It’s a question that has dogged the world of diving for decades, and now a study has revealed how long a diver can survive with the condition.
The study, which is being published in the journal PLOS ONE, shows that diver’s immune system has to be constantly functioning to fight infection, and that the immune system can recover if the diver gets the disease.
“It’s the immune response that allows the body to fight infections,” Dr Robert McLeod, a lecturer in microbiology at the University of Sheffield, said.
“The immune system is very good at recognising the threat, it can tell you when something is dangerous and can tell us to get the doctor and the antibiotics.”
It’s also been shown to work well when there’s a high level of risk, so long as a person isn’t under the influence of drugs, alcohol or the use of steroids.
Dr McLeod said that while it was difficult to know what effect the disease has on the immune responses, it could be a significant issue in the long term.
“We know that we can restore normal immune responses and then the immune function can return,” he said.
“But the immune functioning in people who have diverticula is less than in people with no diverticulus, so it’s not really clear how long this can be.”
The researchers looked at data from a large group of people who had undergone spinal cord surgery, or had the disease in their spinal cord, and were followed for up to 12 months.
The results showed that about a quarter of the people with the disease could survive with normal immune function, but about a third could not.
“In general, the more severe the disease, the less able people are to recover,” Dr McKnight said.
The study looked at the immune defences of the patients and compared that to data from people who were in a healthy lifestyle.
Dr McKnight and his colleagues looked at patients who had surgery or had diverticular surgery for diverticuli.
After the procedure, people were monitored for the presence of diverticuloencephalitis and were tested for divertulitis.
Data showed that people who received the surgery had lower levels of the immune markers that help the immune systems fight infections, compared to people who didn’t get the surgery.
But it was the lack of the vaccine that caused people to have a higher chance of having diverticulation.
Researchers also looked at how long people were under the effect of the toxin, and found that a quarter could not recover after 12 months, and another third could recover within three years.
“In terms of how long the immune defence can recover, this is very, very important,” Dr McIntyre said.
It’s clear that the longer the immune cells are suppressed, the harder it is for them to recover.
So how long does it take for the immune immune system to recover?
“The immune response in people on antibiotics can be a lot longer than in healthy people, so there is a higher possibility of recovery,” Dr McLarty said.
Dr McLeod suggested that the recovery could be much quicker if people are in a normal lifestyle.
“If you have a good diet and exercise, you might have some recovery in the short term, but there is an even higher chance if you have divertulum infection that you will have a long recovery,” he added.
It’s not clear how much longer people can recover from diverticules, or whether this is just a psychological problem or something that can be dealt with.