Advice please,Hippo, Vrap, etc.

6 messages
06/02/2006 at 09:59
To our medical friends: I was hospitalized recently with a severe bacterial infection of the large intestine. Two scans revealed I also have diverticulitis. Does this go away or will it get worse? Is it permanent?
As an endurance athlete do I need to pay special attention to diet? I eat loads of fruit and veg but have been told too much fibre is not necessarily the best for me. I'm wondering now if this condition has been around for some while and if it could have been the reason I suffered very severe cramps during and for almost a day after my last marathon.
I often get twinges in the stomach region but didn't think they were anything. I'd value your advice.
06/02/2006 at 10:13
Hi IW :o)

Diverticular disease of the end part of the colon is common in the developed world (there's a prevalent theory that it's down to lack of dietary fibre, but no real clinical trial evidence for this and it could just be a genetic variant) and it occurs when the inner lining of the bowel forms little pouches that extend into the muscle wall of the bowel. Sometimes the neck of these little pouches gets pinched shut or blocked off and then infection can develop and you get diverticulitis, which, as you discover, is a medical emergency and can need surgery or intravenous antibiotics.

The condition develops gradually and most people who have it never find out because they have no symptoms. I was taught that 70% of people in the UK have diverticular disease by the age of 70, but I don't know if that's supported by evidence. In people who DO have symptoms, the commonest are irritable-bowel type tummyache and constipation, diarrhoea and/or bloating, but finding diverticula in someone who has those symptoms could be co-incidence.

There's no need for special dietary precautions apart from avoiding anything that you know upsets your insides, and I hope you never have another episode like the one that put you in hospital.
06/02/2006 at 10:14
(I describe it to patients as "a bit of wear and tear in the bowel".)
06/02/2006 at 10:20
Vrap - thank you so much. I guess I need to cut out curries and other highly spiced foods, also wine. Pity, because I really enjoy them but I do suffer quite a lot from diarrhoea. I wouldn't want to go back on an IV again, esp. since my arm reacted to the presence of the needle. Anyway, thanks again for putting my mind at rest. Happy running!
06/02/2006 at 10:25
I'm sure there is evidence that chilli and turmeric, at least, are GOOD for the digestion, IW :-) I'd be inclined to leave out the onions, lentils and cauliflower, though.
06/02/2006 at 10:27
ok, I will do that, I do tend to use onions quite a lot, also garlic and herbs. I don't cook with salt.

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