Ask the Doctor


Q: What is known about the value of very low carb diets (like Paleo) for preventing inflammation in Crohn’s disease. Can it be a good way to manage the condition? Holly L., Flat Rock

A: Not much is known or has been scientifically proven. With the expectation that all Paleo Diet foods are organic and not processed, it may be helpful for that factor alone — processed foods are a known culprit of inflammation. However, animal proteins may cause inflammation in some people too. If you are not sensitive to animal protein it may be a good diet for you.

Q: Why is endoscopy necessary when you already know you have chronic heartburn? Zach M., Riverview

A: Chronic heartburn can lead to changes within your esophagus that create more serious health issues. Endoscopy shows us the cause of the chronic heartburn — it could be a hiatal hernia, gastritis or possibly Barrett’s Esophagus which could lead to cancer if not detected early. Endoscopy also helps us provide you with a direct treatment plan.

Q: Do you know if irritiable bowel syndrome and skin problems are interrelated? I realized recently that when I first had IBS (when I was 19), keratosis pilaris also appeared on my arms. Marianne C., Westland

A: A gluten intolerance could be the common denominator. Digestive complaints, KP, eczema, migraines, joint pain, chronic fatigue, brain fog are all indicators that gluten may be impacting your health. Consult with your family doctor or an allergist.

Rana Sabbagh, M.D., is board-certified in internal medicine, gastroenterology and nutrition. She is the founder of GastroCenter of Michigan and Experior Weight Loss Clinic, 23500 Park St., Suite 2B in Dearborn. Do you have a health question for Dr. Sabbagh? Submit it by email to:

All information provided in Ask The Doctor is intended for your general knowledge. Consult with your personal doctor or pharmacist for any specific health or nutrition issues. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of information you have read in any publication.