Hadassah On Call: New Frontiers in Medicine

Gut-Wrenching: Crohn's, Colitis and More

Abdominal cramps, severe diarrhea and even rectal bleeding? We’re breaking down treatment, risks, and what to avoid with inflammatory bowel diseases from the adult and child perspective with two Hadassah experts in the newest episode.


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IN THIS Episode

Dr. Zev Davidovics

Dr. Ari Benson

Area of specialty

Pediatrics and Pediatric Gastroenterology

Episode Transcript

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About this episode

Today, approximately 1.3% of US adults (3 million people) have Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, which inflames the lining of the gastrointestinal tract and disrupts your body's ability to digest food, absorb nutrition and healthily eliminate waste. Yet did you know that Crohn's disease, colitis and other diseases could impact so many other things in the gut? Ever wonder if it could increase your risk of colon cancer? This is the subject of our newest podcast episode, Gut-Wrenching: Crohn's, Colitis and More. So, we sat down with two senior gastroenterologists from Hadassah Medical Center.

Gastroenterologist Dr. Ari Benson and Pediatric Gastroenterologist Dr. Zev Davidovics talk about Crohn's and colitis symptoms, which can include intense abdominal pain, fatigue, severe diarrhea, weight loss and malnutrition. According to experts, Crohn's disease is two to four times more prevalent among people of Ashkenazic ancestry than non-Jewish European ancestry.

As we learn in the podcast, no specific gene has been discovered that causes Crohn's and colitis, though there is thought to be a familial component and possible relations to auto-immunity, diet and bacterial makeup of the intestines.

"Crohn's disease is thought to be lifelong," explains Dr. Davidovics. "Though there are medications that work well to have our children and adults in clinical remission."

Listeners will also hear: How can you spot if you have Crohn's disease? What new treatments are available to manage the disease? What's the difference between irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease? How do these diseases tie to colon cancer? And much, much more.

"Hadassah On Call: New Frontiers in Medicine" is a production of Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America. Hadassah enhances the health of people around the world through medical education, care and research innovations at the Hadassah Medical Organization. For more information on the latest advances in medicine please head over to hadassah.org.

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The show is hosted by Maayan Hoffman and produced by the team at the Hadassah offices in both New York and Israel.

This episode includes promotions for:

Our recent episode with Dr. Michal Lotem
If you are enjoying this episode, you’ll want to check out our previous episode with Professor Michal Lotem, head of the Center for Melanoma and Cancer Immunotherapy at Hadassah.

She talks about how we can prevent skin cancer, how to recognize it and new and innovative ways to treat the disease.

You can find that episode of "Hadassah On Call" on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcast. Or on the web at hadassah.org/hadassahoncall.

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About our guest(s)

Dr. Zev Davidovics is board certified in both the US and Israel in Pediatrics and Pediatric Gastroenterology. Currently, he is a senior pediatric gastroenterologist in the Pediatric Gastroenterology Unit, which is part of HMO's Pediatrics Division.

Having trained and practiced for over 10 years in the field of Pediatric Gastroenterology in world renowned medical centers in Houston, TX and Hartford, CT, Dr. Davidovics made Aliyah with his family in the summer of 2018. Since making Aliyah, he has established a thriving clinic and procedure center at Hadassah Medical Center, and also lectures to medical students at Hebrew University.

Dr. Davidovics treats a variety of pediatric GI disorders including abdominal pain, celiac disease, reflux, constipation, esophagitis, food allergies, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and failure to thrive. He is also an expert in the field of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn and Ulcerative Colitis). He is involved in several research studies, and has published extensively in the field of pediatric gastroenterology.

Dr. Ari Benson is a senior physician in the advanced endoscopy unit of the Institute of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Hadassah, where he performs a variety of endoscopic procedures including colonoscopy, gastroscopy, ERCP, endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), ESD, and endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty. He is also a lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Dr. Benson is a graduate of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He trained in internal medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York for his residency. After moving to Israel, he completed a fellowship in gastroenterology and hepatology, including a sub-specialty in advanced therapeutic endoscopy at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. Dr. Benson completed additional training in a clinical research fellowship in Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection (ESD) in Kobe, Japan.