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Help! At my wits end. Just been diagnosed after being in hospital. Just finishing a course of antibiotics. Eating bran, prunes, drinking loads and worried sick that my bowel will never work normally again. Too scared to leave the house for a walk if I need the loo. Also return to work as a rep so scared about being out on the road. At the moment I do t feel like I need the loo, will everything return to normal?

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  • Posted

    Hi Leonie

    My sympathy - we on this forum have all been through what you are going through, and you will start to feel better.  I was diagnosed 15 years ago after going to my doctor then hospital with severe pain and rectal bleeding.  Since then I have had just 4 flare ups (latest one 5 months ago) and have lead a normal active life including playing sport and walking.  If you scroll through the posts and threads over the last month you will find them full of helpful information.

    Several important questions:  a) are you UK or USA based, b) how were you diagnosed, c) what advice, if any were you given?

    Hopefully you have had a CT scan and/or a colonoscopy, or are scheduled to have them, to confirm the diagnosis.  I posted my experience with both just over a month ago, the important part being how to prepare for them, which is common to all.

    I suspect if you have just finished the antibiotics your attack was 7-14 days ago, and you have been told to drink loads and eat plenty of fibre.  Your insides will take time to recover from the infection and inflammation, so that means your pain and bowel problems will also take time to subside.  This is common with this disease.  It can be a couple or weeks, or sometimes longer (if the disease is more severe).  I recovered quickly after my first attack, but now I am older, have more Diverticula, and it takes longer.

    Most of us have found that after an attack, we stick with a liquid diet and NO fibre at first, then slowly introduce easily digestible fibre back into the diet.  I'm not a medical person, but I suspect from my own experience, and what others have reported, you might be trying too much fibre, too soon, making your bowels work hard before they have had a chance to recover.  I suggest you look on this forum for a post from Julia1040 who has written an excellent list of what to eat and when, with others chipping in their experiences.  I also recommend that after you start to eat fibre again, you keep a food diary and note what items cause problems.  For me it is gluten and full fat.  For others it is nuts, seeds, pips or popcorn.  Everyone is different - no bog standard solution for all.

    I don't know what medication, if any, you have been given apart from the antibiotics.  What the majority of us swear by is psyllium husk, a natural product.  I get mine in a mild orange flavoured powder which is mixed in a full glass of water and gulped down before it turns into a gel.  It is a soluble fibre drink which softens and thickens your stools, making them easier to pass.  I was never regular before, but now go like clockwork, an hour after getting up. Another member on this forum who suffered a recent attack has reported that the bowel movements (BM) are getting better since starting this regime.  In the UK I get mine on prescription from my doctor, but it is also widely available online.  Two common brand names are Metamucil (USA) and Fybogel (UK) but there are others as well.

    What I and others also take is PURE Aloe Vera juice (not the juice drinks), just one tablespoon morning and night.  Again, easily sourced online, health food shops and even some supermarkets.  I can't give names of suppliers, as the moderator on this site will remove them.  Something else I take are probiotic drinks.  I've only been on these additional juices for one month but my pain started to ease within a few days, and I am now pain free.

    It may not seem like it at the moment, but you will start to feel better and regain your confidence.  Hopefully you can use the holiday period to start to get things under control, and the urgency will decrease.  Being on the road you may need to work out your loo stops in advance - Motorway service stations and supermarkets are my favourites!!  

    I'm happy to answer any questions you may have, and suspect you will probably get lots of advice from others as well.  Best wishes

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    • Posted

      Thankyou so much for this. I felt my life was over. In hospital the consultant never said about liquid diet. So of course I've been eating, bran, prunes, jacket potatoes etc! Had two sachets of laxido and of course the next day went to the loo about 10 times. But next day nothing! And today bran flakes, prunes and loads of water! Omg wish I'd been told to stick to liquids. Holland and Barrett recommended slippery elm capsules. I'm going to ask my Dr about colonoscopy . I'm so bloated I feel like I'm going to explode. When I do manage to go it's like tiny amounts and no feelingsad is that normal? I'm so glad I found this site and Thankyou for your support

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    • Posted

      Hi Leonie

      So I guess you are in the UK.  The retail chain store you mentioned is where I get my pure Aloe Vera juice.  

      I looked up laxido and it is a name for polyethylene glycol, a laxative (no surprise there!!) and is also the main ingredient in Movicol, one of the laxatives they use to clear you out for a colonoscopy.  It does what it says on the tin - clears you out!!  It is usually prescribed for constipation and to remove impacted and hard stools, according to the Internet.  The other side to the story though, is that an empty bowel that has nothing to work on has a better chance of healing quicker. so there would have been some reasoning for taking it.  

      I also looked up slippey elm capsules, and it is used for many things, including protecting the internal workings of DD sufferers, also IBS sufferers and can trigger abortions!  The Aloe Vera juice and probiotics I mentioned do the same thing.

      I had a colonoscopy and 8 days later a CT scan, so went through the prep twice in that time.  I suggest you read my post on Colonoscopies and Diverticular Disease last updated 5 days ago.  I can't be examined properly with a colonoscopy, hence the CT scan, which is apparantly not quite so definitive, but more than clear enough to show up Diverticular Disease.  The advantage of a colonoscopy, unpleasant though it is, is that it can remove polyps before they become a problem.  It took my tummy a good 10 days to settle down after that assault on it, with bloating and urgency but no results.  Also those are symptoms of an attack as well.  So yes, what you have felt is very common.  If you think about it, doesn't food like bran make you feel bloated normally anyway - it does me!

      What I take as a liquid diet, is meal supplement drinks, chicken consomme, apple juice, tea, plain yogurt.   You get the idea, and as you can see, no fibre.  When I reintroduce fibre I do it in the form of home made, well blended vegetable soup, sloppy porridge, vegetable puree in small portions, white bread, boiled rice, steamed fish.  I build up from there.

      So it will probably take time for you to settle but you will get there slowly.  You will find the psyllium husk (Fybogel), once you are ready to start taking it, much gentler and more natural on your system than Laxido, but of course you should discuss this with your doctor, or Nurse Practitioner/Dietician.  As I said before, I am actually prescribed Fybogel by my GP.  In the meantime I found rest, a hot water bottle and a suitable painkiller (depending on your medical history) as effective as anything.

      This is funny old disease - at times no fibre which seems contrary to medical opinion, then lots of fibre, but the right sort.  Jacket potato skins come under the heading of hard to digest, and things like nuts and seeds whilst good for you normally, can get trapped in the Diverticular and set up the inflammation and infection.  My blender has never worked so hard.

      As they say, time is the great healer.  All the best.

       

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    • Posted

      My e.r. never gave me diet restrictions after being released with a diagnosis of diverticulitis. I had 2 more flare a after that. I learned from here to do a liquid diet for a few days then do a soft low fiber diet to give you colon a nice break. It very small portions as well. Sorry you had to join the club but these forums are life savers. Also Felinia is amazing. She has helped me a lot
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    • Posted

      Hi Hollie

      Thankyou so much. Yes nobody told me about liquid diet and I've done the complete opposite. When hopefully it all settles down can. You eat fairly normally. It's just we are going away to stay in a hotel in a couple of weeks and wondering if I have to stay on strict diet forever. Yes fillinia has been amazing with her advice and everyone else. So glad I found this site and such lovely people

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    • Posted

      I never went back to eating the large portions I was doing. When I do over eat I feel sore on my side. It has taken almost 8 months tonno longer feel pain here and there on my side. Dr said it is scarring and it is normal to take up to a yr to completely heal from an attack. When you are away make sure you keep your bowels moving I only say that because when I go on vacation I can't go to the bathroom. Eat light and you should be fine.

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    • Posted

      Felinia so you are advocating not to be on the psyllium husk during an outbreak? I believe they should be on it during an outbreak to make sure they are speeding up the processing of waste through the colon. If the colon is free of waste the healing processs should be expedited. What do you think.
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    • Posted

      Thanks Hollie

      That's good to know. My worry is when I return to work next week as I'm a rep and the nearest loo isn't always easy to find. Yes I'll eat smaller and properly . I'm going to see my gp tomorrow to see if she will prescribe fybogel .

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    • Posted

      Interesting, so are you going to the bathroom a lot because of your flare? I'm the opposite I have a sluggish bowel.. always have. I thought it was normal to go once a week. I have to work hard to go every day now. I walk around the block every morning. I am a stay at home mom but I can understand your feelings about going to work when you aren't feeling back to you old self.

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    • Posted

      Hi Hollie

      It's mixed about bathroom. Yesterday nothing but today about 8 times but tiny very soft(sorry for info) it's worrying for me as don't feel I need to go. I think it's the volume of bran, prunes, fruit etc. just want to feel normal again. I'm a vegetarian so live on fruit and veg. I was put on amoxicillin last month for a chest infection and gp has said has aggravated my bowel. My own fault as well for not drinking enough when out on road and not going to the loo when I felt the urge.

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    • Posted

      Hi

      I'm not sure about this.  I avoided all fibre when I had the flare, including the fibre supplement, and just stuck to fluids.  By then I was pretty empty anyway!!  I reintroduced the psyllium with the fibre.  But I do see your point.  Perhaps if I'd kept taking the husk, I might have recovered a bit quicker.  Here's hoping I don't need to try and find out for many years lol!!

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    • Posted

      Hi Leonie

      I too am off on holiday shortly.  I always choose my hotels very carefully, and opt for those which do buffet meals.  That way I can control what I eat and my portion sizes.  At home you know what goes into meals, but you can't tell with outside meals - it's often drowned in oil or full of gluten, which are big NO's for me.  That normally means I eat a lot of salads when I'm away and ask for the dressings on the side.  Last year the hotel only did a set menu, so I contacted them first and explained my needs.  Fortunately they were very accommodating.

      This also extends to eating out at home.  We go to a local restaurant where the chef is a friend and happily caters for me, although I am careful about what I select.  Also when I eat at friends they are good about checking first with me about what I can and prefer not to eat.  

      As for being on a strict diet for ever, I would say you will have to be careful.   I don't think there's a dieter in the world that can stick to a strict diet without the occasional slip!  You will soon learn what you can happily eat, what you can eat in small quantities, and what triggers symptoms.  If you are like me you will automatically start to avoid things which upset you.  I hope you enjoy your trip.

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    • Posted

      Hi Leonie

      I suspect your self diagnosis, and your GP are spot on.  I had the same problem with antibiotics after a bladder infection.  I do understand how difficult it is not to want to drink too much when you don't know where the next loo is - a fault of mine as well.  

      It seems so unfair when we eat healthily with lots of fruit and veg, we end up with this disease, but sometimes it's just the way we are made.  I knew from the age of 14, when I first had bladder problems, that I wasn't made quite right inside, but had no clue what it would lead to 50 years later.  And sometimes as 52331 says, it's the actual diet that causes the problem.

      We can only all reassure you that things will settle down.

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    • Posted

      Hollie are you kidding me once per week? Psyllium will speed up your processing and if you take it twice per day you will start going several times per day. Think about this for a minute, if the colon is clear do you think your diverticulitis will come back when the colon is emptied out? What happens when waste sits around for a long time? You have to get the bowels working overtime my dear. Your body is like a fine tuned engine and when the engine is running smoothly it's at its best. Get your bowels activated and keep it that way. Once you do this your going to be pain free.

      Good luck.

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    • Posted

      I stayed on it during my last flare years ago. It kept me regular and my colon cleaned out which I believe was a faster healing time. Think about this a dirty infection takes longer to heal than a clean one right. So if you have an infected area that is clean the time for it to heal should be much faster.
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    • Posted

      Sorry I meant before I met my husband lol I thought once a week was completely normal. He would tell me no you need to go more but nothing seemed to work. Then I started working part time and drinking coffee while driving to work always got my colon going do I started having a bowel movement 5x a week.. would not go on weekends.. I worked for 6yrs and quit to stay home with my children and my bowel movements went back to nothing!!!!! And a few months later I'm in the e.r. I absolutely agree that movement is key to not having flares. I got my psyllium and just started. I was having to do apple cider vinegar every morning with warm water and that helped but idk how good that is for you long term

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