Diverticulitis, Constipation, Diarrhoea & Bleeding

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Hi!

My husband was diagnosed with Diverticular Disease 3 years ago. His specialist told him he would eventualy need an operation, to remove the infected part of the colon. He was advised to wait as long as possible before having the operation. Every 6 weeks or so, for the last 3 years, he has suffered from abdominal cramps, constipation or diarrhoea, and bleeding. This usually lasts for 3-4 days, then he gets better.

16 days ago, he started with the latest bout of diverticulitis. He had severe diarrhoeafor 13 days, and lost 1 stone in weight. He has seen his own doctor twice in this time. She sent a stool sample for analysis, but only checked it for crytospiridium - which came back negative. (I told my husband I hadn't poisoned him!). She also gave him a course of Metronidazole.

On Friday past, his Doctor sent him to hospital to the A & E department, for an x-ray and blood and urine tests. I don't know what they checked for in the blood and urine, but they came back negative. The x-ray showed that my husband has a blockage in the colon, and was told he is constipated, despite having had diarrhoea for 2 weeks. The hospital Doctor gave him a 5 day course of Tramadol. He took two in the hospital at 1pm, and two that evening at 6pm.

By 9pm on Friday night, I phoned the Doctor On Call. My husband was staggering around the house and slurring his words as if he was drunk. Worst of all he still had the severe cramps and they were getting worse. He was dripping with perspiration although he was freezing cold to touch, and his face was a horrible yellowy colour. The On Call Doctor diagnosed that this was a Diverticulitis attack. She took the Tramadol off him, and gave him another course of Metronidazole 500mg, Co-Codamol 500mg and Ciprofloxacin 250mg. She said that although he is constipated, he has a diarrhoea overflow. This has really confused me! How can you be constipated and have diarrhoea at the same time? He wasn't given a laxative for the constipation, so how will antibiotics and pain-killers move the blockage?

My husbands own doctor didn't know he had diverticular disease until he told her - she obviously hadn't read his notes. She wanted to give him \"something\" to stop the diarrhoea. He now wants to see the specialist again, so I'm going to ring the hospital tomorrow, and see what I can do.

Can anyone advise me? He eats a healthy diet, and drinks lots of water. Is this constipation and diarrhoea at the same time \"normal\" for diverticulitis?

Thanks,

Louise.

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  • Posted

    Hi Louise

    I am so sorry to read of your extremelly worrying situation with your husbands health.

    Firstly diahorea and constipation can go hand in hand. When there is a blockage in the bowel feaces can run over this blockage & this is what they call \"overflow.\"

    It is very common for people with Diverticular Disease to swing between being constipated and having diahhorea. That is why it is essential to eat a high fibre diet when having had a diagnosis of Divertivular Disease, as fibre is usually effective in regulating bowels.

    However, like your husband, some people still face complications and need to take fibre supplements such as Fybogel and other laxatives such as lactulose to make them regular. And i am very surprised that he has not received an enema or laxatives to shift the blockage - ask about this no, in fact demand it!!

    Therefore, it sounds to me like your husband needs a regular fibre dietry supplement, like fybogel (you can also get this containing mebeverine, which is an anti-spasmodic drug which shall relieve any cramping)&/ or lactulose. But, believe me, you do need to ask for these things!!

    It also sounds to me like your husband needs admitting to hospital for intravenous antibiotics, by way of a drip. Please dont be alarmed by this. my Doctor told me that this would be the procedure if i ever had an infection due to my Diverticular Disease.

    I am very surprised that your husbands Doctor has prescribed Co-codamol, as my Doctor told me people with stomach complaints such as Diverticular Disease Should NEVER take codiene based pain relief.

    If I were you i'd demand a second opinion before your husband gets ill again.

    Best wishes & I hope he gets better soon

    Dorothy

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  • Posted

    Im surprised he wasnt given a dose of strong (picosulfate) laxatives aswell :?
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  • Posted

    Hi!

    Thank you both very much for your messages.

    My husband is feeling a lot better today. I bought a bottle of Laxoberal from the chemist yesterday (which contains picosulfate), and this in conjunction with the antibiotics, seems to be working. This particular attack isn't over yet, but he certainly seems to be over the worst of it. At least the sweats and chills are over. The blockage and the over-flow are still there, but the cramps are not as bad. Hopefully the Laxoberal will do it's job, and he will get to see the specialist soon and get it sorted out.

    Thanks again,

    Louise.

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  • Posted

    He needs to massage around his abdomen to help detach any chunks. Yes he should feel better in a few days smile
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  • Posted

    Thank you for your message Dr Spock. I will tell him to get massaging now, and get everything moving. Thank you again!

    Louise.

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  • Posted

    Hi!

    Well my husband is into his third week now of being ill with diverticulitis.

    He saw a different Doctor today, who told him to stop taking the co-codamol. (Dorothys' Doctor was right - co-codamol is not so good for people with diverticulitis). He was advised just to take paracetamol instead for pain relief.

    This new doctor has given him Movicol - to be taken 3 times a day, and told him to go back in 3-4 days if the blockage hasn't started to move. So far he has had two sachets and they have had no effect at all. At least the Laxoberal seemed to be doing something! The Movical does not contain picosulfate (at least it isn't mentioned in the ingredients), so I'm not convinced it will work. The doctor told him today that it would just be trial and error to find something that will work to move the blockage. How long will they let this go on?

    The specialist my husband would normally see is on holiday this week. I'm sure there must be more than one specialist in a city that has two major hospitals!

    Louise.

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  • Posted

    You dont want to over do it with laxatives, it would have moved along by now if it wasnt complicated by being extra chunky smile I guess the Movicol might soften it over time, I bet you never told you GP you had already tried a few doses of Laxoberal :D

    Aslong as this patial blockage isnt effecting your hubbies ability to eat its pretty harmless except for the inconsistant bowel movements, your real enemy is a complete blockage as that can really really hurt :?

    See how the hub gets on smile

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  • Posted

    Hi!

    Thank you for your message Dr Spock! I've just checked with my hubby, and you are right! He didn't tell the doctor about the Laxoberal - though I don't know why.

    He is eating more now than he has for the past few weeks, but about 5-10 minutes later, he starts getting the pains and goes off to the loo.

    He was up and down all last night from about 3am with diarrhoea. He also had the cold clammy sweats again. It just seems to be never-ending. Even our children have noticed that Daddy is getting thinner. We knew he needed to lose some weight, but this seems a vicious way of doing it.

    Thanks again,

    Louise.

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  • Posted

    p.s.

    Perhaps it would be worth asking your Doctor for a more effective form of pain relief as if in a lot of pain your husband shall find taking paracetamol as effective as eating a smartie!!

    Also ask for an anti-spasmodic, it is the spasms that cause the pain. The likes of Mebeverine I found very effective but that is maybe more to do with the fact that it was contained within the fybogel I am instructed to take daily ( a fibre supplement)

    Just a thought, hope this helps

    Dorothy

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  • Posted

    Oi [b:9dc85428fc]Worried Wife[/b:9dc85428fc], hows hubby? :D Thanks for your input [b:9dc85428fc]Dorothy[/b:9dc85428fc] smile
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  • Posted

    My mum is 96 and I have become an unqualified expert on diverticulitis over the last few years.

    Her treatment now is the following:

    Fibogel each morning followed by small high fibre meals throughout the day + as much fluid as she will tolerate.

    Movicol every other evening before bed.

    She was hospitalised a few years ago with severe constipation and was given an enema followed up by two weeks of maximum Movicol at home. After days of over flow eventually the constpation was sorted and she returned to "normal". Hospital staff led me to think the problem would be resolved quickly at home ( probably worried she would be a bed blocker ) but the dis nurse was much more realistic about how long it would take.

    Last year she was admitted to hospital 3 times with rectal bleeding and there were a few investigations like a sigmoidoscopy and scan, but no treatment . These bleeds just seem to stop after 3 days.

    She has just had another bleed and this time I looked after her at home. It was so much less stressful or her and consequently me, since hospital is no place for your average 96 year old. Doctor and dis nurse popped in and now she is sort of back to normal.

    She has never been given antibiotics and does not complain of pain, but that is not to say there is no pain/discomfort..

    Hope this is useful, although I appreciate everyone is different, I do think in general once you understand a bit how to manage the condition it is not so bad. The one thing noone has been able to tell me is what causes the bleeds. Any ideas out there as to ways to reduce this problem?

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  • Posted

    Just wanted to share that I was diagnosed with diverticulitis. I took cipro and flagyl for ten days and my pain only got worse. I was confused about the diagnoses though because I had not experienced diarrhea or constipation until I had taken percocet for two days. Then I started having nausea and constipation I stopped the percocet and those symptoms went away. I knew that prescription pain meds can cause constipation. I was scheduled to see another specialist but in the meantime I decided to go see my massage therapist and chiropractor because I hadn't been in a while and someone mentioned it to me. After one visit to each most of my pain was gone.I was so pleasantly surprised! This is not the first time massage has helped me when medical doctors couldn't help. There is a chance massage therapy or chiropractic may help someone heal even if the diagnoses of divertivuliitis is correct. Just don't give up, keep searching and you will get better.
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  • Posted

    Hi Belinda,

    I will give anything a try as it is so bad waiting for a result which has ruled out anybug

    rest of test is being cultured for sinister cell.

    I find Manuka honey active plus 12 very good a teaspoon in morning before breakfast another last thing

    before bed time, make sure you are not diabetic.

    Perscribed med i find upset good bacteria in gut, have been taking Loperamide which helped only when

    diahoria is bad, also gluten free food which help,

    I was taking several time a day co-codomal now advised not to.it cause constipation also diahoria

    Just keeping fingers crossed that it is not sinister as i am in remmision after having mastectomy.

    Keep on fighting trying new things Take care P

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    • Posted

      I had diverticulitis for 6 years and been through all the meds and fiber speech. Finally went to surgeon and he told me no surgery. He told me to get some Metamucil and you will be fine.

      Since that meeting I have had not one flare up and pain free. I take it twice per day.

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  • Posted

    Hi. What a terrible situation to be in. Can't they get it right. I have suffered with diverticulitis and it's not nice. At this moment I'm in pain with my intestines. Terrible cramps lots of pain. So much so that it felt like contractions when you have a baby. In fact it was so bad I had to go to A an E. They just said they weren't sure and it could be food poisoning. They wanted to give me morphine but I refused. What's the point. That kills the pain, it doesn't cure the symptoms. I was given fybojel. But if I have an obstruction what happens then. I'm wondering if your husbands symptoms are caused by what he's eating. My pain is so bad I can't stand up straight. I'm waiting for a scan

    I should have had one in the hospital but wasn't offered one.

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    • Posted

      Hi Sue I have terrible cramps at the moment with left and sometimes right sided pain,was up most of the night running to toilet,wonder if you have any tips on diet,am really at my wits end with all this Regards Ann
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    • Posted

      Sue I had diverticulitis for 6 years and been through all the meds and fiber speech. Finally went to surgeon and he told me no surgery. He told me to get some Metamucil and you will be fine.

      Since that meeting I have had not one flare up and pain free. I take it twice per day.

      Report

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