Weinstein Recognized for Service and Expertise
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Weinstein Recognized for Service and Expertise

Dr. David Weinstein shares his thoughts on genetics vs. lifestyle regarding Irritable Bowel Disease and that there is indeed a Jewish propensity.

After 37 years with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and now with the AJT, , Jaffe’s focus is lifestyle, art, dining, fashion, and community events with emphasis on Jewish movers and shakers.

Dr. David H. Weinstein was recently honored by the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s 33rd Annual Torch Gala as the Premier Adult Healthcare Professional of the Year.
Dr. David H. Weinstein was recently honored by the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s 33rd Annual Torch Gala as the Premier Adult Healthcare Professional of the Year.

Dr. David H. Weinstein, a gastroenterologist with Metro Atlanta Gastroenterology and the Gastroenterologist of the Atlanta Braves, was honored as the Premier Adult Healthcare Professional of the Year on Nov. 4, at the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s 33rd Annual Torch Gala at the Intercontinental Hotel for his work with irritable bowel disease patients.

Weinstein said, “I am invested in my commitment to my patients who have Crohn’s disease and colitis, which can be both painful and debilitating. I have worked with patients who lost 30-40 pounds through illness whom I thought would surely have to undergo major surgery to improve. But the right treatments and therapies can bring about long-term remission and many of those same patients are now thriving.”

An Atlanta native, Dr. Weinstein trained at the Emory University School of Medicine and the University of North Carolina. He has volunteered with the Georgia Chapter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation for more than a decade. During that time, he helped plan and present at education programs and support groups for IBD patients, facilitated continuing education seminars for professionals, and volunteered as a camp doctor at Camp Oasis, a summer camp exclusively for children with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, where they can learn, play, and heal.

In terms of his role with the Braves in general gastroenterology, he works with the coaches, trainers, front office, and players. Here, Weinstein weighs in on his area of expertise:

AJT: What do the statistics say about Jews having more Crohn’s and colitis issues? 

Weinstein: A Jewish child is more likely to develop Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis (together dubbed inflammatory bowel disease or IBD) than other populations, and a Jewish child born of a parent with IBD is more likely than a Jewish child born by parents without IBD to develop Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis (UC). Still—and this is what I focus on in the clinic—it’s unlikely that a child, regardless of the medical history of the parents, will develop either Crohn’s or UC. How we are raised is likely more influential than genetics—whether we smoke or not, what foods we eat, whether we avoid taking medicines readily available and over-prescribed, like non-steroidal (Aleve, Ibuprofen, etc.) or antibiotics, respectively, where we live—IBD is more prevalent in the north than in the south—and a multitude of other learned behaviors that influence

AJT: Has genetic testing helped? 

Weinstein: Genetic testing has helped our understanding of IBD, particularly how Crohn’s or UC may manifest itself, but it’s never a 1:1, singular expression. One person’s IBD is not another’s just because they share the diagnostic name or the genetic variation.

AJT: What are the more modern treatments? 

Weinstein: We have a multitude of drugs with different mechanisms of action – a broad category of advanced therapies. They first debuted around the turn of the century, and I believe these medications have the potential to alter the course of IBD along paths that, if not a cure, will run a very tangential course to a cure.

AJT: Do people develop IBD later in life? 

Weinstein: There is a well-known bimodal distribution. In my experience, the late onset IBD happens in the late fifties or early sixties. Still, I wonder if in many of these later onset cases the disease was present early in life, perhaps in a mild expression where the symptoms were so benign, they simply became part of daily living, or absent.

Weinstein’s recently published book, “A Doctor’s Life,” was written to be helpful to those interested in medicine, and especially anyone entertaining a career in medicine. Weinstein has been voted by his peers repeatedly as a “Top Doctor” and he has worked with WebMD to create educational videos for Crohn’s disease patients.

Weinstein enjoys spending his free time with his wife, two children, and two dogs. He is the son of Dr. Alan and Renie Weinstein and a member of Congregation Beth Tefillah.

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