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Saturday 15 June 2024

Diverticular Disease

I don’t like writing about health problems, but if it could help or inform someone else it is probably worth it. 

A difficult week: exhaustion and weakness, stomach and abdominal pains, bowel problems, sickness, too tired to do anything, even television and Blogger. Dark thoughts. Five days and you are sure the you-know-what is back. Is this how it ends? 

Then a flash of insight. It is probably a diverticular flare-up. Everything fits. This is not just diagnosis by Dr. Google.

Until about 15 years ago I had regular colonoscopies because of my brother’s early death. The last two times I was given a standard feedback form with the box ticked for diverticular disease. No other information or advice. We wondered briefly what it meant and then completely forgot about it. 

Mild symptoms have occurred infrequently through the years, but we never made the connection and assumed it was just me. This time it was worrying because of the severity. And I had a similar episode only a month ago. 

I said it felt like how people describe irritable bowel syndrome. A bit later, Mrs. D. asked what was that box ticked on the last colonoscopy form? 

Apparently, almost all of us have signs of diverticular disease after the age of fifty, but usually without problems. 

If you don’t eat you get weaker and weaker. You have to work out what sets it off, and avoid it. You have to eat small amounts until it starts to improve. Energy drinks help: there are some excellent ones made at Tadcaster in Yorkshire, and Keighley. Landlord Dark is good. One plus is that almost everything they tell you about eating lots of salads and vegetables and fibre is wrong. 

I hope I am right. You often have to work these things out for yourself. 

It is something to consider if you have these symptoms from time to time. And, if you find this diagram revolting, on no account look for any photographs. 

Diverticular Disease

33 comments:

  1. I hope you get it sorted out soon. Go easy on the Landlord Dark. It may prove to be explosive.

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    1. Explosive? If only. That would be an improvement.

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  2. I am glad you are back. I was worried about you. Take care.

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  3. I hope you are healing and thanks for the info, I had that checkmarked on my recent procedure too.

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    1. They gave no other details, and when you are coming rounds you are not with it enough to ask. It's like a production line. Hope you have no symptoms, but it is worth reading up the dietary advice just in case.

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  4. I know quite a few people who suffer with this. One lady of almost 84 stubbornly keeps eating what she wants, when she wants, and regularly eats more than she intended to. She knows full well that it affects her badly, but she still keeps eating the way she did when she was much younger and overeating (at a party, for instance) only caused her a little discomfort. I don‘t understand her but she is perfectly capable of making her own decisions.

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    1. It was eating too much that caused this attack. I enjoyed the vegetable stir-bake we were having so much that I had seconds, followed by a large amount of rhubarb fool with extra cream stirred in. Within 24 hours I felt quite poorly.

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  5. It is good, even courageous, that you emphasis the condition and I hope you shake the latest bout off. I always remember as we drove down to Yorkshire passing the Tadcaster Brewery on the way and thinking we were 'almost there.'

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    1. "Almost there"? Do you mean to Timothy Taylor's brewery in Keighley? :)

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    2. Nope. the town of Whitby, crowded it maybe but it has a small touch of magic.

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  6. Where did my comment go? Please check "Spam".

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    1. Nothing there? It might be trapped by constipation.

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  7. I hope you find the right way through this for you. I'm sorry you've been having such a miserable time.

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    1. Thank you. I've had worse, as the Black Knight said.

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  8. I think it is difficult to understand what these bowel/colon problems are like until you have experienced them. I also had an attack last week. All mimic each other and are difficult to diagnose. I have had little help from the medical profession. The colonoscopy was clear. I kept a food diary and then thought I had cracked it and then it struck again. To those who comment here I would like to say that there is little or no warning and one is normally caught out, one feels helpless and one is helpless, and bowel problems are not the sort of thing one has a minute to stand and discuss with a friend or a stranger even if anybody actually wanted to cope with hearing from you what is about to happen. My attacks are 6 to 8 months apart. I thought I had identified a cause but clearly I hadn't.

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    1. I have, of course, read what you have posted over the past year, and would have said if I'd thought of it, but perhaps it was selective memory that had entirely forgotten the diverticular tick box. I think they would have seen it if you had it badly. I don't understand the difference between DVT, IBS, Chron's, and so on, and I may be wrong, but assuming what I have and active accordingly seems to have put me in the right direction.

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  9. I have diverticulosis. Wickedly bad. So careful of what I eat so I don't have a flareup (and that it doesn't ever progress to diverticulitis). I don't think people realize how painful a condition it can be. And I'm obsessed about not eating certain things....

    Found your blog through the Steve's blog list (from Shadows & Light). So glad!

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    1. Thank you Elle. I think I can eat mostly anything, so long as it is not too much. But I am going to have to be very careful for the next 2 or 3 weeks, and hopefully it will settle down completely.

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  10. I've been having some issues of my own recently, and I wondered if this was the culprit. Colonoscopy found nothing but who knows! Maybe an early-stage case? I'm 58 so age-wise it would make sense.

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    1. I read your post about it - glad it was clear. Rachel's experience above sounds similar. Might be worth reading up the dietary advice, and following if issues arise.

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  11. Newcastle Brown Ale is my medicine when I can get it. I love English northern bitter.

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    1. Good stuff, but in this case the Dales water seems better that the Moors.

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  12. I know a few people with serious forms of this, bad enough to cause hospitalization. One thing they religiously avoid is anything with seeds or small unground grains in it. Those are often the culprits in setting off an episode, apparently.

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    1. That is my experience too. Have spent the last 10 years telling my wife that wholegrain bread often makes me feel ill.

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  13. It does not sound fun. I'm not familiar with diverticulosis and now I plan to look it up and see what I'm missing and what I hope I don't get.

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    1. The photographs are frightening, but they probably show the worst cases. I think we have to be more and more careful as we get older.

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  14. I hope you can find some relief quickly. You're right that this condition is fairly common.

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    1. Thank you. Through eating carefully I'm on the mend, but it knocked me back a lot.

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  15. Fingers crossed for you.
    I've never heard of this condition so I've learnt quite a bit reading this.
    I just read the above comment. You said you eat carefully, do you plan meals in detail?
    I'm not very knowledgeable on medical stuff and the human body.
    As for colonoscopy, i think I'd have a difficult time putting my name down to do it.
    take care
    Liam.

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    1. I'm avoiding gritty things like nuts and seeds, and avoiding eating too much at a time, but no planning otherwise. Colonoscopies, camera up the bum, are bearable but the preparation is trying.

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  16. I've read this and all the comments with interest as I have had quite a carry-on with gall stones over the years , suffering unbelievable pain, and in the end went to an alternative practitioner who was brilliant. Still have my gall bladder and can eat with no problems. I did a great many cleanses (details can be found online) and parted company with hundreds of stones. The NHS seem only to be interested in whipping out the gall bladder, ten a day they told me at the Bristol hospital! I prefer to avoid the knife if at all possible!

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    1. Hundreds! My goodness! I agree with you about minimal treatment. I wouldn't even let the dentist take a tooth out. Eventially went for private root canal work which cost a fortune, but I still have the tooth.

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