Category Archives: Colonoscopy & Colon Health

Foods to Avoid with an Inflamed Colon

When you’ve got an inflamed colon, you want to do your absolute best to avoid foods that will irritate your system. Whatever the cause, you want to eat easily digestible foods that will limit bowel movements to promote healing. However, it can hard to know what can make your colon worse off. Even some foods that are considered as “healthy” might exacerbate the problem. Let’s break it down.


First, remember to consult with your doctor about any dietary changes.

Foods to Avoid

Raw veggies and fruit: Certain types or parts of fruit and vegetables can upset your colon, causing intestinal distress. The fiber, a type of carb your body does not digest, is what makes these foods hard on someone with an inflamed colon. In addition to raw veggies and fruits, stay away from cooked kale, peas, winter squash, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, onions and corn. Pineapple, figs, berries and certain dried fruit should be avoided.
Whole grains: Also a source of fiber, whole grains should be eliminated. No whole wheat bread or pasta, oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, barley or even popcorn.
Certain proteins: Tough meats, nuts and beans should be eliminated. The nuts and beans are sources of fiber and meats that are tough are also hard for your body to digest. Meat is fine if prepared the right way, so broil or braise your lean meat, fish or poultry to make them tender and softer.
Some drinks: While it’s pretty important to drink lots of fluids with an inflamed colon, avoid beverages that are carbonated, caffeinated or alcoholic. You should also eliminate prune juice, fatty drinks and sugary drinks. Depending on your tolerance, however, a little bit of these types of beverages might be okay for your system.


It’s still important to eat a variety of things to fulfill daily nutritional requirements. From the list to avoid above, you may think it’d be hard to do. However, there are many foods out there that promote colon health. It’s all about finding foods that will work with your body, and consuming them in safe amounts. Here are some great foods to eat to promote a healthy colon:


Omega 3 fatty acids: These nutrients are naturally found in fish, and can have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Beverages: Drinking more water can help keep you hydrated and feeling better. Sports drinks with electrolytes can be beneficial too. However, watch the sugar content. If a drink is too sugary, you can always mix one part water with one part sports drink.
Probiotics: Full of healthy bacteria, probiotics promote a healthy gut. Yogurt and hard cheeses are full of them, and these two foods are low in lactose. However, if you’re lactose-intolerant you might have to find another method of consuming probiotics, like a supplement.
Soft or processed produce: Not all veggies and fruit are hard for your body to digest. In limited quantities, steamed vegetables like broccoli, spinach and carrots are mild enough for your colon. Canned fruits and vegetables can also be gentle on your colon. The acidic base in the canned vegetables helps to diminish the insoluble fiber content. Canned peaches, pears, applesauce, green beans, etc. are all great alternatives to fresh produce. You can also experiment with a small amount of fruit and see how they affect your colon, avoiding the seeds and skins.


When your colon is inflamed, it can be hard to find the right foods to eat and which ones to avoid. Everybody is different, and some people may be more sensitive to certain foods than others. Consider the list above as your guide to eating with an inflamed colon and always remember to talk with your doctor about your diet.

Siamak Tabib, M.D. at Gastroenterology & Hepatology Clinic offer innovative treatments to improve patients’ quality of life. Located in Los Angeles, Dr. Tabib strives to provide the highest quality care to his patients with his state-of-the-art technology.

What is Diverticulitis?


Diverticulitis occurs when the bulging sacs from inside the wall of the colon or large intestine become inflamed or infected.


Diverticula are pouches that develop when pressure increases against the inside walls of the colon and pushes outward. They are most common in the colon and large intestine but can also be found anywhere in the digestive tract. Diverticula becomes diverticulitis when the sacs become inflamed or infected. Diverticulitis can cause a lot of pain.


Doctors aren’t completely sure what causes diverticulitis but they believe that a low-fiber diet might be part of the problem. Doctors also think that part of the reason why the diverticula can become infected is because of the bacteria that the stool contains. Fecal matter can become lodged into the diverticula which will mostly cause an infection of the sac. Due to a low-fiber diet the stool becomes hard and has less bulk to it which causes the colon to work harder in order to push the stool forward. The sacs are formed when they are continuously pushed on. All of this pressure from pushing will cause weak spots along the colon to form which are the diverticula.


Who is Most at Risk?

Many factors can add to the causes of diverticulitis. There are a handful of risks but these are the most common.



Age plays a huge role in being at risk of developing diverticulitis. Before the age of 40, diverticulosis is uncommon. About one-third of all Americans will develop the condition by age 60, and two-thirds will have it by age 85. This statistic, according to Harvard Health Publications, makes diverticulosis one of the most common medical conditions in the United States.



Constipation is most likely caused by not having enough fiber-rich foods in your diet. This will cause a person’s stool to become hard and small. This fiber lacking stool makes the colon work harder by contracting to make the stool move forward. This is how diverticula develop.


Diverticulitis Symptoms

Someone with diverticulitis can expect it to last a week or longer if they don’t get their symptoms treated. But even after treatment is completed, diverticulitis can occur again.
The most common symptom of diverticulitis is sudden pain in the lower left part of the abdomen. The pain will often worsen when you move. More common diverticulitis symptoms are listed below:


• Fever and chills
• Feeling bloated or gassy
• Nausea or at times vomiting
• Diarrhea or constipation
• No appetite
• Rectal bleeding that appears bright red


These symptoms seem flu-like but if your symptoms last longer than a week, you should seek medical attention in order to solve the problem.


Diverticulitis Diet

Doctors believe one of the main causes for diverticulitis is due to a low-fiber diet. Eating little to no fiber will most likely cause constipation which leads to a constant strain on muscles in the intestines and colon. When these muscles are constantly being strained, your risk for developing diverticula and later diverticulitis becomes increased. Here are some foods you can add to your diet that are high in fiber. By implementing these simple changes to your everyday life, your risks for developing diverticulitis will be lower.


Diverticulitis diet:

• Pears
• Apples
• Oranges
• Bananas
• Mangos
• Carrots
• Broccoli
• Beets
• Collard greens
• Spinach
• Raspberries
• Sweet potatoes with the skin on
• Black beans
• Kidney beans
• Whole


When looking for whole grain options, look for 5 or more grams of fiber per serving. By drinking plenty of water, exercising regularly and adding more fruits, vegetables and whole grains to your diet, you will really be doing your body a favor. Most Americans are not eating the right amount of fiber on a daily basis. It is common for countries with a lot of processed foods, like the United States, to lack in their daily fiber intake. Women need to be eating 25 grams of fiber a day and men need 38 grams per day.



Diverticulitis is a common condition that is often painful and unpleasant. If you or a loved one has experienced any of the symptoms or issues previously mentioned, you should consider making an appointment with a gastroenterologist. It is important to seek medical attention if your condition continues or worsens.
As a patient, you have the right to ask any questions about your health care. Learn about your specific health condition and how it can be successfully treated. Openly discuss various treatment options with your healthcare practitioner in order to make a sound decision on what care you would like to receive. Prior to following any course of therapy, it’s best to talk to a gastroenterologist to ensure that you can find a treatment that is both effective and safe for you.


Schedule a consultation today with a gastroenterologist to learn more about diverticulitis or if you want to find out more information about your treatment options.

Common Types of Colon Polyps and Risks


It should be known that there are four very common types of polyps that can be found in a patient’s colon.

These can be detected through routine medical procedures. A polyp is often one of two different shapes. It may actually look like a mushroom in appearance. The other type of polyp may look like a stem of some sort. The term polyp is a benign tumor or a growth that is in the inner surface of a colon. The true cause of a polyp in not known, however the number of polyps are known to increase with age.

These are the 4 main types of polyps and some of the risks that are associated with them. These are the four common types of polyps found in patients.

Types of Colon Polyps

1. Tubular Adenoma or Adenomatous polyp: This is actually a serious type of polyp. This has a high risk of cancer if it grows too be large.

2. Hyperplastic: This is not an uncommon polyp and it is often found in the rectum. It usually holds a low risk of turning cancerous.

3. Inflammatory: This type of polyp usually is found along with ulcerative colitis. It is known as false polyps or pseudopolyps. The risks are low for being cancerous.

4. Villous Adema or Tubulovillous Adema: 15% of polyps that are removed are this type of polyp. The risk is quite high for cancer.

Know Your Risk and Polyp Type Early

If you are interested in learning more about colon polyps and risks, you will find that a consultation on this subject with an experienced hepatologist who specializes in removing and testing polyps regularly. You can contact our hepatology center to learn more about your risks of  colon cancer and your preventive options.

A Colonoscopy Proves Efficiency with Lowest Rates in 10 years

A Colonoscopy Proves Efficiency with Lowest Rates in 10 years

According to a recent report published in the CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, colon cancer rates have fallen by 30 percent over the past decade in patients over the age of 50. We know that no one wants to get a colonoscopy, but with these phenomenal numbers, there really is a drawback from evading colon cancer screenings.

Colon cancer is one of the few cancers that allow doctors to screen for diseases right at the source. A colonoscopy is a procedure that inserts a flexible tube and mini-camera into the rectum to observe the colon for unusual growths, called polyps. If polyps are present, the physician removes them upon detection before they turn malignant.

Research shows that the number of Americans ages 50 to 64 who have undergone a colonoscopy has nearly tripled, increasing from 19 percent in 2000 to 55 percent in 2010. Statistics also showed a great increase during the same decade among people over the age of 65, jumping from 55 percent to 64 percent. Fortunately these numbers are expected to continue its rise and the American Cancer Society sets the goal of screening 80 percent of eligible patients by 2018.

What is Colon Cancer?

Colorectal cancer is the third most leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. with estimates of 136,000 Americans to be diagnosed this year. It is a cancer that starts in the colon or the rectum. These can also be referred to as colon cancer or rectal cancer depending where they are found. If cancer cells are discovered in polyps then they eventually grow into blood vessels or lymph vessels. Once cancer cells spread into these vessels they become mobile and travel into nearby lymph nodes or distant body organs such as the liver.

How Does a Colonoscopy Help?

The most effective prevention method of colon cancer is by way of screening through a colonoscopy. Early detection and removal of colorectal polyps before they turn cancerous has shown a significant decline in colon cancer deaths. There are other less invasive forms of treatment, but a colonoscopy may still be needed if early testing cannot determine malignant polyps.

With the heavy increase of colonoscopy screenings, brings the most exciting news, a decline in colon cancer rates. In the most recent years, the annual rate of colon cancer detection fell by 7.2 percent a year from 2008 to 2010.

If you are approaching the age of 50, you may be recommended for a colonoscopy. The importance of this study is that people are finally getting the message – colon cancer can be prevented with early detection. Schedule a consultation to learn more about the colonoscopy in our Beverly Hills office.

Appendicitis: Understanding the Warning Signs of Appendix Rupture

Appendicitis: Understanding the Warning Signs of Appendix Rupture

Appendicitis occurs when the appendix becomes inflamed and infected. We do not always know the cause of appendicitis, but when it happens we assume that it was due to an obstruction and infection of the appendix. Your appendix is about 3 ½ inches long and can only take in so much food and waste, so it is always recommended to eat food in moderation as well as drinking plenty of fluids to ensure your system is flushed efficiently. Appendicitis can be very painful and may require surgery, and early signs of pain are usually felt in the lower abdomen but there are a variety of symptoms to watch out for. Be on the lookout for these symptoms if you or a loved one experiences them:

Belly Button Pain

This is one of the earliest signs experienced in many patients dealing with appendicitis. Dealing with discomfort in the belly button arises in the beginning and slowly moves to the lower abdomen.


Most people will not recognize a fever as one of the signs of appendicitis infection, but this is commonly experienced in people. The fever will vary in temperature, but a low-grade fever along with stomach pain is usually a telltale sign of infection.

Abdominal Tenderness

This symptom is also known as rebound tenderness but is easy to check on. Apply pressure on the lower right abdomen and release slowly. If there is severe pain and discomfort after releasing then appendicitis may be the cause.

Nausea and Vomiting

Usually these symptoms go hand in hand, and it is difficult to diagnose since people who become sick experience both from time to time. It is important to know that if nausea and vomiting continues beyond 12 hours then a doctor must be seen for diagnosis.


Plenty of people struggling with appendicitis experience the feeling of constipation which then leads to diarrhea. In some cases the patient may observe large quantities of mucus in their stool, experiencing these symptoms too often will need the assistance of a doctor promptly.

Bloating and Gas

Most people think that bloating and gas are expected to be felt, especially after a large meal. However, if the symptoms are experience with severe pain in the lower abdominals then you will need to consult with your doctor immediately.

Can Appendicitis Be Prevented?

There is no exact way to prevent  appendicitis. However, they are far less common in people who eat foods high in fiber, such as fruits and vegetables. Appendicitis is rare in children under the age of 2 but is usually the most common in people between the ages of 15 and 30. Fortunately, advances in science are making it simpler to diagnose in younger children.

According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, an ultrasound followed up with an MRI exam can diagnose appendicitis accurately in children. Of course it is difficult to have a child sit still for 30 minutes straight, but by usually by the age of six a child understands the importance of testing and cooperates as needed.

If you or a loved one is experiencing these signs of appendicitis, schedule a consultation to have a thorough analysis for an appendix rupture in Beverly Hills.

The Best Diet For Colon Health

Eating right is not something you should be doing once in awhile. The type of food you eat directly affects your lifestyle. A healthy colon is necessary to ensure that the digestive system functions properly, and it is also helpful in preventing colon cancer. Everyone wants to know how to nourish their bodies with the best foods for a healthy life and a healthy colon. Eating right should not be a mystery. Foods that are high in fiber with lots of fruits and vegetables that are loaded with antioxidants will among the most beneficial foods you can eat. In order to be sure that a colon remains healthy, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends annual screening via colonoscopy for all patients beginning at age 50. People at higher risk of developing colorectal cancer should begin screening at a younger age, and may need to be tested more frequently.

A colonoscopy is a procedure that examines your colon through a scope that provides a visual for the doctor to see any abnormalities. Pain medication and a mild sedative are administered to the patient as the doctor inspects the intestines. The procedure is most commonly used as a screening test for patients above the age of 50. It is used to search for early stages of colon cancer and can diagnose unexplained changes in bowel habits.

Dr. Tabib uses a flexible tube, a colonoscope, to look inside the patient’s colon via computer imagery and search for any growing abnormalities. When polyps, inflamed tissue, are discovered he removes them and has them tested for cancer developments.

According to studies on colon health, colon cancer rates are significantly lower in cultures where people eat a large amount of high-fiber foods. A study in 2000 indicated that eating a large amount of fiber each day (25 to 38 grams) could reduce the risk of colon cancer by 40 percent. Since then more studies show that colorectal cancer risk can be reduced with high fiber intakes from fruit and vegetables. A diet high in fiber does not guarantee total prevention of colon cancer, other factors such as age, family history and poor health still have an effect.

Foods to limit in your diet:

By limiting the amount of meat, beer, salt and sugar you can also improve your colon health. Limiting the intake of animal fats and dairy products also reduce the risks of colon polyps.

What Should My Diet Consist Of?

There are two types of fiber that every digestive system should take in, soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-type of substance. Oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits and carrots are soluble fibers that can even help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Insoluble fibers increase stool bulk and can benefit those who struggle with constipation and immoderate stools. Whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, beans, nuts, green beans, cauliflower and potatoes are sources of insoluble fibers. To have the greatest health benefit, eat a wide variety of high-fiber foods.

A high-fiber diet can decrease the chances of developing colon cancer and polyps. Other foods that can be added to your diet include:

  • Broccoli
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Yogurt
  • Tuna
  • Tomatoes
  • Cabbage
  • Coffee

There are supplements and vitamins that can improve colon health if these foods are not favorable. Supplements such as glucomannan, melatonin, linoleic acid and psyllium may help treat symptoms related to colon cancer. Vitamins such as calcium, fish oil, selenium, vitamins: C, D or E can also reduce colon cancer risk.

How much fiber is enough?

Doctors recommend that all men and women administer a target of fiber intake for their diet. For people under the age of 50, men should be taking in 38 grams of fiber, while women consume 25 grams. People over the age of 50 will slightly reduce their fiber intake, men need 30 grams and women 21 grams of fiber

Doctors also recommend to minimize exposure to toxins like smoke, alcohol, red and processed meat, MSG and other artificial flavors. Regular exercise and weight control can reduce the risks of colon problems.

Before altering your diet, meet with Dr. Tabib, he will help you develop a plan to keep your colon strong and healthy. Based on your age, health and family history, he will recommend screenings and tests to discover abnormalities. Without screenings you may not be aware of any colon issues. For more information visit Dr. Tabib’s office in Beverly Hills. A proper and healthy diet high in fiber ensures a healthy colon.