Diagnosed with Diverticula Disease after Colonoscopy

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Hi, looking for advice. I went for a Colonoscopy yesterday just to have a check up following my HALO procedure beginning of January. Once I'd woke up and got myself dressed the Nurse gave me a piece of paper telling me they had removed a polyp and that I had Diverticular Disease. I was like oh ok? I asked what it was and she just said it was common and diet lead. Then sent on my way with my friend waiting outside to drive me home. I got in the car a bit shell shocked as never heard if it. I googled it on way home. What confuses me is that I eat a really balanced healthy diet! So exhausted yesterday just went to bed. Woken up today and it's really hit me!! No follow up required (according to paperwork). So not sure where I go? Googling the symptoms has made me panic a little. So do I change my diet when I get a 'flare up only? Or do I avoid bran and high fibre all the time? Thank you in advance 😢

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  • Posted

    Hi Tessy 

        A diagnosis of diverticulosis doesn’t mean you will ever have diverticulitis!

    In  happens as we age. Although on this site there are plenty of 30 yo! Mine started at 53 with diverticulosis on a colonoscopy. I had my first attack of diverticulitis at 58 and currently am recovering from a long bout also @60yo.

    I had the same explanation as you!!

    So my advice to you is drink plenty of water, eat a diet high in fiber but the soluble kind (google it), and don’t become constipated. I take Miralax every other day.. Try and stay away from fried and high fat foods. Just make sure u make the changes. Good luck!

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    • Posted

      Thank you Katealso for your reply it is appreciated.

      The Nurse told me I have pockets they will flare?

      I am really confused as I generally eat a well balanced diet with fruit and vegetables. I never ever fry food and also opt for the healthy options.

      A friend just told me to avoid tomatoes (my favourite), cucumber and anything with seeds as theses will get caught up in pockets!?? 😢

      I am 43 years old and still trying to get around what I do next? Just read the worse case scenarios and they have really frightened me 😮

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    • Posted

      See Felinias post she gives good solid advice. And as she said only 10-25% if people will develop diverticulitis. However I would watch seeds, corn and skins! My problem started after eating grapes.

      This forum is a great help. When you don’t feel well there is always someone here that can commiserate! As you have seen some people are negative but keep in mind that may be their personality.

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  • Posted

    Hi Tessy, firstly don't get stressed as this has an adverse effect on DD, and there is really no reason to once you begin to understand the nature of this disease. Secondly, treat your digestive system gently for the next few days at least, to help your colon settle after the colonoscopy. Eat easily digestible foods like well cooked vegetables, fish or chicken or eggs.

    Now for the future: we are all a bit different, but for me, I avoid anything with skins or seeds that cannot be removed. So for fruit drop berries and grapes, but pears, apples, peaches, melons can all be peeled so are ok. Tomatoes can be skinned and deseeded provided they are big enough, cucumber can be peeled and deseeded too. I avoid nuts, cake fruit, sweet corn, basically anything which goes in and comes out more or less unchanged. I take Fybogel each day to give extra fibre. Red meat and processed meat is harder to digest than white, so eat with care.

    If you get stomach pains, it may or may not need antibiotics, and your doctor will help with this. If it is not an infection then go back to plain simple food for a few days at least, and lower fibre to give your gut a rest. Build up the soluble fibre again slowly.

    It took me a while to understand that what I was eating, whilst balanced and nutritious, was not best for DD and did not prevent DD from happening. You can still eat a good diet with some adjustments. Good luck.

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  • Posted

    Hi

    The first thing to learn is that over 50% of people in the Western world have Diverticulosis, and 75% of them never have any symptoms.  The second thing is that although for many years it was thought to be caused by bad diet, that has changed and modern thinking is that genetics also plays a part, as does stress, and it happens to people on the healthiest diets.  Some are even born with it.  Most people only find out when they have a colonoscopy for a totally different reason, like a well-person check.

    Modern thinking on diet has also changed, and doctors no longer say to avoid nuts, seeds, pips, tomatoes, cucumber.  One person on this forum actually reported that their doctor in many years of dealing with the disease never saw a flare up of diverticulitis caused by trapped seeds etc.  What they do say is to follow a healthy well balanced diet, in moderation, well cooked, well chewed, with fibre and plenty of water.  In other words what every doctor advises for everything.

    The trick is not to go overboard with fibre - it should be soluble fibre rather than insoluble.  As Alexandra put it, severely limit "basically anything which goes in and comes out more or less unchanged".  I do have the occasional jacket potato and sweetcorn, but I have most of my fibre from home made soups, veggie purees and peeled fruit.  I skin my peppers and tomatoes (in fact I mainly have tinned).  It is also a good idea to take a daily stool softener like Fybogel, which keeps you regular and nice and soft.  The last thing you want to do with DD is strain to go.

    So I'm guessing you've never had an attack.  It usually starts with a pain on the low left side, plus bloating, discomfort and altered bowel movements.  If you get that, go on a 48 hour liquid only diet (broth, apple juice, tea).  That usually deals with it.  That is the time to start a food diary, and see if you can identify any particular foods that could have caused the pain.  If it happens a second time, those foods go on the no-no list.  My trigger foods are gluten and full fat (ice-cream - sob, sob).  But for some it will be some or all the things you have been warned about.  But everyone is different, there is no definitive list.  If you develop fever, chills, swamping severe pain, feel lousy, that means an infection has developed and you need antibiotics.  Not nice, so prevention is better than cure!

    Hopefully you will never have an attack, but if you do this Forum is a goldmine of information.  Us sufferers know far more about how to live with it than all the doctors and nurses with their theory only experience.  A full flare up is when you go on the liquid only diet, then the low residue diet, then a slow return to normal diet.  But you may never need to, particularly if your diet is currently healthy.  Just take the sensible precautions we have all mentioned in these posts.

    I am 67, have lived with this for 17 years, and had just 3 flare ups in the first 14 years, after I got complacent and ate the wrong food.  Otherwise I live a normal life, played competitive sport, walk, garden and mostly forgot about it, apart from trying to help on this forum.  The article on this site is also very informative.  Best wishes

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  • Posted

    I had a colonoscopy yesterday too and was diagnosed with diverticular disease.  I had the test for rectal prolapse nothing was said about that, but had this diagnosis I had no symptoms for.
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  • Posted

    I did not know I had diverticulitis until a diverticula tunneled its way into my bladder. I had my sigmoid colon removed. So I know a lot about this because I asked A LOT of questions while I was at the Stanford hospital. Here is what I learned:

    Diverticulitis can be inherited, I mostly ate whole grains and vegetables and still got it.

    Diverticulitis is usually found only in the sigmoid colon and everyone has it to some degree.

    Unless it is causing you pain, don't worry about it. If you are experiencing pain you should get it looked at.

    Literally every adult has some diverticula,  It is like all adults have some spinal degeneration, that just means you are normal and not a kid.

    Don't worry about this unless you have pain.

    The way they "fix" diverticulitis is by removing 12 inches of your colon, the sigmoid colon. You do not want to do this unless you have no other choice.

    That person who said it was diet induced is an idiot, still more fiber in your diet is not a bad thing. 

    Hope this helps,

    CecilMcCecil

     

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