Now I'm becoming a hypochondriac!

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I'm 67 years old with a history of gout, kidney stones, high cholesterol (which I finally agreed to take meds for following a mild stroke) and now, the most recent, diverticulitis! I'd been taking steps to keep the other "conditions " in check by following food guidelines, walking, etc. Now the diverticulitis! I was already suffering from health anxiety...thinking of myself as a sick person, now I'm even worse! I try to tell myself that my conditions have been mild and that I can still live a long life, but there's always something to worry about! Regarding the diverticulitis, my biggest fear right now is wondering when its time to go to Dr/ER. I had a mild flare in March so took antibiotics, but then noticed a burning sensation lower left shortly afterwards that has been intermittent. The last couple of weeks my bowel habits changed to being more constipated (hard/dry) and this week discomfort and bloating was unmistakable, which is when I wound up going to Dr and having a CT scan. Should I have gone in with the burning sensation? I feel like I'd be going in 3 out of every 4 weeks! Taking antibiotics now, and having regular bowel movements, but I still feel incredibly bloated and never feel "emptied". Is that common? I'd very much appreciate everyone's input. Making myself crazy here and it's affecting my quality of life. So sorry for rambling.

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  • Posted

    I wanted to add, also, that I am terrible about drinking. Probably don't get more than 16 ounces of water (or liquid) per day. Could that likely contribute to flares?

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  • Posted

    Hi

    It's very common to get pain for weeks or even months after a flare, so what you are describing is not unusual at all.  Also the bloating and not feeling empty.  But I suspect you are contributing to your problems, particularly your constipation by not drinking nearly enough.  You should be aiming for at least 2 litres a day (8 mugs).  (Water, tea, coffee - preferably decaf).  Also for your bowel movements, I suggest you take the stool softener and bulker psyllium husk, which can be found in Fybogel (UK) or Metamucil (USA).  The powder is mixed with 12 oz water and drunk immediately before it thickens.  I take 1 a day first thing, and sometimes again in the evening if I feel a bit constipated.  It also has a mild laxative effect and is considered safe for long term use.  It is very gentle and takes a couple of weeks to become effective.  It's not a "bomb" like most laxatives.  Straining to go is NOT good for DD sufferers.

    Coming to grips with DD is difficult and can be scary.  You are already taking measures to deal with your other medical conditions, and might have to tweak a bit.  There are foods which can trigger diverticular pain, but each of us is different so you'll have to find your triggers.  Best way is to keep a food diary and note if certain foods cause pain up to 24 hours after.  My triggers are gluten, wheat and full fat.  For others it can be dairy, red meat, nuts, seeds, popcorn - all sorts, but not all at once.  One member reported the combination of peanuts and beer was his problem, and another that strawberries and cream affected her.

    If you feel you are starting a flare or are having one, stick to fluids only for a few days, then slowly start back on low residue food (no fibre) ie mash, steamed fish, before slowly reintroducing soluble fibre back into your diet and building up.  If it worsens, that is the time to call the doctor.  Many people have reported that by taking dietary (ie fluid) action at the first sign of trouble, it can head off a full flare.

    Like you I am 67 and have numerous minor niggling problems - DD, high BP, high cholesterol, hiatus hernia and joint problems.  But I try not to let it stop me living life to the full, with a bit of dietary care and a walking stick!  Good luck

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    • Posted

      Thank you, Felicia. I have been taking Miralax (Dr approved) long-term and generally have at least 3 easy bowel movements daily, so don't know why all of a sudden there was a problem. I am thinking, however, that my recent bout of hard/dry stool triggered this episode of diverticulitis. Make sense? Due to the fact that I eat pretty much the same foods all the time (because of my other medical conditions), I doubt it's food related. I don't eat popcorn or nuts but have eaten blackberries and raspberries every morning for years, so wouldn't think that would matter. Could it ALL be from lack of hydration? Thanks in advance.

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    • Posted

      Hi - Just reading your blog (great name by the way!)

      Just wanted to concur with you that for me also there is a link between an attack and subsequesnt smaller, harder stools. 

      Water super important apparently  - the goal appears to be, large soft stools with fast gut transit times a la Felina's advice ....writing this has just reminded me I'd better drink another pint (of water)!

      Best

      James 

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    • Posted

      If you've been straining it might have contributed. Perhaps not all, but add the lack of fluid.  Is there anything out of the ordinary you have eaten - a bought food or something cooked for you?  Also has it been hotter than usual, contributing to dehydration?  I must admit I can always put my finger on what I have eaten that caused my flares, so am otherwise at a loss.  My DD, although severe, seems to be more straightforward and manageable than a lot of members.  This doesn't help you though.  I hope someone else on the Forum can come up with more suggestions.  Best wishes.

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  • Posted

    Hello.. time to get rid of the Scaredy bit ,and develope your sense of humour,, which you seem to be hanging on to... Constipation is a bit of a nightmare, but easy to sort, with Lactulose . your doc can prescribe it ,or, you can buy it  "over the counter " as they say. I drink favoured spring water, far nicer than tap water, You can tell if you are drinking enough, because what goes in,, comes out. Doesn't really matter what you drink (NOT BOOZE) just get into the habit .Bodies have to be soaked inside. makes them feel good..

    I feel that I have to have a board meeting with my body on a fairly regular  basis. to check if anything needs attention,,  we all have dodgy bits ,and more occur but my attitude to them is to ignore them and not to dwell on whatever has decided to cause hiccough, I stopped taking prescription drugs ,purely because the side effects made me feel awful most of the time ,,,and now I don't  I do take Acidophilus for my D.D and  vitamis and minerals to keep all the other bits happy. Eat like a horse,,, GRAZE ,rather than stuff, your guts can cope with a steady flow . Do you eat bread,, ? that is my Bloater,,, except Warburtons thins ,,no probs with them. NOW..... stop stressing,,,, not good,,,, and start drinking,and get the refuse removed ,cheesygrin eek

    Jacqueline

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  • Posted

    Sorry about the FAVOURED water ,,should be flavoured ,probably mis-spelling because  my brain is water logged..!!!!

    Jacqueline again,,,

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  • Posted

    Dear Scareddcat,

    There are two things you have to get and keep with this disease. A smile and a sense of humor. Without these you have a miserable future ahead of you. Looks as though you are managing on both counts. That is very positive.

    Listen to Felinia. She has very good advice. I wish I had known about her and this site before I got so bad that surgery was my only option. I can give you advice but most of it will be the same except from a different angle.

    I am US based and the treatment is a bit different but one thing remains the same. We have to be responsible for our own care. The docs don't seem to know enough here or in the UK. This forum will be a life saver for you even if you don't need surgery but if you do they will be there as well.

    Take care and keep us up on your condition. Post your care on here. You never know who else it will help. With this being said...don't forgo your doctors care...they are very necessary in your healing

    All the best

    Lucy

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  • Posted

    Hi ,again,, forgot to tell you to get on the DIVI DINERS forum,, three years of help, nice people and lots of smilies. I KNOW,, I started it

    Jacqueline x

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    • Posted

      Hi Jacqueline. Please tell me how to access Divi Diners forum as my brain fog won't  let me find it!!

      Moira x

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    • Posted

      Hello. Fog is Good I'm a member of that club... Go through Googe just type DIVI DINERS there is a choice but stay with DIVI DINERS once you are in you can use the patient access.  See you soon 

      Jacqueline

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    • Posted

      I found it on Google but when i click on the link I get " This page can't be displayed"... I'm going to leave it now and try again tomorrow!

      I've had a couple of rotten days and getting fed up and frustrated ! It's 6 weeks tonight since I got admitted to hospital and thought I'd be recovered and back to work but no! I'm finding advice on here a life saver ... just wish I was " back to normal".... will I ever be that again with this DD???

      Good night, all. xx

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    • Posted

      Right ,,, lets go through this ,,"Listen carefully, I shall say this only ONCE""

      forget who used to say that.

      Google DIVI DINERS,,,it will bringit up .The very top line says

      DIVI DINERS I Diverticular I Patient.

      Click that ,and it will bring it up. Start reading from the beginning,and you will recognise some of your fears,  and similar symptoms,then just reply to any of my posts that says ,,,reply,,, then you will be in.. don't forget to press "follow this discussion xxJ

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