Diverticulitis is becoming more prevalent in the U.S. with incidents increased by 50 percent since 2000. So if your tummy troubles are chronic, it may be something else that can lead to your colon rupturing.
"It became so bad I had to go to the hospital, had to go to the emergency room. They did a CT scan on me and said, 'We have to do emergency exploratory surgery. You've got a perforated colon, and we got to go in and find the hole and repair it'," said David Greene, a 50-year-old personal trainer.
Greene was returning from vacation with his wife when he felt severe pain in his stomach.
Greene was diagnosed diverticulitis, a painful condition where infected or inflamed pockets form in your colon and can cause severe damage.
Like many Americans, Greene had been dealing with some stomach pain for years but dismissed it as normal. Greene says he thinks a lot of other people with stomach pain might be dealing with the same issue and are running a risk every day it goes undiagnosed.
"If I had known about it sooner I could have...received medication. I could have changed my diet. I could have changed some of my habits to prevent my colon from rupturing like it did," said Greene.
Signs and symptoms of diverticulitis include pain and cramping in the abdomen, fever, chills, bloating, nausea, and sometimes even loss of appetite. Diverticula is very common, especially after the age of 40.
Mild diverticulitis can be treated with rest, changes in your diet, and antibiotics, according to the Mayo Clinic. Severe or recurring diverticulitis may require surgery
Greene says he had a stomach ache a couple times a month. If you're worried your stomach pain might be something more serious, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.