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Anyone have diverticula? Should I raise my hand?

sad12008 posted 11/30/2020 18:42 PM

As I keep cruising into older waters (almost 57), I'm dealing with this odd kind of ovarian-cyst kind of feeling in my lower left abdomen. Decided I must have ovarian cancer, but an abdominal ultrasound showed no changes there. But yet for 3+ weeks now I've had this unusual crampy-twingy discomfort in my lower left quadrant. My mom had diverticultis, so clearly had diverticula; however, she's been dead for years so she's not around to ask. I just don't know. Hopefully not TMI but don't have any gas issues, no constipation, anything like that. Due for another oolonoscopy in about 2 years. Just tired of the discomfort. Anyone got some wisdom and/or experience to share?

gmc94 posted 11/30/2020 20:21 PM

I suffered from BAD diverticulits for years until I had surgery (which was effed up, as I should have been referred to a sugeon after the 1st few incidents/ antibiotic Rx). I've been fine since they removed a bunch of my innards :)

For me, it usually felt like I was bloated.... kind of like if I could have a good BM or pass gas it would feel better (it never did).

So if you had an ovarian ultrasound for this pain, what does your internist say?

When I 1st had it, my Internist even did a pelvic (something about which he was NOT happy!) to rule stuff out. He then gave me the antibiotic Rx and when it cleared up, we kind of knew. I was only in my 30s, so it was an unusual Dx.

The first thing I did when I'd feel that pain is go on the bland diet (I called it white food), or the BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) diet. Basically NO veggies of (esp salad or anything raw), no fat, no acids (like oranges), and NO FIBER (counterintuitive bc you should eat LOTS of fiber when NOT having an episode).

Maybe Tushnurse will mosey by and say this is all wrong, but that's what I did.

And if it is diverticulitis, I'm so sorry. It was some of the worst physical pain in my life - if I couldn't get it to quiet down w/in the 1st 24 hours (ie BRAT diet), then I'd usually miss a week of work, the pain was soooo bad. And if you do have it, see a surgeon after you've had 2-3 episodes. I waited so long the tissue was damaged such that instead of a laparoscopy with small incisions the surgeon told me was all he'd need, he ended up having to open me up and I have the equivalent of a C-section scar and had a months long recovery due to infection.

number4 posted 11/30/2020 20:52 PM

Is it possible you've pulled a muscle, like your psoas, just on one side? I've always had a very tight psoas, and have been recently working on getting more mobility with some stretching, and occasionally notice a sort of aching, twingy feeling in my lower left abdomen, too. But I've had a complete hysterectomy and recent colonoscopy, so I know it's not diverticulitis (which both my mom and dad had), or female reproductive organ related. The psoas is a pretty deep muscle and can really cause some uncomfortable issues.

That all being said, I would definitely check with your doctor and see if you need a referral to a gastro.

tushnurse posted 12/1/2020 08:24 AM

Maybe Tushnurse will mosey by and say this is all wrong, but that's what I did.

Tushnurse is here!!!!

What you did was right. And you are correct after 2-3 episodes of diagnosed Divertiulitis you should have been referred to a colorectal surgeon.

Sad12008 - Having diverticulosis is actually a very common finding in those over 35 years of age, especially if you have had a diet that is poor in fiber.
Just a quick explanation of the difference- Osis is the presence of pits or pockets in your colon, most often on the left side, but can be throughout. ITIS is infection, inflammation of those pits and pockets.
That said if you suspect this is what is going on, call your Dr, they should order a CT scan to diagnosis, easiest way to diagnose.
In the GI community the treatment recommended is usually 2 different antibiotics and the Low Residue diet (gives you more options than the BRAT diet) then when you are well to switch to extremely high fiber diet. Diverticulitis can be funny, some people will have a bout of it once in their life and that is it. Others will continue to get it. If you are in the later category, after 2 episodes I encourage you to get a referral to a colorectal surgeon, not a general one, they do colon surgeries along with everything else and lack the specific skills to make this surgery easy.
The surgery if needed is preferably done at a time when you DO NOT have any inflammation at all. And now with technology can be done laproscopically, and often gets you in and out of the hospital in a matter of a couple days.

Call your Dr. Let them know what's up. You can probably go get the CT today if you haven't eaten.

sad12008 posted 12/2/2020 11:37 AM

Thanks, everyone! I have a message in to my primary care manager about it; hope to hear back today. Still feeling it.

I know my mother got diverticulitis and had to be hospitalized, but I believe she was in either her late 70s or early 80s at the time.

tushnurse posted 12/2/2020 12:22 PM

I have a message in to my primary care manager about it; hope to hear back today

Seriously do not let this go a day or two, by then it can be bad.
If it gets really really inflammed it can actually cause a perforation or hole in the colon that can be a need for emergency surgery, which is what you absolutely want to avoid.

Do you know if you had divertiuli on prior colonoscopies? If so then mention that to your CM when you talk. If not then share the family history. But you do want to get a CT so you can document it. I had an episode right around my DDay and was convinced it was diverticulitis due to pain location, and it was summer so I was living off of tomatoes, cucumbers, and other seedy fruits and veggies, and not much else. Ended up being an ovarian cyst. Once is ruptured it turned off like it turned on. At the time it was going on I was still Tushnurse - and my Dr ordered a CT for me, ran downstairs got it, and found out it was a cyst within the hour.

But I have seen many instances where people try to ignore it, or think it will get better, or didn't have time to call their Dr with less than stellar outcomes.

Last thought if it is diverticulitis and they put you on antibiotics please start a course of Florastor - A specific probiotic proven to limit Cdiff with high dose antibiotics. 2 tabs 2 times a day. It is expensive, but it is the only one proven to have the right blend to prevent Cdiff.

WhatsRight posted 12/2/2020 13:39 PM

I was hospitalized last year when I had flu a, flu b, strep throat, a sinus infection, and also colitis.

When I got out of the hospital, and went to the gastroenterologist they had referred me to, he said I had diverticulosis. Which, if I understand correctly, is the condition where you are predisposed to diverticulitis if it becomes inflamed or infected.

Iím happy to get that information about florastor. My husbandís mother died from CDF, and we are both quite aware of that particular element. I was very concerned because of all the anabioticís they gave him the last time he went to the hospital last month. But they continue to test him for CDF and sepsis, so that was good.

sad12008... I hope you find out exactly whatís going on and they can get you well!

tushnurse posted 12/4/2020 10:19 AM

Sad - How are you doing?

sad12008 posted 12/5/2020 20:43 PM

Thanks, tush, for checking up on me. I really appreciate it! So I saw a doctor yesterday (Fri.) and she said she was not satisfied w/the results of my ultrasound: apparently it showed *nothing* vs. no changes due to --ermh... bowel gas. So, she ordered blood work (done) and a CT scan (have to call Monday re. scheduling) and we'll go from there. Military medicine. I was told the CT scan is usually done "within 30 days". Still having the discomfort. I'll update when I learn anything, both for you all who've replied as well as to help anyone else who might be following.

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