Diverticulitis

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Hello everyone,

I just got out of the hospital after 4 days of antibiotics for my first diverticulitis attack and I got sent home on 10 more days flagyl and bactrim. I was wondering how long before My stomach will be back to normal? I’ve just been real gasey? I wasn’t sure If the bloatiness and gas was from the flagyl and bactrim? Thanks in advance! 

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  • Posted

    It will take awhile, unfortunately, for you to get back to normal.  I found taking probiotics (started when I started antibiotics) really helped in getting my system somewhat back to normal.  However, with following a bland diet for a few days and staying away from much fiber for a few weeks, it takes awhile.  One day at a time with small steps of improvement are what you are looking for.  Meds probably are causing a lot of the discomfort.  

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the quick response! Can you give me some ideas on the bland diet? Thanks again
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  • Posted

    Your welcome - just happened to be sitting here with my computer when your first post came through.  I did mainly liquids (broth, jello, ensure) the first couple days.  After that I did chicken noodle soup, more jello (because I kinda like it) broth, mashed potatoes, and anything that kinda goes right on through you that doesn't require a lot of digestion.  Then gradually added rice, baked chicken or fish, mashed carrots - etc.  After a couple weeks I started adding more regular food although stayed away from lots of fiber. Also started taking a fiber supplement and stool softener if necessary.

    One of the keys to managing this disease, is if you feel the slightest symptoms come back - even months or years from now, immediately go on a liquid diet and that will usually take care of it before it gets infected and lands you in the hospital.  Doctor gave me some flagyl just to keep on hand the I could start if pain got bad.  

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  • Posted

    Dee's replies just about cover everything about dealing with an attack.  I had my first attack almost 17 years ago and my doctor prescribed a daily stool softener - Fybogel in the UK or Metamucil in the USA.  This bulks and softens your stools, makes them easier to pass and helps prevent matter getting trapped in the diverticula pockets and setting up another infection.  They are not laxatives and take about 2 weeks to start to work fully.  They can cause more frequent bowel movements.  Some people cannot tolerate them, but there are alternatives.   I would not advise starting them until you have finished the antibiotics and the side effects have worn off.

    For most people it can take at least a month before you start to feel more normal again.  Your insides have taken a lot of trauma and that takes time to heal, and for the good bacteria (via probiotics) to start working.  Until then you can expect to feel niggles of pain, possibly on bending/lifting, from the residual inflammation, bloating, runs, constipation, nausea.  Your appetite may well be affected, and some people suffer some psychological effects - fear of eating, loss of confidence, reluctance to leave home, in case the symptoms return again.  These recede with time as well.

    You may need to adjust your diet/lifestyle by increasing your fibre intake (soluble fibre NOT insoluble fibre).  Also I suggest you keep a food diary to see if certain foods trigger symptoms.  You may need to eliminate them from your long term diet.  For me it is gluten/wheat and full fat.  But it is different food for different people.  We are all different, which is why the doctor's advice is so vague it's useless.  It's a case of trial and error to find your own best solution.  This is a disease which needs managing for life but it's never stopped me doing anything - competitive sport, walking, gardening, eating out (with care!).  Best wishes.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much! All this information is so helpful! I have a Dr pushing surgery but i’m 40 years old and this is my first attack and I’m just not wanting to go the surgery route.
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    • Posted

      You must be based in the USA where your doctor is a surgeon and money is king!  One attack at 40 and already talking chop chop!  That should be the last resort, not the first.  Once your bowel is gone, it's gone.  You might get a partial removal then joined up, but it's not always possible, and do you want a stoma and bag at your age?

      If you read some of the posts here you will see it is not always the solution, as the disease can, and does, come back in other parts of the bowel, and there can be other complications like constipation and/or the runs.  Of course for some people having life threatening complications, or constant severe pain and frequent debilitating flares it is necessary and does improve their quality of life.  My sympathy for those people and if it has helped, then I am pleased for them.

      In the UK surgery is only performed for one of the complications like a blockage, perforation or fistula leading to peritonitis.  So if you are actually UK based and surgery is being talked about then it is serious, so you need to ask a lot more questions and find out how severe your DD is.  At the end of the day, the decision is yours.

      The usual UK treatment we are just given pills and left to deal with it ourselves at home.  This is done by diet and lifestyle changes as per my previous post.  I've managed without surgery quite well for almost 17 years although my DD is severe.  In that time I went 6 years without a flare, then 4 years, then 4 years again.  I then had 3 flares in quick succession in August 2016 (probably needed more antibiotics as the infection persisted).  It took 10 months to get over but my Consultant disregarded any thought of an operation.  I have been virtually pain and symptom free since July but I stick to my diet plan.  I'm no saint, and when I do eat the wrong thing I get reminded. 

      You will find this forum very helpful and you will read experiences of all sorts, good and bad.  Hopefully that will give you a reasonably balanced picture.  I always bear in mind that those without problems do not post so much, and I am lucky as I do not seem to have suffered the extremes that others do.  Also you should take into account any other medical problems you might have, like IBS, coeliac, colitis.  Best wishes

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    • Posted

      Lol... Yes I am based in the US AND  money is everything here. I thought that was kind of quick to want to cut on me after one attack. Is there anything I should keep on hand Incase I have another attack in the future? My father was 41 when he had his first attack and he is now 61 and still going strong.
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    • Posted

      I'm in US also,(East Tennessee) and I have heard most Gastro docs are kinda cut-happy here.  My reg internist is the one that said not to worry, and he also gave me a prescription of flagyl to keep on hand in case I had another attack and needed it. If you have a family doc, you might ask about that. Best thing, though, is at the first hint of another attack, go to a liquid diet for a couple-three days and see if that takes care of it.  

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much! That’s good to hear. I’m just not ready to go under the knife after on attack. 
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    • Posted

      Hi Bruce

      Well if your Dad's got DD as well and has avoided the chop, then you have a good example to follow.  I read a recent article about the causes of DD - it's not just diet but other factors including genetic makeup, medical conditions and stress. 

      If you can get a set of your medications to keep on hand from your doctor that would be helpful (ours are different ones).  BUT - you need know your own body well enough to tell the difference between a genuine infection, needing antibiotics, and the niggles you get from inflamed diverticula without infection.  The 2/3 days liquid only regime is the best way.  Here in the UK I can't get medication, just in case.  Our NHS is so strapped for cash they are actually cutting back on antibiotic courses and the amount per course.  Where you get 14 days, we get 5 and 7 days. 

      But prevention is better than treatment, so I keep taking the Fybogel and avoiding my trigger foods (mostly!!!).  Happy New Year.

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    • Posted

      That's a tricky one - when I was in the USA I found your idea of salad and mine were very different.  You probably need a USA based person to answer that one.  Here in the UK our salads have lots of different vegetables and mixed leaves, whereas I found the USA salads were mainly leaves.  Many of the items I think are fairly indigestible.  Some people have to remove skins and seeds from peppers and tomatoes, some can't eat onions, radishes, corn.  Others can't eat any raw vegetables.  I would probably try a small amount of the items you have and see if you have a bad reaction.  As for dressings I found the USA ones were fat laden and I simply couldn't eat them.  I go for loads of veggies plus a small drizzle of a fat free dressing, but I think most sufferers couldn't eat that.  Can anyone else help please?

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    • Posted

      I stay away from salads - I also have IBS and acid reflux, and although sometimes it doesn't bother me - other times it does.  I did recently have a small salad made mainly of fresh spinach with a little shredded carrots - olive oil dressing, and that was fine.  Definitely no tomatoes cucumbers b/c of seeds.  I'm hesitant of many raw veggies - I ate a lot of salads this past summer - I'd almost forgotten about a special diet as it had been 4 years since I had a flare - even to the point of strawberries, etc.  Don't know what initially caused flare in Nov. (may have been popcorn) but scared to try again - ever!  I'm with Felinia - try a little bit and see, although I've found you can eat some things over and over and they don't bother you, and then bingo - something gets you!  I'd say be sure you are well over this latest attack before doing much with salads.

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