First Acute Diverticulitis - Advice please

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Hi all, I am 46 years old and was released from Hospital 3 days ago with Acute uncomplicated Diverticulitis. I was on IV Antibiotics for 2 days and now on tablets for 7 days. I was admitted to hospital 12/2 following feeling shivers and cold, slight fever 37.6c, tenderness in left flank and general discomfort throughout stomach particularly when twisting or moving. Bowel movements have also not been great and lot's of ongoing gas. I also has tachycardia on admission. heart rate sitting on about 110bpm while laying down. I stayed for 2 days, EKG and bloods done. All showed OK except for CRP and white bloods slightly elevated. Was discharged.

We thought I had kidney issues because I had been exercising a lot to lose weight and possibly I was dehydrated because I was sweating a lot. I went to Dr on 14/2 and had CT scan with contrast which showed 3 diverticula with abdominal wall thickening coupled with fat stranding consistent with diverticulitis. I got an urgent call from the radiologist to go back to my Dr who suggested going to ER.

Right now am at home recovering. I generally feel better but from hour to hour I might feel some slight discomfort in the suspect areas. Left flank pain has gone but about 5cm below below button sometimes I feel a twisted bowel type feeling and upper right below ribs I feel a funny sensation which I'd give a 1/10 for pain.

What did I feel leading up to this

  • For the last ~2 years my stools had not been consistent. Morning usually firmer but during the day I could have 1 or 2 diarrhoea episodes
  • I have had lots of flatulence over the last 2 years

    -around August 2018 I felt nagging pain about 3/10 in my right abdo below ribs. It lasted a few weeks. I put this down to me being overweight

  • In November 2018 I was diagnosed with UTI. I took antibiotics and while pain when peeing went away I was still left with disomfort below belly button and across pelvic area and put this down to an inguinal hernia I have unrepaired
  • Progressively this stomach issue got worse in December and early January I started taking anti inflammatory tablets which helped but now I know were bad.

The ER would like to do a colonoscopy to rule out something bad, I guess they are referring to colon cancer because the surgeon said Diverticulitis can mimic this. I have since read colonoscopy is standard after a first case of acute diverticulitis and I am assuming if I had very bad colon cancer it would have shown on the CT scan with contrast. But I am scared to death. Surgeon is waiting about 6 weeks to let colon heel

Diet Post Hospital

I was exercising a lot prior to this issue. 2-3 hours per day and lost about 12 kg. Since hospital I have lost a lot more weight and my wife has commented my stomach looks so much thinner. I am guessing the bloating has gone away and possibly I was bloated for 2 years? I was only on liquids but now I am eating Mash plus probiotics. My calorie intake is insufficient but with the niggly feeling I have which comes and goes in my lower belly button and right flank under ribs I am petrified to eat.

Keen on views if it is possible that my change in normal bowel movements and flatulence for 2 years could have been down to an inflammation which was left untreated and hence progress to an infection vs same symptoms applying to colon cancer.

Any other advice? How long before these niggly feelings go away? This is doing the brain in of my wife and I. Diverticuli, Diverticular Disease, Diverticulosis, Diverticulitis.!!!Nothing on the net refers to these symptoms I have been experiencing (for anything other than Diverticulitis) or which I read on this forum from the vast majority of people that references ongoing symptoms like we are experiencing. Maybe my diverticulosis was causing all these issues

A guy in the ER told me he had a bad case of diverticulitis and was admitted to hospital but for 15 years he has since had nothing.

Thanks again for listening

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  • Posted

    Hi Danny,

    What you have described is pretty much diverticulitis. That left side lower pain can last for a long time. My last one lasted March until September last year.

    Colonoscopy is standard after a bad episode just to check everything out and see how much narrowing you have and how many pouches. I know it is hard but please don't think cancer. I would put my money on it being diverticulitis.

    Are you eating the Mayo Clinic low residue diet? If not google it. Personally I stay away from dairy and meat, oils, nuts and seeds. Let mash potatoes become your best friend and blended soups too as it helps keep your nutrician up.

    Please remember most people only have one attack and then go years or never have another. The numbers are quite small of those who get recurrent attacks. That said keep a food journal of everything you eat so you have an idea if you get another attack. Also don't get constipated. Take a fibre suppliment (when off low residue) or take Miralax when you get backed up. When you start to feel better slowly increase your fibre to 30grams a day and keep it there or higher to help things move through properly.

    If you can remember what your ate in the few days before you landed in hospital you might find your trigger food.

    Right side pain under your ribs could be gallbladder so ask your gp to get you an ultrasound. I am dealing with gallstones and diver and it sucks but gallbladder has to come out . I wish you all the best and I hope this is your first and last diverticular attack.

    Julie

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    • Posted

      thankyou so much for the reply. a few questions

      1. would not the CT have picked up something with gall bladder?
      2. my worst pains started around 10/1/19 but in reality when i reflect back i had these symptoms which already became worse in november 2018 about time i got the urinary tract infection. so hard to pinpoint what food made it worse. i think what tipped over the edge is using NSAIDs from november to January on and off with increase in NSAIS from Jan 5 2019. Also is a UTI linked with diverticulitis?
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    • Posted

      I eat plain yogurt with mashed sweet potatoes like casserole and mashed carrots mixed.. I drink whole milk every now and then BUT not everyday. I do eat cooked veggies brocil, cauliflower , carrots and do make mash potatoes. I drink coffee with whole milk maybe 2 cups every day or so. I dont do seeds , skins or nuts except occasionally nutbutter which is creamy. Does anyone eat BEANS? I do eat green beans BUT does anyone eat navy beans, black beans or pinto beans? I drink a glass of low sodium veggie juice is that okay I wonder, I dont taste any pulp or lumps in it and of course no seeds I been drinking a 8 ounce glass a day of it. My legs bother me sometimes feel a weakness in them even though I can walk on them and numbness from time to time I didn't know Diverticulitis could cripple us I am just stressed out and so worried with this disease! I dont do beef or pork, but chicken and fish.

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    • Posted

      Ct did not pick up my stones and I have had many ct scans. Ultrasound is the best.

      I don't know if there is a connection to diver and uti but NSAIDS are really bad for diver.

      Hope this helps. I hope you get better soon.

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  • Posted

    Danny, wow I never heard that you can have an infection and go 15 years without one I pray that true!

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    • Posted

      Hi I didn't have an infection I had in my opinion an inflammation for 2 years which was left untreated which progressively worsened and in November started to worsen and culminated in a CT Scan diagnosed acute diverticulitis last week while in ER.

      15 years? I think you must be referring to the dates. Australia used day before month.

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  • Posted

    Hi I have also just had a bad flare up of diverticulitis and had antibiotics given also a uti , I have just had a ct with contrast which just showed the diverticular. I went on liquid diet for three days then introduced bland mash potatoes with poached egg, but I was vomiting with excruciating pain and sweats again so went back on liquid until Wednesday. I was petrified to eat and the consultant has given me anti sickness, anti acid and spasm drug called mebrovine. Slowly I am eating again and keep thinking it's going to start again. I was diagnosed in 2016 with sigmoidoscopy, I hope you feel well soon and get things sorted..

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    • Posted

      thanks Sharon, hope you are feeling better soon. it certainly makes you feel drained. like you i am scared to touch food. only mash i am eating. weight is flying off me but feel weak

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    • Posted

      Yes I can fully understand the fear of food and weakness, also sleeping for hours on end. Go and see your gp and explain your fear of eating. I drink complan and soup when I'm having a flare up, to keep my strength up. I hope you are feeling better soon too

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  • Posted

    I too suffered for years thinking as a woman "phantom menstrual cramps ", now I know it was diverticulitis. Because I had never heard of it I let it go. I noticed through time I was beginning to get severely bloated, in 2015 I kept getting what my doctor and I thought was the stomach flu, in July 2016 the pain progressed to sspasms in my lower left abdomen, couldn't hold water down, and started losing the use of my legs. My 1st ER visit I had flatlined, after a CT scan was diagnosed with acute chronic diverticulitis. I had over 14 attacks in 18 months before they decided to do a sigmoid colectomy where they removed 4" of my colon. In those long months I could eat very little. Stay away from red meat, fresh fruits and vegetables, watch the dairy, absolutely no nuts, corn, tomatoes, spicy acidy foods/sauces, caffeine. I would make a bone marrow broth with small diced potatoes (no skin), carrots and green beans. Bone marrow is full of vitamins and nutrients which your body is craving. Try to find a liquid multivitamin to help you. Realize everyone is different. My case I had severe blockage and holes in my colon which in turn caused sepsis in my abdomen. Don't be afraid to ask questions about what is in the ingredients, that question could save your life. Stick to baked,broiled, grilled and canned chicken/fish/vegetables and fruits.

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    • Posted

      Wow Glenda you have me scared silly! Seems like this diverticulitis is deadly and crippling and cause everything I had so many flares since my diagnoses Jan 2017 with CT Scan and HUGE glass of contrast . Where is there ANY hope with this mess i'm in panic mode!

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    • Posted

      Im in the same boat. how many flares have you had since 2017? Ive had 6 and this last one put me in the hospital . im seeing a surgeon this week . I scared to eat anything but soft foods. I feel very weak and tired all the time now.

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    • Posted

      It is and can be a deadly disease. Remember I told Danny everyone's different. Apparently mine has been going on for years simply because I've never heard of diverticulitis which caused damage in my colon. I had a severe blockage and holes in my colon. I was to the point the antibiotics weren't working, because of my situation. I was having attacks every 2-3 weeks until I went in last May for a sigmoid colectomy (removed 4" of my colon). Since then it's been a journey recuperating, and because of the sepsis will take me a full year or more to heal, but the main thing is I am healing. Ask questions, don't be afraid! I still have the disease, but no more damaged colon. I will always have to watch what I eat and how much.

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    • Posted

      I had 14+ attacks in 18 months, that's why I got the surgery which saved my life. I found a power packed liquid multivitamin, ate lots of bone marrow broth and drank 1 Gatorade and lots of water which kept me going.

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    • Posted

      hi I really cannot say how many since 2016 or 2017. I didn't even know these were flares or had no idea what Diverticulitis was. I tried to reflect back yesterday on when I first felt gas regularly, diarrhoea on and off stomach cramp and it goes back to 2017 start and since then I have had pretty consistent diarreah once or twice per day (not urgent) coupled with a morning stool which was generally normally. It is only since Nov 2018 when I got a UTI and I started experiencing even more symptoms in the gut which never went away did I start to worry then on 10/1/19, bam, hit with Fever, hot and cold chills. I can only assume I had this thing for so long pretty regularly and left untreated

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    • Posted

      Been having them every 3 to 4 months...What antibiotics do you usually take and for how long? How long was you hospital and what antibiotics did they gave you through IV and which ones do you take by mouth?

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    • Posted

      in the hospital i took zosen for 3 days and they sent me home with AUGMENTIN and FLAGYL . Both were for 10 days . i only made it to 5 with the FLAGYL Its pretty awful. I had had enough with this stuff. Im feeling better and seeing the surgeon on Thursday

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    • Posted

      I would love to tell you but this site won't allow it. It does come from Hawaii, starts with a K,ends with an I. A bit pricey but well worth it.

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    • Posted

      In my case stress had a lot to do with getting the disease. As long as I keep my "zen", watch what and how much I eat I should be fine. I will have to drink fiber and milk of magnesium everyday for the rest of my life to keep myself regular. I have been able to eat foods that I haven't had in years like green salad, some red meat but still have to eat it in moderation maybe once a week. I stick with mostly baked, broiled or boiled white meat. Once in a while something with tomato sauce. I always ask for the ingredients when we eat out, better to be cautious. I stayed on a soft diet for 6 weeks after my surgery before I started exploring different foods. Because of the sepsis inflaming my stomach I still can't tolerate some foods, especially gassy vegetables. It's really all about eating healthy and exercising.

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    • Posted

      Lol.....I just know this one. Any other meds should be fine. I guess at the time they thought I was advertising it to sell, which I wasn't.

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