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can someone explain the symptoms of dv please. I went to my doctors the other day regarding pain from under my rib down to my pelvic area left side he gave me laxido and kind of mentioned dvs but just said it was my age?

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  • Posted

    hi bev it varies from person and attack to attack but your basically looking at abdominal pain - often but not always left hand side, sometimes nausea, sometimes fever. If it is diverticulitis then a clear liquid diet for a few days followed by a lie residue (low fibre) diet will help a lot but you may need antibiotics if an infection is present. After that you need to switch to a high fibre diet to prevent a recurrence. However if your dr really thinks its diverticulits he should be sending you for tests to confirm. Do you have a temperature at all? Or bleeding?

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    • Posted

      sorry that should have said 'you're' and 'low residue diet' I've got sausage fingers!

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    • Posted

      And what's more annoying is that it can take some time for the pain to go, as the inflammation reduces - normally 4 - 6 weeks in my case. It doesn't sound as though you have an infection which is good. However if things change or worsen, you MUST go back to the doctor.

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  • Posted

    Louise is spot on with her description of Diverticulitis. I have a couple of questions. Which country are you in, as the treatment varies country to country. What age bracket are you in? 50% of people over 50, rising to 80% of people over 80 have diverticula in their bowel. For most, they have no symptoms, and it's known as Diverticulosis. It's when the diverticula become inflamed or infected, you have Diverticulitis. Sometimes you also have narrowing and thickening of the colon. The blanket term for these conditions is Diverticular Disease (DD). So you can see from this, all the names are similar and it's very easy to get confused.

    However the doctor gave you Laxido which is for shifting a faecal impaction, not for treating an infection. So he is treating the pain first as just constipation. The only way to know for sure you have diverticula in your colon, is by testing with a colonoscopy or CT scan, not by doctor's guessing. I was misdiagnosed for many years as having IBS when in fact I have symptomatic Diverticular Disease, and have had 6 bouts of Diverticulitis. Also blood tests should show whether you have an infection and need antibiotics.

    Diverticulitis can be nasty, and it's best to get on top of it now, through the appropriate diet and lifestyle. Louise described the measures to take whilst you are in pain, and you can look up what constitutes a low residue diet. Basically the idea is to give the bowel a rest for a while until the pain/cramps/nausea etc ease or go. A high fibre diet should be SOLUBLE fibre mainly, not so much insolube fibre (comes out the same way it goes in). Again you can look up what are soluble and insoluble fibres.

    Some examples of sensible choices are: don't each a large bowl of AllBran - excellent source of insoluble fibre, but can irritate already inflamed insides. Instead have Bran Flakes. Remove peels, skins, seeds, pips ie plunge a tomato in boiling water, skin it, quarter it, and remove the pips. Leave the skin on a baked potato (a real crime as it's the best bit), don't eat corn on the cob. I make a lot of homemade vegetable soup, which I blend and it provides an excellent source of soluble fibre. I also eat a lot of proper porridge (not the pre-packaged dust) which I soak overnight in water. That provides fibre and carbs.

    With DD it is most important to keep the bowels emptying regularly to prevent any build up which could lead to infection. So you don't want to be constipated and is probably why you were given Laxido. However many of us take a daily dose of psyllium husk, in the form of a soluble orange flavoured drink. If works by bulking and softening the stool, making it easier to pass, and can take several weeks to become fully effective. It is not an emetic - no instant evacuation. In the UK I am actually prescribed Fybogel - the US equivalent is Metamucil. It doesn't suit everyone but there are alternatives. Most important - you MUST drink plenty of fluid - water is best, but I also drink de-caf tea. The husk absorbs the water in the bowel as it works. It is best to maintain a healthy weight (I'm the last person to say this, being overweight myself) and to do what exercise you can. It might just be walking, but I run up and downstairs frequently as well.

    You should also keep a food diary at first to help you identify if certain foods cause the pain to recur. For me it is gluten and full fat products, but it varies considerably from person to person. I can eat many things that others can't and vice versa. It also explains why the official advice is so vague and/or conflicting! I think every doctor who advises on DD should experience an attack, then they wouldn't be so dismissive of it!

    It's not the end of the world - I've managed for 18 years now, but you should guard against complacency as that leads to further attacks! It would be easy to think, reading this forum, that everyone has a horrific time. Yes, some do and I feel very sorry for them, but the majority don't - they come here, get advice, begin to feel better, and no longer visit the site. A few like me, stay in touch to help new sufferers like yourself. Good luck

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    • Posted

      hi thank you for the reply. I'm in the uk and 52. Iv been told for years I have ibs I had bloods done a couple of months ago and it showed no infections x

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    • Posted

      I could not have put it better myself! What a brilliant explanation...as always! This basically sums it up and I have certainly found that keeping the insoluble fibre to a minimum and eating more soluble fibre keeps the diverticulosis pain episodes at bay. Hopefully, in the longer term, it will also lower the episodes of diverticulitis.

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    • Posted

      I was 51 when diagnosed and DD does become more common with age. But there does seem to be a tendency for people to be getting it and diagnosed younger - possibly due to the modern diet, or due to better diagnostic techniques. But it's not always diet - people who follow healthy diets, and vegetarians get it too, and some reports suggest there is a genetic predisposition in some people. But because you are over 50, in the UK, and not suffering the severe symptoms of infection or complications, your doctor will just fob you off.

      You need to push for proper diagnostic tests to confirm, and be prepared to wait for weeks to get the appointment. One poster waited 9 months in London, and others have gone privately. I was lucky - due to a family history of cancer I got a 2 week referral. Then you will just be referred back to the GP. To quote the consultant who didn't even bother to see me, just wrote to my GP, "just severe Diverticular Disease - a benign condition". Well anyone who has suffered an attack of Diverticulitis will tell you it's anything but benign!

      The GP will then ladle out antibiotics during an infection and give you a vague conflicting booklet which tells you what DD is, but little on how to manage it. That's where this forum will help. Or maybe your GP will be like mine now - unwilling even to prescribe antibiotics due to fear of developing resistance. In the UK surgery is never an option unless you develop a life threatening complication, or have no quality of life - you just get left to manage by yourself.

      It's very different in the USA - whipped into hospital, multiple tests, massive doses of intravenous antibiotics, then more when you come out, and you foot the huge bill. Surgery is very common - sometimes essential of course, but frequently elective and can lead to other complications. I think virtually all the people who post on this forum about their surgeries for this condition come from the USA, plus one person from Australia who did have a life threatening condition.

      You did ask about how long pain lasts. It varies - my first attack, the pain lasted around 4 weeks. The last attack, the pain lasted almost a year and I still get twinges when I eat the wrong things. That's why it is so important to work out the best diet that suits you, and stick to it. It can become very easy to get sucked into a pattern of being terrified to eat anything just in case it triggers symptoms. Or terrified to go out for the same reason. A lot of people lose a lot of weight, but it's not the way to do it. Suggest you follow brannie42 posts as she has been coming to terms with DD over the past few months and is now starting to move on, I think.

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    • Posted

      Yes, thanks to you!!!!!

      I'm feeling more confident about it all. I can relate so much to what you say. Many of the problems and worries I had have gradually been eased because I found someone who had also experienced similar symptoms that I had had. Who had discovered that soluble fibre worked and kept the pains to a minimum.

      I feel much more relaxed about this disease now. I know I can cope. I've not been out to eat in the last 2 weeks but I will do again. ......and I'm keeping in touch with this forum because joining it was a wise move on my part!

      X

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  • Posted

    Yes...my very first flare up I was hurting on my left side from under my ribcage down to the abdomen. My last flare up was all very low abdomen with a perforation. I really don't know what your age has to do with a flare up in this day and age.

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    • Posted

      The pain under my ribcage went away first and that took a couple days with IV antibiotics. I was in the hospital for four days . Then I also came home with a prescription for ten days. The lower pain went away after about a week. This stuff is very slow to get over.

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    • Posted

      it sounds like if I had this condition I would be in absolute agony but in not so maybe it is something eles

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    • Posted

      I am guessing lorid is USA based where the treatment is far more aggressive and expensive. Also there was a perforation, which would have needed hospital intervention. I had swamping pains with each attack, which lasted for about 90 minutes, but then it eased to bearable pains which slowly decreased over time. They were made worse by bending, lifting, stretching, and palpating. The first time I took myself to A&E as I also had bleeding. I was promptly sent back to my GP without treatment, who prescribed antibiotics for 5 days and arranged for me to have a colonoscopy at hospital a few weeks later. That's the difference between the UK and USA treatment systems. You clearly did not have the severity of pain which suggested a complication, just uncomplicated diverticulitis (although that's not really a good word!).

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  • Posted

    Hi Bev, if your doc thinks you have dv you need the camera to confirm or scans that way you can manage it, age has nothing to do with it rather a confirmed diagnosis like I have mentioned. If it is dv the pain is usually on the left lower side of your colon, can affect pain in back and through to the right side of lower abdomen. Also feeling sick high temps toilet issues ( either bad runs constipation, or both but extreme and painful). If infected ( diverticulitis) then you need anti biotics otherwise you will be in trouble. This can last for several weeks even months, a lifetime illness I'm afraid.

    Hope this helps........get your doc to send you for tests including blood tests as it could be something else

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