Home | Cover | America | World

Anusitis and Other Causes of Rectal Bleeding

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

October 7, 2007

"Why didn’t you come to see me earlier? It could have saved you months of worry,” I recently asked a patient. She had delayed seeing me because of rectal bleeding and she was terrified I’d tell her the diagnosis was cancer. Yet her only complaint was anusitis, an often overlooked rectal condition. But whether it’s anusitis or a serious problem a cardinal rule is never, never ignore rectal bleeding.

Prexige A New Painkiller For Arthritis Pain

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

January 13, 2007

What did 34,000 patients share? They all suffered from a variety of arthritic pain. They also agreed to participate in a clinical trial to evaluate whether a new non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) was safe for doctors to prescribe. Now, after the largest study ever conducted on a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, Prexige, is available to treat the pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis (OA).

Bull Elephants Advice on Treating IBS

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

July 23, 2006

Would you like to have your picture taken in the nude sitting on a toilet? Then have the photo published in The Globe and Mail, Canada's national newspaper? Surely, we'd all sue for such an indignity. But a recent photo showed Diew, a bull elephant whose been trained to sit on an elephant-sized toilet. No doubt the photo meant to stress that the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is an elephant-sized problem. But editors published the wrong photo.

Magnesium Keeps The Undertaker Away

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A healthy 18-year-old basketball player and health-conscious jogger recently left this world all of a sudden. Why? Because of an initial diagnosis; death from coronary artery disease due to high blood cholesterol. But the cause of death eventually proved to be due to magnesium deficiency. Magnesium has never been a super-star nutrient like calcium. But it's still crucial in keeping the undertaker away and in fighting several common chronic diseases. So are you getting enough of this mineral?

How To Keep Your Brain In Shape

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

July 19, 2005

Are there days when you think you need a brain transplant? You're getting those "senior moments" even though you're only 40 years age? Or at 70 you're forgetting things you shouldn't forget? These days with so much talk about Alzheimer's Disease, it's easy to assume you may be "losing it". But today there are ways to keep the brain functioning the way it's supposed to.

Alcoholic Cirrhosis From Eating?

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

I'd bet a thousand to one that 99.9 percent of readers have never heard of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Yet a recent report from Johns Hopkins University claims that 25 percent of North Americans suffer from this disorder. What is it, how can it be prevented and treated?

The Do's And Don'ts of Rectal Bleeding

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

General Douglas MacArthur, on his retirement from the U.S army, reminisced, "old soldiers never die they just fade away." I've now written over 1,500 newspaper columns and some never seem to die nor fade away. For instance, a previous article dealing with a unique way of treating hemorrhoids and anusitis continues to trigger letters from readers every year. Readers who say they remember the column, but can't recall the cure. But these letters also show that many people fail to learn a basic rule; never, never, ignore rectal bleeding.

There Are Stools And There Are Stools

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

December 7, 2004

This column is written with tongue in cheek. But are you bored as I am, at holiday dinner parties listening to friends talk about their blood cholesterol level or the latest treatment for arthritis? If so, and you don't mind not being invited again, start discussing stools. The point is that not all stools are created equal and their composition often tells the difference between being healthy or ill.

The Constipated Battleship King George V

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

November 30, 2003

Recently a patient, who is extremely health conscious, asked, "If you had to pick the most important food what would you choose?" I replied, "fiber". I've believed for years that fiber is the corner stone of a healthy diet and without adequate amounts people are headed for a variety of health problems.

Think "refrigerator" when treating hemorrhoids

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

September 15, 2003

Would Napoleon Bonaparte have won at Waterloo if he hadn't been suffering from painful hemorrhoids? Directing the battle while on horseback with swollen hemorrhoids could not have been easy. We'll never know the answer to that question. But today there are solutions for treating this common condition. One answer is as close as the refrigerator door. But there's a major pitfall to avoid.

The Great Canadian Fart Survey

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

May 4, 2003

This week it's tough getting back to work. I've just returned from a cruise around South America's Cape Horn. Each day I was pampered on Holland America's ship, the Ryndham. Then a stay in Rio de Janeiro strolling Copacabana's magnificent beach. One doesn't forget the bikini-clad Latin ladies! So still in a vacation mood I've searched hard and long for a lighter topic for this week's column. I finally found The Great Canadian Fart Survey.

Music Can Save Lives

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

July 27, 2002

Do you listen to western music, jazz or Mozart? It doesn't matter which type because any can save lives. So why isn't music a part of all medical procedures?

Don't Let Your Dignity Kill You

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

January 14, 2002

"Why in the name of Heaven do I submit to this procedure every five years? To be forced into such an undignified position makes me wonder each time if there's a God."

A Novel Way To Relieve Rectal Discomfort

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

January 13, 2002

"How can I get rid of rectal irritation?" Or "what is the best treatment for hemorrhoids?" Every year readers ask these questions. Some have given up hope of ever getting rid of rectal discomfort. Yet for many sufferers help is as close as the refrigerator door.

A New Drug To Treat Heartburn

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

November 11, 2001

Nietzsche, the German philosopher wrote in 1886 that "The belly is the main reason why man does not mistake himself for a god." The gnawing, burning pain that accompanies heartburn, the most common symptom of dyspepsia or digestive disease always reminds us we're very human. Now, a new medication will provide speedier relief for this ungodly distress.

Please Help Me

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

October 7, 2001

What is the worst part of being a medical journalist? It's not the long hours researching and writing a column. The never-ending deadlines week after week. It's when the written word becomes too authoritative and readers think you know more than you do. And you simply cannot deliver the goods.

The Fallacy of Colonic Cleansing

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

January 14, 2001

Why didn't they teach me this treatment at The Harvard Medical School? It could have saved my patients and me a lot of headaches. A simple procedure that helps every disease in the book. But can colonic irrigation accomplish all these things? And is there a dangerous downside?

What You Should Know About I.B.S.

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

December 26, 2000

Napoleon Bonaparte at one time needed a soldier for a particularly hazardous mission. The story goes that he ordered several soldiers to face a firing squad. He picked the stoic who showed no tendency to move his bowels. Napoleon might also have concluded that this soldier did not suffer from "the irritable bowel syndrome" (IBS).

Will you get an ulcer this Christmas?

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

December 9, 2000

During this hectic festive season do partygoers face an increased risk of developing a peptic ulcer? Many people will suffer from headaches and gastritis after overindulging. But can too many martinis, rich foods and stress trigger a duodenal ulcer? As the holiday season begins it's time to separate fact from fiction.

Don't Love Your Liver Too Late

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

Have you ever worried about your liver? Most people would answer "no" unless they're heavy drinkers. Rather, they're concerned about a possible heart attack, stroke, cancer and other problems. It's an ironic situation since the liver, one of the most complicated organs in the body, is the most abused. What does it do? And why is it wise not to love your liver too late.

The 90 Percent Solution For Anusitis and Hemorrhoids

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

Many people think they're suffering from hemorrhoids. But the cause of their discomfort is often "anusitis" a common, but frequently overlooked condition. In this case a hemorrhoid operation won't relieve the symptoms. This week two common problems that have plagued mankind for centuries. There's a easy cure for both and one may be as close as the refrigerator door.

What You Should Know About GERD

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

Do you suffer from heartburn, gas, stomach discomfort after eating and sometimes need to belch? Or do you ever feel that food has come back up leaving a bitter taste in your mouth? If so you may be suffering from a motility problem rather than excess stomach acid.

Do Laxatives Cause Cancer?

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

Can several popular laxatives cause cancer? This is a question many anxious readers have recently asked me. It was triggered by an announcement from Health Canada. It ordered several companies to stop selling certain laxatives by August 8 unless they can prove they are safe.

The Latest Treatment for Peptic Ulcer

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

What's the best way to cure the gnawing pain of a peptic ulcer? This week I met the doctor who has the answer. Dr Barry Marshall stunned the scientific world by claiming that peptic ulcers were not caused by stress. Rather, he claimed stomach and duodenal ulcers were triggered by a spiral-shaped bacterium called Helicobacter pylori. And that just as you can catch a cold you can catch an ulcer!

Think "Mother-In-Law" If You're Constipated

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

Do you know if you suffer from constipation? And if so, what can you do about it? I recently told readers that if their stools didn't float it meant their diet was lacking in fiber. This column unleashed a flood of letters. The majority requested that I write more about constipation. Others are confused about the various types of fiber. And what to do if they need a laxative.

It's Safer Living In Uganda!

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

"Why in the name of Heaven do I subject myself to this indignity and inconvenience every five years?" I ask. The answer is always the same. I prefer not to have a colostomy or die from cancer of the large bowel. Undergoing colonoscopy is the only way to prevent it. That is, unless I decide to live in Uganda?

Open The Refrigerator For Relief of Rectal Irritation

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

Have you given up hope of ever getting rid of rectal irritation? Every year I see patients who have tried an array of over-the-counter preparations. They've consulted a variety of physicians to no avail. And some have undergone a hemorrhoidectomy operation without relief of symptoms.

The Case of the "Floating Stool"

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

What will I remember most about the start of 1997? No, I didn't paint the town red and end up with a throbbing hang-over. Rather, I won't forget the response to the first column of the year. The article dealing with 20 New Year's resolutions. But it was one specific resolution that provoked the reaction.

Does Aspirin Protect Against Several Diseases?

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

It appears that with each passing year acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), commonly referred to as Aspirin, has found another important use in medicine. But what is fact and what is still questionable?

The 90 Percent Solution For Hemorrhoids

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

"Could I have prevented this problem?" a patient recently asked me. She had had surgery to treat hemorrhoids. But too much tissue had been removed by the scalpel. Now the rectal opening was too small causing difficult and painful bowel movements. A simple rubber-band could have prevented this complication.

The Tight Pants Syndrome!

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

Are you a middle-aged man complaining of vague abdominal discomfort? Do you feel that your abdomen is often distended? Or have you noticed occasional skipped heart beats? And are you concerned you may have a serious intestinal or cardiac problem? If so, you may simply be suffering from the "Tight Pants Syndrome".

GERD and LES Are Not The Latest Pop Stars

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

Have you heard about GERD and LES? No, they're not the latest pop stars. Nor are they brother and sister. But LES (lower esophageal sphincter) often determines whether you suffer from GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). And if you don't know anything about GERD you may think your pain is due to coronary disease.

Take Some Honey, Honey For Peptic Ulcers!

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

Why write about peptic ulcers again after discussing them a few months ago? It's not that I'm getting absent-minded or running out of ideas. Rather, I've just come across a novel way to treat one of this nation's major problems.

Are You Treating Your Peptic Ulcer The Wrong Way?

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

It's been said that, "He who laughs last, laughs best". That's why Dr's Barry J. Marshall and J. Robbin Warren must be chuckling to themselves these days. In 1983 these Australian researchers reported that peptic ulcers were caused by bacteria. And all the world's gastroenterologists guffawed. Now Marshall and Graham are having the last laugh.

Take A Lesson From The Battleship King George V

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

Last week I discussed why we needed to start "Constipation Anonymous". Why millions of bowels become crippled by the needless use of laxatives. And how a change in lifestyle habits can protect people from chronic constipation. This week what you should know about the British battleship King George V. And what eventually happened to Captain L. Cleave.

It's Time to Start Constipation Anonymous

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

Heraclitus was a shrewd observer of humans. In 530 B.C. he wrote "There is always a majority of fools". Barnum and Bailey added centuries later, "There's a sucker born every minute". That may explain why every year millions of dollars are spent on laxatives that cripple normal bowels. So it's time to start "Constipation Anonymous".

Beware of Flatus this Christmas

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

Why would anyone spend time studying rectal flatus? After all, hell would have to freeze over before this research would win the Nobel Prize in Medicine. But it is rather refreshing, if you will pardon the pun, to learn that a researcher is investigating this malodorous human problem. So none of us should turn up our nose at this unique study. Or get careless at a Christmas party.

The Rectum's "Magic Wand"

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

How many readers suffer from constant rectal irritation? And no medication has brought relief? Or how many have undergone a hemorrhoid operation and their discomfort continues? It may be that many are afflicted with a common, but often overlooked condition called, "Anusitis", an inflamed area, just inside the anus. Relief from this annoyance may be as close as the refrigerator.

The Best Tests For 1993

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

Let's start 1993 with a bet. I'd wager that no-one could guess what happened to my wife and me a few days ago. Here's the only clue. It was a "His" and "Hers" situation. You're wrong if you thought we bought "His" and "Hers" towels. Or "His" and "Hers" cars. We weren't looking for space and arranging "His" and "Hers" vacations. Instead we left home one morning for the most unromantic of appointments, with a colonoscopy clinic. This procedure and several others are considered the top best tests in 1993.

Does Bacteria cause Peptic Ulcers?

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

Is there nothing sacred anymore, even at Christmas? Or have doctors been leading us astray for years on the cause of stomach ulcers? The ones who've told us too much tension, spicy foods, martini's and the good life are responsible for the gnawing pain in the pit of the stomach. Well, there's a good chance these physicians will have to eat their words. Peptic ulcers may be caused by a spiral-shaped bacterium called Helicobacter pylori. Just as you can catch a cold, you may be able to "catch" an ulcer.

What You Should Know About NSAIDS

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

"My God, how can so many people in this country be ill?" This thought entered my mind when I recently saw some statistics. Although I normally distrust such figures. For instance, last year 77 million prescriptions were written in Canada and the U.S. for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Currently, millions of people are using NSAIDS such as Motrin, Advil, Midol and others to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation caused by arthritis, sore muscles, menstrual cramps and headaches. A new ruling that makes NSAIDS available without a doctor's prescription opened a pandora's box of mass use and potential life-threatening complications.

Did piles defeat Napoleon at Waterloo?

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

Would Napoleon Bonaparte have been victorious at Waterloo if he hadn't been suffering from hemorrhoids? If cryosurgery had been available, would it have changed the outcome? No one knows the answer. But even when you're not on horseback directing a battle, it's hard to concentrate while suffering hemorrhoidal pain. Fortunately, most hemorrhoids can now be treated effectively with little discomfort by cryosurgery.

Mother's advice was wrong

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

Has your doctor ever told you your symptoms were due to an irritable bowel? If so you're not alone. Every year thousands of patients consult doctors for this problem. William Shakespeare and Napoleon Bonaparte were not physicians, but each was acutely aware of the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

How much gas is too much?

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

It happens to Kings, Queens and the rest of us every day. Rectal gas (flatus) must be passed. Most of us wish we were alone in the middle of the Sahara Desert. But whether driving with friends or seated at a sedate dinner party, one unguarded moment means the eyes of the world seem to focus on the guilty. Flatus is a constant reminder that we're human. Some humans are unfortunate enough to pass astronomical amounts of flatus. They deserve commendation in the Guinness Book of Records. But how much flatus is normal? And can a computer help patients with this problem?

Just because it's there, you don't have to go

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

Sir Edmund Hillary when asked why he felt compelled to climb Mount Everest, replied, "Because its there." I agree challenge and travel to distant lands adds spice to life. But like mountain climbing, wandering the world has its hazards. I recently journeyed to Casablanca and Marrakesh in North Africa to attend an international medical conference. I returned home weak, dehydrated, many pounds lighter and, I hope, a lot wiser. During the ordeal I drafted the Gifford-Jones dictum about travel, "Just because it's there, you don't have to go." This is sound advice even if you're in perfect shape. It has particular merit for the disabled and those with other medical problems.

The lazy bowel

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

Are you taking antacid tablets you don't need? Or using anti-ulcer drugs that don't ease your stomach troubles? I recently discussed this perplexing problem with Dr. Michel Boivin, Professor of Medicine at the University of Montreal. His answer threw new light on the cause of gastrointestinal disorders and suggested a new way to treat them.

The name of the disease doesn't matter when it strikes

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

"Please, Dear Lord, above all other wordly goods grant me a bathroom." I doubt there are many travellers who haven't raised this silent prayer to the Almighty. Some fervently issue this entreaty on a bus when the next stop is still miles away. Others in a state of desperation, lift this plea to Heaven when a plane is delayed on the runway and the toilet's door is still locked.Traveller's Diarrhea can strike with the speed of lightning. Andwhen it does, the last problem on your mind is whether it's called Montezuma's Revenge, the Hong Kong Trots or the Casablanca Crud.This year thousands of Canadians will once again repeat this prayer to the Almighty. Other travellers who take prophylactic antibiotics will prevent the ubiquitous malady. Who should and who shouldn't take this medication?

Don't leave home without one

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

The T.V. ad says we should never leave home without one. They're right for some countries. But I'd prefer cash and a unique new drinking cup for many other nations of the world. Last week we discussed why some high priority or susceptible travellers should consider using prophylactic antibiotics to prevent Montezuma's revenge, the Hong Kong trots and the Casablanca cruds.


W. Gifford-Jones M.D is the pen name of Dr. Ken Walker graduate of Harvard. Dr. Walker's website is: Docgiff.com

My book, “90 + How I Got There” can be obtained by sending $19.95 to:

Giff Holdings, 525 Balliol St, Unit # 6,Toronto, Ontario, M4S 1E1

Pre-2008 articles by Gifford Jones