GI Problems

SCUBADOC Diving Medicine Online

Cirrhosis and Ascites

Here’s a query from a scuba instructor: 57 year old male, history of alcoholism & suffering cirrohsis of the liver. Very large, distended belly ( has the largest “outie” belly button you’ve ever seen! ), but otherwise not obese. Passed the N.A.U.I. pool test better than most of his classmates. Claims his drinking days are […]

Diving With Hepatitis C

Whether a diver with Hepatitis C (HCV) should dive depends upon several factors:-Stage of his disease-Level of hepatic involvement-Type of treatment he is receiving-Original cause of his HCV (drug injections?, etc). 28% of all HCV infections are from injectable drug use. A diver with this disease needs to be in relatively good physical condition (from […]

Sprue (Coeliac Disease) and Seizure Activity

What is coeliac disease? This is a malabsorption condition in which there is atrophy of the villi in the small intestine, leading to loss of calcium and sodium. Recently described are the cerebral calcifications and seizures that are associated with the condition. Several recent reports have described convulsions in patients with celiac disease, and in […]

Hernias and Diving

Hernias are openings in the abdominal wall through which abdominal contents escape and protrude to the outside. Inguinal hernias (groin) are the most freguently encountered and probably the most dangerous when diving. Of course, other types of hernia can occur, eg., umbilical (navel), incisional (post-operative), diaphragmatic (between the abdomen and the chest cavity), internal (a […]

Intestinal Gas and Diving (Flatus)

Diving with intestinal gas can be an experience that most of us would rather not even think of–much less have to deal with.The gas has to conform to Boyle’s law and can cause extreme discomfort in ascending from depth–particularly if it has become trapped or increased in amount from whatever source. Gas is the production […]

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Introduction Inflammatory Bowel Disease means inflammation of the bowel or gastrointestinal tract and can be classified into two types–ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD). This classification may not be possible in some cases (10-15%),and these are called indeterminate. Ulcerative colitis, as the name suggests, involves only the colon/rectum although some “backwash ileitis” may be […]

Heartburn and Peptic Disease

Heartburn If you have a severe case of heartburn every time you dive and it gets worse on ascending to the surface, you probably have pressure-induced GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). Remember Boyle’s Law–air filled sacs decrease in size as pressure is increased and increase in size as pressure is decreased. What is happening is that […]
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