Diverticulitis: What is it?

di·ver·tic·u·li·tis-an inflammation of a diverticulum, especially in the colon, causing pain and disturbance of bowel function.
This is a Real Condition and it should not be ignored. I am going to put it in layman’s terms. Ever seen a PVC pipe for plumbing or perhaps a gutter or drain? It has little ‘ridges’ in it? Well that’s what our intestines have. The same little ridges. When food gets stuck in them, they fester and become infection. An infection in your intestines.
This can not be taken care of by a doctor’s office visit. You MUST go to the hospital.
What happens with this condition? Some people have early onset symptoms that are ignored such as slight abdominal pain. Sometimes people can not have a bowel movement, or some times it is diarrhea.  Sometimes the poop looks flat  or just plain weird…Therein lies the problem. People usually go about their day, ignoring their bodies.
What to do?
Some people actually have their appendix on the left side of their abdomen, but not many. The appendix is usually on the Right. With diverticulitis, pain will be present more on the left side. However, it can radiate to the right, called, “referred pain”.  What is Referred Pain? It is when the pain in the body is too much and therefore our bodies are designed to ‘send it somewhere else’….Thus, the pain being on the right side which leads one to believe they have appendicitis.  A general feeling of ‘not feeling well’ will accompany this condition and eventually a Fever and a High White Blood Count, VERY BAD ABDOMINAL PAIN USUALLY ON THE LEFT SIDE.
How is is diagnosed? The only surefire way is to have a cat scan. It’s not what people want to do, but is necessary and they have improved over the years. You don’t have to drink that nasty barium most of the time. But if you do, you only have to drink one container thank goodness. YOU MUST GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM.
When what? If you ‘catch it’ in time, they will put you on clear liquids for 3 to  5 days and antibiotics which hopefully don’t make you sick. But to be on the safe side, ask for an anti nausea medication along with a pain killer. On the 5th day you can start introducing clear liquids, and a very bland diet and then gradually add more fiber….and regular foods.
Of course, a doctor will give all the pertinent information.
What causes this condition? No one knows absolutely. However, the first cases were discovered in the 1800s or 1900s. It used to be referred to as an “old person’s disease”. Nowadays, doctors are seeing this condition in younger people, 20s and 30s even…..The youngest case on record last time I checked was 15.
How to prevent it? This is a topic of much debate among gastronologists. Much information on the web will tell you that eating seeds is the problem, along with nuts –a shame because nuts are so good for you. Another reason is not Chewing Your Food enough and not getting enough fiber. The doctors argue back and forth about it.
How do I know this?  Because I have it. I won’t Touch a seed. I de-seed fruits and vegetables. I drink Tons of Water. I eat very little red meat, as it’s hard to digest.  How to eat out?  I don’t eat out very much, but when I do, I just ask that there are no nuts nor seeds in the dish I am ordering. I also try very hard to eat yogurt everyday and take probiotics as well. Most importantly, I Know my Body!!  I also make sure to Chew and Chew and Chew……
My take on it:  I think that in my case, I was always on the run when young. I would literally inhale my food, not chewing enough. I ate Everything with Seeds…and Fast.  I love seeds!!  Poppy seeds, Big Macs, Sesame Seeds, just name any kind of nut and I love them….no more for me.   How do I get around it?  Well, I eat fiber, and if I eat fast food, I order two bottom buns. If I MUST have seeds or nuts, I grind them in a Ninja grinder (20.00)…well worth it. It pulverizes everything.
What happens if diverticulitis is not taken care of?  Don’t worry, it will be. You will run a very high fever, be in horrible pain, the kind where you can’t stand up straight. If you wait too long before going to the hospital, you will be in Big Trouble. You could get an abscess.
What is that?  When one of those pesky little pieces of seeds or chips or granola, or whatever you are eating gets stuck in those little ridges in the intestines and breaks through, creating a small hole which is Very Painful and in severe cases, can lead to a Horrific Infection that you Do Not Want—-even death, but rarely. You will be hospitalized for a while with an abscess. Don’t let it get to that point.
Just writing this to inform, not scare….

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