Why the reluctance to recognize and treat diverticulitis?

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For example, I went to the ER three weeks ago with symptoms. Severe pain in left side but no fever. They did a CT scan. The doctor came in and told me I did not have diverticulitis then sent me home with prescriptions of flagyl and cipro. Which we know are used to treat diverticulitis. Things that make you say huuuuummmm. Easter Sunday night I went to a different ER where my old GI doctor practiced. I was admitted and immediately and put on IV antibiotics. I've read here that many doctors treat like we are crazy or have Munchausen's disease. Why is this? Please talk about your experiences.

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  • Posted

    I am living in Melbourne, Australia so in some ways meyexperiences may not be relevant to this group. After coming home from hospital however on my third admission I started to look for a support group to understand and manager this disease. I have been encouraged by the posts that I have read in this forum. I was diagnosed with diverticular in 2008 (51 yrs then) by coincidence when I was sent for a CT Scan in response to my concerns about changed bowels habits. I had 2 small episodes in 2009 which were successfully treated with antibiotics and bed rest. Then I had forgotten all about the condition until 2012 when I had two more severe episodes-(3 months apart) with cramping and high fever. The Diverticulitis was diagnosed each time, and i was sent home for bed rest, antiobiotics and Flagyll. I had a week off work each time but the condition improved within 48 hours of antiobiotics. Then in late 2013 I had the most severe episode with strong painful cramping, fever, and diahorrea. We called for the night doctor who sent me by ambulance to the local private hospital - (i have good private health insurance) - and I was admitted to hospital for the first time, with diverticulitis confirmed again by CT-Scan - (no other nasties like bowel cancer, no abcesses or fistula) - and i was put on intravenous antibiotics and strong painkillers. I was in hospital for 4 days and sent home with 5 days of Flagyll and Keflex (I'm allergic to penicillin). Again a week off work. My next  episode was in April 9th 2014. I went to the GP who was concerned with the level of fever and the cramping was intense. I was sent to the emergency department and admitted again - same procedure as last time with a 3 night stay, 7 days off work....and then on April 22 the cramping , (no fever)started again, the GP and I both panicked and I was readmitted for 2 nights intravenous. However this time there were no infection markers in the bloods taken just infammation. I refused to go home with the Flagyll - (which I do not tolerate well) - and I am now  adjusting to a level of discomfort, light cramping but no fever. Thankfully I am between employment and have a couple of weeks at home to rest.

    I am interested to know if any other people believe there is a link between episodes of infection and stress, as i can say that each of mine have occured during high levels of work stress. I am committed now to ensuring that I am manging my work stress better eg only doing my 8 hours, taking my monthly rosterd day off, and not trying to be all things to all people.

    I am deeply concerned that i will continue to get frequent flare ups which will make holding down a job difficult. 

    My specialist has talked to me about the surgery to remove the worst part of the s colon but this is major surgery and has several risks involved. As I am a healthy 57 yr old I am reluctant to take the risk.

    I have found that all the doctors I have consulted do take the condition seriously, but they are rather flippant as there is nothing they can do - unless of course you end up with a bowel blockage, a rupture or perionitis - then they get the green light and go all out! My doctor said that surgery for this condition use to be more common but now it is "out of fashion", as they have drugs that treat it well.

    I am being reviewed in 2 weeks time and I will discuss the surgery option again and perhaps plan for it in the future.

    In the ,eantime my hospital bag is packed, i take my temperature regyularly as I have been told fever is a strong indicator and trying to get the right amount of fibre/ and fluid into my diet.

    I think it is disappointing if you are experiencing doctors who are disinterested as it is a miserable condition. However last time I was in hospital I was on the cancer ward and I felt very grateful to have my condition and not theirs. Goodluck sidelites46 - keep going to your empathetic doctor. Cheers,

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    • Posted

      Read, research, read, research and read some more.   There are many ways treat diverticulitis.  You must take charge of your healthcare.  I have fired more doctors than I can count.  Don't know if you have this luxury in Australia.  At least insist on gig a specialist. GPS are not knowleable enough ti treat it.  I knew the ER doc at the fist hospital was wrong.  It took the horrendous pain a few days later to call my gastro doc.  

      Also, so, this a killer disease.  It is extremely dangerous which makes the lax attitude even more disturbing. 

      Again, in, spend a lot of time on Google.  Gently and cautiously suggest treatments, prevention and surgery with your specialists

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    • Posted

      Hello stranger, glad to hear you are O.K--ish Did you ever take the probiotic capsules ???? they have worked really well for me over

      two years, just had that hiccough last September ,  when I had an abcess, that burst but the infection stayed local seemingly I was a whisker away from theatre I blame my best friend for it, I went and

      stayed with her for a few days, and the wine and Baileys were

      flowing.since then .nothing ,as usual.   

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  • Posted

    You are absolutley right. They (GP's) are just dismissive - "millions of people suffer" and ,I'm sure that because its not viable, it's not taken seriously. One is extremely lucky to get a referral (costs being the implication) but, even then the Consultant (certainly in my case) after diagnosis, suggested no follow-up telling me to manage my own routine. They talk about DD in the same way as they talk about IBS.  It is just not the same.  DD is a disease of the Sigmoid. We all know what happens in acute cases.
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  • Posted

    My Mom had this problem a few years ago and we spent over two days in hospital before getting a confirmation.  We live in Toronto, Canada.  My brother just now is going through the same issue--why won't they keep people in hospital and tell them what the issue is while they are on morphine and anibiotics?  He lives close by in Welland, Ontario.
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