Category Archives: Stomach Health

How to Tell if You Have a Foodborne Illness

Some sicknesses can settle in fast. In the case of a foodborne illness, you may never see it coming. While the symptoms are undeniable, finding the root of the cause can often be difficult. And because of that, it can take a while to recover from the illness.

At the office of Dr. Tabib, gastroenterologist Los Angeles, we want you to be informed about the best ways to identify a foodborne illness. Being able to find the source of the illness can not only aid in recovery but can assist in future prevention as well. Remember that foodborne illnesses can come in many shapes and forms, and if you are in serious concern about your health, please make an appointment with us right away. These illnesses should not be taken lightly, and Dr. Tabib can assist you in finding the best treatment plan possible.

What Exactly is a Foodborne Illness?

To better identify whether you have a foodborne illness, it’s important to understand exactly what they are. Foodborne illnesses are defined as a disease or illness that results in the consumption of contaminated food. Different types of food can become contaminated with disease-carrying bacteria, viruses, parasites, and more. When one of these goes inside of your body, you may contract a foodborne illness.

What are the Symptoms of a Foodborne Illness?

Highlighting the symptoms below can help you distinguish between a foodborne illness and another similar condition, such as a flu virus. Remember that foodborne illnesses strictly come from the consumption of food, and they cannot be contracted any other way.

You may have a foodborne illness if you experience some or all the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Joint aches
  • Fatigue
  • The existence of a harmful pathogen in the body

Another huge factor that separates foodborne illnesses from a flu virus is the persistence of the symptoms. Typically, a foodborne illness will cause symptoms that last up to a week. While some cases of food poisoning can go away within 24 hours, many patients experience a persistence of symptoms that last for an entire week.

What Foods Cause a Foodborne Illness?

Harmful pathogens can attach themselves to pretty much any kind of food, but there are types of foods that are far more harmful than others. Our gastroenterologist Los Angeles recommends that you do not consume anything that is unfamiliar or suspicious to you. The major food groups that can carry these illnesses include:

  • Raw animal products, including meat, dairy, and eggs.
  • Raw shellfish and fish
  • Unpasteurized fruit, juices, and cider (the same goes for dairy milk as well)
  • Food that has been touched by someone with a virus or other foodborne illness, who can transfer the pathogen directly to the food itself

There are certain standards and safety procedures in place to ensure that food is as clean and unhandled as possible. Environments carrying pathogens are deemed unfit for the preparation of foods, and certain laws can prevent people from selling or trading contaminated items.

It’s typically a good idea to stay away from raw meat, eggs, and shellfish as often as possible, as these carry the greatest risk for the contraction of a foodborne illness. Make sure the person or facility preparing the food is one that can be ultimately trusted.

Get in Touch with Your Gastroenterologist ASAP

When you are experiencing the symptoms of a foodborne illness, and you are worried about the persistence of your condition, it’s important to get in touch with your gastroenterologist Los Angeles as soon as possible. The office of Dr. Tabib is always available to those who need accurate and effective treatments for their health. If you need a consultation or appointment, you can contact us online or give us a call at (310) 652-4472.

Managing Symptoms of IBS

If you have constant stomach pains, experience frequent bathroom uses, or have difficulty with your digestive functions, you may be experiencing irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. IBS is a common digestive problem that has previously only been treated through medication. However, as more studies are done on the condition, more research has indicated that diet and lifestyle can lead to IBS and that changing certain eating habits and lifestyle choices can help reduce your sensitivities. If you’re experiencing severe IBS and are searching for a qualified Los Angeles Gastroenterologist, call Dr. Tabib’s office today to schedule a consultation. Read our informative tips for managing symptoms of IBS and start feeling better today.

Lifestyle Habits

Often, researchers and doctors are finding that specific lifestyle choices lead to increased and worsened symptoms of IBS. To give your body the best chance of avoiding extreme symptoms, you can make simple, yet effective changes to your lifestyle habits. One of the main agitators of IBS is a constant stress from your job or living situations. Increased stress is not the cause of IBS, but it can be a significant aggressor. Try reducing your daily stress by acknowledging the stress you’re experiencing and rationalize why it is causing you to feel this way. If this doesn’t work, consider getting professional help to deal with stress, especially if your diet is full of foods that do not aggravate IBS symptoms, as your stress may be a leading factor.


Sleep is a huge lifestyle attribution that many people dismiss. A good night’s sleep aids in weight loss, a lower risk of depression and lowering the symptoms of IBS. Examine your sleep schedule. Are you getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night? If not, this may be a leading factor to your increased symptoms of IBS. It is vitally important that you get at least 7 hours of restful sleep per night to maintain a healthy lifestyle and it could be what’s aggravating your IBS symptoms. Try and accomplish this hourly minimum for a week straight and examine how you feel after seven days of restful sleep. If your symptoms have significantly decreased, this may be a huge attribution to significant discomfort.


Staying active is also a major contribution to the increase or decrease of IBS symptoms. You should attempt to accomplish a weekly workout schedule of at least 3 days of exercise. Increasing your workouts can have a significantly positive effect on the frequency and intensity of your discomfort. Exercise does not always mean going to the gym. Taking frequent walks, going on outdoor runs, finding new hiking trails or participating in a sport are all great ways of exercising without frequent gym visits. Sticking to a consistent routine of working out allows your body to formulate a schedule and this can lead to smaller and less frequent symptoms of IBS. There is also an added benefit of using exercise as a de-stressing agent to allow your body a release from difficult situations that may increase symptoms. If you’re looking for an analysis of what lifestyle habits may be leading to your IBS symptoms, find a professional and highly referred Los Angeles gastroenterologist when you contact Dr. Tabib’s office now.



Your dietary schedule and habits are huge factors that attribute to IBS symptoms duration and frequency. To avoid symptoms and cut down severe cases of IBS, you can follow a relatively new diet plan that cuts out dairy, gluten and most sugars. This plan leads to lessened symptoms over a period, and a decrease in the severity of symptoms when they do arise.

Los Angeles Gastroenterologist

Finding a diet that works for your specific needs is easy when you find a great Los Angeles gastroenterologist like Dr. Tabib. Schedule a consultation today to examine your symptoms and discover the right course of treatment today!

How to Prevent Food Poisoning

Anyone can get sick from food poisoning. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in six Americans gets sick from foodborne illness.
Whether you experience a mild discomfort (i.e. upset stomach) or require a trip to the hospital depends on how strong your immune system is. For more information on combatting food poisoning and maintaining a healthy digestive system, contact the top gastroenterologist in Los Angeles, Dr. Siamak Tabib.


While we cannot always prevent food poisoning, we can reduce the risk by following these food safety precautions:

1. Be Grocery Savvy

When grocery shopping, shop for frozen goods last. This allows perishable foods to stay cold for much longer until it’s time to store them in the fridge. Use separate bags for raw meats and for other grocery items to avoid cross-contamination.


And always check food labels for use-by dates. Although the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service maintains that best-by and use-by dates are not indications of food safety, it’s better to err on the side of caution and follow the dates on the label.

2. Make Washing a Habit

Washing your hands thoroughly before food preparation could reduce the risk of food contamination. Follow proper hand washing techniques to remove dirt and bacteria from your hands.


When it comes to produce, it’s always a good idea to give them a good wash whether you peel them or not. The exception to the rule is with salad greens—these are already pre-washed and washing them at home could introduce new bacteria and pathogens.


Cutting boards and countertops also need to be washed especially when handling raw meat. Bacteria could spread onto surfaces and cause cross-contamination.

3. Cook Foods Thoroughly

Raw meats like chicken and ground beef have the highest severity index in terms of food poisoning, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest report.


Just because a meat has browned doesn’t mean that it’s properly cooked. Use a food thermometer when cooking meats to ensure that it meets the minimum internal temperature for doneness.

4. Store Leftovers Properly

Holidays and other special occasions often leave us with a surplus of food. To avoid foodborne illnesses, refrigerate leftovers within two hours after they are cooked. This reduces the risk of bacterial growth.


Keep refrigerator temperature at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below when storing cold perishable foods. To cool food rapidly, divide them into smaller batches or pieces and place them in shallow containers. The cold temperature prevents bacterial growth.


When it’s time to thaw out frozen foods, make sure to do it safely. A microwave provides the fastest way to thaw out leftovers, but see to it that the heat reaches the safe temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Alternatively, you can reheat leftovers in a saucepan.

5. Know When to Throw Out Food

You may feel bad about throwing out food, but sometimes leftovers are no longer safe to eat. Food spoils easily when left at room temperature. Even if you refrigerate them, there is no guarantee that they will remain fresh for long. Most foods have telltale signs of spoilage (i.e. funny smell, different texture, presence of molds), but some do not so use your better judgment on when to throw out leftovers.

Gastroenterologist in Los Angeles

Following food safety practices helps in reducing the likelihood of food poisoning. But in the event that you or a family member experience the symptoms (e.g. diarrhea and vomiting) of food poisoning, seek the help of a medical professional to get immediate treatment.


Dr. Siamak Tabib, M.D. is a prominent gastroenterologist in Los Angeles who treats food poisoning and other digestive tract problems. Also known as the “stomach doctor”, he provides diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and educates patients on how to prevent diseases. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Siamak Tabib, M.D. today.

How Does an Upper Endoscopy Work?

Are you experiencing symptoms of nausea, vomiting, acid reflux, or severe indigestion? What about abdominal pain? Do you have a discomfort in your digestive tract that is preventing you from eating or breathing normally?


An endoscopy is the perfect procedure for assessing and diagnosing any ailments relating to the digestive system. In particular, an upper endoscopy can entail a deeper look into the stomach, duodenum, and esophagus to find out what’s going on. Dr. Siamak Tabib is a qualified and highly rated gastroenterologist in Los Angeles with the better health of your digestive tract at heart. If you are looking to schedule an endoscopy procedure, you can read more to find out exactly what the service entails.


In this article, you’ll find out who can be a qualifying candidate for an endoscopy, and the details of the endoscopy procedure itself. If you ever have any further questions or concerns, please never hesitate to contact us!

Who is a Good Candidate for an Upper Endoscopy?

There are a wide variety of patients who may need an endoscopy, for a diversity of reasons. Candidates are typically those who are experiencing any adverse symptoms in the stomach, esophagus, or digestive tract.


An endoscopy can be performed to diagnose:


• Celiac Disease
• Crohn’s Disease
• Constipation
• Diarrhea
• Duodenal Ulcers
• Gastroenteritis
• Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
• And many more ailments


Good candidates for this quick and easy endoscopic procedure are generally:


• Experiencing digestive problems
• Having trouble swallowing or digesting food
• Experiencing rapid weight loss
• Having nausea, vomiting, or retching
• Diagnosed with pre-existing digestive conditions

Who is NOT a Good Candidate for an Upper Endoscopy?

While most patients an easily qualify for an upper endoscopy, there are a few reasons why it may be unsafe for an individual to undergo such a procedure. Since the procedure does require sedation, those with allergies to medication or any existing or medical conditions may not be eligible for the procedure. Pregnancy may also deny candidacy for an upper endoscopy.

How Upper Endoscopies Work


Before the Procedure

Before the procedure itself begins, there is some preparation work that you’ll have to do at home. Since the endoscopy will be looking at the stomach and esophagus, it is required that these be empty before the procedure. This means that you can’t eat or drink anything for a while beforehand. Make sure to get plenty of rest the night before your procedure as well.


As mentioned before, upper endoscopies require sedation. This means that Dr. Tabib will give you the necessary medications needed to sedate you. As soon as you have properly fallen under the effects of sedation, you are ready for the procedure.


During the Procedure

Fortunately, an upper endoscopy procedure only takes about 5 to 10 minutes. Dr. Tabib will insert a thin tube (the endoscope) into your mouth, where it will go all the way down into your intestinal tract. The endoscope is used as a sort of camera that transmits 3D images to a monitor screen.


Using this method, Dr. Tabib will be able to examine your stomach, esophagus, and duodenum, which is the upper part of the upper intestines. He will take a look at the lining of the stomach, the folds of tissue, and other parts of the organs as well. In particular, he will be looking for inflammation, bleeding, or tears. In some cases, he may even want to perform a biopsy by taking some tissue samples from the stomach. This is only in cases of severe bleeding or inflammation, however.


After the Procedure

After the endoscopy procedure is complete, you will need to remain resting at the endoscopy center until the effects of sedation wear off. For you, this will be a nice time to relax and take it slow. Once the medicine has worn off, you are cleared to go home. Dr. Tabib may give you additional instructions on a case-by-case basis.


Remember to never drive yourself to or from your appointment – it’s illegal to drive when you had sedation done! Bring a friend or family member to assist you to ensure your best safety and comfort.

Gastroenterologist in Los Angeles

Are you experiencing pain or irritations in your upper intestines? Are you having problems digesting food, or do you feel nauseous? If so, you may be a good candidate for an upper endoscopy from a gastroenterologist in Lost Angeles. Dr. Tabib and our professional staff members are happy to assist you at your earliest convenience. You can visit our website for more information, and give us a call at (310) 652-4472 to set an appointment.

What Are the Most Difficult Foods to Digest?

The composition of some foods makes them difficult to digest and it can cause unpleasant symptoms of bloating, cramps, diarrhea, or upset stomach. Below is a list of foods to avoid when you’re having digestive problems.


For more eating tips and gastrointestinal treatments, allow Dr. Siamak to answer any questions you may have. As the premier gastroenterologist in Los Angeles, Dr. Tabib takes pride in making every patient feel comfortable before proceeding with treatment.

 Wheat, Barley and Rye Products

As people make healthier choices in their diet, a common restriction is gluten-free. Products such as wheat, barley and rye contain gluten, which is a protein some people find difficult to digest. These ingredients can be commonly found in pasta, bread, baked goods, and cereal as well as gravy, salad dressings, sauces, beer, broth, fried foods, and season snack foods.


If you are sensitive to gluten products, you may experience lack of energy, mental fatigue, bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. For a gluten-free diet, consider milk, yogurt, cheese, meat, poultry, fish, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and gluten-free grains such as quinoa and millet.

Dairy Products

Some people are lactose intolerant, which makes it difficult for them to break down lactose into simple sugars for their body to absorb. Without enough lactase to break down lactose in their body, undigested lactose passes into their large intestine where bacterial fermentation produces gas, bloating and stomach cramps. Products to avoid include diary-based products, milk, soft cheeses, butter, ice cream, instant mashed potatoes, cakes, custard and some chocolate.


If you are lactose intolerant, consider lactose-free products, lactase tablets with your first bite of lactose-containing foods or diary alternatives such as plant-based milk (almond milk, soy milk, etc.).

Foods That Cause Acidic Reflux

Some foods cause digestive difficulties because they relax or weaken the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which is located at the bottom of your esophagus. The LES prevents acid reflux which occurs when food and stomach acid back up from your stomach into your esophagus. Such foods include:


• Fatty foods, which slow down the digestive process and worsen constipation or speed up movement, leading to diarrhea.
• Fried foods, which work the same ways a fatty foods — they move, undigested particles through the body too quickly, leading to diarrhea or the opposite causing constipation.
• Citrus foods such as lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit irritate the stomach lining.
• Spicy foods stimulate the digestive system. If you’re experiencing nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, avoid food choices with spice levels.
• Caffeinated foods stimulate gastrointestinal tract, making contents move more quickly through your system. If you already have diarrhea, caffeine will only worsen your digestive problem. Avoid foods that contain caffeine such as coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate.


If you have acid reflux, you may experience heartburn, inflamed vocal cords, chronic cough, and pain that mimics chest pain.

Processed Foods

Processed foods lack fiber, which helps regulate bowel movement. Processed foods also contain preservatives and artificial coloring. These additives increase constipation as they are more difficult to break down and digest.

Artificial Sweetener

Sorbitol, an artificial sweetener that is hard-to-digest is often found in some fruits such as prunes, apples and peaches. Once sorbitol reaches the large intestines, it can upset the stomach creating gas, bloating and diarrhea.

Spoiled Foods

Spoiled foods contain bacteria like salmonella and E. coli that can pass from raw meat to veggies and fruits. Eating spoiled foods can cause digestive problems or worsen existing ones, including diarrhea, vomiting or constipation. To prevent this, look for dated items like eggs, dairy products, produce and meat. If you eat spoiled foods and experience food poisoning, you may feel muscle pain, fatigue and abdominal cramps.

Gastroenterologist in Los Angeles

If you suffer from digestive problems, schedule an appointment with your gastroenterologist in Los Angeles for a complete diagnosis and treatment plan. Dr. Tabib has extensive knowledge of the stomach and digestive tract and will be able to recommend the treatment that will be best for you.

How Do Abdominal Adhesions Form?

Abdominal adhesions are among the most common causes of symptoms involving the abdominal area. More specifically, they are the most common reason for blockage and obstruction of the bowels.


For a consultation with a gastroenterologist in Los Angeles, click here.

What Are Abdominal Adhesions?

Abdominal adhesions refer to fibrous scar tissue that forms inside the abdominal area, particularly between the small or large intestine, the inner lining of the abdominal wall, and even with other organs located within the abdominal cavity, such as the liver, gallbladder, bladder, uterus, and even the fallopian tubes and ovaries. This scar tissue then creates blockages that can cause discomfort and even abdominal pain from the blockage caused by the scarring.


The small intestine is around 7 feet in length and the large intestine (called “large” for its diameter and not its length) is about 5 feet in length. Combined, almost 12 feet in length, in order to fit inside the body, the intestines form loops in order to fit inside the abdominal cavity. The intestines typically move freely within the abdominal cavity, easily sliding over one another and other organs with a thin lubricating fluid. However, when abdominal adhesions begin to form, the intestines and other organs in the abdominal cavity are no longer able to move freely. They become tethered to one another and can create blockages and even become so twisted that they prevent the flow of blood to vital organs.

Why do Abdominal Adhesions Form?

Abdominal adhesions form for a variety of reasons. The most common cause occurs following surgery to organs in and around the abdominal area, including the colon, appendix uterus, gallbladder, stomach, and pancreas. Following these surgical procedures, inflammation occurs on the surface of the organs in the abdominal cavity or the inner lining of the abdominal cavity. As a result of the body’s normal healing process, fibrous scar tissue begins to form. Since it may take a while for the scar tissue to build up in the abdominal cavity to where it actually begins to obstruct or impact your body, the symptoms from abdominal adhesions are sometimes not felt for months or even years following a procedure.

Symptoms of Abdominal Adhesions

Most people do not feel symptoms as the result of abdominal adhesions. However, in the case where they may be an obstruction in the intestines, one may experience the following symptoms:


• Abdominal cramping, bloating and discomfort, particularly increased after eating


• Constipation and the inability to pass gas, particularly caused from any obstruction in the bowels


• Nausea and vomiting


It is important to note abdominal adhesions affects women, in particular. It is believed that one of the potential impacts caused by abdominal adhesions includes infertility. This is caused where abdominal adhesions involve the fallopian tubes. This can cause the fallopian tubes to bend and twist, thereby preventing eggs to properly reach the uterus.

Diagnosis and Treatment OF Abdominal Adhesions

It is not uncommon for many people to develop abdominal adhesions, never experience any symptoms and have the adhesions go away on their own. For patients who experience some kind of blockage in the abdominal area, abdominal adhesions are often the cause. Currently, there are no simple tests to clearly identify and diagnose the presence of abdominal adhesions. Doctors utilize X-rays and barium contrast studies to determine where there may be an obstruction in the abdominal area.


Some patients may even opt for exploratory surgery to locate the adhesions and the source of the pain. Surgery, however, comes with additional risk of causing additional inflammation and the formation of more scar tissue.

Gastroenterologist in Los Angeles

If you or someone you know are currently experiencing any kind of abdominal discomfort on a regular basis, you can call the premier gastroenterologist in Los Angeles: Dr. Siamak Tabib today at (310)-652-4472 to schedule a free consultation. Dr. Tabib is an experienced gastroenterologist and has helped patients with abdominal adhesions find relief. There’s no reason to wait, contact us today!

Best Foods for an Upset Stomach

An upset stomach can be caused by various things and it is never any fun to get that queasy feeling. Often, you want to eat but you do not want to upset your stomach further. These are some of the best foods for an upset stomach you can try at home.


Ginger is also helpful if your stomach is upset which is why many people drink ginger ale if they have an upset stomach. Ginger has a strong taste but it can help. If you want a warm ginger drink, boil some water and slice some fresh ginger root to put in it. You can lighten the flavor with a squeeze of lemon juice and a little bit of honey.


Ginger promotes the secretion of digestive enzymes which will neutralize stomach acid. There are also phenols in ginger that relax stomach muscles and act like a sedative for irritated stomach tissue. The phenols aid in the transport of digested food and toxins from your intestine through your system and help to get rid of anything that is making you feel ill.

Keep it Simple

Bland foods can also help your stomach feel better and many people like to make milk toast to ease an upset stomach. The bread helps to absorb acid and the milk will coat your stomach. Drinking milk alone may upset your stomach if you are already feeling ill so milk toast is a good idea as long as you do not have gastroenteritis (stomach flu). If you have a stomach flu you will likely not react well to dairy. Milk toast can help relieve stomach upset that is caused by over-the-counter pain medications.


To make milk toast, heat a cup of milk until it is hot but not boiling. Pour the milk into a bowl and crumble a piece of toast that has been lightly buttered with unsalted butter into the milk. Eat it slowly and it should help to relieve nausea.


Other bland foods can also help to ease discomfort if you are experiencing bouts of diarrhea. Try bland starchy foods such as rice and potatoes or some plain pasta. These foods can help to absorb extra fluid and harden your stool.

Unexpected Helpers

Papaya may also help if you are feeling nauseous. Papaya is packed full of proteolytic enzymes which help in digestion. Some of the enzymes also help to break down proteins and soothe the stomach by creating a healthy acidic environment.


Mint is also used frequently to ease an upset stomach. It is a good choice if you are feeling bloated or feel like you ate too much. Take it in the form of peppermint tea or, if you have some fresh mint, infuse it into a glass of cold water.


Bananas are a good food to eat if you feel nauseous as they are easy to digest. The pectin in a banana will also help to keep your stool firm if you have been having diarrhea.


Though it was mentioned earlier that dairy may exacerbate issues with an already upset stomach, some dairy may have a good effect. A natural yogurt can help to restore balance in your stomach if you choose a yogurt with active cultures. Look for plain yogurt with live cultures and try a little bit at first.


If you have an upset stomach and are feeling nauseous, along with eating the right foods, make sure that you stay hydrated. If you have diarrhea or have been vomiting it is easy to become dehydrated. Ginger ale, peppermint tea, and water are all great choices for settling your stomach and keeping up your intake of fluids.


If you experience stomach upset frequently you may want to see if there are underlying issues. If you have further questions about the best foods for an upset stomach and are in the Los Angeles area, contact the office of Siamak Tabib, M.D. to book an appointment for a professional diagnosis.

Top Causes of Foodborne Illness

When you eat foods that are contaminated with bacteria or their toxins or pathogens like parasites and viruses, you often develop a foodborne illness. You may just have an upset stomach or it may be more serious and you could suffer with diarrhea, fever, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and dehydration. Most foodborne illnesses go undiagnosed and reported but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that, in the United States, 76 million people per year suffer from a foodborne illness of these people, about 5, 000 die. So, what are the causes of foodborne illness?


• Raw and undercooked meat and poultry
• Raw (unpasteurized milk and dairy products such as soft cheeses
• Raw or undercooked eggs
• Raw or undercooked shellfish
• Improperly canned goods, and smoked or salted fish
• Fresh or minimally processed produce


Foods from Animals

Raw foods that are of animal origin are the most likely to be contaminated. There are many foods that may have products from many different animals which poses a threat as if one single animal has a pathogen present, a whole batch may become contaminated. Foods that are at particular risk for this are bulk raw milk, pooled raw eggs, and ground beef.


A hamburger may have meat from several different animals and an omelet may have eggs from several chickens. A glass of raw milk may have come from hundreds of cows. Broiler chickens are also easily contaminated as the carcass can be exposed to drippings and juices from thousands of other birds that went through the same cold-water tank after slaughter. Shellfish are also high on the list because filter-feeding shellfish strain microbes from the sea so if there are pathogens in the seawater, the shellfish can become contaminated.

Fruits and Vegetables

Unfortunately, eating raw fruits and vegetables is also cause for concern. Contamination can be decreased with proper washing but it will not eliminate it completely.


If fruits and vegetables are processed in unsanitary conditions, there can be an outbreak of foodborne illness. Using quality water to wash produce once it has been harvested is very important. If unclean water is used, many boxes of produce can become contaminated.


Often times, fresh manure is used to fertilize vegetables but that can contaminate them. Raw sprouts are at a high risk because the conditions needed to sprout them are also perfect conditions for growing microbes. Because the sprouts are eaten without further cooking, it is easy to get a foodborne illness from them. If there is bacteria on the seeds they can grow to high numbers of pathogens which will cause foodborne illness.


There can also be pathogens on fresh fruit so unpasteurized juice is also at risk of being contaminated.



Foodborne illness can also be caused by cooking or storing foods at improper temperatures. If you have leftovers when you are finished a meal refrigerate the foods promptly. If it is left at room temperature for too long it may not be safe to consume. When you put the leftovers away, divide it up into small, shallow containers so it will cool more quickly in the refrigerator.

Make sure you cook all foods to the appropriate temperature. This will ensure that any harmful bacteria that may cause illness is eradicated.


Make sure that you keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot and if you are reheating food, make sure you heat it all the way through.


You should defrost food in the refrigerator when possible; never on the kitchen counter. If you need the food more quickly defrost it under cold running water or in the microwave.

Also, remember not to pack the refrigerator too full. There has to be room for air to circulate around the food.


If you believe you are susceptible to or have questions regarding the causes of foodborne illness and would like more information about preventing or treating it, contact the office of Siamak Tabib, M.D, where you can speak to professionals about your situation.

Identifying Lactose Intolerance

If you are looking forward to hot days and cold ice cream this summer, chances are you don’t suffer from lactose intolerance. However, a surprising number of Americans do have this condition to some degree, with estimates putting the number between 30 and 50 million people. Lactose intolerance is an inability to properly digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and other dairy products. This is due to a lack of the enzyme lactase in the digestive system. However, there is no set level of lactase that designates someone as lactose intolerant or not. In fact, people with the condition can tolerate wildly different amounts of dairy and may have much different symptoms. Knowing where you fall along the continuum is the key to getting the most out of dairy all year round.

Test for Lactose Intolerance

There are diagnostic test that you can get from your gastroenterologist to identify the condition. These lactose intolerance tests measure for signs of undigested lactose in your system. However, they aren’t generally used on children and the condition can onset at a young age. Knowing whether your child can handle dairy is important when deciding what cold treats they can have on summer days. Fortunately, you can identify the condition yourself by monitoring your child’s diet.

If your child experiences indigestion when eating dairy, keep a food diary to rule out other potential causes. If the evidence points to lactose intolerance, you can assess the extent of the condition by giving them small amounts of dairy and seeing if symptoms develop. Some people can handle one or two glasses of milk. Others are able to tolerate ice cream and hard cheeses, but not other forms of dairy. Sometimes trial and error is the only way to know.

Seek Lactose Intolerance Treatments

If you or your child is lactose intolerant, there are over-the-counter lactase compounds available to treat the symptoms and conditions of lactose intolerance. Just eat the compounds with the first bite of dairy, and the enzyme will break down the lactose in your digestive tract. Non-dairy substitutes – like those made from almonds or soy – are also a good option for getting much-needed calcium.

If you need help diagnosing lactose intolerance or are unsure of what over-the-counter products might be suitable for you, a visit to a gastroenterologist can help clear up any lingering questions. Dr. Tabib is very knowledgeable about the symptoms and conditions surrounding lactose intolerance and can help you find the answers you need.

Appendicitis: Understanding the Warning Signs of Appendix Rupture

Appendicitis: Understanding the Warning Signs of Appendix Rupture

Appendicitis occurs when the appendix becomes inflamed and infected. We do not always know the cause of appendicitis, but when it happens we assume that it was due to an obstruction and infection of the appendix. Your appendix is about 3 ½ inches long and can only take in so much food and waste, so it is always recommended to eat food in moderation as well as drinking plenty of fluids to ensure your system is flushed efficiently. Appendicitis can be very painful and may require surgery, and early signs of pain are usually felt in the lower abdomen but there are a variety of symptoms to watch out for. Be on the lookout for these symptoms if you or a loved one experiences them:

Belly Button Pain

This is one of the earliest signs experienced in many patients dealing with appendicitis. Dealing with discomfort in the belly button arises in the beginning and slowly moves to the lower abdomen.


Most people will not recognize a fever as one of the signs of appendicitis infection, but this is commonly experienced in people. The fever will vary in temperature, but a low-grade fever along with stomach pain is usually a telltale sign of infection.

Abdominal Tenderness

This symptom is also known as rebound tenderness but is easy to check on. Apply pressure on the lower right abdomen and release slowly. If there is severe pain and discomfort after releasing then appendicitis may be the cause.

Nausea and Vomiting

Usually these symptoms go hand in hand, and it is difficult to diagnose since people who become sick experience both from time to time. It is important to know that if nausea and vomiting continues beyond 12 hours then a doctor must be seen for diagnosis.


Plenty of people struggling with appendicitis experience the feeling of constipation which then leads to diarrhea. In some cases the patient may observe large quantities of mucus in their stool, experiencing these symptoms too often will need the assistance of a doctor promptly.

Bloating and Gas

Most people think that bloating and gas are expected to be felt, especially after a large meal. However, if the symptoms are experience with severe pain in the lower abdominals then you will need to consult with your doctor immediately.

Can Appendicitis Be Prevented?

There is no exact way to prevent  appendicitis. However, they are far less common in people who eat foods high in fiber, such as fruits and vegetables. Appendicitis is rare in children under the age of 2 but is usually the most common in people between the ages of 15 and 30. Fortunately, advances in science are making it simpler to diagnose in younger children.

According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, an ultrasound followed up with an MRI exam can diagnose appendicitis accurately in children. Of course it is difficult to have a child sit still for 30 minutes straight, but by usually by the age of six a child understands the importance of testing and cooperates as needed.

If you or a loved one is experiencing these signs of appendicitis, schedule a consultation to have a thorough analysis for an appendix rupture in Beverly Hills.