you.

What is Barrett’s Esophagus?

Barrett’s Esophagus is when the lining of the esophagus is consistently exposed to stomach acid and becomes damaged, which makes the lining begin to resemble the lining of the intestines. The lining can begin to thicken and turn red because of the damage.

Barrett’s Esophagus is met with a small chance of developing esophageal cancer, which is why it’s important to visit with your gastroenterologist serving Oak Lawn, Joliet, Orland Park, Frankfort, and New Lennox, IL, to determine if Barrett’s Esophagus is affecting you. Your gastroenterologist can do checks with an endoscope to check for any changes in the lining of your esophagus. The risk of cancer is fairly small, but it is still something to be aware of when dealing with Barrett’s Esophagus.

Some signs to look out for are:

  • Consistent heartburn and regurgitation.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Chest pain.
  • Acid reflux.

These are all signs commonly associated with GERD, which is a main contributing factor to Barrett’s Esophagus.

Contact Your Gastroenterologist Today!

If you struggle with consistent heartburn, difficulty swallowing, or any other symptoms of GERD, it’s important that you contact your doctor sooner rather than later so that they can keep an eye on your esophagus and begin treating you before things progress and get more serious. Call Dr. Kamran Ayub, in Oak Lawn, Joliet, and New Lennox, IL, and serving Orland Park and Frankfort, IL, at (708) 475-5233 today to learn more about Barrett’s Esophagus and if it may be affecting you.

April 13, 2020
Category: Conditions
Tags: Colonscopy  

A colonoscopy is one of today's most respected GI procedures. At Southwest Gastroenterology in New Lenox, Joliet, and Oak Lawn, IL, Dr. Kamran Ayub is the board-certified gastroenterologist to see about this important cancer screening test. Read on to learn how colonoscopies save lives.

What is colon cancer?

It is the third most common cancer in the US, affecting both genders and mostly people over the age of 50, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This invasive malignancy affects the large intestine (bowel), rectum, and anus, while typically originating in small benign growths called polyps.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that when detected and treated early in its development, colon cancer can often be cured. It also states that a low-fat, high-fiber diet appears to reduce the chances of developing colon cancer. Risk factors include a poor diet, smoking, and obesity.

What is a colonoscopy?

Performed by a gastroenterologist at one of our offices in New Lenox, Joliet, or Oak Lawn, IL, a colonoscopy is a safe, comfortable procedure that visualizes the interior of the lower GI tract. It is used to detect and remove polyps for biopsy, as well as to determine reasons for chronic diarrhea, proctitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and other problems with the large intestine.

With the benefit of sedation or anesthesia, the patient relaxes on their left side during this 30-minute procedure. Dr. Ayub introduces a thin, lighted tube through the anus and large intestine. The tube has a small camera that takes real-time video and still images. Through the tube, the doctor can remove polyps and other tissues as needed.

A colonoscopy could save your life

Some people with colon cancer do have symptoms of weight loss, changes in bowel habits, bloody stool, painful bowel movements, and more. However, other individuals exhibit no appreciable signs whatsoever. That's why we say screening tests, such as colonoscopy, save lives.

Find out more

To schedule a routine colonoscopy, contact your gastroenterologist at one of his three convenient locations: New Lenox, Joliet, and Oak Lawn, IL. Our main number is (708) 475-5233.

By Kamran Ayub, MD, MRCP
June 19, 2019
Category: Conditions

How your gastroenterologist in New Lenox, IL, can treat GERD

Heartburn is a common problem, especially if you eat a lot of spicy foods. However, if you are experiencing heartburn all the time, it could stomach-painbe a sign of something else being afoot, most likely gastroesophageal reflux disease. Fortunately, Dr. Kamran Ayub here at Southwest Gastroenterology can help. With several convenient office locations in New Lenox, Oak Lawn, and Joliet, IL, Dr. Ayub is committed to helping treat patients' GERD!


More about GERD

Affecting over 60 million people in the United States according to the American College of Gastroenterology, GERD is caused when the sphincter muscle between your stomach and esophagus fails to close completely, and thus allows acid from your stomach to come up into your esophagus. GERD can cause several annoying and painful symptoms, including:

  • Chronic throat pain
  • A sour taste and bad breath
  • Chronic coughing and wheezing
  • Eroding tooth enamel which causes sensitive teeth
  • Chronic chest pain, nausea, and vomiting

To help pacify GERD symptoms, consider:

  • Eating smaller meals
  • Stopping the use of tobacco products
  • Not eating before going to bed or lying down
  • Avoiding spicy or acidic foods
  • Taking over-the-counter antacids

If your symptoms persist after implementing the above lifestyle changes, you should definitely a consultation with our gastroenterologist. After all, if GERD goes untreated, the constant flow of stomach acid can cause serious problems in your esophagus, including:

  • Esophageal inflammation, which results in the swelling of your esophagus and difficulty swallowing
  • Esophageal ulcers, which results in nausea, chest pain, and problems swallowing
  • Esophageal narrowing and scarring, which results in problems swallowing
  • Esophageal cancer


Concerned? Give us a call!

You can do a lot to help with GERD, but you may not be able to achieve relief alone. That's where your gastroenterologist can help. To find out more about the causes of GERD, symptoms, and how to get relief, call Dr. Kamran Ayub at Southwest Gastroenterology, with convenient office locations in New Lenox, Oak Lawn, and Joliet, Illinois. Don’t wait to get the relief you need. Call (708) 475-5233 now!

By Kamran Ayub, MD, MRCP
December 18, 2018
Category: Conditions
Tags: Acid Reflux  

Don’t let heartburn ruin mealtimes for you. Our doctors in Oak Lawn, Joliet, and New Lenox, IL, can help you manage your acid reflux.

Do you worry that every time you are eating something that afterward you’re going to be dealing with a burning, gnawing feeling in your throat and chest? If so, you could be dealing with a problem known as acid reflux. While acid reflux will happen to most of us at some point, if you are experiencing symptoms frequently then it might be time to turn to one of gastroenterologist Dr. Kamran Ayub's offices in Oak Lawn, Joliet, or New Lenox, IL, to find out what’s going on.


What are the symptoms of acid reflux?

As many as 60 million Americans experience acid reflux at least once a month, according to WebMD. Are you one of them? Well, you might be if you are experiencing,

  • Heartburn: a burning sensation in your chest and often the throat.
  • Acid in the throat (known as regurgitation)
  • Frequent burping
  • Nausea after eating
  • Bloating

These symptoms often appear if,

  • You’ve eaten a heavy or large meal
  • You lie down immediately after eating
  • If you eat spicy foods
  • You are consuming caffeinated beverages or drinking alcohol

You may notice that your acid reflux symptoms get worse at night. Women who are pregnant are also at risk for acid reflux.


When should I visit a gastroenterologist for acid reflux?

While experiencing the occasional bout of acid reflux shouldn’t make you run for the doctor’s office, you should turn to our New Lenox, IL, office if,

  • Symptoms get worse or don’t improve with over-the-counter medications
  • You have difficult or painful swallowing
  • You have unexplained or unexpected weight loss
  • You are dealing with nausea or vomiting due to heartburn
  • You are vomiting blood
  • You feel like you have a lump in your throat
  • You develop a persistent cough
  • You develop hoarseness or a raspy in your voice


If you are dealing with acid reflux in Oak Lawn, Joliet, or New Lenox, IL, then let our gastrointestinal specialists provide you with the treatment that you need to reduce your heartburn symptoms and to make eating a pain-free experience. For New Lenox, call (708) 475-5233, for Oak Lawn, call (708) 475-5233, and for Joliet, call (708) 475-5233