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Recurrent Diverticulitis

I am very confused on what to do.  I have had several attacks of Diverticulitis in the last 4 years. I was seen in the emergency room several times and given I.V. antibiotics. My diagnosis of Diverticulitis was confirmed by many CT scans. I was hospitalized last Jan. for 5 days given antibiotics around the clock and had nothing by mouth to eat to rest my bowel. My problem is I have changed primary care Physicians several times in the last 4 years. My current Dr doesnt seem to understand how much I have suffered with this. Should I have the elective surgery to remove part of my sigmoid colon? Or should I wait until I have another severe attack? I am just recovering from an attack. I also had one about a month ago. Any feedback would be great.

NancyDuke NancyDuke 46-50 12 Responses Apr 12, 2010

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I have diverticulitis and i've had it for 8 years now. I had the colon resection done and it helped for about 5 years. I now have some back again. This time they said it was colitis. I'm not sure how your attacks are. Mine left me in the hospital for up to 10 days on only ice chips, antibiotics and colon rest. I have also been septis 3 times in the duration on this disease...while I waited to go to the doctor, tried different medications to clean me out and was just plain scared because ...EVERY time I went to the doctor. I got admitted to the hospital. If you have several attacks and been admitted to the hospital..it shouldn't be elective. They should be doing it for you health. Stay away from strawberries...any fruits with seeds. seasame, nuts and lettuce. All of those are not good for a person with this disease. I had the resection, once I healed. I was told I am brand new and can eat what I want. I love nuts and berries. Yep....they were wrong. I now have a confirmed 2 more spots of diverticulitis. Now I worry all the time that I will get an infection, or blocked up again. Not fun!!! Do the surgery and get some relief. I hope this helps.

I have always had the worst trouble going the bathroom since I was born, sometimes going as long as a month without going to the bathroom! I have tried EVERYTHING and I do mean EVERYTHING to become regular...NOTHING has worked. Well it finally caught up with me, on my way home from our annual two week vac I came down with a terrible pain the whole drive home. Thinking it was constipation AGAIN! I suffered thru and tried at every stop. As soon as I got home went to the ER and there found out I have Diverticulities 8-( and after them telling me I needed surgery and to put as much fiber in my diet as possible cuz I needed to go to the bathroom EVERYDAY. NOTHING is works and I REALLY REALLY dont want surgery!

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I to was diagnosed with Diverticulitis this past Friday evening I became really worried knowing that I have to be on a high fiber diet but what does that consist of? I was put on 2 different antibiotics, a pill for a attack of diarrhea, plus Vicodin and zofran for nausea. Right now on am just finishing up my 2 days of clear liquids and tomorrow I eat bland foods for 2 days and then I can go back to solid foods. But that worries me because I don't know what foods to eat and what foods not to eat. I guess from reading other posts it is like a trial by error. But if I can get any insight to this problem I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you for hearing my story!

Hi there, i see that your message was posted a couple of years ago but thought my info may help you my mum is a long time sufferer of diverticulitis and over the years she has treid just about everything hers is so severe she either copes with the disease or gets a bag for a stomach which no one would ever chose to have! so here some tips i hope can help you, change your diet to vegetarian stay away from all meat 100% and especialy chicken even if cooked or uncooked chicken has been left on the surface fully disinfect to avoid contamination as chicken/poultry is the worst! avoid all pips i.e strawberrys, tomatoes (take out the centre) seseme seeds ect - to help your bowl fight against any infection id strongly recommend drinking yakult daily and should you go abroad or feel an infection coming on boots have pro-biotic in tablet form which are alot stronger than the yakult - to put it simply my mum was in hospital for a week at least ONCE A MONTH! since she started taking yakult avoiding meat and pips shes been in hospital once which for her was a miracle! we recently went to egypt also and she had no problems as long as she took the tablets (obviously check with your doctor 1st that their ok for you) but when she was in an out of hospital all the time i tried to look for help and advice and wish someone would have told me this advice sooner it was just through trial and error we came across this and if your thinking you will never eat meat again i can suggest Quorn products are great (the mince can be a bit squidgy but not if you dry fry 1st) hope you find a diet to help you, my mum was also always told to take a high fibre diet but this always made her so much worse!

I suffer from this too...i get surgery on the 28th its so severe i never know what to dowith myself. I recommend getting the surgery or ull never get relief

Thank you for posting these my husband might need to have surgery and we're really worried and scared about it. I know he will prob feel better after having it, but just the surgery scares me. I will let him read these stories. I'm glad things went well for you guys. How are you feeling now since surgery has been a few months ago?

Thank you for your cheery good sense! I am going in for an op on the colon on Friday and although I have been in and out of hospital for the past few years having various operations, this time I have been really stressed and worried, probably also unbearable to live with. I was even oming and ahhing this morning until just walking started constant discomfit again and now I am 100% reconciled although still scarred! Your notes made me laugh and I can associate with them.<br />
<br />
I have been advised that I should not need a bag but have seen the nurses just in case and have a trial one to try on which I will do tomorrow just in case.<br />
<br />
Once again good luck to you all, many thanks for advice Heather

Thank you for your cheery good sense! I am going in for an op on the colon on Friday and although I have been in and out of hospital for the past few years having various operations, this time I have been really stressed and worried, probably also unbearable to live with. I was even oming and ahhing this morning until just walking started constant discomfit again and now I am 100% reconciled although still scarred! Your notes made me laugh and I can associate with them.<br />
<br />
I have been advised that I should not need a bag but have seen the nurses just in case and have a trial one to try on which I will do tomorrow just in case.<br />
<br />
Once again good luck to you all, many thanks for advice Heather

Thank you for your cheery good sense! I am going in for an op on the colon on Friday and although I have been in and out of hospital for the past few years having various operations, this time I have been really stressed and worried, probably also unbearable to live with. I was even oming and ahhing this morning until just walking started constant discomfit again and now I am 100% reconciled although still scarred! Your notes made me laugh and I can associate with them.<br />
<br />
I have been advised that I should not need a bag but have seen the nurses just in case and have a trial one to try on which I will do tomorrow just in case.<br />
<br />
Once again good luck to you all, many thanks for advice Heather

Thank you for your cheery good sense! I am going in for an op on the colon on Friday and although I have been in and out of hospital for the past few years having various operations, this time I have been really stressed and worried, probably also unbearable to live with. I was even oming and ahhing this morning until just walking started constant discomfit again and now I am 100% reconciled although still scarred! Your notes made me laugh and I can associate with them.<br />
<br />
I have been advised that I should not need a bag but have seen the nurses just in case and have a trial one to try on which I will do tomorrow just in case.<br />
<br />
Once again good luck to you all, many thanks for advice Heather

Thank you for your cheery good sense! I am going in for an op on the colon on Friday and although I have been in and out of hospital for the past few years having various operations, this time I have been really stressed and worried, probably also unbearable to live with. I was even oming and ahhing this morning until just walking started constant discomfit again and now I am 100% reconciled although still scarred! Your notes made me laugh and I can associate with them.<br />
<br />
I have been advised that I should not need a bag but have seen the nurses just in case and have a trial one to try on which I will do tomorrow just in case.<br />
<br />
Once again good luck to you all, many thanks for advice Heather

Nancy, I wish you well and hope you find the treatment that works for you best. I myself suffered my first attack in March 2010, was hospitalized, and responded very well to antibiotics. I remained cautious with my diet and felt that I had dodged a bullet. Then on Dec, 1st another attack ensued, and immediately I knew I need to get to the ER asap. did and after CT scan the docs came back with the result I already knew; though my surgeon was still not completely convinced that it was not Chrones Disease. Well after a visit from the attending Gastroenterologist, he reassured me that it was infact diverticulitus and we can treat it. He also offered that he has also suffered the same and had 2 surgeries for repair. Both docs insisted there is no complete unadulterated proof that diet even affects this, I thought to myself, "well the surgeon is chubby and obviously eats what he wants, and why did it take 2 sugeries for a Gastroenterologist HIMSELF to heal, and he admits he does not take predjudice over anything he eats." So I was admitted as I knew I would be and once again responded well to antibiotics, and felt I had snuck throught he tracks once again. My surgeon agreed to discharge me at 8 am after about 5 of my first initial days. Immediately after he left my room, the nurse aide entered to obtain my vitals, still all good. I then got up to use the bathroom and then doubled over in the most excrutiating pain. I paged the nurse and all I could say is "help....help"......and they wanted details - as if it were a bother - gosh that pissed me off! well my nurse came and found me on the floor clinging to my bed, and we were able to at least get me back on the bed.....I had ruptured an abcess, and all of this within no more than 8 minutes of my surgeon agreeing to send me on my way. The choice was made that surgery was now an absolute and at 8am the next morning I was being wheeled into ER prep. When I awoke in the after surgery ICU, I felt the BEST i had felt in years, and something told me that this surgery was the answer to my suffering. My nurses were great, then the physical therapist arrived with a walker and insisted I get up and take a few steps. She wanted me to at least make it to the chair across the room. I did, and then walked a few more steps; she was surprised and I felt empowered. I kept walking with not much difficulty and unspeakable discomfort. I was able to make 2 full laps around this ICU unit. all the nurses cheered me on and I felt victorious. One nurse approached me and asked me to give an encourging word/challenge to her patient who was reluctant to walk, I immediately stopped in front of his room and offered a challenge for later. She thanked me. well the race never actually ever took place but it seeded the attitude that I believe is necessary to heal with is simply POSITIVITY. That was a great first day for me with the encoragement and support from this great group of nurses. Then the night nurses came on and I'm not sure that between the lot of them they even had a personality. Well I ended up spending about 20 days total in the hospital with the care of many other great nurses. I had what I am told was a bowel resection, but honestly I have still not asked all the detailed questions I should have, and placed my faith in my surgeon. The wound down my belly is about the length of an ear of corn, about as wide and nearly as deep. This wound is left "open" and fitted with a sponge, sealed tightly with tape (its almost as if I am laminated) and i am now connected to a wound-vac. This vacuum is attached to tubing and continues to suck out all the yucky stuff. This method was chosen as opposed to just beeing sewn up is that it inceases the healing time by 40%. Well, I can tell you that the healing is noticeable and my wound shrinkage is impressing my home health care nurse and docs as well. It is about the size of a pair binoculars, and it goes where I go, on day and night and wherever I go, strap it over my shoulder and I am on my way. JUST MAKE SURE, AND I AM SERIOUS WITH THIS ADVICE: if you find yourself having the surgery and you find that this wound-vac is where you end up......TAKE WHATEVER PAIN PILLS YOU ARE PERSCRIBED SO THAT THEIR FULL EFFECT IS IN PLACE WHEN THE WOUND DRESSING IS CHANGED AND YOUR SPONGE IS REPLACED. TRUST ME ON THIS IT CAN BE PAINFULL, BUT YOUR NURSE SHOULD BE WILLING TO GO THE PACE THAT YOU NEED. A few days after Christmas I spent a few days with a friend which also cheered me up. Though I may have over done it and on New Years night found that I had become a vomiting machine, though not much was coming up. I went back to the ER because of dehydration and spent 3 more nights back in the hospital. Today and for the past few days I feel good. I am able to get around, I can drive, and my positive healing attitude it ressurrecting itself. Now can I recommend surgery for anyone else? I can only say that after 2 attacks in one year (i am 44), I think it was that right choice for me. I was advised that if an appointment for the surgery was made while I was not hospitalized that it would be considered "ellective surgery" and might be treated differently through my insurrance, so be advised. You will also need support. I am so fortunate that my mother has been by my side the entire time, it helps that she is retired and can. Wherever your journey takes you, you must have faith and belief that your docs are up to date on this condition, if your Primary care doc won't refer you to a Gastroentereologist or other specialitst, then refer him/her to your middle finger, and find the care that is best. It is scarey and every step seems unsure. The internet is littered with conflicting information, so its difficult to feel convinced where to turn. One of my "Angel Nurses" also advised me that will have a beakdown and just need to cry it out. I have been emotional but a complete breakdown has not yet happenened, but knowing me it will surface at some point...and i realize that is PART of my recovery. The other thing is that you will probably end up with a colostomy bag. Don't be afraid, it's not that bad, and you save money not buying toilet paper. but i must add that it is still curious that since Dec. 1, I have had zero activity from my bumm; which oddly is NOT unpleasant. SO GOOD LUCK NANCY, I wish you good health good luck and the belief that your choices are what will be best for you. I have no dietary advice as I am just still trying to figure that out myself, but I did find that I had no interest in watching the food network during most of this journey. My name is Greg again, I wish you well.