Diverticulitis

A family member and friend died several years ago from colon cancer.  It was horrible.  He apparently had a cancerous appendix and did not know it.  Although the problem began when his appendix burst and spread cancer cells throughout his abdominal cavity, the doctors also implicated severe diverticulitis.

As I understand the disease, it is caused by the rupturing of tissue sacs that form along the wall of the large intestine.  When food, usually processed starches (white bread, pastries, etc., white rice, and other similar foods), get stuck in the folds between these sacs, they can eventually cause infection which leads to the sacs rupturing.  Treatment for diverticulitis usually involves antibiotics and a low-fiber diet until healing occurs, then a high fiber diet for the future – if the condition is not severe.  If severe, advanced diverticulitis occurs, a difficult surgery is usually the only help available.

“None of this is comfortable to talk about, but yet thousands of people suffer with this condition, especially in industrialized countries where diets are often made up of refined or processed foods, and severely lacking in fiber. This really can become another strong reminder for us to watch what we eat and make sure to balance our diets with healthy doses of fiber, water, and other colon-cleansing foods to ensure a healthy digestive system. The ‘preventative method’ sure beats the heck out of having to undergo a treatment for diverticulitis.”  (http://hubpages.com/hub/treatment-for-diverticulitis).

While watching my friend and relative suffer through this long, painful illness – then death – I determined to eat right and avoid that kind of agony.  I have enough problems without asking for them.

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The Role of Exercise

Yes, physically we are what we eat, but to physically healthy, we must also exercise.  Sometimes, when I’m feeling tired and gloomy, I can go for a brisk walk and, “ouila,” I become energized and my attitude drastically improves.

When I don’t exercise, I sometimes go for a mental trip – not a healthy one – a guilt trip.  I’ve learned that even a 10-minute walk can make a big difference.  A 2-minute walk is much, much better than no walk (and they prevent so many guilt trips).  Mini-exercises, I call them.  Longer walks are better, and upper body exercises are important too.  Admittedly, it is not always easy to exercise.  The day goes by so fast.  The best thing for me is to exercise in the early morning.  But, that means getting up earlier.  It’s a struggle, but, hey, we’re worth it, right!?  Happy exercising.

Diet and Health

Noticing a new limp, I asked a friend, “What happened?”  “It’s just gout,” he replied.  “Ouch,” I said.  “I understand that gout’s painful.”  He affirmed that rumor.  Then he went on to tell me that it is hereditary.  In his family he had inherited a predisposition to gout, and his brother had inherited a predisposition to diabetes.  I told him I was sorry.  He said, “Oh well, both are controlled by what we eat, so we just watch our diets.  I just got off my diet, and I’m paying the price!”

He had a good attitude about it, and he knew how to avoid the unnecessary pain and illness.  In truth, having inherited a predisposition to gout (or diabetes) might have been a gift.  It forced him to eat more healthily.

Years ago I had to do the same thing, and I am grateful and much more healthy than I would have been.  Watch what you eat, friends.  I want you to be healthy and be my friend for a long time!