Quad Cities, IL/IA

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Keeping Your Gut in Check—The difference between a healthy and unhealthy gut…and how to address issues.


Written by Mississippi Valley Surgery Center

Abdominal pain. Diarrhea. Constipation. While it may be uncomfortable to talk about, digestive system diseases are very common. With an estimated 70 million people in the U.S. suffering from digestive disease each day, it’s important to know the signs of a healthy gut versus unhealthy gut—and what to do to get your gut back in check.

With roughly 100 trillion bacteria, both good and bad, housed in our digestive systems, our overall health can be severely impacted by our guts. In fact, many consider the gut the body’s second brain. Lucky for us, there are many ways to tell if our guts are healthy and if our digestive systems are performing as they should. Passing one to two bowel movements a day that are well-formed and easy to pass is a great sign, along with being free of symptoms like gas, bloating, abdominal pain, and hemorrhoids.

For many, signs of an unhealthy gut may include:

  • Consistent stomach pain
  • Unintentional weight changes
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Sleep disturbances or constant fatigue
  • Skin irritation
  • Mood issues
  • Food cravings
  • Food intolerances

While an unhealthy gut may be uncomfortable, there are ways to help your gut health. Tactics include:

  • Staying hydrated
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Exercising regularly
  • Lowering your stress levels
  • Taking a prebiotic or probiotic
  • Changing your diet

However, when these changes don’t seem to be making a difference, it may be time to consult a digestive system specialist—known as a gastroenterologist. With 100 years of combined experience, many patients in the Quad Cities turn to Quad City Gastroenterology (QCG) when experiencing digestive issues.

“Similar to how a child would go to a pediatrician for care, it’s important for all patients to visit a specialized provider when they have a specialized issue,” Angie Van Utrecht, MHA, QCG Operations Director, said. “It’s a specialist’s advanced education, training and level of care that can get your health back on track more effectively.”

Local, Specialized Digestive Healthcare
In August of 2020, Gastrointestinal Clinic of the Quad Cities and Heartland Clinic announced the successful merger of its two GI medical practices. The new entity, Quad City Gastroenterology, is the largest specialty gastroenterology practice in both the Iowa and Illinois Quad Cities.

By partnering, the two organizations bring more than 50 team members together to solely focus on providing the best experience and care for all patients. Van Utrecht can attest to the high level of patient care provided at QCG.

“I’ve been in this career for more than 20 years and Quad City Gastroenterology has some of the most thorough and specialized providers that I’ve ever seen and had the pleasure of working with,” she said. “All providers have very similar skillsets, morals, and desire to provide the highest level of patient care. It just made sense to bring them together.”

When it comes to outpatient care, the physicians at QCG perform their procedures at Mississippi Valley Endoscopy Center, located in Davenport, IA. Utilizing the latest technology including endoscopic ultrasound, colorectal cancer screenings and endoscopies in an outpatient setting allows patients to return home comfortability within one hour or so after their procedure.

“We’ve positioned ourselves for the future,” Van Utrecht said. “Having strength in numbers, high level of expertise and ability to work with centers like Mississippi Valley Endoscopy Center makes it easier for us to recruit high-level providers. We have a strong team now, and it’s only going to get stronger as we add more providers and bring in more local services for GI care.”

Dr. Bettaiah Gowda, QCG’s President and one of the clinic’s eight providers is confident in not only the team’s knowledge, but their ability to take their GI care to the next level.

“This merger ensures that our group will continue to provide the highest level of GI care to our patients with more access and additional services in the future,” he said. “We’re able to deliver more proactive, personalized care.”

With two office locations in Moline and Davenport, Quad City Gastroenterology’s board-certified gastroenterologists treat a wide variety of digestive issues, from the most common GI disorders to the most complex diseases. Specialties include, but are not limited to, diarrhea, celiac disease, GERD, Barrett’s esophagus, gallstones, heartburn and acid reflux, hemorrhoids, hepatitis, liver diseases, IBS, lactose and fructose intolerance, Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, and diagnosis/management of gastrointestinal cancers.

“At the end of the day, we just want people to be more aware and more involved with their health,” Van Utrecht said. “Preventative care is so important in general, but in GI, it can truly be life-saving.”

Convenient and comfortable GI care Located at 3400 Dexter Court, Suite 200 in Davenport, Mississippi Valley Surgery Center and Endoscopy Center is the Quad Cities’ largest multi-specialty outpatient surgery center. Many physicians at QCG utilize the Center’s latest technology including endoscopic ultrasound, colorectal cancer screenings and endoscopies, allowing patients to return home comfortability within one hour or so after their procedure.

Quad City Gastroenterology Providers
Dr. Sreenivas Chintalapani
Dr. Bettaiah Gowda
Dr. Shashinath Chandrahasegowda
Dr. Amitkumar Patel
Dr. Ishan Bhattacharya
Dr. Mohammad Yaseen (Pediatric GI)
Dr. Linda Tong
Erin Haynes, ARNP

To learn more about Quad City Gastroenterology and its list of providers, visit www.facebook.com/qcgastro or contact the office at 309-762-5560. To learn more about Mississippi Valley Endoscopy Center, visit https://www.mvhealth.net/surgeries-procedures/gastrointestinal-endoscopy.