Hadassah On Call: New Frontiers in Medicine

Colon Cancer, Gut Grief and Stool Secrets

Poor nutrition habits, poor gut health, and changes in bowel movements are some of the most common indicators of serious health issues. Listen as Hadassah expert Dr. David Hakimian, a senior gastroenterologist, discusses symptoms, ways to improve, and much more.


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Dr. David Hakimian

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About this episode

June is Men's Health Month, and on this month's episode of Hadassah On Call, we're talking with Dr. David Hakimian, a senior gastroenterologist at the Hadassah Medical Organization who specializes in clinical nutrition and bowel diseases. He says that your bowel movements can indicate serious health issues. Therefore, a big part of the role of gastroenterologists is to assess changes in bowel movements, such as changes in color and consistency, to detect potential health issues. According to Dr. Hakimian, persistent changes should be referred to a physician for proper evaluation.

Dr. Hakimian also discusses the role of diet in more severe gut issues, including colon cancer. He says that obesity and an unhealthy diet in the United States may contribute to early colon cancer, while in Israel, a healthier Mediterranean diet may delay its onset. The doctor recommends eating whole foods to improve gut health and reduce symptoms.

“Eat fresh food. Eat healthy food. Do not eat processed food,” says Dr. Hakimian.

He also notes that new personalized and precision medicine methods are being used to target cancer cells while minimizing harm to healthy tissue.

When it comes to new research, Dr. Hakimian says his team is working on investigating the potential transfer of inflammatory bowel disease from mothers to infants through the microbiome. That research may only be ready in a few years. However, the doctor says that if it is discovered that inflammatory bowel disease is physically transferred during birth, there may be ways to stop it.

Are men or women more inclined to discuss their gut health with their doctors? When it comes to gas, diarrhea, bloating and other uncomfortable GI issues, the doctor admits that men are much more comfortable opening up about them.

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About our guest(s)

Dr. David Hakimian is a senior gastroenterologist at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem. He specializes in clinical nutrition and bowel diseases. Dr. Hakimian is a graduate of Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical School, where he currently teaches programs in nutrition and gastroenterology. He is a recipient of the American College of Gastroenterology Outstanding Research Award in the small-intestine category. He spent two years as an advanced clinical nutrition fellow at the University of Chicago Gastroenterology Division.