Avoiding flare up

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In February I had a severe diverticulitis attack (my first one age 39). I was hospitalised on IV anti-biotics and then 2 x 10 day doses at home. Has taken me until around a month ago to completely recover mentally and physically. 

Feel like I am starting another attack. However I would prefer not to go back on antibiotics if possible as have been taking lots of pre/probiotics to increase natural gut flora. Am going on to a liquid diet for a few days, as this is what is recommended on all websites I have read, however I wondered has anyone got an experience of avoiding flare ups in this way or have you always needed anti-biotics?

I would much rather avoid if possible, but on the other hand don't want to put off taking them only to find the infection gets much worse and I end up being hospitalized, or on them for a longer period than if I just take them now? Any advice welcome!

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  • Posted

    From the description of your previous attack I am guessing you are USA based where the usual treatments are very much more aggressive than in the UK.  With the amounts of antibiotics prescribed, there is a risk of developing antibiotic intolerance and my UK based GP will now not prescribe them unless essential.

    Sometimes you can get pain like you are going to have Diverticulitis, but there is no fever.  That usually means an inflammation, not an infection, so antibiotics would not help.  If you have other symptoms, like the fever, temperature, feeling lousy, then you do need to see a doctor.  But if it is just the pain, resting your insides for a couple of days on liquids only should help.  Then a few days of what I call bland pap with minimal fibre, before reintroducing your normal diet SLOWLY in small portions.  If not, or the pain worsens, then back to the doctor.  I always used to be guilty of jumping in too soon, so learned to give my body a couple of days first.  I have also learned what foods irritate my insides and trigger the niggles.  I hope you have been monitoring your food intake since your first attack to see if any particular foods are the culprit. 

    In 17 years of having this disease I have had only 6 flares needing antibiotics but I have had frequent niggles which have been controlled by careful diet.  The UK does not operate for this condition except in emergencies, but the USA does.  I have heard of preventative surgery offered after just one attack, and more frequently after 2.  This is a route which needs very careful consideration as you are still very young (compared to me lol) as there are cons as well as pros.  For some it does become essential, as you will read in this forum, but for many more they learn to manage their disease and stop using the forum.

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    • Posted

      hello, no I am in the UK.  The infection was pretty severe, I thought I had appendicitis so went straight to a&e and they admitted me and started the IV anti biotics and gave me more to take orally when I was discharged after 5 days.  I then had a colonoscopy a few weeks later to check the diagnosis of diverticulitis and at that point the infection still hadn't cleared up so they gave me more.  I think this is partly why it took me so long to recover as any good bacteria must have been completely wiped out.  

      Good to know that there is a difference though between inflammation and infection, hopefully with this liquid diet and slow introduction of food I can avoid a repeat full blown infection.  Can I ask how old you were when first diagnosed? I have read that if you have your first attack before you are 40, it tends to be much more aggressive...

      Over the past few years before this attack I have had bouts of stomach cramping/diarreah during the night - not sure if this is related to diverticulosis.  This usually happened after alcohol.  I stopped drinking for 6 months, but still occasionally had these bouts.  I think I have linked this to drinking milk or having cheese in the evening though so have cut that out and these bouts have reduced.  

      No idea what has triggered this latest problem though, I probably need to keep a more thorough food diary.

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    • Posted

      If you can try to think of everything you ate 2 days before the pain started. Your trigger food or foods will be in that list. I have had 2 flare ups treated by liquid only followed by low residue. Took a couple of weeks but it worked because I had no fever and it was inflamation only. Good luck.
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  • Posted

    Hi an I ask what were your symptoms when it all started in Feb?
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    • Posted

      Extreme tiredness (slept for 15 hours straight which is completely unlike me), abdominal pain & fever.  I have a high pain threshold so just ignored it for a few days.  Finally went to a&e as thought I had appendicitis then this was diagnosed.  I am now wondering though if I have had diverticulosis for a few years though as having been having bouts of cramping/diarrhea in the night for a while

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    • Posted

      The extreme tiredness and abdomen pain I can relate to, I'm hoping that this is diverticulitis with me as I'm suffering so many symptoms since May, mostly lower back pain, some left side front pain but generally not right, I was told after a colonoscopy 3 years ago that I have diverticulitis pouches in my colon but I was fine for three years, up to start of May this year, doing prep today so fingers crossed for a good outcome tomorrow,

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  • Posted

    Bless your heart! The thought of another attack is overwhelming .  It’s been 6 weeks since my first attack and 8 since first. I’m afraid to eat anything with seeds especially. Wish I knew if diet makes any difference. In having an attack   My cousin who says many in our family have this thinks his cute is Bran Buds. 1/3 c everyday 
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    • Posted

      Eatting high fibre when you are well is your best defence not to get it again. Only a small number get a second attack and your first one is usually your worst but not always.
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