Women, take time to care for yourself during Women’s Health Month in October. Hill Country Memorial is here.

A way that women can provide self-care is by monitoring the functioning of their Gastrointestinal Tract (GI). While not a topic many women are eager to discuss, it is important that proper gut health is maintained and any symptoms are not ignored.

Kelly Seals, ACNP-BC, Gastroenterology, notes that while there’s not really a difference in female and male digestive processes, perception of symptoms can be different. For example, women tend to have more problems with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

“A lot of women I meet in practice have a social phobia of discussing bowel movements and GI-related symptoms like belching, reflux, and diarrhea,” she said. “They appreciate reassurances that they’re not alone, and these are normal processes that we can help with.”

Following good health practices is always a good idea. For gut health, these might include eating a high-fiber diet, drinking plenty of water, and doing regular exercise. Seals also encourages women to get a screening colonoscopy by age 50.

“These are both preventative and diagnostic, as we are able to remove colon polyps that can become cancer later on.”

While her office does not offer surgical procedures, they do maintain “a whole arsenal” of medications and diagnostic screenings. They do not require referrals for evaluation.

“I would encourage any woman that has GI symptoms that they haven’t talked to anybody about to come visit me. Our medical professionals are here to help.”

Kelly Seals, ACNP-BC, sees patients in the clinic as well as the hospital and can refer to endoscopy, colonoscopy, advanced endoscopy, and biliary procedures. She provides care for patients with acid reflux, motility, and functional disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, liver disease, and more. As the only female GI provider in the area, she provides expert care with a compassionate touch.

Kelly sees patients at the HCM Medical Clinic in Fredericksburg in the Perry-Feller Building at
205 W. Windcrest, Suite 130