Dr. Peter Lee JR, MD is a pediatric gastroenterologist in Washington, DC specializing in pediatric gastroenterology. He graduated from University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Peter Lee JR, MD is affiliated with Inova, Inova Loudoun Hospital, Children's National Health System, Inova Fair Oaks Hospital and Inova Fairfax Hospital.
Colonoscopy is the use of a special tool called a colonoscope (a thin, flexible tube with a camera on the end) to examine the inside of the colon and rectum. The tube is typically inserted anally, and it allows the physician to examine the large intestine from the inside. It may be done at any time to diagnose bowel problems, but routine colonoscopies are advised after the age of 50 to screen for colon cancer.
A colonoscopy may be performed to diagnose:
Patients may be asked to drink only liquids in the days before a colonoscopy, or they may be given an enema to remove residual fecal matter. Before the exam, patients are given medication to help them relax, and then lay on their side on a table. The scope is inserted into the anus and gently moved all the way through the large intestine. Air may be pumped into the intestine to improve the view for the physician. Any polyps that are found will be removed. Then the colonoscope will be withdrawn. A colonoscopy is not usually painful, but patients may feel some bloating or have some cramps right afterward. If patients have polyps removed, they might experience a small amount of bleeding. Any side effects should go away within a few hours.
Gastrointestinal Problems (Digestive Disorders)
The gastrointestinal system, or GI tract, is the name given to a collection of organs that work together to digest food. These organs fit together in a long tube, running from the mouth to the anus, and include the esophagus, stomach, and intestines, among others. With so many parts working together, complicated by today's busy lifestyles and diets, digestive problems are common. As many as 1 in 3 Americans have a digestive or GI disorder. There are a huge variety of digestive problems, but the most common are IBS, constipation, GERD, hemorrhoids, and ulcers.
IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, happens when the muscles surrounding the colon contract too easily or frequently. The result is abdominal pain, cramps, diarrhea or constipation, gas and bloating. IBS attacks can often be brought on by specific triggers, so a key part of treatment is learning which foods trigger IBS attacks and avoiding them. Treatment also includes exercise, avoiding stress, and medications if needed.
Constipation, or large, hard, or infrequent stools, happens to everyone at some point. It can be caused by a disruption in routine or food, or by eating a diet without many fresh fruits and vegetables. Although it is uncomfortable, constipation is common and usually not serious, but it can sometimes become chronic. Adding fiber to the diet, exercising, and taking medications may help.
GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a severe form of chronic heartburn where stomach acid spills back up into the esophagus. Left untreated, the acid may even eat away at the esophagus and cause serious damage. Treatment includes changing the diet to avoid trigger foods, losing weight if needed, medications, or even surgery.
Hemorrhoids are blood vessels around the rectum that become irritated, swollen or torn while straining during a bowel movement. They are most often caused by constipation, but can also be caused by pregnancy, diarrhea, or simply a genetic predisposition towards hemorrhoids. Treatment involves first treating any constipation issues, then keeping the area clean and soothed until it has healed. If these measures are ineffective, surgery is sometimes used.
Peptic ulcers are sores or spots of inflammation in the lining of the stomach or close to the stomach in the small intestine. Usually this area is coated with a protective lining that shields the tissue from the strong stomach acid, but a break in the lining can let acid in, causing the sores. It used to be thought that stress caused ulcers, but now it is known that is not the case. Most often, they are caused by an infection by H. pylori bacteria, but ulcers can also be caused by alcohol abuse or overuse of aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, or other NSAIDS. The symptoms of an ulcer are pain, hunger, nausea, and fatigue.
Gastrointestinal problems, perhaps more than any other area, are markedly affected by lifestyle. Many disorders can be prevented or treated at least in part by eating a healthy diet high in fiber, exercising regularly, drinking enough water, and limiting alcohol intake. Still, the frequency of digestive disorders means that even the healthiest person can be affected by them. Anyone who notices blood in their stool, experiences abdominal pain, unexplained weight loss, or any significant change in bowel movements should see a doctor.
Thyroid problems are a group of conditions that alter hormone regulation and metabolism. The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the lower neck, just below the Adam's apple (laryngeal prominence) and larynx (voice box). Despite its small size, the thyroid has an outsized effect on the body by regulating hormones that control metabolism. Metabolism is the body's process of converting consumed food into fuel to power the entire body. Heart rate, weight, cholesterol, body temperature, and even physical growth and development are all affected by the metabolism.
When the thyroid malfunctions, the body is unable to properly process and allocate energy. Thyroid problems, such as hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) and hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), cause irregular metabolism. In some cases, the body produces antibodies that attack the thyroid cells for unknown reasons. The damaged thyroid responds by releasing either too little or too much T3 and T4 thyroid hormones. Thyroid malfunctions may also arise from genetic causes or iodine deficiency. Thyroid problems may include:
Hashimoto's is the leading cause of hypothyroidism, which is when the thyroid does not produce enough hormones to stimulate adequate metabolism. The condition is diagnosed by blood tests that measure TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) and detect Hashimoto's antibodies. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include sluggish metabolism, inflammation, fatigue, weight gain, brittle hair, dry skin, and sensitivity to cold. To supplement impaired thyroid function, patients with Hashimoto's are typically prescribed synthetic thyroid hormone pills. Such patients may need to consume synthetic thyroids for the rest of their lives. Other treatments may include dietary changes, such as the avoidance of certain foods and medication to reduce inflammation. Frequent blood tests can inform patients if their TSH levels are within a normal range.
Grave's disease is most frequently the cause of hyperthyroidism, which is when the thyroid produces too many hormones, overstimulating one's metabolism. The condition is also diagnosed by blood tests that measure TSH and detect Grave's antibodies. Elevated heart rate, high blood pressure, sweating, bulging eyes, and weight loss are common symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Treatments for hyperthyroidism include oral radioactive iodine, which slowly shrinks the thyroid, slowing the production of excess thyroid hormone. Other anti-thyroid medications such as methimazole (Tapazole) also reduce the production of thyroid hormones. Blood pressure medications known as beta blockers can ease the increased heart rate caused by hyperthyroidism. If treatments are unsuccessful, patients may be prescribed a thyroidectomy, or surgery to remove part or all of the thyroid. Some patients with hyperthyroidism may require ophthalmological (eye medicine) treatments such as eye drops, prednisone, and surgery to reduce eye swelling and bulging.
Untreated thyroid disorders frequently lead to goiters or thyroid nodules. A thyroid goiter is a large lump that can be felt near the base of the neck and is made of swollen thyroid tissue or nodules (excess cell growth). Nodules and goiters are diagnosed by CT scan or ultrasound. Obstructive goiters can cause pain, coughing, and abnormal breathing. The most common cause of goiters is hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). However, Hashimoto's is also known to cause goiters or nodules. Goiters develop from continued damage from antibodies to the thyroid over time. At times, a goiter can result from a cancerous thyroid tumor. Most goiters and nodules are themselves benign.
The exact causes of thyroid cancer are unknown. People who develop thyroid cancer may or may not have another thyroid problem such as Hashimoto's or Grave's disease. Symptoms of thyroid cancer include a nodule that can be felt on the neck, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, swelling in the neck, and neck and throat pain. CT and MRI scans are used to diagnose thyroid cancer. There are four types of thyroid cancer which vary in intensity. Thyroidectomy (thyroid removal surgery) is usually prescribed to treat thyroid cancer.
Thyroid problems are often long-term conditions that require some form of treatment. With regular monitoring and medication, many people with thyroid problems are able to lead active and fulfilling lives.
Dr. Peter Lee JR, MD graduated from University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He completed residency at Georgetown University Hospital. He is certified by the Board Certification: Pediatric Gastroenterology and has a state license in Virginia.
Medical School: University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
Residency: Georgetown University Hospital
Board Certification: Board Certification: Pediatric Gastroenterology
Licensed In: Virginia
Dr. Peter Lee JR, MD is associated with these hospitals and organizations:
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These charts describe general payments received by Dr. Peter Lee JR, MD. Doctors may receive payments for a number of reasons, including meal compensation, travel compensation, and consulting.
|Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.||
|Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America LLC||
|Food and Beverage||$404|
Dr. Peter Lee JR, MD has received 12 research payments totaling $31,875.
Dr. Peter Lee's medical specialty is pediatric gastroenterology. Patient ratings for Dr. Lee average 3.0 stars out of 5. Clinical interests for Dr. Lee include thyroid problems, stomach problems, and colonoscopy. He is professionally affiliated with Inova Fair Oaks Hospital, Inova Loudoun Hospital, and Inova Fairfax Hospital. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. His training includes a residency program at Georgetown University Hospital.