Skip to main content

Blog Archive

What Can Cause Fecal Incontinence? Nov 9th, 2023

Fecal incontinence (FI) is a highly embarrassing and potentially life-altering condition in which you can no longer control your bowels fully. Or at all. Instead of privately and comfortably evacuating your bowels in the bathroom, you leak fecal matter in various quantities. Approximately 8% of women and men in the...

The Link Between Chronic Constipation and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Oct 10th, 2023

When you’re constipated, your first thoughts about why may revolve around your diet. You may add fiber to your daily intake, or eat more fruits and vegetables. But when those steps don’t resolve your issue, your chronic constipation may be due to pelvic floor dysfunction.  In fact, about half of...

I'm Not at Risk for Colorectal Cancer — Do I Still Need to Be Screened? Sep 1st, 2023

Chadwick Boseman, the actor, director, and writer who achieved international cinematic fame as Marvel Comics’ “Black Panther,” was only 43 years old when he died from colon cancer. An athlete and an intellectual, full of youth and vigor, Boseman was diagnosed with stage 3 disease in 2016, which had progressed...

What to Expect Right After Your Colonoscopy Jul 31st, 2023

A colonoscopy is the gold-standard screening test for colon cancer, one of the most treatable cancers there is, provided it’s caught early. Despite the efficacy of colonoscopies, colon cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer deaths (excluding skin cancers) in the United States. About 52,500 people died from colon cancer...

How to Protect Your Colon as You Age Jul 1st, 2023

Over a lifetime, colon cancer strikes 4% of women and 4.3% of men in the United States. In other words, one out of every 25-35 women or men will develop the disease. You’re more at risk for colon cancer after age 50. However, colon cancer has increased in adults under 55 by 1% per...

The Difference Between Anal and Colon Cancer Jun 1st, 2023

Colorectal cancer accounts for almost 8% of all cancers in the United States. The lifetime risk for developing cancer in the colon or rectum is about 1 in 23 for men and 1 in 26 for women.  In contrast, anal cancer is rare, especially in young people. Over the course of a...

When to Worry About Fecal Incontinence May 1st, 2023

You may have expected some urinary incontinence as you aged, or when you were pregnant, but you probably never expected to experience fecal incontinence (FI). Nevertheless, approximately 8% of women and men in the United States suffer from occasional-to-frequent episodes of accidentally losing control of their bowels.  If you have a type of fecal...

3 Signs of Diverticulitis You Should Never Ignore Apr 3rd, 2023

One of the many not-so-pleasant aspects of being granted the privilege of aging is the development of small pouches in the weak areas of your colon. When these pouches develop, you have a condition known as diverticulosis. Most of the time, diverticulosis causes no problems and no symptoms. However, when...

When to Seek Professional Help for Constipation Mar 5th, 2023

Normal bowel movements vary widely by individual. Some people, especially if they eat a lot of vegetables and other fibrous foods, may have a bowel movement three times a day. Others may not need to evacuate their bowels more than a few times a week. When you consistently have trouble passing...

What to Expect Before, During, and After Your First Colonoscopy Feb 7th, 2023

Each year in the United States, doctors diagnose more than 100,000 new cases of colon cancer and almost 45,000 new cases of rectal cancer. Colon cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer deaths in the US, not including skin cancers, and according to the American Cancer Society, it caused approximately...

The Difference Between Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis Jan 18th, 2023

When you have chronic gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms that cause pain, fatigue, and even weight loss, you may have an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, many of the symptoms of IBD are shared by other conditions, including colon cancer. That’s why you should never try to self-diagnose your GI symptoms.  A...

Can I Control My IBS with My Diet? Dec 5th, 2022

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder that may cause you extreme discomfort, pain, and embarrassment. IBS tends to cause symptoms such as: Constipation Diarrhea Both constipation and diarrhea Gas Bloating Mucus in stool Although IBS isn’t a disease, it can make eating and eliminating painful. Researchers...

My Fecal Incontinence Is Embarrassing: Can You Help? Nov 1st, 2022

Fecal incontinence (FI) affects more than 8% of women and men in the United States. You can develop FI due to muscle or nerve damage during childbirth, injury, or surgery, but the most common reason is simply aging. Nevertheless, even children, teens, or young adults may suffer from FI, too. Most people with...

The Link Between Smoking and Diverticulitis Oct 1st, 2022

Diverticula are little outpouches that form in the weak spots of your colon’s walls. When you’re born, your colon’s lining is smooth and pouch-free. But by the time you’re 60, if you live in a Western country, you’ll probably have at least one and possibly a few dozen diverticula.  Vegetarians...

Are Polyps a Health Threat? Sep 1st, 2022

This year alone, more than 52,000 women and men in the United States will die from colorectal cancer, according to projections from the American Cancer Society. What’s even worse is that most deaths from colon cancer and rectal cancer are preventable.  Colorectal cancer is a slow-growing cancer. When it’s caught and treated early enough, the 5-year...

Why Do I Have Anal Pain? Aug 1st, 2022

Although it’s not a topic that usually comes up at dinner parties or Zoom meetings, anal pain is actually pretty common. In fact, one study found that almost 16% of women and men have an anal complaint at some point in their lives. However, only about 2% bring up the subject themselves when at...

Lifestyle Tips for Diverticulitis Jul 1st, 2022

Diverticulitis is a painful condition in which small pouches in your intestines, called diverticula, become infected and cause a variety of symptoms, including nausea and vomiting. In the Western world, about half of adults over age 60 have diverticula, with 10% of them going on to develop diverticulitis. At Colon and Rectal Surgeons...

Understanding Your Risk for Pilonidal Disease Jun 1st, 2022

Pilonidal disease (PD) affects approximately 70,000 men, women, and teens in the United States per year. If you have PD, you may have a cyst or irritated area at the top of your buttocks crease, near your tailbone, that can become infected and quite painful. Many times, people avoid getting...

Foods that Support a Healthy Colon May 1st, 2022

Your colon is the largest portion of your large intestine, which includes the rectum and anus, too. The small and large intestines are sometimes referred to as your “gut.” Your colon wraps around the perimeter of your small intestine and connects your small intestine with your rectum so you can...

Using Biofeedback to Treat Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Apr 1st, 2022

One in five women and men in the United States suffer from some sort of pelvic floor disorder during their lifetime. Pelvic floor disorders more often affect women than men, mostly due to their anatomy and also the pressures and trauma of pregnancy and childbirth. In fact, half of women over...

What Happens If Polyps Aren't Removed? Mar 1st, 2022

If you’re at average risk for colon cancer, you should undergo a colonoscopy every 10 years, starting at age 45. If you’re at increased or high risk for colon cancer due to family or personal history, you must have a colonoscopy more frequently. When your doctor inserts the colonoscope into...

What to Expect at Your Routine Colon Screening Feb 1st, 2022

More than 50,000 women and men in the United States die from colon cancer each year, according to the 2021 figures from the American Cancer Society. However, deaths from colorectal cancers have declined since 1970, largely due to increased screening via routine colonoscopies. Colon cancer can be deadly, but it...

Tips to Improve Your Nutrition Before Colorectal Surgery Jan 1st, 2022

All surgery — whether it’s traditional open surgery with long incisions or minimally invasive robotic surgery with short incisions — traumatizes your body. That’s why it’s important to give your body all the support you can before your procedure.  One of the most important elements of presurgical self-care is ensuring...

What Is Fecal Incontinence? Dec 1st, 2021

Fecal incontinence is an embarrassing and inconvenient condition that affects about 1 in 3 women, children, and men who see primary care providers in the United States. If you have fecal incontinence, you accidentally leak small or large amounts of feces when you pass gas, or you lose control of...

4 Signs that You May Have Diverticulitis Nov 1st, 2021

Probably because of our meat-heavy, vegetable- and fruit-poor Western diet, diverticular disease is on the rise. Almost half of adults over age 60 in the West have little sacs of tissue called diverticula in the weak area of their colons. About 10% of those people have complications from the diverticula,...

The Differences Between Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis Oct 3rd, 2021

Our highly sanitized life, resulting in an underdeveloped immune system, may be one of the factors that led to the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in western countries. If you have IBD, your immune system mistakenly identifies benign substances — including food — as pathogens and sends out white...

What's Causing Your Anal Pain? Sep 1st, 2021

When it comes to subjects for polite conversation, anal pain ranks pretty low. In fact — other than the scatological jokes you told as a kid — you don’t talk about, or hear about, anuses much at all. So when you start experiencing anal pain, you worry. Is this something...

How to Prepare for Your Colonoscopy Aug 4th, 2021

Colonoscopy is still the most accurate means we have of detecting colon cancer in all its various stages, including the most treatable early stages, as well as detecting and removing abnormalities before they become cancerous. A colonoscopy is also efficient: If you’re at average risk for colon cancer, you only...

Who's at Risk for Colon Cancer? Jul 11th, 2021

Colorectal cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer deaths in adults in the United States, excluding skin cancers. You have about a 4.0% chance of developing colon cancer at some point in your life if you’re a woman, and a 4.3% chance if you’re a man.  While 4-4.3% doesn’t sound...

The Link Between STDs and Abscesses Jun 23rd, 2021

People with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, are prone to pus-filled abscesses in their anus or rectum that can cause excruciating pain and other symptoms. But you don’t have to have an IBD to develop abscesses. Abscesses often form as a result of an...

What Causes Pelvic Floor Prolapse? May 13th, 2021

Pelvic floor prolapse — also called pelvic organ prolapse — is a common type of pelvic floor dysfunction that affects both women and men. The pelvic floor muscles in women support their colon, bladder, uterus, and vagina. A man’s pelvic floor muscles support his rectum, bladder, and other pelvic organs....

Is Ulcerative Colitis Curable? Apr 5th, 2021

The inflammatory bowel disease known as ulcerative colitis (UC) is a disorder that causes your body to attack its own colon and rectal tissue. The result is ulcers, or sores, in the lining of your lower gut that may produce mucus and pus and can be extremely painful. You may...

Object Stuck in Your Rectum? Why Prompt Medical Care Matters Mar 7th, 2021

It went in easily. So, you figure, it should come out the same way. If you or your child has inserted a foreign object in your rectum, however, removing it yourself could cause permanent damage.  While you may feel embarrassed by your situation, don’t let that stop you from getting...

Early Warning Signs of Rectal Cancer Feb 9th, 2021

Your rectum is the last part of your colon (i.e., large intestine), which ends in your anus. Just a few inches long, your rectum stores your feces until you’re ready to defecate. Although it’s part of, and continuous with, your colon, your rectum has its own distinct appearance and functions....

When to Consider Hemorrhoid Surgery Jan 6th, 2021

If you have hemorrhoids, you have a lot of company. In the US, about every third adult has them, too. However, when hemorrhoids make bowel movements painful or even excruciating, you may feel very much alone.  The understanding and expert team at Colon and Rectal Surgeons of Greater Hartford treats...

How Often Do I Need a Colonoscopy? Dec 1st, 2020

Cancer doesn’t usually come with a lot of good news attached, but colon cancer does. When caught early enough, colon cancer isn’t just treatable, it’s curable.   That’s why the caring and expert team at Colon and Rectal Surgeons of Greater Hartford recommends regular colonoscopies. A colonoscopy is the best, most...

What Causes Rectal Prolapse? Nov 4th, 2020

You’re having a bowel movement and something feels “off.” Even after you’re finished, you can still feel something protruding from your anus. You may even feel it, and see it, long after your trip to the bathroom. Rectal prolapse is a condition in which the lowest segment of your colon...

Effective Treatments for Anal Trauma Oct 6th, 2020

One of the body parts that few people learn to love and feel comfortable with is their anus. Because we defecate through our anus, and because it’s part of our “private” parts, we don’t like to talk about it, and we don’t want to think about it. Until it hurts....

Signs of an Abscess and what Having One Means Sep 15th, 2020

A series of anal glands runs along your rectum and anus. The function of anal glands is well known in most animals: The glands produce and release powerful, scented oils that mark territory and help the animals identify one another. Researchers aren’t quite certain why human still have anal glands....

Dietary Guidelines for Ulcerative Colitis Aug 18th, 2020

Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that can strike at any age, though it tends to first appear before you turn 30. About 3 million adults in the United States  have IBD, a category that also includes Crohn’s disease.  The main symptoms of UC — pain,...

Common Causes of Anal Pain Jul 20th, 2020

You probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about your anus. But when you develop anal pain, your anus may be the only thing on your mind. Why do you have anal pain, and when should you see a doctor for treatment? The expert team at Colon and Rectal...

How to Lower Your Risk for Hemorrhoid Flare-Ups Jun 18th, 2020

Hemorrhoids are inflamed, bulging veins — similar to varicose veins — that are in or around your anal canal. Hemorrhoids can be internal, which means that they’re underneath the skin inside your anus and your lower rectum. They can also be external, developing under the skin outside your anus.  The...

Signs of Anal Cancer May 26th, 2020

According to the American Cancer society, around 8,590 people will be diagnosed with anal cancer in the US this year. While it might seem frightening, anal cancer is highly treatable, especially in its early stages; you just have to know what to look for, and when to go to the...

Understanding the Differences between Internal & External Hemorrhoids and the Best Treatment Options Apr 21st, 2020

Hemorrhoids are the most common cause of rectal bleeding. In fact, three out of four adults will experience hemorrhoids at some point in their lives. They are largely harmless; however, they can still be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Before you and your doctor can begin treatment, it's important to differentiate between...

Should I Be Concerned about Anal Pain? Mar 13th, 2020

While anal pain or bleeding might be frightening and even embarrassing, it's a common issue and can usually be cleared up after a visit to the doctor. You might experience brief anal pain for various reasons, but persistent pain might be a sign of a more serious problem for which...

When You Should Seek Medical Attention for Your Constipation Feb 10th, 2020

Constipation isn't something to be embarrassed about; in fact, 16 out of 100 adults experience constipation, and this number doubles among people over 60. The symptoms of constipation usually clear up on their own, but sometimes medical intervention is needed. That begs the question: When should you go to the...

What to Expect During and After Your First Colonoscopy Jan 13th, 2020

So, your doctor has recommended that you have a colonoscopy. You probably have a lot of questions about what happens during and after the procedure. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! More than 19 million colonoscopies are performed each year in the United States, and you don’t have to be anxious...