Morbidity 101: Diverticular Disease

UNIQUE as I am, disease-wise, that is, I developed multiple and scattered small and bulging pockets or pouches, called diverticula, in the lining of my large intestine which was initially reported in a CT scan of my abdomen in early 2016. There was no cause of alarm then because there was no evidence of inflammation or infection and the condition, being quite common, has very low rate of complication. In fact, many people who have the disease last a lifetime without any untoward changes to their intestinal diverticula.

Diverticular disease encompasses the two major conditions diverticulosis and diverticulitis. Diverticulosis is the term used when there is a presence of these diverticula in the lining of the intestines and diverticulitis is when one or many diverticula become inflamed and infected.

A Mayo Clinic Illustration.

There is no one cause why these small pockets or pouches form in the lining of the digestive tract. Diverticula can form anywhere in the alimentary tract but is most common in the large intestine. It is usually accepted that some weakness in the colon, under pressure, can give way to this condition.

In my case, I believe that the formation of multiple and scattered diverticula in my large intestine can be attributed to my hyperactive gut because of my irritable bowel syndrome or IBS (another condition which I still have to blog). The lining of my intestines eventually weakened from the pressure of continuous fullness, most especially when I get to be constipated. In IBS, one can have diarrhea or constipation and can have both at the same time. I usually empty my bowel five to six times in a day.

It is then expected that my hyperactive gut can spill bacteria or fecal matter into any of the numerous pouches which eventually resulted to me developing diverticulitis. And this occurred and confirmed very recently by CT scan with contrast IV done on August 12, 2021 during my admission to the Female Observation Room of the Casualty of Amiri Hospital. Two days prior, I developed fever coupled with abdominal pain, constipation and nausea. The last three symptoms I would experience often because of my IBS, but not the fever. When the fever didn’t subside after a day, it’s when I suspected that I might be having inflamed or infected diverticula but still waited for the following day, in early evening, to seek medical attention. I actually got alarmed when my body temperature reached 38.8*C!

There was no need for admission to the hospital I was told and I was just prescribed with strong antibiotics and was instructed to go back if there will be no improvement of my symptoms after two days. Nevertheless, I was given an appointment to see the attending physician at the OPD on August 18, 2021.

About Author

Freda Editha O. Contreras
Writing is a God-given talent which I try to utilize the good way. I used it as a means to earn a living, my very first job after graduating from college, when I got hired as an Information Writer by the Provincial Government of Antique through Governor Enrique A. Zaldivar in January 1982. By profession, I am a Registered Nurse, and was only able to practice it when I got recruited to work in a private hospital in Kuwait. This was in November 1987 and since then I have been living in Kuwait, now retired since June 2002. Because of my knack in writing I got hired in 1994 to write for Kuwait Times and later became an Editor of 'Pinoy News' a weekly supplement of KT. In March 1996 I published the very first independent Filipino newspaper in Kuwait and the Gulf bannered as Pinoy Expat News or PEN. The paper lasted for only 10 weekly issues. This was followed by another publication and came out first as an insert of an ad paper and later as a separate tabloid. I used then 'Pinoy News' as it was my idea the first time it was used for Kuwait Times. This again failed and produced only three weekly issues. I then turned to the Internet and in 1999 I got hired as a Contributing Editor of Suite101.com, a writers' portal on the web. The last of my articles was published December 31, 2002 but my topic 'Overseas Filipino Workers' was still visible until January 2006. All the 38 articles I wrote have been compiled into a book which I published in August 2007. I discovered blogging in 2006 but was not really serious about my writing. I wrote according to my whim. Having this blog under my own domain name is now a welcome development and I plan to concentrate again in writing. As is commonly said: "A writer will always be a writer." http://fredacontreras.com/

2 Comments

  1. Freda Editha O. Contreras (Post author)

    Many thanks Sheen for the visit and the comment. I pray that I will get well soon and that there will be no other untoward symptoms. Anyway the doctor assured me that there is a very low possibility of the diverticula bursting and leaking abcess into my peritonial cavity. Still I am on the lookout and should this happen I make sure that I will immediately go to the hospital. The earlier it is discovered, the greater my chance to survive. Peritonitis, you see, is no joke!

  2. Sheena

    Get well soon.. take care and stay safe always

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