Islamabad : The gastroenterology outpatient department at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences registered as many as 87,790 visits of patients suffering from various digestive diseases in one year from June 30, 2017 to June 30, 2018.
According to PIMS Gastroenterology Department, there is 30 per cent increase in number of patients with digestive diseases in last one year as compared to the number of patients in the previous year, 2016-17 though from June 2016 to June 2017, a total of 92,242 visits of patients were registered at PIMS Gastroenterology Department.
Number of visits of patients is different from number of patients because sometimes a patient comes to the hospital only once in a year and sometimes twice or thrice in a week or month, or many times in a year with different symptoms, said Deputy Director at PIMS Dr. Waseem Ahmed Khawaja while talking to ‘The News’.
Dr. Khawaja who serves in PIMS Gastroenterology Department added that well over 10,000 patients came with symptoms of indigestion in last one year while more than 8,000 patients came for banding of bleeding oesophageal varices or complications of various liver diseases including hepatitis B and C.
He added that as many as 5,234 patients were given treatment for stomach ulcer in last one year at the OPD of gastroenterology department while over 2,500 patients were provided treatment for complications of hepatitis C including those suffering from blood in vomiting or bleeding in stool.
He said the department provided treatment to over 500 patients suffering from ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease that causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers (sores) in the digestive tract.
He added that nearly 75 per cent of the patients who came with stomach problems had Helicobacter pylori positive, an infection that is a common cause of peptic ulcer.
Nearly 850 patients came to the gastroenterology department with irritable bowel syndrome while a good number of patients reached hospital with gastroesophageal reflux disease, gastroenteritis, pancreatitis and malabsorption syndrome that involves problems absorbing certain sugars, fats, proteins or vitamins, said Dr. Khawaja.
He said the gastroenterology department performed well over 9000 endoscopies and over 2000 endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP) in one year, all free of cost.
The number of children suffering from gastrointestinal diseases is also on the rise and more than 20000 children were provided treatment in PIMS children hospital suffering from digestive diseases in one year, said Dr. Khawaja.
According to Head of Gastroenterology Department at PIMS Professor Dr. Mashood, the most common causes of increase in number of cases of various digestive diseases include consumption of contaminated water, contaminated food, lack of healthy living style and anxiety.
People should avoid food from outside and junk food and should use boiled water, clean utensils and must wash hands before meal and keep kitchens clean, he said.
Eat slowly, drink more water and avoid self-medications especially pain killers and patients must follow the instructions given by their doctors and use medicines as advised, he said.