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I have had upper GI problems since birth. Despite maintaining a pretty healthy diet (according to a nutritionist) all of my life, my problems increased and got worse after I turned 50. Even so, I still want to be as active as possible, and help others if I can.

A bit more history:  I’ve struggled with IBS since age 29 (when I became pregnant); my problem is mainly sudden, urgent needs to evacuate and occasional loose stools, rarely constipation. Diverticulosis was found at age 40, but my colonoscopy at age 52 was normal. Around 10 lbs overweight, I was diagnosed with GERD at age 53 and had difficulties with several medications; finally found some relief with Tagamet. (Also greatly reduced the amount of fat and acidic foods/drinks in my diet, and lost weight.) My main GERD symptom is the “lump in the throat” sensation, and doctors ruled out all other potential causes of that feeling, including allergies and muscle tension.

About 6 months after the GERD diagnosis, I was hospitalized due to diverticulitis with a microperforation. I followed my doctor’s orders about diet, etc. to the letter, but had another attack 4 months later, then another, then one 30 days later.  Surgery was scheduled, and I started having yet another attack, so it was moved up. They removed a foot of colon (laparoscopic surgery); I had no complicatons (or bag) and have recovered well.  It’s now been almost 9 weeks since my surgery and I’ve had no recurrence of diverticulitis.  I consume more fiber, though I doubt that it’s “enough.” Still, I have a lot of hope now.

I guess what I want to emphasize is to not be afraid of diverticulitis surgery, if it comes to that. But, be sure you consult a surgeon who specializes in colo-rectal surgery, not a general surgeon. Don’t be too hard on yourself, either, if you do everything right and your body doesn’t cooperate. My heart and my prayers go out to everyone suffering from GI disorders.

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