Monday, June 28, 2010

Diverticulitis 101

So, if you have been reading my blog you know that last month I was diagnosed with Acute Diverticulitis. Unfortunately, my case was complicated due to also having a perforated intestine, and an infected abscess.

What is Diverticulitis:
I have researched this disease since I returned home. According the the Mayo Clinic it is, Diverticulitis occurs when one or more diverticula in your digestive tract become inflamed or infected. Diverticula are small, bulging pouches that can form anywhere in your digestive system, including your esophagus, stomach and small intestine. However, they're most commonly found in the large intestine.

According to the Diverticulitis Website- The problem seems to increase with age as the weak areas of the colon continue to balloon out and result in pockets. Ballooning is caused by pressure such as exertion when a person is constipated by lack of fiber in their diet or because of certain medications. It has also been attributed to some gallbladder surgeries that have positioned the gall duct to drip directly into the intestines after the gallbladder has been removed.

Diverticulitis is something that can hit anyone any time but is generally seen in almost half of all Americans over the age of 60, but it is diagnosed to a lesser degree to many who are in their 40′s (not in my case. Does this mean my body is actually over 60?).

Most cases of Diverticulitis are treated with antibiotics. If the flares up continue, surgery is suggested.

Keeping Diverticulitis at bay means a life changing diet. One rich in fiber once the intestine and colon have had time to heal. Until then a low-residue diet is the norm.

My low-residue diet consisted of:
  • V8
  • Soup
  • Tuna Fish
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • White Bread
  • Turkey Burgers
  • Mashed Potatoe
  • Yogurt - Activia and Dannon Whips
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Cream of Wheat
  • Chicken Breast
  • Attune Chocolate Bars

Tomorrow, God willing, I head back to the GI doctor for a my second follow up. I stopped my antibiotics 3 days ago. Yesterday, there was some mild cramping, today, some more cramping and twinges. I owe the hospital $19,000 and expect many more medical bills to pile up. Scary considering that surgery will probably be in my future. According the doctor, I can have surgery and still have diverticulitis attacks.


Everyone I have talked to either has had it or knows someone who has had it. Hopefully, somewhere along the way, someone will come up with something that aids in recurrences or abolishes it totally.

Wish me luck tomorrow, I am hoping for at least a direction tomorrow and less waiting time for the doctor 2+ hours last time.

Peace Out!


  1. Anonymous6:25 PM

    Thank you so muh for this information. i wish you the best.

  2. I'm so sorry. This is a very painful disease. My father had it for years and one day woke up and said he was ready to and had it fixed. He's had a whole new life.

    Now my DH has it and we watch what he eats and that keeps the flares down.

  3. You are the first I have heard to have this... and my empathy is with you. I can't possibly begin to imagine how it feels or how scary it is.
    I got my fingers crossed for you, and will put in a good word with the big man upstairs.
    Here for you always,


  4. I have a different kind of GI disease called achalasia, but I understand about the cramping and pain, frequent spasms etc.. Mine is caused by some type of genetic nerve disease.
    I truly have empathy for your pain.
    I hope they get this bout your experiencing now completely under control and also that you never have a reoccurence. Will keep you in my prayers. God Bless.

  5. Thanks for all the info... You got it from a great source. I always check out the Mayo Clinic online when I have medical questions because they have the most up-to-date info and you know that you can trust them.
    You're right about knowing someone with the disease, my FIL had it, along with the complication of a perforation. I'm so sorry you were in so much pain and hope that you don't have to have the surgery, but that the antibiotics keep it at bay. Hope you can eat a little better soon.

  6. Most of the women on my mom's side have had flare ups of this type--I hope this is not in my future! I wish you the best! Dear Lord, I don't know what is more alarming, the disease or the hospital bill lol Glad to have you back though.

  7. Thanks everyone. It has been very educational for me and everyone involved. We are all learning about it. Hopefully no one will have to go through it but at least they will know what is going on, what the symptoms are and more.

    The disease sucks and the hospital bill sucks more! Grrrrr....damn it.

    Currently, the doctor says, just keep doing what you are doing. I go back in 3 more weeks and still will be on low residue diet. He is not ready to test my intestine. Umm..come to think of it, neither am I.

    Going to start keeping a food journal and cramp journal so I can figure out which food gives me a flare up.

    Thanks for your comments.

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  14. Joe Nevin5:48 PM

    Diverticulitis - Cause and Solution by John Bergman:

    Hi Maria, I feel your pain, literally. If you have the time I recommend this guy and his approach to this subject.

    This is one of those ailments that will only improve when someone takes control of their own health - knowledge is power here.

    1) Manage the initial acute flare up with diet and lifestyle - avoiding 'trigger' substances.
    2) Plan a strategy to slowly recover smooth muscle tone and healthy lining.
    3) Don't stress about it. Once you understand it you will realise that it is manageable with common sense planning.

    All the best


  15. Great information on this severe digestive issue


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