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Joseph Hathaway

Dr. Joseph Hathaway

Gastroenterology

(912) 681-6944
114 Hill Pond Lane
Statesboro, GA 30458
Dr. Hathaway is an experienced physician specializing in adult Gastroenterology. After earning his doctorate from the Medical University of South Carolina, Dr. Hathaway went on to complete an Internal Medicine Residency and a Gastroenterology Fellowship at the University of North Carolina Hospitals in Chapel Hill. 

Dr. Hathaway previously was in private practice in Savannah, Georgia from 2001 to 2010. During this time, he developed a very busy and successful medical practice, and participated in numerous clinical trials. Dr. Hathaway was also actively involved in the medical education of medical students as well as residents. He served as Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at Mercer University. 

To stay up-to-date on the latest advancements in the field of gastroenterology, Dr. Hathaway maintains active membership in numerous prestigious professional organizations such as the American College of Gastroenterology, the American Gastroenterology Association and the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. He is a board certified Gastroenterologist. 

Dr. Hathaway enthusiastically established Gastroenterology Institute in 2010 in order to bring the residents of Bulloch County compassionate and state of the art gastroenterology care. Gastroenterology Institute’s motto is “Great people deserve great care.” 

His special interests include therapeutic endoscopy, capsule endoscopy, ERCP, esophageal and colonic stents, Bravo PH Probe, Esophageal Manometry, and Barrx procedure. He also has a passion for inflammatory bowel disease.

114 Hill Pond Lane
Statesboro, GA 30458
Gastroenterology Institute
Insider Article By Dr. Joseph Hathaway
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Q:  One of my parents had colon cancer. Am I at risk?

A: 

Yes.  The precursor to colon cancer is a colon polyp.  Because of your family history of colon cancer, you may be more at risk to make colon polyps.  Colon cancer is preventable by having a colonoscopy.  The reason why is that during the examination any polyps that are present in the colon will be removed.  It is recommended that a person who has a family history of colon cancer involving a first degree relative get a colonoscopy done either 10 years before the index case or at age 50 whichever is first.  It is recommended that individuals without a family history of colon cancer have a colonoscopy starting at age 50.

Disclaimer: The health issues information presented here is for educational purposes and is not medical advice. Always consult your doctor or contact our office to schedule an appointment with questions about specific medical conditions.


Q:  I am constantly nauseated. I have been this way for 6 months. Is there anything I can do for a home remedy or could it be something more serious?

A: 

I would recommend seeing a physician.  There are mulitple reasons why people become nauseated.  Unfortunately, even if you found a home remedy that stopped the nausea, there is an issue causing the nausea so you need to get to the root of the problem and not just mask the symptoms.

Disclaimer: The health issues information presented here is for educational purposes and is not medical advice. Always consult your doctor or contact our office to schedule an appointment with questions about specific medical conditions.


Q:  Why do I need an endoscopy?

A: There could be several reasons why an individual should have an endoscopy.  If you are speaking of a colonoscopy, age and family history of colon cancer are 2 main reasons.  If you are inquiring about an Upper Endoscopy, where the lighted scope is placed through the mouth to look at the stomach and part of the small bowel, REFLUX is a reason.  When a person is put on medication for REFLUX it can sometimes mask the symptoms of a more serious issue, like Barrett’s Esophagus.  Barrett’s Esophagus, if left untreated can potentially turn into Esophageal Cancer.  However, there is a treatment for Barrett’s Esophagus, called Halo, which ablates (burns the tissue) of the area of Barrett’s.  This treatment allows normal tissue to re-grow and the Barrett’s is cured.  However, there numerous reasons why an individual would need either an Upper Endoscopy or Colonoscopy.

Disclaimer: The health issues information presented here is for educational purposes and is not medical advice. Always consult your doctor or contact our office to schedule an appointment with questions about specific medical conditions.


Q:  What is a Lactulose Breath Test?

A: Lactulose Breath Test is used to diagnose small intestine bacteria over growth.   

Disclaimer: The health issues information presented here is for educational purposes and is not medical advice. Always consult your doctor or contact our office to schedule an appointment with questions about specific medical conditions.


Q:  Are there any home remedies for stomach/bowel problems?

A:  Unfortunately without any more information, this is too broad of a question to answer with any specifics.


Q:  I am a 36 year old female in good health. 3 months ago I gave up drinking milk because it caused me to have diarrhea and urgency issues (it had for years but I didn't give it up until recently). I continue to have some bouts with diarrhea and urgency but I have definitely noticed a decrease. However, I have noticed this weird thing recently where if I eat ice cream I am in the bathroom within the hour with diarrhea. I have not had a problem drinking milk, eating yogurt or cheese or butter. I have just stayed away from it to avoid the symptom, but was wondering if you have any insight as to what could be the cause? In past I have always been able to drink milk without any issue. Thank you in advance.

A:  It sounds as if you are lactose intolerant.  This is often acquired with age.  I would also advice staying away from creamy salad dressings.  You could also try some over the counter lactaid, which is a pill that helps to digest lactose the sugar in dairy products.  Also you may try lactose free products.  You may want to view the following website for additional information: http://www.lactaid.com/


Q:  How do you devleop UC?

A: Ulcerative Colitis is inflammation of the large intestine and usually develops in late teens to early 20's.  The exact cause is unknown.   It is related to the immune system.  Some researchers are investigating to see how bacteria plays a role in UC.   The diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis is usually confirmed when a patient has a colonoscopy and biopsies are taken.  However there are lab tests that can also check for UC but they are not as diagnostic as a colonoscopy.

Disclaimer: The health issues information presented here is for educational purposes and is not medical advice. Always consult your doctor or contact our office to schedule an appointment with questions about specific medical conditions.


Q:  Do you have to be referred to get insurance to cover the visit?

A: It depends on your insurance carrier.  Some insurance companies require a referral while others do not.  I would advise calling the phone number on your insurance card.   I would also ask if the physician is in network as this can affect how much the insurance company will pay.

Disclaimer: The health issues information presented here is for educational purposes and is not medical advice. Always consult your doctor or contact our office to schedule an appointment with questions about specific medical conditions.


Q:  Do you test and treat for food allergies such as gluten intolerance?

A: Yes, there are a couple of tests that can be done to check for gluten intolerance or Celiac Disease.  You can have a blood test or if you are seen by a Gastroenterologist, they can take a biopsy from the small bowel.  Celiac Disease is genetic.

Disclaimer: The health issues information presented here is for educational purposes and is not medical advice. Always consult your doctor or contact our office to schedule an appointment with questions about specific medical conditions.


Q:  Why isn't the rest of the large intestine and the small intestine all checked for polyps?

A: The entire large intestine (colon) is visualized and “checked” for polyps as well as any other abnormalities.  A colonoscopy is considered incomplete if the physician does not reach the cecum.  There is some visualization of the end of the small bowel.  But the small bowel is 19 feet long.  Small bowel polyps are rare so there is not a need to screen the small bowel in the general population.  However polyps are commonly found in the large intestine.  Hence the reason for colon cancer screening.  There are polyps that have the potential to turn into colon cancer, but a polyp must be present prior to a cancer occuring.  

Disclaimer: The health issues information presented here is for educational
purposes and is not medical advice. Always consult your doctor or contact
our office to schedule an appointment with questions about specific medical
conditions.


Q:  My husband always seems to have problems with gas and bloating, and severe pain. He will not see a doctor. Is there something that can be said to push him in the right direction? Thank you!

A: Although gas and bloating are common problems, there could be underlying issues that are causing his problems.  If he has been on an Over the Counter medication for longer than a month, he needs to be seen by a physician.  There are several medical conditions that if left untreated over time, can have serious consequences.  In addition we also have medications that could potentially make his symptoms better.

 

Disclaimer: The health issues information presented here is for educational purposes and is not medical advice. Always consult your doctor or contact our office to schedule an appointment with questions about specific medical conditions.