Let’s talk about health. Specifically, the not-so-good health. You know, the stuff people don’t want to talk about, and just hope it goes away. Yes, I do it too. Gut health.
What does it include?
For me, gut health includes all things stomach-related. Unfortunately, my colon is included in that, because when it’s not healthy, it affects my gut health. When one is bothering me, most likely they both are.
There are a lot of things involved in gut and colon health, even though you wouldn’t think it. What you might look at as an upset stomach might mean hospitalization for some, including me. It generally starts as an upset stomach, but will quickly, within a day or so, turn into diverticulitis. This is an inflammation of pouches in your colon. It requires antibiotics, and for me, generally, a hospital stay to get the pain under control. The diagnosis procedure for diverticulitis usually involves getting a CT scan, with contrast via an IV.
When I was in the hospital the last time, in June 2021, the doctors suggested I have some testing done to check for Crohn’s Disease. Crohn’s is part of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease category, which affects your digestive tract and colon.
So, I called to get into the gastroenterologist and ended up scheduled for an endoscopy and colonoscopy. Oh, joy. They are both at the same time, though, which is good. At least I won’t have to go through the process two separate times. Let me tell you, prepping for a colonoscopy is the worst thing ever! But, with this testing, they will be able to determine if I have Inflammatory Bowel Disease, specifically Crohn’s Disease. The endoscopy involves sending a scope down my throat to look for any abscesses, damage, or anything abnormal. As you can guess, the colonoscopy involves putting a scope in my colon to check for the same.
This is vital to find out because I’ve been in and out of the hospital more times than I can count in the past couple of years. It would be nice to know and be able to get on the correct maintenance medication.
If you only have the occasional flare-up of diverticulitis, then you might not necessarily have to go to a specialist. Someone like me, who has it several times a year, needs to be seen by a gastroenterologist, or specialized medicine doctor, like Dr. Ryan Shelton. They have the expertise to test and treat your gut/colon health conditions properly. It can take a while to get into a specialist, unfortunately. I have a month and a half wait to get in for my procedures.
It’s definitely worth the wait, though, to get the proper treatment. With proper medication, hopefully, I will not end up in the hospital as much and be able to have more of a normal life. Constant gut problems are no fun at all and can really hinder my daily activities.
"Time spent with cats is never wasted." ~ Sigmund Freud