“Four years ago I went through difficult times due to acute diverticulitis, I was operated on and everything seemed back to normal. Lately, however, I have returned to worry because who is affected by this disease, from which it never heals, must stick to a strict diet – which excludes many foods including sugars, sausages, spices, pork, “he says. Monica Setta, 55, eclectic journalist at the helm together with Tiberio Timperi of Uno Mattina in Famiglia by Michele Guardì.

“Against the diverticula I have to look for fruit, vegetables, probiotic drinks, yoghurt that are not found in the small grocery stores where, in order not to stay too far away, I went shopping. So I succumbed to some temptation that made the pathology rekindle “

Nutrition plays an important role in the onset of acute diverticulitis, together with overweight and an incorrect lifestyle. “During the quarantine, everything became complicated, I could no longer exercise. I used to go first in the gym three times a week and two in the pool», The presenter confides to us. “I remember one afternoon when, overwhelmed by boredom, I ate a whole packet of potato chips and drank two drinks, while those with diverticula should avoid frying, junk food, alcohol, fizzy drinks. And then I love pasta and pizza which are “pampering” foods, and in those days there was no lack of it. So I also put on a few pounds. The only “health-conscious” care, I drank and still drink a cup of hot water and lemon in the morning which gives me a sense of satiety. And there is never a shortage of drugs, which I have to take in periodic cycles », continues Setta.

The telltale symptoms of diverticulitis

But how do you realize you are suffering from diverticulitis? “I had dense in the lower abdomen and difficulty digesting, but I didn’t care. I was preparing a program with Rita Dalla Chiesa and we were engaged in continuous meetings. One day I had colic after a brunch in a downtown restaurant. I don’t remember what I ate, but I had the sensation of having a piece of tin in my mouth, the kind where peas are kept. It was Rita who took me to the clinic and hence the doctor’s verdict: “I think you have abowel obstruction and it is necessary to intervene surgically “». The next few minutes were panic for the journalist who didn’t know how to deal with the situation. «I felt alone, my daughter Gaia was in Venice on a school trip. My parents already with other problems: there was my father who was not well. I consult with fellow friends and decide to rely on a famous surgeon in the entertainment world. I was in the operating room for seven hours, they removed a piece of sigma (the area that precedes the rectum) ».

The fever and the fear that it was Covid

During the quarantine Monica was alarmed again. “From the greengrocer in my neighborhood I found him alone stringy vegetables, which are not a cure-all for the diverticula. I had a feast of sautéed artichokes and I was sick at night. I had a beer that same evening, which I never do. I had pains in my side and I got a fever, so much so that I got scared and I called a friend of mine, who at Gemelli in Rome deals with COVID-19.

That night he was on call and asked me a thousand questions to understand, but luckily, having no cough or other symptoms, he ruled out the Coronavirus. Now I’m fine, the alarm prompted me to get back in line a bit. Even if the desire to cook for an Apulian like me is strong. So I got organized. I prepare delicious lunches and dinners for my elderly mother who lives alone above my apartment or for my daughter.

I, on the other hand, try to follow a slightly more restrictive diet. By the way, with the COVID-19 everything has changed. The studios no longer get food from outside. They measure us the temperature at the entrance. Masks and gloves to wear, up to a few seconds before going on air. No makeup artists, I do it myself or my daughter helps me, no hairdressers. In the dressing rooms there is only one dress which is what you will wear for the episode. We pursue a way of making television more “natural” than it was a while ago, without emphasizing or minimizing the problem. Then we will see what happens when the danger has subsided. I live for the day: but there is always the imponderable ».


THE diverticula are protrusions that form along the walls of theintestine. «If you are suffering from diverticula but you have no symptoms, we speak of diverticulosis. When they become inflamed, it becomes diverticulitis, ”he explains Marco Del Governatore, general and emergency surgeon at the Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Polyclinic in Bologna.

Symptoms? “Pain in the lower abdomen, in particular al left side, sense of weight e abdominal bloating. In more serious cases, the temperature and the ache it becomes constant and intense ». Up to nausea and vomiting, further and possible signs of the onset of an occlusion. In such cases, first aid and often urgent intervention is necessary. “For the prevention in the formation of diverticula and of diverticulitis it is good to take fiber in a balanced way, not to exceed with the consumption of red meat and saturated fats », recommends the doctor.

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Article published on n. 17 of fitness-inc.com, on newsstands and in the app from 21 April 2020