mellowtigger: (Terry 2010)
[personal profile] mellowtigger
The gastrointestinal exam on Thursday was uneventful, although I was diagnosed with diverticulosis. I have several small diverticuli in my descending colon. The bad news is that once your gut develops these stretch pouches, they will never go away. The good news is that you can keep them from getting infected, rendering them a benign condition. I'm still waiting for the several biopsies to be reviewed for villi damage (gluten sensitivity).

At this point, established medical doctrine diverges sharply from my own experience. Also, I give you this one warning of "too much information" ahead, as "poop talk" begins now.

Contradiction #1: Diverticuli are thought to be caused by muscular straining while pushing against constipation. My health history, however, is exactly the opposite. For the last decade, I have had permanent diarrhea. I have had no "stool" during this time, just watery remains. My intestines have had no reason whatsoever to strain against any blockage. So why would my body develop diverticuli?

Contradiction #2: Diverticuli yield a medical recommendation from doctors to eat lots of high fiber foods. Even if hard stools were the cause of diverticuli, why would the prescription be to increase consumption of foods that bulk up stool formation? It's totally counter-intuitive. I don't understand. I eat lots of high fiber foods anyway. Why would my body develop diverticuli?

I mentioned before that I was taking a toxic chemical called metronidazole. That prescription may be the most important part of the story. I received that prescription totally as an afterthought by the gastroenterologist. We had already finished our initial consulation, and I was at a desk with a secretary setting up my future exam. He tracked me down and said he wanted me to take the drug for 10 days as a preventative measure. I almost didn't get the prescription filled, because it turns out that Walgreens has dropped MN Care government coverage so I have to pay full price on any medications there. Luckily, metronidazole was only $22.39, so I bought the prescription.

Apparently, I have had an amoebic infection for the last decade. I took this medication, and what a huge difference it made. Immediately, my diarrhea disappeared. Immediately, I had "formation" in my stool. I've been off of the medication for a few days, and still the healthy difference remains. Yes, I was tested repeatedly for specific infections over the years, but the tests were all negative. Taking the anti-infective anyway worked wonders!

biology class drawingI'm very hopeful that renewed gut function will lead to improved vitamin B12 absorption. If my blood serum B12 levels increase, then maybe I will see a reversal of my declining energy levels during the last 2-3 years. Maybe my nerves will be able to heal themselves, then my neuropathy will disappear and my muscle twitches will end.

So what about those two big contradictions that I mentioned? I'm considering a change to a Primal Diet. So far it is the only theory I've found that addresses these issues plus gluten sensitivity. I still need to do some more reading, though, before I make such a big decision. Meanwhile, I need to learn how to forage for food slowly throughout the day again, rather than gulping a huge meal only once per day.

Nematode Day: Maybe I should start celebrating January 5th (the day I started taking metronidazole) as Nematode Day? Nematodes were the first creatures to develop "complete digestive tracts". These worms were able to defecate through a dedicated opening rather than regurgitate their used food back through the entry orifice as previous animals had done. I drew this cartoon back around 1984 or so as part of a biology class in high school. Mr. Minksi added his usual dry wit to the page. He laughed when he handed it back to me.

Date: 2012-01-21 09:33 pm (UTC)
furr_a_bruin: (BioHazard)
From: [personal profile] furr_a_bruin
Fiber is a digestive moderator; it will help solidify watery stools - but it also helps soften what would be very hard ones without it.

I'm obviously no gastroenterologist - but if you've had an amoebic infection for years, it seems plausible that might have caused damage that led to the diverticuli.

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