Dr. Farrell on Colon Health

How Can I Achieve Optimal Colon Health?

Posted by Dr. Farrell

Sep 1, 2016 7:54:50 AM

This is an important question.   As a practicing gastroenterologist with over two decades of clinical experience, let me give you my best and thoughtful answer.

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Topics: The Colon Vitamin, diet, vitamins

Constipation. Yes, Constipation.

Posted by Dr. Farrell

May 19, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Why am I writing about constipation?  Because up to 20% of Americans suffer from constipation.  That’s over 60 million people.  Since I’m a proponent of colon health, it’s appropriate that I address this common ailment.

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Topics: colon health, colon issues, colonoscopy, constipation

Prevention of Colon Cancer

Posted by Dr. Farrell

Mar 17, 2016 9:00:00 AM

March is Colon Cancer Awareness month.  In addition to raising awareness, I would like to address the issue of colon cancer prevention.  It’s one thing to raise awareness but what’s really important is what can one do to prevent this dreaded disease.  I would like to address those ‘things’ that you can do to help prevent colon cancer.  It is worth mentioning the scope of colon cancer in the U.S.  One in 20 people in the U.S. or 5% will develop colorectal cancer.  (By the way, for the purpose of discussion, consider colon cancer to mean the same thing as colorectal cancer; the differences in colon and colorectal cancer for the purposes of this blog are not important.)  There are presently more than 1 million colon cancer survivors. 

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Topics: colon cancer, colon health, colon polyps, colonoscopy

Most Common Symptom of Colon Cancer is No Symptom

Posted by Dr. Farrell

Feb 21, 2016 9:00:00 AM

March is Colon Cancer Awareness month.  I have written extensively about colon cancer in my blog.  I encourage you to read my prior blogs about colon cancer to learn more about this dreaded disease which currently is the number one cause of cancer-related deaths among non-smokers.  One in 20 (or 5%) of Americans will develop colorectal cancer (by the way, for the purposes of this blog post and my other posts consider colon cancer and colorectal cancer similarly).  The goal of Colon Cancer Awareness Month is to highlight the importance of colon cancer and encourage colon cancer screening.

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Topics: colon cancer, colon wellness, colon health, colon isssues, colonoscopy

Family Colon Cancer Syndromes. More common than you think.

Posted by Dr. Farrell

Jan 28, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Colorectal cancers can be divided into those cases that are attributed to a genetic syndrome or are sporadic.  The majority of colorectal cancers are sporadic which means they occur without any obvious genetic predisposition.  About 80% of all colorectal cancers are sporadic.  What likely happens in sporadic colorectal cancer is that there is a mutation in a gene that causes the colon lining cells to evolve into a polyp and progress to a cancer.  This sequence takes about 10-15 years.  What triggers the mutation is not clearly understood but dietary and lifestyle behaviors probably play a role. 

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Topics: colon cancer, colon health, colon polyps, colon isssues, genetics, Familial Adenomatous Polyposis, FAP, lynch syndrome

Diverticulosis, Diverticulitis, Diverticulum, Diverticula, Diverticular Disease---what’s the difference?!

Posted by Dr. Farrell

Dec 1, 2015 8:30:00 AM

Firstly, let’s define these different terms.   Diverticulosis refers to the presence of pockets in the wall of the colon.  You Latin scholars will know that a ‘diverticulum’ refers to one; ‘diverticula’ refers to more than one.  A diverticulum can be small in size (size of a grape seed) or large (size of a grape).  Diverticulitis refers to a specific situation where the diverticula become infected.  Diverticular disease is an all-encompassing term that refers to all of the above.  The terms diverticulosis and diverticulitis are often confused; typically one will use the word diverticulitis when they actually mean diverticulosis.  Enough of the nomenclature.

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Topics: colon health, diverticulosis, diverticular disease

Curcumin is beneficial for ulcerative colitis

Posted by Dr. Farrell

Oct 13, 2015 3:30:00 PM

I have previously blogged about Curcumin which is one of eight ingredients in The Colon Vitamin. (See blog post here.) In August, it was reported in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology (2015; 13: 1444-49) that curcumin was effective in helping to treat mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis.  This is fairly big news in the world of gastroenterology and I thought it would be a good topic to blog about. 

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Topics: colon health, curcumin, colon isssues

Dr. Farrell’s Complete Colonoscopy Checklist

Posted by Dr. Farrell

Aug 20, 2015 2:45:00 PM

As a gastroenterologist in full-time clinical practice, I perform colonoscopies.  In my over 20 years of practice, I have performed more than 10,000 colonoscopies (I stopped counting long ago).  I have prescribed many different colonoscopy preparations (aka colonoscopy prep or prep) from the 4-liter solutions (e.g. GoLytely) on through the current low-volume, split-dosing solutions (e.g. SuPrep).  I no longer prescribe anything other than the low volume split-dosing prep solutions.  I have seen almost all pathological findings one can possibly diagnose from polyps, to cancer, to colitis, etc.  I also have a very good understanding of how a patient can best prepare for a colonoscopy.  I would like to share my pre-colonoscopy checklist that I give to my patients—that is, what a patient needs to know and do to best prepare for this life-saving, important procedure.

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Topics: colon health, colonoscopies, gastroenterologist, colonoscopy, colonoscopy prep

Colorectal Cancer in African Americans

Posted by Dr. Farrell

Jun 10, 2015 7:00:00 AM

Despite progress in the detection and treatment of colorectal cancer, there exist significant disparities between African Americans and whites in the areas of screening, staging, treatment, and survival.

Colorectal cancer afflicts African Americans at a higher rate than whites.   For African American men, the rate is 68 per 100,000 vs. 55 per 100,000 for whites. For African American women, the rate is 53 per 100,000 vs. 41 per 100,000 for whites.  The mortality rate for African American men and women is 50% higher than for their white counterparts!

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Topics: colon cancer, colon health, colon issues

A Vegetarian Diet Could Reduce the Risk of Colon Cancer

Posted by Dr. Farrell

Mar 25, 2015 7:00:00 AM

It is known that consuming a diet high in red meat is a risk factor for developing colon cancer. Now we have a report that specifically demonstrates that a vegetarian diet is associated with a reduced risk of developing colorectal cancer.

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Topics: colon cancer, colon wellness, colon health, colon isssues