Appetite gone after recent colonoscopy

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I'm 66, female, and had a pretty unpleasant few weeks, intestinally speaking. I had a bout of diverticulitis in late January (I've had recurrent bouts for years, even after surgery), took the usual course of antibiotics, and then, about 5 days later, had my regularly scheduled colonoscopy with several small polyps removed. The next day, I had significant intestinal discomfort, and particularly painful gas pains which lasted quite a while. I seemed to develop IBS tending toward constipation, which is unusual for me. I had a hard time sleeping due to the discomfort, and was generally miserable. The gas pressure even extended to my back - just awful. In other words, I have felt pretty lousy since the colonoscopy.

I finally got the constipation somewhat under control, but find that I now have essentially NO appetite. This came on gradually while I was hurting so much, and now have to force myself to nibble on anything; I'm just on the verge of nausea.

I've been taking probiotics, as I figure the antibiotics and then the colonoscopy really did a number on the good bacteria. I saw my doctor today, and she prescribed an antidepressant (which I needed) that is supposed to help with both sleep and appetite. I sure hope so.

I've had plenty of colonoscopies, but never had a reaction like this before; a perfect storm of abdominal misery. Has anyone else ever experienced anything like this?

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    I've had loss of appetite after taking antibiotics. I'd have to force myself to eat soup and toast or something light. From what I remember it would take a few days for my appetite to return, but it was a gradual process. Don't eat anything fried or spicy. A colonoscopy didn't seem to cause this for me. I think taking probiotics will help. Hope you're feeling better soon!

  • Posted

    Gas is pumped into your bowel during a colonoscopy and this can cause gas and bloating. It is an invasive procedure which can disturb the bowel. If you had sedation, this can also cause nausea, anxiety and depression. The bowel prep can also cause disturbance too. Watch out with anti depressants. They can cause excessive weight gain because they can give you a ravenous appetite. While they can help with sleep, they can leave you drowsy during the day when you would rather not sleep.

    • Posted

      Well, this past colonoscopy - on top of having recently finished a course of antibiotics - really seems to have done a number on my intestinal health. Today was the first day when food hasn't sounded disgusting to me, though I've only been able to eat a small portion.

      I'm diabetic, so have to watch carbs and food intake anyway; the antidepressant was needed, but I will certainly be vigilant. I am so ready for my insides to stop hurting, several weeks out.

    • Posted

      Try yoghurt after taking antibiotics which can leave you feeling run down and tired. Antibiotics can disturb the good bacteria in your gut. Have you tried ordinary painkillers or milk which is good for settling the gut? A lot depends on the skill of the person doing the colonoscopy. Maybe the person doing it was a little rough and the previous ones you have done were better because the specialists performing them were more skilled.

    • Posted

      The specialist who did the colonoscopy is the same gastroenterologist who's done mine for the past 25 years (I had to start them early, due to recurrent diverticulitis and polyps.) I've been forcing myself to eat yogurt and also taking probiotics since the antibiotics.

      I'm beginning to think that this was a rougher experience simply due to age and the recent bout of diverticulitis/antibiotics. I finally feel a bit better today. This has been miserable.

  • Posted

    Since you are finally feeling a bit better, it may be that it will just take time for your bowel to settle down again. If you are still concerned, speak to your doctor about your reactions. I took me three weeks to recover from an endoscopy because I was intolerant the sedation. I reported the problems I had and was fobbed off that the reaction was unusual. I know this was untrue because I read that the severe depression I developed is a common problem.

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