Are you feeling like your gut is playing a terrible practical joke on you? Is your stomach sounding like a didgeridoo from hell? Do you feel the need to hide your pooping habits because they’re straight-out worrying? Fear no more, my dear friend! I’m here to explain what diverticulitis is and why it’s such a pain in the butt (literally).
Let me break down some big terms for ya. Diverticula are small bulges or pockets that can form anywhere along our gastrointestinal tract, also known as the GI tract. They’re not necessarily harmful and may occur naturally with age.
However, when these little pouches become infected or inflamed, diverticulitis hits the party. It usually happens in people over 40 years old and is pretty common among our elders; don’t worry though, it’s not contagious! So if granny starts chasing you with her walker after dinner because she thinks you gave her diverticulitis… run!
WTF Causes Them
The direct cause of this condition is still somewhat of a medical mystery but there are several factors that have been linked to their development:
- A low-fiber diet
- Chronic constipation
- Lack of water intake
- Being overweight
Yes, we know… living healthy seems impossible today with all those yummy pizzas out there tempting us at every corner.
Take solace knowing everyone around us struggles just as much as we do.
[Wife asks important question during lockdown]
“Do u want granola which tastes like sawdust & smells like wet dog OR yogurt which has texture of paste & flavour profile of potato skin”
Choices … ‘#LockdownLife
The Signs Of Trouble Ahead – And Behind
Now how would one realize they have fallen prey to this curse that we call diverticulitis?
Abdominal pain and bloating are the two most common symptoms that should raise a red flag. The ache is usually dull at first but can get severe as time passes or after eating certain foods.
This discomfort, however, may be accompanied by some other unpleasant manifestations:
- Diarrhea or constipation
Some of these also shows up in people with anxiety… so it might not be ALL bad!
Don’t Ignore Deez Symptoms
We know ignoring your body’s signals has become an Olympic-level competition nowadays, giving you bragging rights on social media for years to come… But please don’t ignore these symptoms! Diverticulitis shouldn’t make it onto your list of ailments where ignoring them is the best course of action. Ignoring this condition could lead to severe complications like intestinal blockages and even ruptures.
Take comfort knowing ‘modern medicine’ will have its hands-on expensive technology to fix you right back up before the days over. Then all you need is lie down and binge-watch Netflix until everything feels good again.
“This salad tastes like I’m chewing wet grass.” [takes another bite] “I’ll take 4 more.”
Diagnosis Captain Obvious Style
Doctors have several ways to diagnose diverticulitis which often involve taking samples (ew) from your stool (double ew), ordering blood work or imaging studies like CT scans or ultrasounds. These tests help confirm whether infection is present; besides smelling what’s already obvious through curt nods and sour faces when they walk outta there concerned-looking office.
If things didn’t go as intended, our very own super beings – doctors – may prescribe antibiotics and recommend a low-fiber diet in hopes of reducing any inflammation.. Sometimes surgery becomes necessary if the episodes become recurrent or symptoms become severe enough.
In any case, it’s best to consult with a medical professional rather than relying on Uncle Bob’s home remedy of drinking Vodka and snorting Cheetos powder. Leave the real diagnostics to Captain Obvious for once, we promise he won’t point out what you already know!
Prevention Is Key
Now that we’ve acquainted ourselves with diverticulitis treatment options, let’s talk about how to avoid this mess altogether….
- Eat more fiber – lots of whole grains, fruits and veggies.
- Drink plenty of water; You don’t have to drink as much as Chad in accounting but make sure you get some!
- Exercise regularly – take a stroll through your local park or start doing Pilates like your two-year-old niece suggesting weird things.
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Go easy on junk food
It might seem challenging but trust us; fashion-wise five years from now when the Doc still knows who you are will all be worth it!
Time To Sum Up
So there you have it folks — Diverticulitis! It results from pesky little pouches getting inflamed along our GI tract. Ignoring its signals can land us in pretty big troubles including surgical intervention which is something no one wants unless they got tired playing pretend doctors at early age (sorry Larry).
The good news is that avoiding this condition completely involves mostly just living healthier lives… by eating Mama’s salad instead of pizza whenever possible ;). Take comfort too because if anything ever does go sourish down there then leave everything for an expert medical opinion/procedure rather than following Bob’s party tricks concerning groceries nearby.
Stay healthy, stay strong… see ya soon!