new to diverticulitis - how is it confirmed one has diverticulitis..??

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Hi all. Im a 46 year old male who keeps in pretty good shape and have no health issues whatsoever until  I went to hospital about 10 months ago with bad abdo pain, spent a couple of night s in there on painkillers and anti-biotics, they did a CT scan and said it 'could' be diverticulitis, and said I should have a colonoscopy when things settle down. I went to my local GP and he said it was up to me if I do the colonoscopy, so I chose not to. then about 3 weeks ago I had the same abdo pain - probably more intense this time, back to hospital again and same thing. they were a bit more certain it was diverticulitis this time - I've gone back to the GP who said I should get a colonoscopy this time in a couple of weeks once the bowel has settled down. Very frustrated that I cannot get a 100% diagnosis - 'yes - u have diverticulitis' - will this be confirmed after the colonoscopy? Im also anxious I may have something that may prevent me from eating/drinking what I want and something that by the sounds of it could flare up at any time really...How do other people manage with diverticulitis..??  Have others had a colonoscopy..?? Any tips on what should be avoided or is it different for everyone...?

Thanks in advance - Chris

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  • Posted

    Sorry to hear about your flare-ups but I think until you have the colonoscopy you won't have a definite answer.  If it is DD then it is something you have e.g. a disease and it will have to be managed.  There is lots of advice and supportive people on the site so please read away as we've all experienced various degrees of the disease and how we manage it.  Stress seems to be a big factor so looking after yourself is a top priority.  Don't forget your probiotics if you've had antibiotics to help your gut bacteria.  Good luck with the colonoscopy.

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  • Posted

    Hi when I went to hospital in May they did blood work white blood cell count was 17,000 a high normal is 10.500 so off to cat scan with contrast Doctors came back and said you have diverticulitis this is a lifetime disease I don't know why they couldn't tell you that because a cat scan totally would show it ? Do do colonoscopy then there will a certain yes or no Red meat should b avoided no fried foods lettuce anything with seeds no skin such as potatoes tomatoes and so on chicken and fish boiled or baked mashed potatoes green beans are good Everyone is different good luck Also no popcorn corn or lectums

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  • Posted

    Were you given antibiotics or any dietary recommendations three weeks ago when you had the second flare? How are you feeling now?

    I would proceed with the colonoscopy. It should confirm whether or not you have diverticular disease.  There is debate in the scientific literature and among patients and practitioners as to whether people with diverticular disease should alter their diets when they’re not having an active flare-up. The more recent guidelines suggest that no dietary restrictions are required; however, most agree that adding fiber is beneficial.

    Like you, I am 46 years old and was formerly pretty healthy until i was diagnosed with diverticulitis by CT scan in April. I had a colonoscopy in June that confirmed it. My healing process has been a slow one, and I’m still not back to 100%, but progress has been slow and steady. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Vass, the blood work and Cat Scan should of showed definitely Diverticulitis, and antibiotics may need to be longer than they had you on so you may not of cleared up the infection. Diet is so important when you have a flare. At least 3 days liquid diet to rest colon. Then soft food diet for at least 2 - 3 weeks. Are you on antibiotics? If so make sure you are on probiotics. Tylenol and heating pad. Did they do recent blood work? Or Cat Scan? You can see diet info on Mayo Clinic web site. Most people stay away from dairy products and red meat, seeds, popcorn. Work off Low FodMat diet after the couple weeks soft food diet. Yes diet is the most important thing with this disease , and de stress the mind/gut is a funny thing. Lifestyle changes are important to prevent flare ups. This is a great forum for good advice and tools. Hope all goes well, for me my Dr was clueless so had to advocate for myself and insist on what tests I wanted done, she was good about that, and referred me to GI , dietitian, and mental health to help with the anxiety and panic attacks I developed when I was diagnosed 5 months ago. As for colonoscopy yes definitely get one but not till Gut settles. Best wishes, 🙏

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  • Posted

    Hi Chris,

         As you can tell by numerous posts everyone is different with this disease!

    CT scan should be able to confirm diverticulitis. They look for pockets and “thickening” or narrowing of the colon.  However, the reason for the colonoscopy is to make sure the infection has cleared and no polyps, no cancer.  It will put your mind at ease. You should be symptom free before having it done. I had two extended episodes of diverticulitis that lasted 4 months each. I am 60 yrs old first attack was two years ago. I have always been a healthy eater with fresh fruit and vegetables. But both episodes were brought on by extreme stress. I ate very small meals frequently. I put chicken  in the crockpot with salt and pepper with baby carrots. Mashed potatoes. White toast, applesauce scrambled eggs, hard boiled eggs, baked fish. I cannot drink anything carbonated, no alcohol.

    I decided to have surgery since antibiotics didn’t work for me, made me so sick with terrible side effects. I had 12-18 inches removed April 2018. Surgery was an easy decision for me.  It was uncomplicated, no colostomy! Recovery  takes some time just learning to eat again! I still eat small meals , drink a lot of water , no alcohol and walk!

    I had mod to severe diverticulosis of sigmoid and descending colon on CT.

    Good Luck! Hope it clears fast!

    Kate

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    • Posted

      What made you decide to have surgery? Mine is Severe Diverticulosis (3 spots ) on sigmoid, and Diverticulitis induced SIBO which I’m on antibiotics for and SIBO diet phase 1. Ive only had one flare with abscess in Feb. I’m 5 months into this issue, lost 40 lbs and developed anxiety and panic attacks. What a mess. Are you better after the surgery? 
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  • Posted

    Hi I have no wonderful advice. Wish I did. Have been in pretty bad  pain for weeks. Yesterday was so severe I called GI Dr. he had me come in because now the pain was off the charts. He found I have blood in my urine and is sending me to a Urologist today. As for the DD  I had a cat scan done in ER a few weeks ago and it showed diverticulosis   Dr said that can cause pain as well as diverticulitis.  I’m on Bentyl for cramps and Tramadol if pain gets too bad. My diet has been mostlyliquids for weeks. I’m positive of this. Stress is the main cause of my problem so be sure you are aware of that. I pray we can all get better. 
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  • Posted

    Thanks all so much for the helpful advice. So it seems pretty much the causes, triggers and recovery from diverticulitis is different for everyone, and there are no hard and fast rules. This is pretty much what my doctor said - some people have one or two attacks and never have it again, others have more frequent or severe attacks that require surgery. Fibre and stress seem to be the two common themes that relate to the causes, so I'm going to look at trying to increase my fibre and reduce stress, as when I think about it I was under significant stress around the time I had my 2 episodes. I will get a colonoscopy once things settle down, reduce red meat in my diet and try excersise more. Lets see how it goes - hopefully things improve....Thanks again everyone for all the tips/advise - I hope you all are better able to manage this condition and wish you swift recoveries if you are currently having a flare up - no one wants to feel like that sad

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