To find a physician or for questions   903-676-1000

Digestive Diseases

UT Health Athens has expanded gastroenterology services to accommodate more patients with less wait time than ever before. We welcome board-certified gastroenterologist, Jay Takata and Jennifer Mahmoud, PA, who will be caring for patients with digestive diseases.

The expanded gastrointestinal (GI) lab at UT Health Athens is a key part of reducing wait time for our patients. Our GI lab is accredited by The Joint Commission and participates in the GI Quality Improvement Consortium.

Gastroenterology is the study of your digestive system, which includes the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, gallbladder, liver, intestine, colon and rectum. In some cases, such as colonoscopy, it involves standard health screenings. We treat a variety of conditions, including:

  • Achalasia, dysphasia and other swallowing disorders
  • Barrett’s esophagus
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Crohn’s disease and colitis
  • Colon cancer
  • Colon polyps
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Gallbladder and biliary tract disease
  • Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
  • Hepatitis and liver diseases
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Pancreatitis
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Peptic ulcer disease
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Ulcerative colitis

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Takata, please call 903-677-3737.

To learn more about the UT Health Athens GI lab, please call 903-676-1013.

Catch colon cancer early

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. However, with proper screening, colon and rectal cancer can be prevented.  Colorectal cancer often starts in the large intestine (colon and rectum) as a polyp, a small growth on the inner lining of the colon. Symptoms can be nonspecific. Common abdominal ailments or a change in bowel habits are common occurrences, but don’t always mean you have colorectal cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, the recommended age to start regular colorectal screening is 45 unless you have a family history of colorectal cancer or predisposing, inherited syndrome.

Other factors that may contribute to colonic polyps include inflammatory bowel disease, smoking, obesity, drinking alcohol, lack of exercise and eating a diet rich in fats.

colonoscopy is the best way to detect colorectal cancer. This examines the entire large intestine and detects the presence of polyps that could be or possibly become cancerous. When discovered early, colon cancer is highly treatable, so colonoscopy screening is crucial.

Screening is recommended for patients who have the following symptoms:

  • Blood in the stool
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Change in bowel habits or lower abdominal cramping
  • Family history of colon cancer and over age 40
  • Over age 45 (even without symptoms)

Follow us on Facebook as we spread awareness of colorectal cancer, prevention and early detection, and treatment options.

To schedule a colonoscopy, please call 903-677-3737.

Providers For Digestive Diseases

Jennifer Mahmoud, PA-C

Srikar R. Mapakshi, MD
Gastroenterology, Internal Medicine

Jay Takata, MD