Living with diverticulitis

Posted by marshelly1 @marshelly1, Dec 17, 2020

How do I keep this from coming back? My Dr. Has no solutions, and I wish I could be more aware when it will flare up.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Digestive Health group.

Hello @marshelly1 and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I am sorry to hear that you are bothered by diverticulitis. This is a painful disorder to have to deal with. I am somewhat surprised that your doctor has not given you much help in preventing these flare-ups.

Keeping constipation at-bay is very important to prevent more flare-ups. The diet during a flare-up should be rather low in fiber, often a liquid and/or soft diet, along with prescription anti-biotics. Bed rest will also help you at this time. However, once you are over the flare-up then it is a good idea to keep fiber in your diet in order to prevent constipation. It is a good idea to find a chart of foods high in fiber and start to very slowly adding fiber to your diet. Keep well hydrated include a lot of liquids (non-caffeinated). Often there will be certain foods that you may find will trigger a flare-up. You might consider keeping a journal of foods and see if there are any that are triggers. Often the use of fiber supplements (like Metamucil) and stool softeners (like Miralax) can also be added to your high fiber diet.

Here is some information from Mayo Clinic's website about diverticulitis, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diverticulitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20371758. I would encourage you to read the article. It talks about fiber, exercise, liquids, etc.

You don't mention how many diverticulitis events you have had? I'm wondering how they have been treated.

I would like to hear from you again. Will you post with a little more information?

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@marshelly1 I'd like to extend my welcome, along with @hopeful33250.

I found a previous discussion related to diverticulitis. I have linked the discussion below.
– Diverticulitis https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/diverticulitis-1/

You may wish to scroll through the previous comments to find previous suggestions.

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Diverticulitis SUCKS! Ended up having 5 surgeries in 13 months due to it. Early on, when I would have flare ups, just had to do clear liquids. A heating pad on the abdomen can help with the pain

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@marshelly1

Same. Has the surgeries helped?

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Yes! Ended up with Deloyers Procedure. I think that they removed about 2 1/2 feet of large intestine. Still sticking to mostly low residue diet.

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@hopeful33250

Hello @marshelly1 and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I am sorry to hear that you are bothered by diverticulitis. This is a painful disorder to have to deal with. I am somewhat surprised that your doctor has not given you much help in preventing these flare-ups.

Keeping constipation at-bay is very important to prevent more flare-ups. The diet during a flare-up should be rather low in fiber, often a liquid and/or soft diet, along with prescription anti-biotics. Bed rest will also help you at this time. However, once you are over the flare-up then it is a good idea to keep fiber in your diet in order to prevent constipation. It is a good idea to find a chart of foods high in fiber and start to very slowly adding fiber to your diet. Keep well hydrated include a lot of liquids (non-caffeinated). Often there will be certain foods that you may find will trigger a flare-up. You might consider keeping a journal of foods and see if there are any that are triggers. Often the use of fiber supplements (like Metamucil) and stool softeners (like Miralax) can also be added to your high fiber diet.

Here is some information from Mayo Clinic's website about diverticulitis, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diverticulitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20371758. I would encourage you to read the article. It talks about fiber, exercise, liquids, etc.

You don't mention how many diverticulitis events you have had? I'm wondering how they have been treated.

I would like to hear from you again. Will you post with a little more information?

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I think 3 in the last 2 years. Treated with pain meds along with anti biotics the first time. Same the second time but asked for and got a second 10 day of antibiotics. I just still did not feel well. Currently I'm on the 9th day of my 3rd flare up. Asked this time also for more meds and Dr. has not gotten back to me. Since first outbreak, strictly sure of 30 grams of fiber a day. I Quit Smoking. I currently am scheduled for a hip replacement. I just would like to be normal before the 24th… My hip deal is on the 31st. I wonder if my problem may have anything to do with scar tissue from an emergency appendectomy in my 20's the scar is very big. I don't know. Yes I've had a colonoscopy this year.. All good.

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After my second surgery to take down the temporary colostomy, the adhesions caused a blockage in my small intestine. The opened me back up on day 10 in the hospital but couldn’t get to the blockage. Went home after 17 days on PICC line and TPN for nutrition. This was 8/18.
By end of Nov, back in ER with diverticulitis. Went home on antibiotics. Back in and admitted 12/13. They let me go home 12/20 for Christmas, clear liquids only. Deloyers procedure 1/7/19. 5th surgery 3/1/19 to work on area around colostomy incision because it was buckling up. It was a Loooooong year and a half!

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I just had my first attack with abscessed diverticula. The doctors said if it ruptured they would have to do surgery and I would be on a colostomy bag. That sounds wrong. If that happened in the ER would the colostomy be reversible? Should I go to another hospital that knows about colon resections? Should I consider preventative surgery?

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@coppee

I just had my first attack with abscessed diverticula. The doctors said if it ruptured they would have to do surgery and I would be on a colostomy bag. That sounds wrong. If that happened in the ER would the colostomy be reversible? Should I go to another hospital that knows about colon resections? Should I consider preventative surgery?

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Coppee
My first diverticulitis attack was 12 years ago. I ended up going by ambulance to the hospital bleeding profusely from my behind. Awful experience. I ended up needing blood transfusions couldn’t
raise my head due to losing so much blood. Spent four days in the hospital and they did a colonoscopy on me when I was there which was not fun. They came to the conclusion that I must’ve had a thin area in my colon due to diverticulitis.
Since then I had only had I think two or three attacks through the years and was put on Cipro and Flagyl each time. Nasty medicines. Made me so sick each time.
Then I was fine up until February 2022 and then I had nonstop flareups for three months with taking that nasty medicine each time. So after five trips to the ER and double medication‘s since the middle of February I pushed to get my colonoscopy moved up in April which showed a diverticulitis that was resolving. I continued having flare ups until I set up a sigmoidectomy at the beginning of June. My surgeon said that I had a smoldering area of diverticulitis in my sigmoid colon. After my surgery they did a pathology report on what they took out and said it was still infected and trying to abscess but there was no cancer. I can’t believe after all those antibiotics and pain and ER visits that nothing was resolving. Very frustrating. I am about 4 1/2 weeks post op for my surgery. I have my good days and my bad days but I am so happy that I had the surgery. It was totally the right thing to do. It never would’ve gone away and I would’ve just kept getting sicker from all the medications they were giving me. I didn’t want things to get so bad that I had to have emergency treatment. But for what I have heard is that they never know for sure if you will have a colostomy bag until they actually get in there. As long as they have two good pieces of area to stitch up they would not have to do a colostomy bag. When I went into my surgery my surgeon did not know for sure if I would need one or not. I was lucky and I did not need one. But if you do from what I’ve heard most of the time they are reversible. It never hurts to get a second opinion if you have the time. But if you are dealing with a lot of pain I would try to get things done as soon as possible.
Good Luck with this.

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Marshelly1
There are a lot of great comments here answering your question. Yes the biggest thing is never never never get constipated. Make sure you drink a lot of water and have that fiber that your body needs to push things through. When you get constipated that’s when things get backed up and can get stuck in the little diverticuli. don’t wait when you feel you have to go to the bathroom.

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miralax never helped me. 2 stool softners with 'a gentle laxative' (equate)never did either. I just don't know what else. Colace? Maybe diverticulitis makes it hard to go. I am a water drinker, too. Rx I'm on says loss of appetite, metallic taste, nausea.

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@bbarbiee

Coppee
My first diverticulitis attack was 12 years ago. I ended up going by ambulance to the hospital bleeding profusely from my behind. Awful experience. I ended up needing blood transfusions couldn’t
raise my head due to losing so much blood. Spent four days in the hospital and they did a colonoscopy on me when I was there which was not fun. They came to the conclusion that I must’ve had a thin area in my colon due to diverticulitis.
Since then I had only had I think two or three attacks through the years and was put on Cipro and Flagyl each time. Nasty medicines. Made me so sick each time.
Then I was fine up until February 2022 and then I had nonstop flareups for three months with taking that nasty medicine each time. So after five trips to the ER and double medication‘s since the middle of February I pushed to get my colonoscopy moved up in April which showed a diverticulitis that was resolving. I continued having flare ups until I set up a sigmoidectomy at the beginning of June. My surgeon said that I had a smoldering area of diverticulitis in my sigmoid colon. After my surgery they did a pathology report on what they took out and said it was still infected and trying to abscess but there was no cancer. I can’t believe after all those antibiotics and pain and ER visits that nothing was resolving. Very frustrating. I am about 4 1/2 weeks post op for my surgery. I have my good days and my bad days but I am so happy that I had the surgery. It was totally the right thing to do. It never would’ve gone away and I would’ve just kept getting sicker from all the medications they were giving me. I didn’t want things to get so bad that I had to have emergency treatment. But for what I have heard is that they never know for sure if you will have a colostomy bag until they actually get in there. As long as they have two good pieces of area to stitch up they would not have to do a colostomy bag. When I went into my surgery my surgeon did not know for sure if I would need one or not. I was lucky and I did not need one. But if you do from what I’ve heard most of the time they are reversible. It never hurts to get a second opinion if you have the time. But if you are dealing with a lot of pain I would try to get things done as soon as possible.
Good Luck with this.

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this sounds like my story.
Take care, Hugs ❤️

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