Can this start without a flare up?

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I've posted something in the abdominal issue part but I thought I would try here as with trying to self diagnose waiting for appointments etc this is the only logical thing I could come up with

The people with chronic pain from this condition, does it only linger after a serious flare up? or did you just start with a chronic pain?

I've had some issues for 8 weeks now which I believe started due to taking ibuprofen for something else - this lead to some quite bad constipation/straining that lasted for nearly 2 weeks and the end result is I'm now left with a lower left ..persistent discomfort.

2-3" below my belly button I have pain from where the bowel turns in and towards the centre so I'm guessing this is my sigmoid colon? there is an odd feeling there all the time, not exactly "pain" more of an awareness/discomfort. It tends to be worse when I'm sat down and can feel like a slight burning sensation that can radiate down into my groin/inner thigh (but always the left) 

It does not wake me up, It feels slightly better after a BM (but not for long) and is always there. I've upped my fibre with all bran cereal and fybogel which has cleared up the constipation now and my BM are quite regular. I don't appear to have any blood in the stool or a fever. I'm not losing any weight so despite my health anxiety kicking in convincing me I've got bowel cancer it doesnt..really add up from what I can tell. 

I had a blood and urine test at doctors who then shuffled me out the door with some mebeverine. These came back as normal so I'm guessing I'm not anemic or have any sort of inflammation? (if they even tested for that) and presumably that ruled out any sort of UTI/infection. 

Nothing seems to do a great deal, I don't know if adding tumeric capsules to my diet helped or if thats just in my head but mebeverine/buscopan doesn't really do anything which makes me question if its my "IBS Diagnosis" that I was given when I was 14 (I'm 32 now - I'm male so I guess that removes any other potential bits down there!) 

I don't know if its a long IBS flare up, I don't know if its diverticula related, this low level chronic pain one seemed like it would fit (SUDD?) After going back to my doctor again this one basically washed his hands of me and referred me for a "camera up the bum" which didn't help with my anxiety/stress but as its a routine appointment thats not going to be for about 2 months anyway. I did suggest could it be diverticular disease and he just shrugged and said keep on the high fibre and try paracetamol. 

I'm aware its nothing like the infection/flare up's that it sounds like some of you are going through, they sound awful but I did wonder if anyone else had any sort of chronic lower left discomfort that was diagnosed with this? I'm wondering if I should try and go private for some other tests..full blood count/ultrasound perhaps as whatever it is is sending my anxiety mad! 

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16 Replies

  • Posted

    A consultant I saw a few years ago said that fibre is not always the answer. It certainly makes me worse! Trial and error and keeping note of what you have eaten prior to pain. I am yet again waiting for a hospital appointment having spent most of this last month on antibiotics. I looked to see private colonoscopy but cannot afford it. Buscopan and colofac (mebeverine) give short term relief for me.  If I take them for a couple of days they affect my ability to urinate. I am unusual as my pain is on right side . It is low down and just keeps on nagging away. I can feel it when I walk. I get very tired when I have this. 

    Same consultant I mentioned earlier suggested probiotics and I have been taking VSL3  sachets. They certainly have helped control it. I am now looking to try Symprove   ( for no other reason than it is easier to store) but keeping fingers crossed that it helps. Keep nagging doctors and appointment system. As I found out 18 months ago, if you don’t do something they won’t. You know your body and know when something is not right. I think I was being written off as neurotic but ended up being found to have a very large cyst resulting in hysterectomy. Good luck

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    • Posted

      Hi 

      Delayed response as it said it was awaiting moderation. 

      Yes I'm starting to wonder if fibre isnt particularly great for me, theres no way I used to eat this much (I never had cereal/breakfast and I used to eat rubbish ready meals for lunch) now I'm on high fibre cereal with some blueberries and some soups which seem to contain more fibre than the cereal! And back then I was generally fine. I'd occasionally be blocked up, take a fybogel and all was well. I must say I'm a little apprehensive about reducing the fibre again as my bowel doesn't feel ..particularly happy if I'm straining to have a BM (I've had to strain a little more than I'd hope once or twice) and it feels a little uncomfortable. I don't really want to rock the boat!

      I've heard/read a lot about probiotics and bought some "ultra maximum acidophilus" capsules from H&B, I have no idea what to expect/if anything but thought it was worth a go. I've heard about that symprove too but I will give these a go first.

      Yes I see what you mean about doctors. They don't seem fussed unless you have 1-2 red flag symptoms of anything! 

      Thanks 

       

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  • Posted

    I had chronic lower left pain as you described. I ignored it until I got a 24/7 UTI from hell, my diverticula had reached out and attached itself to my bladder.

    Then I got a catscan and they said, "You bowl is connected to your bladder"

    Almost all diverticulitis is in the sigmoid colon. If you can live with it, live with it.

    Antibiotics can help if it is not to severe.

    F**k the high fiber diet guy, too late for that now, anyway a lot of this is down to genetics.

    The pain is caused by the diverticula growing, which can cause infection as well.

    Hopefully a good STRONG dose of antibiotics will get you over this and it is a one off and will not come back.

    Clavomax saved me when I was in great pain, after 7 days of Clavomax most of the pain went away for a few months.

    I was a severe case, I ended up having to have the surgery. Unless your diverticula have attached to something, you should be OK, a catscan will show this

    The only alternative to antibiotics is surgery, and believe me you do not want to do this unless you have to.

    Demand antibiotics, strong ones, 

    Best wishes for you feeling better,

    Cecil

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    • Posted

      Hi. did you have any other symptoms that your bladder was connected to the bowel. I am having bladder issues( no uti but many before diverticulitis). These bladder problems were not there before my acute bout of diver. I also still don't feel  right at all 4 months after it. 

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    • Posted

      I had recurrent bouts of UTI that would go away for a week or so after antibiotic treatment. Finally got it analyzed, it was antibiotic resistant to all but 1. That is because my colon was leaking into my bladder. If you have that issue you will know it! Also the catscan showed air in my bladder (gas from my bowel). The connection caused a thickening of my bladder wall on my left side, my body's way of trying to cure itself. What sort of bladder issues are you having? the sigmoid colon is right next to your bladder.

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    • Posted

      Hard to explain. It just doesn't feel right. Pain and discomfort when I wee, but no uti. Nothing nasty coming out when I wee, as I know sometimes happens with that sort of thing.  Weeing  frequently, but not all the time. I've had several pelvic surgeries over the years. No uterus. So my bowel is right next to my bladder. And I just feel generally crappy a lot of the time. This is all since diverticulitis 4 months ago. I'm having a lot of  really bad back pain too. 

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    • Posted

      Hi

      Thanks for the info

      I know the area for the pain is right. I don't know if the pain is bad enough

      The more I think about it, the worse it seems but it never goes away and it worries me its pretty much in the same area all the time. I'd feel much better if it moved about!

      Would a mild infection stay the same without antibiotics? I would have presumed it would get worse after 2 months. Surely if it was an infection something would have flagged up on my blood tests...

      That sounds rough what you went through! , when all this started I had a bit of discomfort urinating and sometimes now..my Uretha I think..feels a bit.."off" - difficult to explain, just again more aware of it. but nothing untoward comes out so It certainly doesnt sound like that at the moment. 

      I must say its quite worrying to think if it is this...it could drastically get worse at any moment. Shame my doctors don't seem to care! 

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    • Posted

      I still have UTI-like symptoms when my colon presses against my badder. Have you bee checked for a UTI just to me sure? If you have pain/discomfort every time you pee, you should DEF get your urine analyzed for bacteria.

      Best wishes for you

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply cecilmccecil. No uti there at the moment . To me  it feels that when I get the back pain it involves bladder being full. Bowel being full, or both. And bladder discomfort isn't there all of the time. I just feel they are related since its been since the diverticulitis. I see the gastroenterologist on Friday, maybe he will have some answers. Although if bloods show no inflammation or infection he doesn't seem to be concerned. It's really frustrating when you have a symptom/ symptoms that are affecting your everyday life and they don't have an answer. Anyway this forum is great for getting advice or sharing worries. Thank you. 

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    • Posted

      I hate to be a downer here, and most probably this is not your issue, but I had a full-blown internal abdominal infection with no elevated white blood count, and no increased temperature. In fact I had a slightly sub-normal temperature. The hospital wanted to release me, but I kept telling them I was in pain. Once they did the catscan they frog-marched me into emergency.

      You can BELIEVE I asked a lot of questions about this! Turns out, "Your body has ways of walling off abdominal infection". 

      Tell-tale signs are below-normal temp (not by much) and bloating int he abdominal area even IF your white blood cell count is normal.

      I hate to recommend catscans, because they are a LOT of radiation, but it saved my life.

      Best

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    • Posted

      Totally agree. The week before my acute bout of diver that put me in hospital I felt lousy and doc thought all was ok because all the bloods were normal. I will be asking for more tests when I see the specialist on Friday for sure. 
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  • Posted

    It certainly could be Diverticulosis - where you have diverticula in the colon, but not an infection (that's diverticulitis).  The pain's in the right place and it's relieved by a BM.  Chronic pain and/or burning is common, and is usually relieved by a fluid only diet for 48 hours.  If you had a serious flare of Diverticulitis you would know all about it in agony.  You need to be careful with the fibre.  If you have diverticula, and they are inflamed (not infected) but causing pain, All Bran is very harsh and could aggravate an already inflamed colon.  The best type of fibre for Diverticular Disease is soluble fibre - ie soup, well cooked veggies, peeled fruit.  And swap All Bran for Bran Flakes.  But if you are having a camera examination that will give you the definitive answer.  With a 2 month wait they are not concerned it is anything serious, particularly as you have none of the worrying symptoms.  Stress/worrying makes DD worse and many a case of DD was originally misdiagnosed as IBS without any tests, although at 14 DD was unlikely.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the information about the fibre.

      I guess I'm a bit worried these days about getting bunged up again so I went out and bought the highest fibre cereal I could find!

      I've had some this morning and havent yet had my BM and it feels a bit worse, or maybe thats just in my head but I shall look at alternative cereals and try and get enough fibre from elsewhere.

      My diet before must have been absolutely terrible - I wouldn't have had half as much fibre as I'm on now but for whatever reason if I drop it down I notice a problem fairly quickly! 

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    • Posted

      I take Fybogel - it's a powder made from psyllium husk which you mix with water and chug down straight away.  I take it every morning, and if I feel a bit bunged up, I also take it in the evening.  It is actually a stool softener, not an emetic, so takes about 2 weeks of regular taking to reach maximum effectiveness.  It thickens up inside you and absorbs lots of extra water into the bowel, making the stools softer and easier to pass.  This is why you have to take plenty of water/fluid during the day.  I find I go more frequently than before, but with DD an empty bowel is a good thing.  Diet is not the only reason people develop DD, genetics and stress play a part.  Also people on very healthy diets can develop it.  Just the luck of the draw, although if you have lived on a diet of processed junk food that would not have helped!!  I always loved my fresh fruit and veggies, but I ate too much at a time.

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  • Posted

    I have had exactly the same symptoms for the past 11 weeks. Not  affected by paracetamol, bucsopan or any of the usual things. It just stubbornly stays put and unchanged. My pain/discomfort, unlike yours,  does not seem to be affected by BM.  I have had Urine test and blood tests that all came back clear. I took doctors advise to have an ultrasound scan prior to anything more invasive. The ultrasound came back normal. The operator told me that whilst it could assess the spleen, kidneys, liver etc, it could not 'see' the colon for some reason or other. All the above was just methodically going along a process of elimination. The next step was to have a colonoscopy, which I had last week. Not particularly pleasant but necessary. Diagnosis of DD was established in sigmoid colon. However, the discomfort and mild to annoying pain continues unabated. So not sure what to do next. From my experience it is worth getting the urine and blood tests and ultrasound as they do start to eliminate certain possible conditions, and again in my experience worth having a colonoscopy because at least then you can actually see up inside the colon and see what is going on. Hope that helps/is useful.

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    • Posted

      Thats annoying, it didn't tell me anyone had responded

      I had urine and blood tests done. I don't really know what the blood tests covered as they never mentioned it just said everything was normal/satisfactory and no further follow ups needed. Part of me presumes/hopes it detects anemia (because it did many years ago when I had kidney issues!) If I'm not anemic it gives me some ..hope that im not bleeding every movement to indicate anything more sinster! (I do occasionally see some white bits..that seem more like food than mucus - but aside from that they look pretty standard size/shape) 

      I've been going a bit mad with panic convincing myself it was cancer but the logical remaining part in my brain says If I've got a tumour big enough in my sigmoid colon to be causing this pain/discomfort/annoyance whatever..then I don't think I'd be having  decent size/colour/shaped stools with no blood/mucus. 

      I have a specialist appointment booked for 1st of may. I certainly don't want a "camera up the bum" but then who does. I suspect I'll be having one and barring the anxiety of what I think they might find I'm ok with ..that. 

      When I say its affected by BM its really not a great deal, the longer I go not having a BM (which is only about 24hrs at the moment now I've upped my fibre) it seems to be a little more irritating..and right after going its slightly better but not for long really! 

      if I want an ultrasound I Think I'll have to go private now. I don't really know where to turn. I think hanging on till may the 1st worrying about it will send me insane but from what I can see with my research its 20+ days to go private here anyway!

      Now you've been diagnosed have they not given you anything? I honestly would be relieved at this time to be told its DD and not what I've convinced myself it is. However I really would not like to live the rest of my life with this discomfort. The whole area feels..somewhat tender? I have a mad puppy and I have to shield that area when hes bouncing about. Its pretty miserable! 

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