A Lifelong Passion to Help Others

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When her family eventually joined her father in the United States, Escalante’s grandfather continued to instill in her a love for medicine and a desire to help people regain and maintain their health.

“My grandfather very diligently and persistently tried to get me to love cardiology,” she remembered.  “Unfortunately, I was just not that excited about it.”   Rather, Escalante firmly planted her feet in the field of gastroenterology and she never looked back.

Today, she is a gastroenterologist for the Texas Gastroenterology Institute in McAllen.  She joined the practice in 2012 after leaving her own private practice in Houston, where she served her community for 12 years.  And although the transition was a difficult one, she doesn’t regret it.

“My husband, a trauma surgeon and surgical critical care specialist, was offered and accepted a professional opportunity in McAllen,” said Escalante. “We made the decision to relocate to the Rio Grande Valley, and I began a professional search of my own.  When I met Dr. Jose Rodriguez and Dr Valeska Balderas, they made me feel very welcomed and comfortable.  We share the same philosophy and drive to provide our patients with the best care that we can.  When I was offered a position within the practice, I knew it was the right fit for me. My partners are bright, energetic, and excellent physicians.  The staff is dedicated and hardworking.”

Escalante has served as President of the Texas Gulf Coast Gastroenterological Society and as clinical faculty at The University of Texas, Houston. She is currently a Fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology.  As for her expertise in the field of gastroenterology, she is particularly interested in inflammatory bowel disease and gastroenterological reflux disease, both ailments that seem to be on the rise in America.

“At least 60 million people experience gastroenterological reflux disease (or GER) at least once a month. In addition, there are at least 15 million people who experience reflux on 2 or more days of the week. Contributing factors include over indulgence in food, alcohol, caffeine, tobacco and an obesity epidemic.  All of which are pervasive characteristics of our society, both local and national.”

According to Escalante, inflammatory bowel disease (or IBD) is not as common as GER, but it is on the rise compared to decades ago. “The etiology of IBD is not known with certainty.  It is believed that factors such as individual genetics, local environment, immunological responses to external challenges, gut flora, and dietary factors all play a role.”

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