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Preventing diverticulitis; especially good to remember if you’re over 40

According to the Mayo Clinic, some things are good to know and remember when concerned with diverticulitis; especially good to remember if you’re over 40.

The people we meet doing our Gowns story all have one thing in common. They'd rather not be doing a Gowns story, but they hope to teach a lesson. 

A hospital is not where Stephen Hoskins wants to be. He’d rather be fishing on a Hot Springs lake, even though summer fishing is not his thing.

"There's so much bait and frye in the water those fish are not hungry," Hoskins said.

Back in June, he wasn't hungry either. He had an intestinal pain for four days.

"And my wife made me go to the emergency room," he said. "They did a CAT scan and they said, 'you have diverticulitis.'"

Hoskins quickly got referred to the care of Dr. VinCeeo Medina.

"It was a complicated case," said Dr. Medina.

"He told me, he said 'you're gonna have to have part of your colon taken out,'" Hoskins explain. "I said, 'you think so?' He said, 'oh yeah.'"

Dr. Medina used laparoscopic surgery, or to put it another way, small incisions and a robotic camera.

"And the quality of life of these patients is significantly improved when we compare it with an open operation," said Dr. Medina.

"He's such a confident person and that gives me confidence," Hoskins said.

A month later and that confidence is unwavering.

Good fishermen have good memories. They learn their lessons. For Stephen Hoskins, he now knows pain is a call to action and a group of professionals has his back.

"This is a good team right here," Hoskins said.

According to the Mayo Clinic, some things are good to know and remember when concerned with diverticulitis; especially good to remember if you’re over 40.

  • Aging. The incidence of diverticulitis increases with age.
  • Obesity. Being seriously overweight increases your odds of developing diverticulitis.
  • Smoking. People who smoke cigarettes are more likely than nonsmokers to experience diverticulitis.
  • Lack of exercise. Vigorous exercise appears to lower your risk of diverticulitis.
  • Diet high in animal fat and low in fiber. A low-fiber diet in combination with a high intake of animal fat seems to increase risk, although the role of low fiber alone isn't clear.
  • Certain medications Several drugs are associated with an increased risk of diverticulitis, including steroids, opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve).

How to help prevent diverticulitis:

  • Exercise regularly. Exercise promotes normal bowel function and reduces pressure inside your colon. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes on most days.
  • Eat more fiber. A high-fiber diet decreases the risk of diverticulitis. Fiber-rich foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, soften waste material and help it pass more quickly through your colon. Eating seeds and nuts isn't associated with developing diverticulitis.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Fiber works by absorbing water and increasing the soft, bulky waste in your colon. But if you don't drink enough liquid to replace what's absorbed, fiber can be constipating.