Location of Diverticula

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Hello All,

  I was diagnosed with Diverticulitis with a perforation after a trip to the ER and a ct scan in Aug'17. I spent 5 days in the hospital with heavy antibiotics and the advise to eat a high fiber diet after discharge. Since then, and a colonoscopy later, I have been told I have diverticula in my transverse and descending portion of the colon.  Dr's have insisted to follow a high fiber diet, drink plenty of water, and time will only tell.

What I wanted to know is this diverticula able to continue to weaken additional areas of the colon or just stay in the area its located. Does it progress? I'm guessing yes if you don't eat right? or does it really matter what you eat? It seems from everything I read that it doesn't.

And since half my colon is affected Does this mean surgery options are limited, should that day ever come.

Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated

-Heather

 

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  • Posted

    Hi Heather,

    I diagnosed myself with Diverticulitis before coming to the Hospital. It wasn't my usual Hospital so they didn't find it amusing and I sat in the ER for 11 hrs. After the CS confirmed what I had it just allowed them to know I too was perforated. . Regardless they told me in the ER that they were prepping the Emergency Surgery Team as I had a 102.5 Fever and Sepsis was setting in! They told me it was life or death. I told them lets roll the dice. I was admitted September Saturday 11pm 23rd. They were less then pleased. I was briefly on Cipro then moved to Zosyn for the past 4.5 Days. Surviving on just Toridol, I Declined the Hydro. They then moved me from Clears to full Liquid against our mutual decision (a team of 10 and I), it went the wrong direction. 2-0 "thatguychoops." Anyway I am part of the 1% that rebounds from Anti-Biotics who is already perforated, as I expect to be discharged tomorrow, but it wasn't much fun and I had no warning. I too was advised (at 34 guessing your 43) to get a colonoscopy and see a GI specialist. Yes this is a diet issue but it's also a stress issue. If I hadn't had we'll call it "Medical Knowledge" I would be laying here with a 6-12'' Scar on my Body. For what? I can only share for me and tell you I recommend specialist #1, then a second and maybe a third. Here in the U.S we pay for our insurance but we are playing a dangerous game and it's not pleasant as I am sure you figured out. My understanding is you are now 20% more likely than the rest of the population for another attack then it goes to 50% each time there after. Doesn't mean you will have a second though. 

    thatguychops

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    • Posted

      Hey thatguychops,

      I am 43, you know your math and it sounds like you are going through a rough time as I did last month.  I, too, was on Cipro along with Metronidazole. And then sent home with the same for the next 10 days 500mg, 3x & 2x day. Now that was fun!

      I would Definitely ~ I would not go under any knife without a 2nd, or 3rd opinion. Being in the states too, living in a state that is renown for its medical facilities, I felt 1st hand what happens if I don't speak up.

      My concern is going forward. What to eat? Its like looking in the fridge, seeing all the food, and thinking if I just drink my water or eat something small I won't clogg up my colon.

      I just need to figure out a balance cause my balance right now is to consume as much water possible in between meals. But legit good meals are far and few.

      I do believe in diet helping reduce the risk but knowing on a daily basis what to eat how much to eat and when not to eat. What if all my efforts to eat better fail? I would rather be happy eat what I want and deal with the situation when it comes if it's true that nothing I do will change the outcome. I've never in my life been so concerned about how my poop comes out or sitting on the pot wondering in my head if any is leaking into my stomach if I push to hard.  A little dramatic but fact is "It's already happened" I feel as though I should already be lining up my list of Dr.'s and this is why I ask

       "Since half my colon is affected Does this mean surgery options are limited, should that day ever come?"

       

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    • Posted

      I hope you're still following this. I've been diagnosed about 6 years now (I'm 61) but really have had very minor bouts. I am in Kenya now and always take antibiotics with me just in case. Well am not feeling well. The problem is I've got the same 2 antibiotics that you were perscribed Cipro and Metronidazole and it says take with food. That is the last thing I feel like doing. Do you remember how you handled that one?  So far I think I'm ok. Don't want to try out the medical system out here. Great for malaria not so much diver

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    • Posted

      Hi Charleen,

      The antibiotics due make you a little nauseated if you don't eat. I, too tried not eating much when taking them but found if I had fluids, and a few crackers or soft foods such as scrambled eggs, oatmeal, mashed potatoes, or yogurt. Jello worked too

      I hope you feel better soon. Drink plenty of water keep hydrated also, I was taking anti naseau med's. You might need this as well

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  • Posted

    I am not a Doctor. It's a sad feeling and a lot of this for me was brought on by stress and being taken off my Psych Meds. Proven facts that Stress, too much straining, low work out ect brings it on. We have no warning some are just luckier than others. You definetley have to change something right? Definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results,

    So when you came into the ER did the Cat Scan with the DYE and was Perforated? Didn't they demand Surgery? Did you refuse and join the 1-3% that heals with Anti Biotics? Have you had follow up surgery?

    I was fine for 3 days after being admitted on the anti biotics but am now in severe pain again. Debating asking for another Cat Scan.

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    • Posted

      When I was admitted they started iv fluids. They offered pain meds and I said no. I only felt the pain if I moved so I didn't move. 45 minutes later a surgent and several inters come in tell me about diverticulitis. They said I might need surgery but they wanted to wait a little while and see if the antibiotics worked since it was my 1st

      The next days was tons of fluids, stomach checks to see if the swelling was going down, and trips to the bathroom with the nurse. The 2nd day I took pain meds and slept. Day 3... I was feeling a little better and eating ice chips. Day 4 ... better than last, drinking and eating liquids. By now I just wanted to go home I saw the Dr 2x during my stay and little to nothing was really explained. All I knew was I needed colonoscopy in 4wks. Take antibiotics and see primary next week

      Fast forward, primary tells me just eat a high fiber diet, keep hydrated, and call if your stomach hurts

      I feel as if things were not explained

      Do some people not respond to the antibiotics? Or is part of the more you have the more your body becomes immune?

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  • Posted

    That's the difference. The perforation I had was going around my back and up to my kidney and lungs they basically told me it was Surgery time, I said no. And the Hospital is a decent one. Moving forward I have made it now 6 days on only Toridol and some IV Tylenol which are not pain killers lol. But I don't knock people, I know if I was to take the Hydromorphone (popular here), Morphine ect things would have went smoother. Temporarily at least. 

    I too (since I was responsive to the anti-biotics) ate my first full low fiber meal today from the Hospital menu and am off clears and fulls. They are going to discharge me (guessing 48hrs ish) with probably Cipro and a plan on what to eat, but I say it all the time this isn't that much about diet. Some might say yes, most should say no. 

    The one thing I was told was to definetley follow up with an actual GI specialist and get a colonoscopy which at 34 is a bit bonkers but, no more chances. 

    Primary's are good for certain things but I wouldn't ask one how to do brain surgery nor would I ask them how Gastro issues work. 

    Did you get the Colonoscopy? I know I am going too! And I am probably going to let go of the Cig's

    Are you in the USA? I am wondering why more people don't speak here.

    It's called be Antibiotic resistance. It's when bacteria and other microorganisms resist the effects of an antibiotic to which they were once sensitive. Antibiotic resistance is a major concern of overuse of antibiotics. One might say a Tolerance in laments terms. I was borderline antibiotic resistance last time I was on Doxi for a skin infection. Some don't but usually if they have been on them for a long time or have low immune systems. There is no reason at 34 I should have this disease. But I also had Shingles at 21 and if you want to have fun look up Handl Syndrome. 

     

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    • Posted

      WOW,,, now your symptom's progressed further than mine. My perforation was in transverse (top) portion of my colon, almost felt like it was in my ribs. Before CT ER doctor thought I just had heart burn and was going to send me home. I refused and they sent me off for a CT scan at another hospital mind you. I jumped on the T after drinking the chalk and walked to hospital myself. What part of your colon is effected? I'm surprised they told you that much. I swear I was told minimal until they officially knew how I responded to medication aka.. antibiotics. As for pain medication, I did get morphine the 2nd day and it sure did help. I was relaxed, slept for almost half the day, and felt so much better the following day. I did not request any more but glad I did that once. It did help

      I did get the colonoscopy, confirming CT scan of diverticulitis in transverse and descending colon. I did not get any info. on how the perforation looked, only advised to repeat colonoscopy in 10yrs

      Yes, I am on the east coast I'd say GO Pat's but I'm mad at them right now for kneeling. unpatriotic

      You commented that you shouldn't have this disease at this age I agree but after talking to my dermatologist today she told me that everyone has diverticula to some degree but you don't know you have them until the ripe age when your suppose to get a colonoscopy 50+. Unfortunately, bad eating habits, constipation, and genetics play a role in how resistant your colon is.

      Shingles at 21? Did you have chicken pox vaccine when you were a kid? did you get chicken pox? I did when I was a kid, mild case.

      What's up with Handl Syndrome? That's no joke

      Unrelated or not! Before my episode last month I had been experiencing rt. foot swelling, my immune system was irritated, blood work was high, went for MRI, see orthopedic, seen rheumatologist, and diagnosis was edema. I went through 4 months of swelling and still dealing with it but nothing like it was. I think the antibiotics helped. But I'm wondering if my colon was inflamed then and just didn't know it.

      I hope you a speedy recovery chop guy!

      : ) Heather

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  • Posted

    Hey Heather,

                           I got interested in this question myself. I talked to my GP + have asked people on this site - as far as I can see it is hard to arrest the development of the disease completely but you can certainly speed it up by e.g. bad diet or not drinking enough fluids. There have been studies which show the disease is very rare in rural areas of Africa where the diet is very high fibre and low meat. In the West the disease mainly occurs in the sigmoid colon (outflow end), where the density of the stools are highest and the radius of the colon is smallest - basically these two factors mean the gut has to work super hard with very high wall tension, so the idea is that it is far more likely for a bulge to develop. Like you, I have diverticula throughout the colon. Many people suffer from the disease but have no symptoms - we are the unlucky ones I'm afraid! In the UK (where I am) they tend to try to avoid surgery if they possibly can. I think the thinking is that once you start you are on a path. Also colon surgery appears to be quite tricky for some individuals, with the possibility of complications like ulcers or scaring, so here we tend to just be given ABs and told to get on with it! 

    There are some very good discussions on this site so its worth taking the time to read through some. My own experience seems to suggest that it is very important to avoid getting constipated, but keep everything flowing fast and loose! 

    Good luck

    James 

     

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    • Posted

      James

      They were very quick to want to cut me open based on a Perforation that was heading around my back up to my lungs. We managed it (due to me declining) with Zosyn and I did the whole thing on Tylenol not Controlled Substance. Anyway 6 days later I am out today and feel just average. Did you get a Colonoscopy? Have you had any other attacks? Surgery?

      What is your experience?

      thatguy

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    • Posted

      Hey!

      Yes I read your exchange - I was really impressed you managed to push back against surgery with a perforation - I'm pretty sure I would have caved at that point! Yes, I've recently had a colonoscopy so I know I have diverticula scattered through the transverse also in the sigmoid - its probably a mixture of genetic and bad diet is my view. I also just had a bladder exam yesterday (my first - Ive no idea what its like for a girl but for a guy it has some serious comedy value! Very interesting though and not too uncomfortable).

      Just read cecilmccecil advise below which I think is excellent - if you have to have it done, get it done by guys that do it every day! 

      Ah bodies - we all live in the darn things but you only bother to find out how they work when they break!

      All the best!

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  • Posted

    Hi, I had diverticulitis and I did not even know it until my colon tunneled into my bladder and made a connection causing a 24/7 UTI from hell. I had no choice but surgery, they removed my sigmoid colon. They said that part of the colon gets the most diverticula, surprised to hear that you have it all over yours. Diet is not going to help, it is a hereditary condition, I ate nothing but whole grains and veg.

    My suggestion for you is to find the hospital that does the most of these surgeries in your area. You want the people that do it 3 times a day, not the people that have done it 5 times in their life.

    So find those people, have them in your pocket and then do whatever you can to avoid having the operation. 

    The important thing is to find the best people, then hope you never have to use them.

    I wish you the best!

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  • Posted

    Glad we finally got this thread rocking! Well I declined it because I have stared death in the face before and have been dead twice. I figured before you put a 12'' scar on me (and this hospital is known for their GI Surgery Team), I want to explore other options. Plus I know a bit about medical stuff. I agree with a lot of what was said. Poor Diet, Stress, lack of work out, lack of water ect. Prison really did a number on me and yes we are all mainly Diver, it just doesn't really rear it's head until 50+ so call it unlucky. I am going to follow up with a GI Specialist and get a Colonoscopy and POSSIBLE Laparoscopic Surgery if necessary. They sent me home on Augmentin which I can tolerate. Bottom line, stress certainly kills. But as one of you guys mentioned they were concerned because it went around my back up my chest. Regardless I am out now almost 24 hrs, feel lousy still and am fasting for Yom Kippur. After that I am going to eat. I was told Coffee and Creamer aren't good but they also disproved that seeds, nuts, beans ect were bad as well. So it's a roll of the dice with a lot of medical things. But yes doing this without any Narcotic Pain Medication was Hell, but when you have been there and stayed a few months it seems like it was a walk in Central Park. New Yorker here. Glad we got a dialogue going.

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