Diverticulitis symptoms

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Hello! I was just diagnosed 4 days ago with diverticulitis. I went to the ER for severe abdominal pain and had a ct scan, which showed acute uncomplicated diverticulitis. I was prescribed cipro and flagyl for 7 days. One of the issues I've been having for some time is significant bloating every single time I eat anything. It is so uncomfortable and I honestly look several months pregnant!!! It doesn't seem like this is a common symptom of diverticulitis. Anyone else experience this? I am wondering if I should start a liquid diet  for a few days. When you all have an acute attack, what kinds of food do you eat? 

Thanks!

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  • Posted

    Hi Andrea

    Bloating is very common with diverticulitis, gas too. I am constantly bloated to the point of my clothing gets too tight.

    During a flare up or I should say at the start of pain you are supposed to go to clear liquids for 48hours and then very gradually add in small amounts of potato(no skin) ,chicken or fish, white bread, cooked fruit, canned vegetables like green beans and carrots or cook them yourself until they are almost mush. No more then a fistfull of food at a time in small bites chewed until it is mush in your mouth. Lots of water too.

    Start a food diary that lists everything that goes in your mouth so you can determine what foods may cause an attack. Everyone is different when it comes to what they can and can not eat. My list of suspect foods is long and I won't eat them for all the money in the world. Unfortunately this is a disease of trial and error and learning what makes you sick and what keeps you well. I hope that you will be feeling better very soon and that you never have another attack of diverticulitis.

    Julie

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  • Posted

    Also if you are supposed to eat with your antibiotic do that or you may feel worse but keep it "white" as in foods with very little fibre.

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  • Posted

    Julie, thank you so much for your reply. I got zero education on this at the ER!  I messaged my GI doctor, who I already had an appointment set up with (but not until beginning of July). I let her know I was in the ER and what my diagnosis was. She said to just keep up with the antibiotics and she'll see me at my appointment. She has no available appointments before July. So, I have felt a little lost with this. The bloating is awful!!! Since being in the ER, I have eaten very lightly, but I have been eating solids. I will try the liquid diet for the next couple days. Thanks again. I guess I will have to figure out how to eat!!!

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    • Posted

      Liquid diet for at least 3 days, then soft no fiber diet, check out Mayo Clinic diet website also Diverticulitis pain free foods website. No one gave me advice on what to do either. So it took me long time to recover. I was diagnosed in Feb and had developed abscess thereafter so be careful. I lost 32 lbs in 3 months but have learned a lot of awesome info from this forum people who are going through same issues so stick with eating good and right things for you. We are all here to help each other and give good advice. Best wishes for a healthy recovery.
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  • Posted

    Yes it will cause severe bloating and it will never go away. As you "heal" it will go down some. You'll also notice you cannot pass gas whether thru burping or the other way. I  found eating a banana before taking the morning meds helped. Stay on the liquid diet for no more than 4 days. There are several sites giving a list of the soft diet to follow. Never go off it because you'll end up back in the ER.  Drink plenty of water and exercise.  Eventually you'll pass gas which means your colon is starting to function again. Good luck on your journey.  Don't take Gas X until you've healed a while. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply. I hate the bloating so much! Thanks for your tips! I do appreciate hearing from people who know first hand what helps!
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  • Posted

    Same as you Andrea. Was just diagnosed acute uncomplicated 2 weeks ago. Yesterday was my best day yet. Made the mistake of not eating right after I left the ER (they didn’t tell me). Still On antibiotics (round 2...make sure they have you at least 7 days). Eat yogourt while taking the antibiotics (2-4 snack cups a day) to avoid diharrea. Once you feel up to it, add a tablespoon of psyllium husk fibre to your food in the morning. This has been a godsend to me.

    A slow moving bowel or any constipation is the worst for this. The longer food has time to  fester in the colon, the more pain you’ll feel. Clear out your bowels with fibre (after 2-3 days on soups, and once the antibiotics kick in) and it could help accelerate your healing.

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    • Posted

      You are on round 2 of antibiotics? Were you not feeling better and they prescribed more? Or was the first round less than 7 days? My prescription is for 7 days. The antibiotics are giving me mild nausea and diarrhea. I just kind of feel blah on them. Anyway, thank you for your tips too. As I said above, I have gotten absolutely no education from  the ER doctor or my GI (who I have not even seen yet, and won't until July). Good luck to you! Sorry you are experiencing this right now too. 

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    • Posted

      Ya. Unfortunately they prescribed me only 5 days. I think the thinking was, that I was young and so I could beat it easier. Unfortunately as soon as I got over it, I went back full force into being active and into party mode because I was so happy, I think I rebounded hard. When I went to the ER the second time, I was very unwell, and finally seeing blood in the stool was what prompted me. The doctor believed that that’s why I seemed to get better and then worse again - 5 days wasn’t enough. She prescribed me 7 and I’m feeling alright on day 3. So with 3-4 more days to go, I am hoping they got it right this time.

      My theory is, diverticula are deep inside the body in thick tissue, so more antibiotic exposure is needed to resolve the infection, than say, bronchitis, which is a little more superficial (relatively speaking)

      I would describe Today as pain free so far. I can tell “there’s something in there” but no pain to speak of today. Progress. 

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    • Posted

      It sounds weird but one of my symptoms preceding an attack was sinus issues.  If you have scar tissue be very careful because it can cause a blockage.  My morning routine was to take 2 TBS of milk of magnesium  (keeps you from backing up), drink metamucil and probiotics. It literally saved me.
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    • Posted

      Wow! How are you feeling on all those antibiotics? Is it cipro and flagyl? They are kicking my butt sad  OMG, I can't wait to be done with them, but even more, I really hope they help me feel better. Today I have less bloating, but I am also being even more careful about what I eat.

      I've decided I don't want this journey cheesygrin  But I guess it is what it is!!!

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    • Posted

      I to never got told what to eat or do when diagnosed with DD, I just did liquids for 2 days and the antibiotics made me so sick. Went back to ER and had bad abscess so was in hospital on IV antibiotics liquids for 2 days and sent home on more antibiotics and a proper diet , also probiotics, was told no dairy products or fiber for 6 days after the soft diet . Take vitamin D B12 Mylanta for nausea and miralax to stay regular. I followed the Mayo Clinic diet and found a website for Diverticulitis pain free foods. Drink teas . I had to change my lifestyle and way of eating It took me 4 months to heal , I to also keep a food journal and found what foods I cannot eat, it’s a tough road but you will get better with patience and really paying attention to your body. Best of wishes for a speedy healthy recovery
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  • Posted

    Also, here’s my cheat sheet:

    I think the following has helped. 

     - Decreasing the amount of food calories going thru my colon by taking a Rx weight loss drug called Contrave. (Got too hungry without it). Try to keep your calories under 2000 during your attack if you can. 

    - 1 tbsp of psyllium fibre in the morning

    - stool softener at night

    - adhering to my antibiotics with no strenuous activity. 

    -heating pad has been a godsend. Couldn’t live without it at this point. But don’t put too much pressure on the bad, just let it sit on your tummy.

    - loose pants and no belts. Beltless Dresses and nighties for the ladies. (Lucky you)

    - Aleve 1-2x a day as needed.

    - Tylenol 1000 mg (500 really didn’t do anything for me with pain this deep)

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