Monday, February 13, 2012

Your intestines and you: a quick owners guide.

I've been away for awhile and I'm not as sorry about it as I should be.
There are some people who actually read this stuff and it ceases to amaze me that this is so. Alas, I am a busy boy these days with school and other less noble pursuits. Compounding any disappointment you may have for my recent lack of material is the fact that I will not be talking about food today. Instead, let's talk about you.

But first, let's talk about me.

In 2006, at the tender age of 33, I was diagnosed with a condition called Diverticulosis. It is a weakening of the colon wall that forms a small pouch. Occasionally, tiny bits of mostly digested matter will get stuck in that pouch and will become infected, causing the intestines to become inflamed and causes a great deal of abdominal pain. My doctor back then wouldn't initially diagnose me with the condition, saying that I was too young to have it. He had never seen a case of diverticulosis in anyone under the age of 55. If the affected part of the intestine becomes too much of a problem, doctors can simply remove that part of the intestine. (you have a lot of intestines to work with) My condition is not that severe. However, it has nearly put me in the hospital twice. The latest bout with it was in early January and I had never told a doctor that my pain level was a "9" before that day. I didn't eat solid food for 4 days afterward and ate nothing but food that had the consistency of baby food for several days more. In a word: it sucked.

Now, how can you, humble reader, be lucky enough to experience this horrendous affliction? For starters, you can do what I did leading up to my diagnosis and eat less than a quarter of the daily recommended amount of fiber for a healthy 33 year old male. Eating nothing but processed foods will help you along with that. Add a tremendous amount of stomach-gurgling stress and you will be well on your way to diverticulosis hell! Also, to relive those wondrous moments of pain, continue to eat a low fiber diet and/or be stressed out as much as possible. Your colon won't thank you for it!

That's all for now. Next time, we'll talk about the other food relating excitement I'm dealing with these days. Until then, happy eating! (or something)


  1. My doctor said the same thing about my gallstones when I was 18. He told me it was heart burn. Glad that you finally got diagnosed and hopefully you are treating your system better these days. -Jinx

  2. I'm a curious glutton for the grotesque which you just described. How did this come on at first? Was it suddenly at 33 you had it happen or did you have earlier warning signs which didn't seem enough of a problem to see a doctor for?

  3. @Catherine: It came on rather suddenly. I don't recall any "early warning signs" at all. I woke up one morning with a sharp, severe pain in my lower left abdomen. I went to work that day and was able to get into my doctor's office later that afternoon. The doctor refused to believe what it turned out to be until the CAT scan results came in and was verified by three separate doctors as being diverticulosis.

  4. just because your doctor "had never seen a case of diverticulosis in anyone under the age of 55" doesn't mean it doesn't exist. one can have Meckel's Diverticulum which could cause serious diverticulosis in children. thank goodness there were more opinions involved.

  5. Oh...I guess I need some fiber.