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Damn! I may be getting diverticulitis again!

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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-02-07 03:48 PM
Original message
Damn! I may be getting diverticulitis again!
Everything was going so well. My blood pressure is holding at 120/70, I got back to my daily treadmill workout of 30-45 minutes, and my latest cold has faded.

Now today I started having some of the same bloaty, gassy symptoms I had before with diverticulis. I don't get it; I eat a high fiber diet and excercise almost daily.

I feel like one of the whiners on SNL "We've got diverticulitis!"

Hopefully, this is a transient thing and will go away, but if not well it's back to the gastroenterologist. The best I can hope for then is a CT scan rather than another colonoscopy (last one 2005).
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crim son Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-02-07 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
1. That's harsh.
I truly hope the diverticulitis isn't back and that this is just something temporary. :hug:
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-02-07 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thank you. And good luck to you on your program.
I was reading your thread. What a disappointment. Hope it all works out for the best.

As for me, well, I have had these symptoms before and they just went away but I am now nervous because I know what it can be.

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crim son Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-02-07 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. I've never had diverticulitis but I I've had IBS in the past, and have GERD now.
Both of those can cause pain/bloating/misery. I know the fearful feeling, CTyankee.

Thank you for your well wishes.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-02-07 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I thought I mighthave IBS but the colonoscopy made it evident.
And even tho they gave me lots of anesthesia I felt the scope and complained to them. I also remember it, which you are not supposed to do.

Well, I guess I should be thankful it wasn't colon cancer!
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GenDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-02-07 03:55 PM
Response to Original message
3. Mr Gen has that
Had a bad run with it a few years ago and had to eventually have a resection done, after two hospital stays and three rounds of Cipro and Flagil.

Even post surgery, he will have an occasional flare up.

I hope you are having a mild case that will correct itself with minimal invasiveness. :hi:
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-02-07 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Oh, the poor guy! One round of that vile medicine is enough for me!
I know it can be serious if it is not attended to. I certainly don't want to take chances with my health as I try to hard to keep healthy. When I found out that I had it I also learned that it could be hereditary and I remember that my mother had had it. But she was a couch potato...

Is your husband active physically?
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GenDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-02-07 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Yes, he is quite active
And he tries to take very good care of himself, because he also has hep C. The antibiotics and pain relievers made his hep C flare up, which was not good. He uses a lot of herbal remedies to keep his liver healthy, and after the Diverticulitis he went on Lactobacillus Acidophilus to restore his good bacteria levels. Those strong antibiotics do a number on him. They also had him on Morphine and that caused him to have a little Morphine induced psychosis, which was another problem entirely. When I see him reaching for the Metamucil I always go into a little panic attack.

Oh, and his mother also has Diverticulosis -- so I'm sure that it's a hereditary thing, too.

I'm sending out good vibes to you. As a spouse of a sufferer, I completely sympathize.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-02-07 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Oh, my god. What a difficult time he has had!
I so hope for him to be better!

Diverticulosis, the condition, as I understand it, is a very common condition and not particularly a difficult health problem. Diverticulitis, on the other hand, is an infection of the diverticula that can be dangerous and lead to peritonitis, which could kill you.

However, I don't think those of us that are health conscious are going to let it get to that point!

We all have to hope for the best. :grouphug:
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AirmensMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-02-07 06:22 PM
Response to Original message
9. None of that sounds like any fun.
I hope it will go away without the gastroenterologist. :hug:
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patricia92243 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-02-07 08:05 PM
Response to Original message
10. Clear liquids ONLY for 3 days and it will probably go away if you have caught it in time.n/t
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-02-07 09:28 PM
Response to Original message
11. Please take care of yourself.
You sound like you know what you're doing, and you're careful, but please do whatever you have to do to deal with this. If the diverticulitis gets worse it could really, really cause some nasty problems.

Be well. :)
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u4ic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-02-07 09:56 PM
Response to Original message
12. I wish you the best, CTyankee
I hope it is, as you say, something transient.

It doesn't sound like anything fun to deal with. :-(

:hug:
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Jamastiene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-02-07 10:20 PM
Response to Original message
13. Sorry to hear that.
Is that something divers get? In other words, for those of us who are not enlightened, what is it?

Get well soon, hopefully.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 10:10 AM
Response to Reply #13
17. No, it is a problem in your gut.
I'm not a doctor, but as I understand it, diverticulosis is a very common condition where little pouches form on the outside of the colon. Those diverticuli are not, in and of themselves, a problem but if they get infected you develop diverticulitis. If you don't get antibiotics to cure it, it could spread and you could develop peritonitis and that is extremely dangerous. The problem is that several conditions of the colon can be causing symptoms. The doc really couldn't tell until I had the colonoscopy what it was exactly. It could have been Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) for instance.

The cure is pretty awful. The Cipro isn't a problem but Flagyl is one evil tasting pill. I tried washing it down my throat with a big slug of orange juice but I still got a vile, bitter taste in my mouth. I figured I had to be real sick to take something that powerful!
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never cry wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 08:38 AM
Response to Original message
14. I used to get it 2 or 3 times a year
Most of the time I'd just suck it up and deal with the pain and discomfort. A few times I had to see the doc and get my cipro and flagil, ugh... Then about 4 years ago I let it go too long, saw the doc, he sent me immediately for a CT scan and told me to go directly to the hospital. They did an immediate resection (the lady doc was 8 1/2 months pregnant.) After a week in the hospital the plan was to have a colomostomy bag for a couple of months or so to heal up and then rehook up the plumbing. I was scheduled to be released and upon final exam the end of my intestine that was exposed had died. The next day I was back under the knife so they could cut out the dead part and re-expose living tissue. To prep for that 2nd surgery in such a short time they pumped me so full intraveniously with some green shit I was regurgitating it up my throat. It was absolutely horrible.

So, this time the colonostomy hole was on my right side, already having a nice scar on my left. I spent 2 days in ICU and needed another 2 1/2 weeks in to regain my strength. A month of home care and 8 months with the damn colonostomy bag before they felt I would be ready for the reversal.

The reversal was a snap, 3 day stay. I've never had a recurrence since the part of the small intestine that is prone to get it is now fully gone, I can eat nuts, corn, anything. I have a foot long scar down the middle of my abdomen and an ostomy hole scare on either side.

Take care of it pronto, take the meds. As far as I know there is little one can do once one is prone to it other than avoid the foods that are hard to digest that may get stuck in the bulging pockets. A high fiber diet helps prevent more bulges from developing but they don't go away.
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NC_Nurse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 08:45 AM
Response to Original message
15. fiber is good between attacks
but you might want to go to easily digested low-fiber foods for a bit and lots of liquids and see if it passes.
I would get to the doctor next week if it's still bothering you. Cipro and Flagyl suck, but complications are worse.

I'm sorry you're having this. I have some GI issues myself. I understand how you feel. I'm thinking of you. :hug:
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. Thanks for your thoughts. I really don't feel I got enough information
after my episode with severe diverticulitis in the summer of 05. After my colonoscopy I was extremely groggy and all I got was some instructions scribbled by the doctor and prescriptsions for the Cipro and Flagyl. What you are saying is news to me! I could have used even a small, informatative brochure with some pointers in it but I got nothing. I had one phone call with the doc about the outcome of the colonoscopy (2 polyps, benign).

The funny thing is I think I had this before but didn't know it. I just thought it was trapped gas and it went away after a day or so. Even with this episode, I thought it was lactose intolerance (because at the time I had been eating/drinking lots of dairy). I wonder if I had had it before and just didn't know it because it just went away!
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NC_Nurse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #16
18. You can get breath-tested for bacterial overgrowth
and lactose intolerance. It's a simple test that takes a few hours of your time and will rule out those possibilities.
Ask your doc about it. We have a breath-testing program at UNC, they probably have one near you.

They used to recommend a low-fiber diet for those with diverticulosis to avoid trapping in the pouches. Thinking has changed on that, but I still think it might help if you are already having some inflammation.
Bloating can be caused by MANY things. We are currently doing an IBS study at UNC if you are interested. You could get the breath tests, labs, and a bunch of other tests for FREE and maybe even get paid (I think it $250), which would help with the travel expenses if you are far away.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. Thanks for the additional info! I appreciate it very much.
Here I am in New Haven with Yale Medical School right down the street and I'm not getting this valuable information. You'd think Yale would be doing the kinds of studies you refer to.

I would be interested in the tests at UNC. My only question is: is it limited to IBS, because I wasn't diagnosed with that, only with diverticulitis? Or does IBS cover a wide range of problems, including diverticulitis?
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NC_Nurse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. I think you can have both.
I don't know if a previous diagnosis of diverticulitis would disqualify you from the study or not.

I will find out next week.
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brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #16
21. I've had it for years...
and agree that information is scarce. Partly, imo, because they don't know much about it. My first attack, I collapsed and was hospitalized (in two different hospitals)for 3 weeks while they tried test after test to figure out what was going on. I wasn't allowed any food by mouth. In the end, there was no definitive diagnosis but peritonitis was mentioned. But it was a hell of a diet - lost about 35 lbs.


Five years later, another attack found me hospitalized in Canada. They immediately treated me with antibiotics and morphine and 4 days later I was back at work. At 1/5th the cost, I might add.


Two years ago, I went to the ER. (4 hours=$8200). I told them what was wrong and what treatment was called for. They still did a Cat-scan - but after they started the IV and the morphine. The Flagyl made me very sick - and I persuaded them to discontinue it 24 hrs. later. Cipro is adequate, I think.


I have found that oatmeal is a good neutral food - it'll clean you out if needed and not, if not needed. I'm not a big eater and spoke with my Nurse Practitioner who agreed that it was not necessary to eat for the sake of eating. When I feel like trouble's ahead, I try to listen to what my body's telling me and have avoided hospitalization many times over the past 30 years


Good luck to you. I really empathize!

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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Thank you. Your input is valuable.
The worst case scenario to me is peritonitis. Very scary.

I wouldn't mind the Flagyl if I was hospitalized and it was given thru an IV. And altho my diagnosis after the colonoscopy was "severe" diverticulitis" they didn't put me in the hospital, just gave the the prescription for pills. I took them for 2 weeks and was better a few days after I started them.

I was hoping to avoid reinfection just as my mother did. However, she had the resection with her first bout so that may be the reason she didn't get it again. A friend of mine recently had to go through the hospitalization and resection, but I so want to aviod it.

I was thinking that oatmeal would be a good food to eat during this time. I am cutting back on the fiber and eating bland food until I find out what is happening...
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