Physical exertion with Severe Sigmoid Diverticulitis

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I've been checking other posts, and haven't seen, or missed much discussion about physical activity when you have severe sigmoid diverticulitis.  I'm reaching out to the experienced sufferers for suggestions.

I was picking up dead twigs and branches in my yard, when the lower left portion of my bowel began throbbing with pain.  I stopped immediately, because I was recently told by my doctor that my "severe" diagnosis from a year ago had gotten worse (via CT scans).

I am very afraid to perform physical tasks, especially when this pain starts.

I am hoping that some folks who have lived with this for a long time, can offer suggestions on how far I should push myself once the pain starts.  Thank you.

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  • Posted

    I found that after flareups I got a sharp stabbing, burning or stinging sensation with certain movements.  These included bending, sitting, squatting.  I was never told the exact reason but I suspect the pain was caused by squashing a part of the colon that was inflamed.  I stopped doing the movements that were causing the pain immediately, and tried to amend my movements as far as possible.  For example, to pick something up, I would keep my left leg straight and stretched out behind me, whilst bending my right knee, and using my right hand on something low like a step stool to support myself.  In the evening I don't sit in a chair with knees bent, but recline with legs straight on a pouffee, or lay out of a settee.  I found as the attack subsided so did the pain, but being careful how I move has become 2nd nature.  I was always active throughout, playing competitive table tennis and walking about 25 miles a week, but these are upright exercises.  I found my ability to garden was compromised though.  I could kneel but getting up got tricky.  I would lean forward and push myself up with my hands on something elevated off the ground, like a large pot or raised bed, keeping my legs and trunk as straight as possible.  Similarly cleaning the floor became tricky, and my step stool has become my best friend.  Its just trial and error to find different ways of moving that work for you.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for the response, Felinia.  I will be more aware of my movements, and amend them so I don't irritate that area.  

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  • Posted

    Dixie, here's my experience with pain from DD: when I awaken in the a.m., I feel like a bundle of energy, but by late afternoon, my body reminds me that I have this condition, and I usually take an extra strength Tylenol to mitigate the pain that's starting. All of this tells me that I need to not push it, at least for the time being. I limit my activities and lay down for a rest every few hours. Absolutely no heavy lifting or prolonged strenuous activity. My daughter is an RN, and advised that I not try to gut through the pain without taking something for it (Tylenol) because prolonged pain causes a spike in blood pressure.  Hope this info helps you in planning your activities while you have this condition.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the helpful information, 1231Pecan.  I can see that I'll have to make changes to my lifestyle.

      I've been very active, and not afraid of taxing myself physically.  Time to slow down.  I don't like the alternative.  I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

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  • Posted

    I read the post for Felinia, and it is spot on. When I sit for prolonged periods, the discomfort returns. I'm sure it has to do with squishing the part of the colon/abdomen that is inflamed. Walking, however, is an absolute must. It helps to get everything moving without causing discomfort. Today is another good day, I'm sure as a result of my soft diet. I'm motivated to keep on with the same eating lifestyle, but I sorely miss my "real" food.

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    • Posted

      I am the exact opposite. Walking starts the pain and sitting makes it go away. This disease affects everyone differently it seems.
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    • Posted

      I am finding that walking a bit is okay, but not a lot at one time.  The same with vacuuming and other tasks .  It may depend on the extent of damage to the bowel.  I met with my doctor this morning, and told her what I was doing, based on all of the helpful information I received from the people on this forum.  She confirmed that I was doing everything right, and to keep it up so we can control this as long as possible without having to resort to surgery.  
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