Disease - Conditions

Anatomy of the Liver

The liver is a basic organ that has many functions in the body, including making proteins and blood thickening variables, manufacturing triglycerides and cholesterol, glycogen combination, and bile generation. In this article, we are going to discuss the anatomy of the liver,and its function in the body.

The Liver

The liver is a large organ that sits on the right hand side of the belly. Many different disease processes can occur in the liver, including infections such as hepatitis, cirrhosis (scarring), cancers, and damage by medications or toxins. Symptoms of liver disease can include liver disease:

  • Jaundice
  • Abdominal pain and inflammation
  • Bleeding
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss

Alcohol can be poisonous to the liver (hepatotoxic), particularly in high doses, and long-term alcohol abuse is a typical reason of liver illness. The liver is involved in metabolizing many toxins, including drugs and medications, chemicals, and natural substances.

Is the Liver a Gland or an Organ?

The liver is one of the indispensable organs of the body, in charge of several concoction activities that the body needs to survive. It is additionally an organ since it secretes chemicals that are utilized by different parts of the body. Therefore, the liver is both an organ and a gland; truth be told, it is the biggest inside organ in the body.

What Is the Function of the Liver?

The liver has different capacities. It makes a significant number of the chemicals required by the body to work regularly, it separates and detoxifies substances in the body, and it also acts as a storage unit.

Hepatocytes (hepar=liver + cyte=cell) are in charge of making a large number of the proteins (protein synthesis) in the body that are required for some functionalities, including blood coagulating variables, and albumin, required to keep up liquid inside the dissemination framework. Also in charge of assembling cholesterol and triglycerides. Carbohydrates are likewise delivered in the liver and the organ is in charge of transforming glucose into glycogen that can be put away both in the liver and in the muscle cells. The liver also produces bile that assists with food digestion

The liver assumes an essential part in detoxifying the body by changing over alkali, a byproduct of digestion in the body, into urea that is discharged in the pee by the kidneys. The liver additionally separates medicines and drugs, including alcohol, and is in charge of separating insulin and different hormones in the body.

The liver also stores vitamins and chemicals that the body requires as building blocks. These include:

  • vitamin B12,
  • folic acid
  • iron required to make red blood cells
  • vitamin A for vision,
  • vitamin D for calcium absorption, and
  • vitamin K to help blood to clot properly.

Contact a Minnesota Liver Surgeon

If you are experiencing liver problems, make an appointment with a Minnesota liver surgeon today. Dr. Ahsan Bhatti has years of experience treating patients throughout Minnesota for various liver problems. Contact us today at our Chaska or Edina clinics to set up your appointment!


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Myth: Digestion Happens in the Stomach

Most of us have some general sense of how digestion works. We consume food, and our internal organs break it down. But because most people don't have an in-depth understanding of the digestive process, several myths have become popular. In this article, we're going to debunk the myth that digestion happens in the stomach.

Our digestive tract is a complex system with many components that interact with each other and the rest of our body. It’s also very adaptable to what we consume, and doesn’t need specific food combinations or “cleanses” to keep working at its best. Here is a myth about digestion, debunked by Dr. Bhatti.

How Digestion Works

When you eat food it passes through a series of organs on its way through the body - the stomach is only one of those stops. Here is a quick breakdown of how it works:

  • The Mouth. When food enters the mouth, tastes and smells alert the rest of the digestive system that food is on its way.
  • The Esophagus. Once you swallow, the food slides down the esophagus, which brings everything to the stomach. 
  • The Stomach. The stomach drenches the food in an acid wash. This helps to kill microbes and partially unravel proteins. 
  • The Small Intestine. This is where most of the digestive action happens. Enzymes breaks down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates into their components. Then, they are transported throughout the body where needed. 
  • The Large Intestine. In the large intestine,, trillions of microbes devour what we couldn’t—mainly fiber and other “prebiotic” carbohydrates. 

So that's the digestive process in a nutshell. If you have any questions about the digestive system or how it works, contact Dr. Bhatti today!

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Common Causes of Stomach Pain after Eating

That little “tummy ache” could be attributed to eating too much or too fast, but it could also be a sign of a more serious health problem. In this article, we take a look at the possible causes of stomach pain after eating.

Over Eating

Stomach pain is often caused by simply eating your food too quickly. When you overeat, you might not take the time to chew through your food properly and you might notice that the food generally disappears from your plate very quickly. Take your time and chew slowly when you eat.

Food Intolerances

It is estimated that nearly 20% of the population is intolerant or sensitive to certain foods. Stomach pain and cramping are common symptoms of food intolerances or sensitivities, which are often associated with dairy, gluten, nuts, yeast, and tomatoes.

Food Allergies

Dairy products, nuts, eggs, peanut butter, soy, corn, wheat, and gluten are common food allergies that can cause symptoms such as stomach pain. A food elimination diet or an allergen-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibody test can be conducted to determine whether you are allergic to a particular food or substance.

Celiac Disease

Stomach pain is a common symptom of celiac disease. The condition is characterized by gluten sensitivity. People with celiac disease will immediately react to a specific protein found in gluten called gliadin—it is found in wheat, rye, barley, spelt and oats.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

This is a common gastrointestinal disorder that affects approximately 15% of the population. Some symptoms include gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, cramping, abdominal pain, or stomach pain after eating. Candida, food allergies, and food sensitivities are also associated with irritable bowel syndrome.


Stomach pain after eating can also indicate pancreatitis, especially when the pain lasts for over six hours. Pancreatitis is known as pancreas inflammation. People with pancreatitis will experience pain that begins around the upper abdomen; the pain will then spread to the back. Other pancreatitis symptoms include fever, nausea, and vomiting.


Diverticulitis is a condition where pouches in the colon become inflamed from bacteria. The pouches are also known as cysts or diverticula. Some symptoms include fever, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, nausea, bowel habit changes, and cramping pain, especially around the lower left area of the abdomen. Stomach pain after eating is also common.

Intestinal Obstruction

When there is a blockage in your colon or small intestine, it can be difficult for foods to be digested properly. When you eat too fast, large pieces of food may not be broken down. A hernia or tumor can also lead to intestinal obstruction.

Chronic Candida

Abdominal pain can also be a symptom of chronic candida—a condition also known as yeast overgrowth. Other common symptoms associated with candida include chronic fatigue, bloating, gas, and depression.


Heartburn is also sometimes referred to as acid reflux, or acid indigestion. Heartburn is the result of too little stomach acid, and it can produce burning chest pain after eating. The pain may only last a few minutes, or up to several hours. Stomach pain after eating can also be attributed to gallstones, eating spicy foods, a stomach flu, lactose intolerance, food poisoning, appendicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, Crohn’s disease, and peptic ulcers. Stomach pain after eating may also be the result of a blocked blood vessel.

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5 Simple Steps to Start Eating Healthier Today

"You are what you eat" - or so the old saying goes. It's remarkable just how much truth there is to that old proverb. What we eat has significant impacts on our overall health. With that in mind, hHere are five quick and easy steps to start improving your health through your diet today!

1. Moderation is Key

The foremost step in eating healthy is learning to relish all your preferred foods in moderation. That doesn't mean you have to cut out all of your favorite foods in one fell swoop. It's all about balance. Give your body the nutrients it requires, while simultaneously pleasing your taste buds. 

2. Eat the Rainbow

Here's a fun tip - eat meals that look like the rainbow! Now that doesn't mean you should eat a dinner of Skittles. We're talking about foods that have natural color like fruits and vegetables. A good rule of thumb is to eat double the amount of vegetables and fruits as you do carbs and proteins. 

3. Don’t Cut Out Meals!

Don't skip out on important meals. Roughly 4-6 hours after you eat, all of the following starts to occur:

  • Your brain begins to experience a shortage of fuel
  • You start to feel tired, moody, or irritable
  • Your cognitive functions decline - impacting your attention, concentration, and memory

If you know you get hungry at certain times, pack a healthy snack to help control your hunger until your next meal. 

4. Drink Lots of Water

Water is essential for aiding digestion and other body parts. When you're fully hydrated you will feel less fatigue, look younger, and feel full longer, which saves you from feeding when your body isn’t hungry.

5. Eat Whole Grains

Whole grains contain healthy fibers, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are removed from processed grains. Eating a well-balanced meal that includes whole grains has been demonstrated to decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

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Relief From Heartburn


Heartburn is the most common symptom of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Other symptoms of GERD include the regurgitation of food, a burning sensation in the chest or throat, difficulty swallowing, and sometimes chest pain. Please note that there can be similarities between heartburn and heart attack symptoms. If you have chest pain that lasts for more than a few minutes or any warning signs of a heart attack. seek immediate medical attention.

Foods that Trigger Heartburn

There are a number of common culprits that cause heartburn including fatty foods, late night meals and overeating. A loaded cheeseburger at 10pm is not a good idea if you’re prone to heartburn. Specific foods that are known to cause heartburn include:

  • Onions, garlic, mustard and other spicy foods/condiments
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus fruits like grapefruit and oranges
  • Caffeinated drinks including, coffee, tea and soft drinks
  • Peppermint
  • Tomatoes

Some medications and some forms of exercise can also set off heartburn.

Relieving Heartburn

Relieving the symptoms of heartburn starts by being aware of the foods or activities that trigger heartburn for you:

  • Avoid specific foods and beverages that you know cause discomfort.
  • Consider a diet if you’re overweight. Extra weight increases pressure on your stomach, forcing more acid into the esophagus.
  • Eat 4–6 small meals instead of 2-3 large meals.
  • Research options for over-the-counter medications.

Minnesota GERD Doctor

Depending on the severity of your heartburn and other symptoms, treatment for heartburn and other GERD-related symptoms may include lifestyle changes, medicines, or surgery. If lifestyle changes or medication don't help, Dr. Bhatti may perform an EGD to biopsy or obtain images of your upper GI tract. Contact us today at Bhatti Gi clinics (located in Chaska and Edina) to set up your appointment and get to the bottom of your GERD.

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Be Good To Your Liver

Be Good To Your Liver

Your liver is one of the hardest working organs in your body. Think of it as your own personal filtering system as it cleans your blood and helps you digest food.

Everything you eat or drink passes through your liver. It’s the liver’s job to help break down the nutrients in food and spread the nutrients throughout the body via the bloodstream and eliminate the toxic waste that’s left.  

Liver-Friendly Foods

Taking care of your liver is a critical part of maintaining overall good health. Exercising and eating right are important. Some liver-friendly foods are also quite tasty:

  • Garlic
  • Grapefruit
  • Avocado
  • Beets
  • Apples

Unfortunately, we are seeing an increase in the number of people with liver disease and according to the American Liver Foundation about 1 in 10 people have some form of liver disease.

Some liver disease may be inherited. And some problems arise when certain viruses or harmful chemicals infect your body. Too much alcohol can lead to Cirrhosis, and some medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol)  can create issues if you take too much. Mistreating your liver can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, chronic fatigue, headaches and digestive problems. 

Common Liver Conditions

Dr. Bhatti is one of the few Gastroenterologists in Minnesota who specializes in treating liver disease. Some of the liver conditions that we commonly treat include:

Your liver is an amazing organ that helps your immune system fight infections, removes bacteria from the blood and makes bile, which is essential for digestion.

Minnesota Liver Doctor

Please be good to your liver so your liver is good to you. And call us at Bhatti GI in Chaska or Edina if you have any questions or concerns about your liver - 952-368-3800

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Exercise to Promote Good Digestion

You probably know that eating fruits, vegetables, and foods that are high in fiber can help your digestion. But exercise can also help optimize your digestive process. Exercise improves blood flow throughout the body – including your digestive tract.  

The Importance of Exercise

A consistent exercise routine will help keep your digestive process moving and can alleviate constipation, gas, and bloating. Different types of exercise have different effects on the body. For example, riding a bike or breathing exercises can help reduce heartburn. Certain yoga poses like gentle twists can stimulate your abdominal organs. But the best kind of exercise is the exercise you enjoy because you will be more motivated to get moving. National recommendations for physical activity say that adults should exercise about 150 minutes per week. That is less than ½ hour per day – and enough for your digestive health.

Alternatively, some types of extreme exercise can have negative effects on digestion. Endurance athletes often report gastrointestinal issues such as is nausea, vomiting, cramps and diarrhea. It’s important to talk with a doctor before implementing a new exercise regimen, especially if you have health issues.  

MN Digestion Doctors

Eating right, exercising and staying hydrated are all important parts of general health that impact your digestion. Please contact us at Bhatti GI anytime you have questions or concerns about your digestive health. Our primary clinics are located in Chaska and Edina, but we help patients throughout the Twin Cities metro area: 952-368-3800


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Colon Cancer Awareness

March was designated Colon Cancer Awareness Month in the year 2000 by President Bill Clinton. In the United States, Colon Cancer is the third most common cancer taking the lives of over 50,000 people each year. It affects both men and women of all ethnic groups and is most often found in people over the age of 50. Unfortunately, it can affect young people too.

Colon cancer occurs when healthy cells in the colon or rectum develop errors in their DNA. These mutated cells – or cancer cells divide and grow to form a tumor. If left unchecked, the tumor (cancer) will continue to grow and destroy normal tissue – and can also travel to other parts of the body.

Colon Cancer Symptoms

There is no one specific cause for colon cancer, but there are certain risk factors including family history. Symptoms of the disease include:

  • A change in bowel behavior - including diarrhea or constipation that lasts for several weeks.
  • Bleeding from the rectum or blood in your stool
  • Persistent discomfort, such as stomach cramps, gas or pain
  • A feeling that your bowel doesn't empty completely
  • Unexplained weight loss

The good news is that when discovered early, colon cancer is highly treatable. There are currently more than one million colon cancer survivors in the U.S.

A Colonoscopy can save your life. There are numerous types of colon cancer screening, but colonoscopy is the gold standard for detecting cancer of the colon and rectum. Screening should begin at age 50 -- or earlier if you have a family history. If you are 50 or older and have not yet had a colonoscopy, please remember that early detection can save lives. 

Chaska Colonoscopy Clinic

At Bhatti GI, we make getting a colonoscopy easy. Patients can be seen within a week and we offer pre-op physicals on the same day as your colonoscopy. Screening colonoscopy with no findings is covered by most insurance plans at no cost to the patient. If you have any questions or concerns, or would like to schedule a colonoscopy, please call us at 952-368-3800.

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Your Digestive System And How It Works

Every time we eat or drink something, our digestive system goes to work to help our bodies absorb the nutrients we need
to stay strong and healthy. In this article, we are going to briefly explain how the human digestive system works.

The Mouth

It all starts in our mouth. As we chew our food, saliva is produced and our food starts to break down. Once swallowed,
food moves down our esophagus and into our stomach.

The Stomach

The stomach is a curved organ that stretches when we eat or drink, and connects the esophagus to the small intestine. Muscles at the top of our stomach relax to let food enter while muscles at the bottom of our stomach go to work to mix the contents of our stomach with digestive juices or acids that primarily break down proteins. 

The Small Intestine

Next, the contents of the stomach, which is now called chyme, enters the small intestine. Digestive juices created by the small intestine, along with bile from the liver (which is stored in the gallbladder) and enzymes from the pancreas all go to work to further break down the food into carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. The walls of the small intestine absorb these nutrients and – via the bloodstream - deliver these nutrients to cells throughout the body. Meanwhile, the remaining chyme passes into the large intestine.

The Small Intestine

Once in the large intestine (also called the colon), there are very few nutrients left in the chyme. Water and electrolytes are removed and microbes go to work to continue the digestive process. What’s left now is waste, which passes through the final part of the large intestine, called the rectum and exits through the anus.

This vital and amazing process takes place every time we eat or drink. And the nutrients absorbed into our bodies through digestion help all parts of our body - from our organs to our hormones. You can help keep your digestive system working well by drinking lots of water and eating a healthy diet that has lots of fiber-rich foods like fruit and vegetables.

Minnesota Gastroenterolgy Clinic

As a gastroenterology clinic, we specialize in caring for people who have digestive issues. Please contact a Bhatti GI doctor if you have concerns about your digestive health. We have clinics located in Chaska and Edina, but provide care to patients throughout the Twin Cities.


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