New to the site and am looking for advice and support

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Recently was very unwell and eventually admitted to hospital where they discovered via CT scan I had diverticular disease and an infection had produced a large abscess. A drain and antibiotics over 10 days seems to have cured it. Waiting to have a Sigmoidoscopy to find out exactly what caused the abscess but in the meantime - can find no one at all to ask for advice! Hence looking for a Forum.  Have been vegetarian for 32 years and have not had any problems until now.  Desperate to avoid becoming constipated as it could cause another infection.  Has anyone had a similar thing and has anyone any advice.  Am trying to deal with it by diet, obviously, but floundering a bit. 

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17 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Jan , welcome to the forum. I think the best thing is to stick to a bland diet with just a bit of fibre. Don't eat anything spicy and drink plenty of fluids to keep things going smoothly. 

    I am in the same boat, docs think it's a urine infection but the pain is in my sigmoid area. Will have to wait and see. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Designer Girl, Thanks for your reply.  I am in a bit of a panic at the moment because seem to be constipated in spite of Lactulose and as much veg as possible.  Will try what you suggest.  Hope you get on alright. 
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  • Posted

    Hi Jan sorry you have had to join this forum it is a nasty disease and one we could all do without. Another forum worth checking out if you are on Facebook is Divicular Disease Uk made up of fellow sufferers and we support and give advice when needed. Check it out I think you would find it very useful xx
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    • Posted

      Thanks for this Judy.  Have had a look; do you mean Diverticular Disease Support UK?  I have applied to join anyway. smile 

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  • Posted

    Hi Jan

    Welcome to the forum of fellow sufferers.  Until you get details of your sigmoidoscopy, I suggest you stick to the bland mainly liquid diet suggested by designergirl.  For me that meant meal replacement drinks, like Complan (to get the essential minerals and vitamins), plus yogurt (or dairy substitute) and home made blended soups and broths.  It should keep fibre to a minimum and help your insides to heal.

    Once you get a date for your sigmoidoscopy, you will be given a diet plan to follow for a couple of days - being a vegetarian you might find it difficult - then you will be put on a clear liquid diet for a day or so.  At the same time you will be given medication to clear your system, so constipation will NOT be a problem.  I posted a couple of months ago about my experiences with a colonoscopy.  Not a pleasant procedure, but it varies from person to person, and it will give you an idea of what to expect and how to prepare.  Actually clearing out the system does give it a healing boost.

    Once it is all over I suggest you look at the excellent post on diet by Julia1040, and slowly reintroduce easily digestible fibre into your diet.  Also to keep a food diary to see what if anything triggers symptoms.  Your doctor might suggest something like psyllium husk (a fibre supplememnt taken in water) which bulks and softens stools, making them easier to pass and has a laxative effect.  I get mine on prescription.  Opinion varies - some take it during an attack but I avoid until I am reintroducing fibre.

    Each of us is different, and it is a question of trial and error to find out what suits you best.  Good luck.

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    • Posted

      Hi Felinia, thanks for your advice.  Will stick to the bland diet until I've had the sigmoidoscopy. Regards, Jan

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    • Posted

      Hi Janet. Just checking to see if the twice per day dose of psyllium husk is working out for your diverticulitis flare ups? I'm a big believer of flushing out the colon regularly with it and for that reason I am pain free six years straight. Please spread the word since you told me this is also working for you. These folks do not need to suffer with this disease.

      Thank you 😊

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    • Posted

      Janet what goes in must come out. It's simple and most folks in this forum need to understand that if you keep your colon cleaned out on a regular basis your not going to get waste trapped which causes the flare ups. Bottom line psyllium husk does that for you and the only downside is you have to go more often. The surgeon I visited was the one who explained this to me and I have never been back to see him. Get these folks to understand and they will be pain free.

      Take care.

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  • Posted

    Hi my mum the same issue. DV almost 20 years. This is very common as you get older. but in her case lots of dv in the sigmoid area another problem area due to the pressure on this part of the colon. Her dv got infected with most prob with a seed but she went onto have lower tummy pains. Lots of tests and they couldn't find out what it was. We was told along the way anything from stool stuck to cancer. But all the blood tests came back nornal. The CEA, CA125 and the histology. Colonoscopy found a mass. They were still unsure. Repeat ct six months later to see any change and another to follow in March. No change so far. At the time she was very ill and lost weight and was drained of energy.

    Her ESR blood inflammation was high and it's likely to have been a perforated absess with has got all stuck down to the pelvic area. To risky to take out but seems to be ok and back to herself and back up to weight. She did have to have a bag of which she has to keep and has go use to. Not perfect but her life is back

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  • Posted

    Hi Jan. If you want to stop constipation you need to start taking the over the counter psyllium husk.

    Start taking the psyllium products like Metamucil twice daily and that will thicken your stools so you can flush your bowels regularly. You have to flush your system without any pushing and the psyllium will do that for you. If the colon is clear of fecal matter you will stop diverticulitis.

    Again, this disease is very managable and you can beat it by following simple steps of diet, exercise and stress free life.

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  • Posted

    Hi Jan. If you want to stop constipation you need to start taking the over the counter psyllium husk.

    Start taking the psyllium products like Metamucil twice daily and that will thicken your stools so you can flush your bowels regularly. You have to flush your system without any pushing and the psyllium will do that for you. If the colon is clear of fecal matter you will stop diverticulitis.

    Again, this disease is very managable and you can beat it by following simple steps of diet, exercise and stress free life.

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    • Posted

      Hello,  I was already taking psyllium husk (capsules bought from health food shop).  I continue to do so and am desperately trying to follow advice on diet also - the Dr who was in charge of my case at the hospital said, in my discharge letter, he had ordered a sigmoidoscopy (to determine what had caused the abscess) and also I would have a follow up appointment in 6 weeks.  I have had a letter telling me the follow up appointment is actually in four months and all my phone calls to hospital and Dr's secretary have discovered that the sigmoidoscopy has not been booked!   In spite of trying to follow diet advice things are not moving as smoothly as they should be.  If I ever get a proper diagnosis and any help whatsoever from the medical profession (GP or hospital Dr) I will then be able to manage the disease.  Until then I just have to hope for the best.  You mention stress free life - currently impossible to achieve!

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    • Posted

      Hi Jan

      Just a suggestion.  How about switching from the husk capsules to the soluble powder which you mix with a tumbler of water.  It will up your fluid intake and deliver the stool thickener to you more quickly.  I take it twice a day at about 7am and 6pm and it really has made a difference.  

      When promised hospital procedures did not materialise for me I went back to my GP both times and they chased them up on my behalf.  You have your discharge letter as proof the procedure was required and your GP should also have a copy.  Sadly there is no follow up by GP's and Hospitals these days to check things have been done.  We all recognise the NHS does not have the time or resources - you have to chase and push yourselves.  

      One of my procedures then took place.  I found out the 2nd had been referred to an external assessment unit (which have been in the news recently) and they deemed it unnecessary.  I was told if I wanted it done I would have to pay privately.  Unfortunately that may be necessary for you too, but I hope not.  Good luck

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    • Posted

      Thanks I'll try that. You're probably right about the procedures and lack of follow up etc. I am speaking to my GP tomorrow to ask about him chasing it up.  Cheers.

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    • Posted

      Jan try the powder psyllium with 2 teaspoons and 12 ounces of water every day. You have to spead up the food processing and start moving everything out your colon to keep it clean. Once you start doing this you will see a huge improvement and no more pain.
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