Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Help - Diverticulitis

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 9 Replies
  • Posted By: Beth56
  • April 28, 2008
  • 10:04 PM

In February, I awoke at 3:00AM in severe abdominal pain, called 911 and rushed to hospital. Without any previous warnings or symptoms, I had an acute diverticulitis attack with a micro perforation and ended up in the hospital for 4 days on antibiotics, morphine, and no food or water. CT scan confirmed diagnosis. A few days ago, I had my first colonoscopy and significant diverticulitis was found. I have been referred to a surgeon for consideration of a colon resection. :eek::( Surgery is not usually recommended after only one attack, but each additional attack puts you at further risk. 8 people die of complications from diverticulitis every day, but surgery has its complications too and not always a favorable outcome. I would like to avoid surgery if at all possible and am seeking any information which may be of help. Since only about 25% of people go on to have another attack, perhaps I will be one of the lucky one's if I make some changes in my life.

Some of the things I have heard may be of help are: fiber, probiotics, aloe vera, digestive enzymes and colon cleansing. I also understand diet is very important. As far as causes, I know lack of fiber can cause constipation (which I have never experienced), and stress (which I have always had lots of) are two suspects.

Does anyone have any experience with diverticulitis, and if so, any suggestions or concerns. Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance. :) Beth
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  • In February, I awoke at 3:00AM in severe abdominal pain, called 911 and rushed to hospital. Without any previous warnings or symptoms, I had an acute diverticulitis attack with a micro perforation and ended up in the hospital for 4 days on antibiotics, morphine, and no food or water. CT scan confirmed diagnosis. A few days ago, I had my first colonoscopy and significant diverticulitis was found. I have been referred to a surgeon for consideration of a colon resection. :eek::( Surgery is not usually recommended after only one attack, but each additional attack puts you at further risk. 8 people die of complications from diverticulitis every day, but surgery has its complications too and not always a favorable outcome. I would like to avoid surgery if at all possible and am seeking any information which may be of help. Since only about 25% of people go on to have another attack, perhaps I will be one of the lucky one's if I make some changes in my life.Some of the things I have heard may be of help are: fiber, probiotics, aloe vera, digestive enzymes and colon cleansing. I also understand diet is very important. As far as causes, I know lack of fiber can cause constipation (which I have never experienced), and stress (which I have always had lots of) are two suspects. Does anyone have any experience with diverticulitis, and if so, any suggestions or concerns. Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance. :) Beth Rate this post positivelyI've been dealing with diverticulitis for about 12 yrs now and recently was scheduled for resection, but it had to be cancelled due to other issues. I've been attack free for a full year now, so I'm not as concerned as I was. I would see a surgeon, or two, and see what they say. Surgery isn't usually warranted after the first attack, but it also sounds like you had an abnormally severe first attack! Microperforation, in my opinion, means you are more likely to have a repeat or even a full perforation if you have anotehr attack. For preventing attacks, it's important to keep stool soft and moving. If fiber works, great, but it doesn't for many. For me, taking magnesium and making sure I have enough fat in my diet pretty much keeps things going. (Fiber shuts me down, as does low fat intake) Probiotics are always good, but results can vary.Colon cleansing, on the other hand, should be avoided with diverticulitis, especially during an attack, unless directed by a physician!!! This is not something you want to food around with! The increase in peristalsis (muscle "waves" that move things along) can increase your risk of full rupture! Diet during an attack should be: 1. Nothing by mouth, then 2. clear liquids, then 3. Full liquids (milk, etc) then soft solids low in fiber, then 4. gradually increasing fiber and diet to "normal" diet.
    CindySue54 32 Replies Flag this Response
  • Please consider trying a qualified Oriental Medical practitioner who is an experienced herbalist to help you with diverticulitis. Acupuncture Chinese herbal medicine can be extremely helpful for this! Avoid surgery AT ALL COST. IMO it can bring about a host of additional problems. Holistic approaches to diverticulitis are MUCH more effective. Also, diet is crucial - look into food insensitivities being a contributor to this problem. A good NAET practitioner can point you to certain foods as culprits. A probiotic is very good to take. Digestive enzymes can be helpful if you suffer from gas and bloating after eating. Find a combo with at least 50,000 units of protease, along with amylase, lipase, and others. Aloe can be very beneficial - I like Herbal Aloe Force as it also contains beneficial herbs and is completely cold processed. I would only opt for surgery as a last resort and try all other options before going under the knife. I have several patients who have come to see me AFTER having had a resection and find alternative treatments very beneficial. This should have been explored before their surgeries - perhaps it could have been avoided. Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3080 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thank you for the replies and information.I have started taking probiotics and benefiber. I am also purchasing aloe vera juice today. I walk 30 minutes every day. I am pretty good in the diet area, but will keep increasing the fiber as tolerated.I know a doctor of chinese medicine in my area that I have gone to a few times. It's a little expensive and I don't have insurance. But I think I will go to her and see what she says. A little info from her may go a long way.I really wish there was absolute proof of what causes diverticulitis. Since I am never constipated, it's not that. I do enjoy a glass (or two) of red wine in the evening, so I surely hope that's not a contributor. :eek: Cause I sure would miss it. :mad:I'm not allergic to any foods that I know of. However, my mother had tons of allergies and my son is beginning to show it also.
    Beth56 272 Replies Flag this Response
  • Try avoiding nuts and seeds: I have been able to control my problem by avoiding nuts- peanuts, walnuts, cashews... etcNo seeds: avoid popcorn, sunfolower seeds and the less obvious are cucumber, tomato and other seeds in produce even strawberries!While increasing your fiber uptake is good, changing your diet is better!Best of luck to you!Donzetta Ketchersideartzy_1@bellsouth.net
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I really wish there was absolute proof of what causes diverticulitis. Since I am never constipated, it's not that.The cause is a combination of a weakness in the bowel and an increased pressure from straining. My attacks almost always follow a bout of diarrhea. The straining does not only occur with constipation. :)As far as fiber is concerned, be sure you don't over do it. Too much fiber can be worse than not enough! Fiber adds bulk and too much bulk isn't good. Make sure you get enough fat in your diet too!
    CindySue54 32 Replies Flag this Response
  • In February, I awoke at 3:00AM in severe abdominal pain, called 911 and rushed to hospital. Without any previous warnings or symptoms, I had an acute diverticulitis attack with a micro perforation and ended up in the hospital for 4 days on antibiotics, morphine, and no food or water. CT scan confirmed diagnosis. A few days ago, I had my first colonoscopy and significant diverticulitis was found. I have been referred to a surgeon for consideration of a colon resection. :eek::( Surgery is not usually recommended after only one attack, but each additional attack puts you at further risk. 8 people die of complications from diverticulitis every day, but surgery has its complications too and not always a favorable outcome. I would like to avoid surgery if at all possible and am seeking any information which may be of help. Since only about 25% of people go on to have another attack, perhaps I will be one of the lucky one's if I make some changes in my life. Some of the things I have heard may be of help are: fiber, probiotics, aloe vera, digestive enzymes and colon cleansing. I also understand diet is very important. As far as causes, I know lack of fiber can cause constipation (which I have never experienced), and stress (which I have always had lots of) are two suspects. Does anyone have any experience with diverticulitis, and if so, any suggestions or concerns. Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance. :) Beth Rate this post positivelyi had a sigmoid resection done when i was 35, like you out of the blue i had an attack. I was on several anti- biotics including cipro for two weeks before surgery and had a successful surgery, no temp colostomy. my son who is 24 now had the same surgery, unfortunately his burst from the doctors waiting too long and he ended up with a temp colostomy. all is good now, but i do stay away from any seeds or nuts, the smaller the seed the worse it is. like poppy seeds!! they removed the infected portion of the colon but it is a disease you always have it! some have the surgery and never have another problem. mine is not the case, i have to watch what i eat and make sure if i do have the seeds or nuts that i am eating something else to make sure it flows thru. with this disease your intestines have pockets and that is where the seeds get stuck and if not released will cause infection and perforation. This is also hereditary. my doctor said he had never done the surgery on anyone under 50 but since all the fast food it is very common in younger adults. good luck
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • i had a sigmoid resection done when i was 35, like you out of the blue i had an attack. I was on several anti- biotics including cipro for two weeks before surgery and had a successful surgery, no temp colostomy. my son who is 24 now had the same surgery, unfortunately his burst from the doctors waiting too long and he ended up with a temp colostomy. all is good now, but i do stay away from any seeds or nuts, the smaller the seed the worse it is. like poppy seeds!! they removed the infected portion of the colon but it is a disease you always have it! some have the surgery and never have another problem. mine is not the case, i have to watch what i eat and make sure if i do have the seeds or nuts that i am eating something else to make sure it flows thru. with this disease your intestines have pockets and that is where the seeds get stuck and if not released will cause infection and perforation. This is also hereditary. my doctor said he had never done the surgery on anyone under 50 but since all the fast food it is very common in younger adults. good luckI have heard it may be hereditary, but I really don't think anyone knows the exact causes. I've heard many things can contribute such as diet, stress, exercise, etc. I can understand diet, but nothing has been proven from what I read. The doctors all say it's not found in third world countries, but they don't offer anything else. My doctors and dietitian told me there is no proof that seeds and nuts are a problem. No colon has ever been removed with these findings, but has always been assumed by medical professionals. But I stay away from them anyway. I had another attack two weeks ago, but not as bad. I read they come in cycles. Looks like mine are every 4 months or so.The 4 things I have read that help the most that even the doctors will agree with is fiber, water, exercise and probiotics. None of my doctors are disagreeing with these 4 things. But they do disagree with other things you can find on the Internet. The worst thing they all say is colon cleansing. I doubt I would try this anyway as diarrhea can also be a cause of an attack, not just constipation, which I never had. Just my two cents.I just keep learning. I think the hardest part is finding a balance of what works for you. Everyone is different. Thanks for your comments. Be well.
    Beth56 272 Replies Flag this Response
  • Diverticulitis as well as other colon problems and diseases, I have found, could be due to Vitamin D deficiency. I have been Vit D deficient (a Vit D Hydroxy125 test can confirm) and looking at colon resection for diverticulitis as well as large colon polyps that must be removed in a section surgically. I have reserched this and now it looks as though my DEFICIENCY (under 11) for over 2 years could have led to this. It is a simple blood test and can motivate your doctor to help treat you with large doses of vit D and bring the level back to where it should be. If the defciency goes on to long, it causes all kinds of problems, especially with the colon and bowels. Vit D (Rx for large doses, OTC for less) is relatively cheap to buy and can provide many benefits.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Well this certainly makes sense for me, although I've not heard of this link. My vit D was very low and I now take supplements. Haven't had an attack in over a year!
    CindySue54 32 Replies Flag this Response
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