After effects of a diverticulitis flare up.... How long will this last?

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I was diagnosed with diverticular disease 20 years ago and after a period of stress in my life. I'm now aged 63.  Since then I had very few flare ups and only mild...until last December (after another period of stress), I had a major one!  Got over the worst of it in about two to three weeks, but have never been really "better". I only get a few good days at a time and then a day or two of nausea, trapped wind type pains & tiredness.  No constipation or other symptoms but it's really getting me down (this has been 7 months now). I had a colonoscopy in 2 months ago and this just confirmed diverticular disease but no inflammation was found..therefore I was given no treatment. I've tried loads of "over the counter" meds, which are mostly for IBS, but they don't seem to work.  I go for walks, try to rest (but I do have to go to work). 

Does anyone have the same problems and have any ideas how to get back to "normal". Please!!!

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  • Posted

    Hi Maureen,

                         What you describe is very close to my experience - I'm 55 and had first attacks of fever, pain etc over 5 years ago - a colonoscopy at that time didnt show much in the way of diverticula. However at the end of last year this thing kicked off big time and this year I've had about 5 attacks (average length 10-12 day). A second colonoscopy shows diviticula spread throughout the colon though CAT scan was unable to detect where the inflamation was. (Before the colonoscopy showed the diverticulosis my doctor had concluded I was suffering from colitis) its interesting that there is a condition called SCAD (segmental colitis associated with diverticula) which seems to be a sort of part way stage between diviticulitis and colitus, where you get colitis occurring between sites of diviticula rather than inside them but I need to find out more about this. Symptomatically you and I are very similar though, where after the first day or so (super ill with fever) you'll get very substantial variation - one day almost well, the next day back down and so on, extreme fatigue, feeling really unwell, sick etc. Also, like you, stress causes an effect - I went back to work after 10 days, managed two days and then had to be off till the following week. I'm now a month into this attack and "almost" better - I can tolerate work but still get twinges and tiredness. I have an antibiotics perscription and the moment I get an attack start taking those - they definitely control the fever quickly - with the course normally 7-10 days. If you read the blogs on this site (eg Felinia) you'll find tons of dietry advise through the various stages of an attack, starting with a liquid diet then slowly introducing fiber back in, also taking things like probiotics and aloe vera (I believe they help me but it isnt completely clear) - avoiding food groups that act as triggers (In my case the only one I have definitely isolated are peanuts) also avoid large meal portions which also tend to cause trouble. It could be that you are still eating something that is irritating you at a low level or that any stress you are experiencing isnt letting you fully recover? Work tends to be such a great source of that! If you can book some time off maybe and properly convalesce? There are some very good blogs on the site of people who have been managing this disease for years so have a look. The annoying thing about this disease is you have to experiment and try and find what works for you

    Good luck - keep the faith - you will get there!

    Best 

    James

     

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    • Posted

      Hi James,

      Thank you so much for your response, I really do appreciate it.  It really lifted my spirits to see I'm not alone.  

      Thankfully I'm a good bit better today, and have been able to have a swim and a bit of a walk around town - loads more energy.

      I believe you're right about the food, I think there are some foods that are irritating the condition and I'm not recovered enough to tolerate them.  I've looked at what I've eaten for the last few days and realised I'd had All bran  the previous two mornings.  I think I'll give up cereals altogether for a while. I've already given up Wheatabix and porridge (oatmeal) because I cel they had irritated the condition in the past.   There are a few other things I've been thinking about and believe it's bananas, and possibility coffee.  Anyway, for my first experiment I'm giving high fibre cereals a miss for a while, also bananas and coffee and will see how that goes.

      i took a week off recently and took myself off to the Canary Islands hoping the sun and rest would help - and I was well over there.  That's one of the reasons I'm giving up bananas and coffee as I didn't eat them over there and was better. 

      Thanks again for your words of encouragement and hope you're feeling well.

      Best wishes 

      Maureen 

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  • Posted

    Hi Maureen

    James couldn't have put it better.  All I will add is to say that after my last big flare in August, it took about 10 months instead of the usual 4 - 6 weeks.  During that time I had a couple of minor flares.  I still get the odd twinge if I eat the wrong thing but I figure now is as "normal" as it's going to get.  I had the advantage of being retired so I could take all the rest I needed, and am working to lose weight.  I don't know your location or circumstances but if you can reduce your hours or even retire, it would probably help.  Are you taking Fybogel (UK) or Metamucil (USA)?  It can help with DD and IBS, and takes a couple of weeks to start to be effective.  I don't know anything about SCAD though.  Hope you feel better.

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    • Posted

      Hi Felina. Is there an alternative to Fybogel? I've tried it but it set my migraine off so need an alternative, please. Also, which Acidophilus is recommended? Many thanks. Moira x

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    • Posted

      Hey Felinia - how's Wimbledon going?!

      Yes this SCAD thing - I'll email my doc about it - I got interested as I seemed to develop symptons before I had much in the way of DD - I was in the mid east in my 20s and had an attack of colitis there, so there was an idea it was really that that was the issue...reading all these blogs you realise there is a collection of related conditions, I suppose it is why all of us have such a hard time working out what works of us! For a time I went completely FODMAP for IBS - tells you (eg)  strawberrys and peanuts are fine, blackberrys and cashues v bad - complete taboo on garlic and onions! In the spirit of adventure I then chugged some (cruchy) peanut butter with no adverse effect (strawberrys seem fine), so assumed I'd found my dietry home. Of course a pint and a couple of bags of KPs and a bad attack later I have re-thought that conclusion! I suspect there is a decent slice of probability underpinning this thing - depending how there items get pesented to the gut you might get away with it or not, depending if the evil Dr D decides to deal you a double 6!

      Ah - you will have heard it all before (one born every minute!) Havent tried the fybogel yet as Ive been hoping to get the right BM consistancy with just regular food - does it actually bulk the stools up or just make them more mobile? I ate a bunch of prunes the other night which didnt really work out so well - hurrican force winds battering the Isle of Colon!

      Bon weekend

      James 

       

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    • Posted

      Yes, I think I recall reading that there were, but I don't remember what they are.  I think there was a different husk to psyllium which is what Fybogel is made from.  I'm afraid I don't know anything about Acidophilus.  So I suggest you make a new post asking these questions and see what replies you get.  Shame that Fybogel doesn't suit.  I've heard it makes some people constipated, which is the opposite of what ti's supposed to do!  Hope you find something.

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    • Posted

      Hi James

      I've just watched Muguruza win, and we are going to have a British winner in the mixed.  So I've been catching up with friends. 

      I find Fybogel really does soften the stools and going is much less of a strain.  As to bulk, I couldn't say as I haven't measured the evidence, so to speak!!! 

      And I loathe prunes.  I can remember my mother forcing me to eat them as a child, along with a disgusting sticky thing called Virol, and having to have all my food mashed with parsley sauce because of my tonsils, when my brother got crispy fish n chips.  To this day I can't eat prunes or parsley sauce!

      Going through a really good time at present - no symptoms at all.  Long may it continue.

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    • Posted

      Hi Felina,

      Many thanks  for your interesting reply.  Yes you're right, James's message was very helpful. 

      Youre so lucky to be retired, unfortunately I'm not in a position to retire just yet, as I'm separated and need to keep working as long as possible.

      I live in Ireland but am originally from the BIrmingham UK.

      i have been taking Fybogel over the years, but only when I feel close to constipation - I prefer not to take it unless I really need it.  This was confirmed by my Consultant after my colonoscopy a few months ago...he also said its better to leave things to nature if at all possible and not o depend on it.  I do find it very good (and gentle) when I have used it.. Always have a box in the house.

      thankfully I'm feeling much better today, as and you can see fro my  essage to James, I'm starting to experiment with foods to find out what's triggering off these mini flare ups.

      i hope you're continuing to keep yours under control.

      best wishes

      maureen

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    • Posted

      Hello Maureen, I went to live In Southern Ireland for a time. Nice round the edges.Go to the DIVI DINERS forum ,lots of good info on there.enough to cheer you up a bit,,no,, a lot, Acidophilus with Pectin  is my saviour,, Think Iv'e already told you this. So now.. go get some !!!!

      Jacqueline.xx

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    • Posted

      Thanks Jacqueline I will.... Would I get that in any health shop or chemist?

      Yes, it's nice here.. I live in the south east corner.  I like England too but my job and most of my family are here now.

      thanks x

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    • Posted

      I lived in the same area , Wexford outskirts, used to ride on the beach where they filmed "Saving od Private Ryan"They wouldn't let us ride across it,until they had finished filming  Best  Acidop,,,,, from H&B,, there is bound to be one.Take two a day brekky and evening meal ,,and  ,DON'T MISS a dose .

       xx

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    • Posted

      Probably find that we were living round the corner from each other .Left 7 years ago,,can't believe it, I do miss the beaches   GO SHOPPING ,, Get the right one , 3 billion whatsits ,and with Pectin.. 

      J xx

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    • Posted

      Glad to hear you are feeling better, and geting lots of info from others.  Fingers crossed I'm still pain free, although I do wee a lot! OBS I'm told, but I think the bladder is irritated by the big DD.  No proof though, just an increased loo roll bill!!!

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  • Posted

    Hello  Maureen,, LOOOOOOng  time to be  under the Divi thumb. May I suggest you find the DIVI DINERS forum, it was started about three years ago, masses of very helpful info from lots of sufferers, you will have to search for it, but it is on Google ,or ask a moderator to help.  I started D.D about 4/5 years ago and had a burst abcess on my colon .Fortunately the infection was contained with drips and drugs ,then I was sent on my way with no more help. so I went down the DIY road.discovered Acidophilus two years ago, and have never looked back. Quite a lot of us take it, and it works, I have not had a twinge or a flare since..Persevere and find the post. 

    Jacqueline 

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    • Posted

      Hey Jacqueline - sorry should have checked it was you - got so into reading DIVI DINERS I replied on that directly. Great blog with some genuine comic moments and really good collection of dietry experimentation - did it just run out of steam in the end?

      It is a bit like the X-files that the truth is out there! As each new sufferer joins this club (very a hospitable to be sure, but I guess we all wish we were in a more pleasant establishment with less draconian dining rules) they are oblidged to learn the lessons of the earlier members! 

       

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    • Posted

      Thank you Jacqueline, yes I have a quick look at the divi diners forum - could only see a few posts from a few years ago, but will have more time tomorrow to delve more into it.

      You went through a very hard time, I can't begin to imagine how painful that must have been. I do find also that the medical profession don't seem to give any help with DD once they have diagnosed it. 

      i did take acidophilus earlier this year when I my flare up was at its worst, but stopped taking it when I wasn't getting better and just gave up everything.  I did start back on it today after reading your message and will now keep it up.  I was recommended anothe one in the chemist called UDO's choice Super 8 Hi count macrobiotics 42 billion. They came highly recommended but I can't be sure how good they are.  

      Thanks again

      Maureen

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    • Posted

      Hello ,,,again,,, keep to the DIVI Diners forum ,as you see it.s not dead, it was just that it somehow attracted some not so funny .contenders, and got rather depressing ,but it looks as though we are up and running again  GOOD .So ,, if you have any interesting menu items,,, bring'em on

      Jacqueline

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