Digestive Health Center Head among GI Docs at Shea Stadium for Digestive Motility Awareness Day

August 23, 2006

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Kenneth L. Koch, M.D., director of the Digestive Health Center at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, will be among the gastroenterologists taking part in the first annual Digestive Motility Awareness Day at Shea Stadium when the New York Mets meet the Philadelphia Phillies this Saturday, Aug. 26 in Flushing, N.Y.

Koch and other members of the Gastroparesis and Dysmotilities Association (GPDA) will distribute information about digestive motility problems to those attending the game. Digestive motility refers to the movement of food through the digestive tract.

According to the GPDA as many at 25 percent of all Americans suffer with routine symptoms of upper or lower digestive distress. Those symptoms—often triggered by food—include daily or weekly bouts of nausea, heartburn, regurgitation, bloating, an early feeling of fullness with meals, abdominal pain or constipation. Digestive motility problems result primarily from neurological malfunctioning in the muscular walls throughout the length of the digestive tract.

“After a meal, food is normally moved along the digestive system by waves of muscular action called peristalsis,” said Koch. “The symptoms of digestive motility problems appear when this function of uncoordinated or weakened.”

The GPDA is a non-profit association dedicated to awareness and support for research into digestive motility diseases.

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Media Contacts: Jim Steele, jsteele@wfubmc.edu, Karen Richardson, krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu, or Shannon Koontz, shkoontz@wfubmc.edu, at (336) 716-4587.

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. The system comprises 1,187 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.

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