New to this-need advice

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I just recently got diagnosed with diverticulitis. I am 34, so the doctor was a little surprised. I was hoping to feel somewhat better by today. I am a high school teacher and the first day of school is tomorrow,but the pain seems to have gone back to the same as before I started the antibiotics. I had a CT scan Wednesday that determined that I had diverticulitis. I started Cipro and flagyl then. Then pain seemed to have been subsiding, but yesterday came back. I've been following the clear liquid diet for the most part, but have had some mashed potatoes because I am starving. Is it normal for the pain to come back like that? When does it go away? Also, I've had terrible sickly yellowish/orangish diahrea. I am assuming that is from the antibiotics? i read on here people rook priobitoics- was that during the antibiotics? What did you take? Also, what should my next steps with regards all this??

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  • Posted

    i am 46 and was diagnosed in May. For me the experience has been pretty much as you described. Even though i have been feeling a little better each week i am still having some weird little pains in my hips (alternate left and right), the area between my groin and my belly button feels like I've done a thousand situps randomly. As far as a diet is concerned, I have avoided fried foods, oily foods, anything with seeds and red meats. A lot of clear liquids for sure. Lifting or moving heavy things is also a no-no. Had a CT scan and a coloniscopy and dr says i am healing fine with no scar tissues. Also advised me that this is a "for life condition" that can be lived with and managed. To be honest i hate but am learning to live with it.

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  • Posted

    Hi Angie

    I've been trying to work out which country you are in as treatment varies from country to country. Cipro and Flagyl are very strong drugs, with nasty side effects, and kill all gut bacteria, good and bad. So they can certainly affect your bowel movements. Also you have very little solids going in which can cause pale watery stools. If you are USA based the usual course is 2 weeks and the after effects can linger on for another couple of weeks. There is usually a follow up colonoscopy after about 6 weeks, when the infection has usually cleared. If the pain does not subside or gets worse GO BACK TO THE DOCTOR. Sometimes a 2nd course of medication is required.

    I found the pain after my 1st attack took 4 - 6 weeks to go. It is very early days for you at present. I went to work (office) but sometimes just got doubled up with pain. Can you teach sitting down for the most part? This disease surprises people as it takes time and patience for healing. Think of a broken bone. It heals after about 6 weeks, but the pain lingers months (I broke my foot 3 months ago, the bone has healed but move the wrong way and it still hurts!!) Your insides may become clear of infection, but there will be lingering inflammation and internal swelling which needs to die down.

    You can try things like steamed white fish, plain white boiled rice, plain white pasta, crustless white bread and milk. Basically bland white pap in small quantities. I actually found cream of chicken soup OK. Some people have found cream of wheat OK. But it all varies from person to person. You need to give your bowels a good rest by keeping fibre to a minimum and then slowly introducing soluble fibre in small quantities (I would wait at least 2 weeks before trying this). Suggest you keep a food diary and note if and when you get pains, to see if some foods trigger symptoms.

    I didn't take probiotics but I did and do still take pure aloe vera juice daily (not the juice drink but the real stuff. It tastes revolting so I now take it in gel capsule form). It is natural healer and reducer of inflammation, used by people in the Canary Islands for centuries. The other thing of great importance is DON'T STRAIN - diverticula don't like it. It is important to keep your bowels easily emptied each day with soft stools. I take daily psyllium husk (another natural product) with lots of water, which bulks and softens stools. It was prescribed by my doctor 20 years ago and I still take it daily. There will be a generic form in your country, or there are other similar products available.

    I hope you will be one of the many people who never have a 2nd attack after the first, but you will need to watch your diet and lifestyle for the rest of your life. It's very easy to become complacent. As jo7363 says, it can be managed and lived with - I have for over 20 years, and took an active part in sport. Some unfortunate people do have multiple attacks or develop complications, but that is something you can deal with in the future if necessary, not worry about now. Best wishes.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the reply. Did you also still have bloating and feel like stuff was stuck in your throat for awhile as well as the pain? I am just wondering when to feel normal again?

      What does aloe vera do and where do you get pills?

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    • Posted


      Yes I did continue to feel bloated. I never worked out if that was a lingering side effect of the medication, or part of the healing process. It will probably take several weeks of slow improvement until you get back to normal. Aloe Vera is the sticky gel from an Aloe Vera plant commonly found in Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. Externally it is used to treat sunburn , inflammation, cuts and grazes. Internally it helps reduce inflammation and aids healing. I was a sceptic but within 5 days of taking it, my pain started to subside. Coincidence perhaps but?? You can get it online at places like Amazon or Zipvit, and most health food stores. I get the gel capsules, but you can get the pure juice and take a teaspoon morning and night.

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  • Posted

    Hi Angie,

    As MJF said, Cipro and Flagyl are very strong drugs and I fail to understand why doctors don't advise patients to take probiotics at the same time. Cipro was shown to damage the microbiome for at least a YEAR in a study (and the study only followed people for a year so who knows how long the damage actually lasted!).

    Probiotics should be taken but not within 2 hours either side of taking an antibiotic (or the antibiotic will kill off the probiotics!). Since you have finished your antibiotics take whatever probiotics you can now to help restore your healthy gut bacteria which will have been wiped out along with the bad guys. You can get all sorts in capsules plus also eat live yoghurt and/or kefir (similar but a drink) if you can. Saeurkraut also contains lots of good stuff and there is another drink called kombucha. The more variety you can take the better but do at least take something and take it for as long as necessary.

    Re the Cipro, this can sometimes have some nasty side effects that can start a few days or weeks after you've taken the tablets. If you start to get any joint pains it's wise to rest as much as you can (difficult when teaching, I know - but this may help with the tummy pains too). You should NOT take Ibuprofen (Advil) or any other NSAID painkiller or any steroids (e.g. Prednisolone) as these can actually kick off the Cipro side effects (crazy but true!).

    Hope you heal soon.

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