Diverticular disease and diverticulitis 

Introduction 

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Next review due:

Fibre

Most people with diverticular disease are recommended to eat between 18g (0.6oz) to 30g (1oz) of fibre a day. Your GP can provide a more specific target, based on your individual height and weight.

Good sources of fibre include

  • fresh fruit – such as pears, oranges and apples
  • dried fruit – such as apricots and prunes
  • vegetables – such as baked beans, kidney beans and peas
  • nuts – such as almonds and peanuts
  • breakfast cereals – such as high-fibre breakfast flakes
  • starchy foods – such as bread, rice and pasta

It is recommended that you gradually increase your fibre intake over the course of a few weeks. This will help prevent side effects associated with a high-fibre diet, such as bloating and flatulence (wind).

Also drink plenty of fluids because this will help prevent side effects.

Fibre supplements – usually in the form of sachets of powder that you mix with water – are also available from pharmacists and health food shops.

Read more about how a high-fibre diet can help prevent diverticular disease and why fibre is important to health.

Eat right for your digestion

How to eat and drink to ensure a good digestion, including foods to avoid and which ones to fill up on.

Diverticular disease and diverticulitis are related digestive conditions that affect the large intestine (colon).

Small bulges develop on the lining of the intestine that become inflamed or infected.

Symptoms of diverticular disease include:

  • lower abdominal pain
  • feeling bloated

Symptoms of diverticulitis include:

  • more severe abdominal pain
  • high temperature (fever) of 38ºC (100.4ºF) or above

Read more about the symptoms of diverticular disease and diverticulitis.

Diverticulosis, diverticular disease and diverticulitis

Diverticula

Diverticula is the medical term used to describe the small bulges that stick out of the side of the large intestine (colon).

Diverticula are common and associated with ageing. It is thought the pressure of hard stools (poo) passing through the large intestine that has become weakened with age causes the bulges to form.

Read more about the causes of diverticula.

It is estimated that half of people have diverticula by the time they are 50 years old, and 70% of people have them by the time they are 80 years old.

The majority of people with diverticula will not have any symptoms; this is known as diverticulosis.

Diverticular disease

One in four people who develop diverticula will experience symptoms such as abdominal pain.

Having symptoms associated with diverticula is known as diverticular disease.

Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis describes infection that occurs when bacteria becomes trapped inside one of the bulges, triggering more severe symptoms.

Diverticulitis can lead to complications such as an abscess inside the intestine.

Read more about complications of diverticulitis.

Treating diverticular disease and diverticulitis

A high-fibre diet can often ease symptoms of diverticular disease and paracetamol can be used to relieve pain – other painkillers such as aspirin or ibuprofen are not recommended as they can cause stomach upsets in people with diverticular disease.

Mild diverticulitis can usually be treated at home with antibiotics. More serious cases may need hospital treatment to prevent complications.

Surgery to remove affected section of the intestine is sometimes recommended if there's a risk of serious complications, although this is rare.

Read more about treating diverticular disease and diverticulitis.

Who is affected

Diverticular disease is one of the most common digestive conditions.

There were around 80,000 hospital admissions due to diverticulitis in England in 2010.

Both sexes are equally affected by diverticular disease and diverticulitis, although the condition is more likely to appear at a younger age (under 50) in men than in women.

Diverticular disease is often described as a ‘western disease’ because the rates are high in western European and North American countries, and low in African and Asian countries. Diet is thought to be the reason for this and the fact that people in western countries tend to eat less fibre.

Page last reviewed: 11/05/2012

Next review due: 11/05/2014

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The 69 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

valarius said on 08 June 2014

Firstly, thank you for all your comments, I have found them really helpful. I have recently been diagnosed with diverticulitis but had all the symptoms of kidney stones - blood in the urine, excrutiating pain in the lower back although no fever. It has been a nightmare and I have been in and out of the walk in clinics, emergency GP and A&E. Each time they pile me up with different painkillers, only to be told by the next doctor not to take them but to take something else. I finally had a FAST test and CT scan on my second trip to A&E where the first doctor told me they had seen lots of small stones in both kidneys, but then another doctor - who kept calling me by a different name -who told me the CT scan was clear! When I insisted the pain was unbearable, she then told me I had diverticulosis. I did get given antibiotics for 5 days, but then the pain returned with a vengeance. The GP has now given me another lot of antibiotics and some Buscopan. The pain is more manageable now, but I have found (from the internet) that going on a liquid diet for a few days and then a low residue one that the pain is better. The whole thing is so confusing, depressing and excrutiatingly painful. The whole thing about whether to have high fibre or not is a nightmare. I have decided to stick to a low residue diet until the pain goes away and then introduce foods one at a time and see what happens - but that is from what I have learned from the internet, not the nhs. I really didnt want to go to A&E or the emergency GP but I had to as i couldnt cope with the pain but doctors are so overwhelmed now they really dont have time to treat people or investigate anything properly. One couldnt even get my name right. The government needs to lay off with targets and data and allow them do their jobs!!

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RCHP4 said on 07 May 2014

I was rushed into hospital at the end of January with severe rectal bleeding coupled with horrendous left sided pain. Diagnosed with diverticular disease and colitis. After four days without food, not that I wanted it, I was put on a low residue diet. This effectively means that nothing with seeds, skins, vegetables, salad etc can be eaten. In the last month I have tried to reintroduce these foods as we are told that high fibre is the key, but I cannot eat them as the pain and other symptoms returned. Although it is a nuisance, I am sticking to the low residue diet and supplementing it with multi vitamins and fresh orange juice. I feel better now than I have for many years, as initially ten years ago I was diagnosed with IBS! You must do the research yourself, ask questions of the medical staff, but in all honesty they are not clued up about this disease I was lucky with my hospital, I have had CT scans, flexible sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy and have a definitive diagnosis with full disclosure. I know not all hospitals are the same. I know that diverticular disease can kill you because of infection etc, so you must find the right level of foods for yourself. But please check out the low residue diets, which the hospital should have given you anyway - it certainly works for me..

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Mia1956 said on 15 April 2014

squaw63 I've been sick with temperature for 7 months, been thru several doctors. I don't have pain cause I am on pain medication for my back. I don't even want to talk about going to the bathroom several times a day.
Had a colonoscopy and the Gastro Dr said everything was good, just my usual diverticula. The temperature continued so my PCP sent me to a Infectious Diease Dr he asked me a couple of questions. Read my last blood test which were all good andhe decided to send me for a CT scan with dye and I had to drink this liquid, it showed that the diverticula were infected and inflamed and had protruded thru the colon AND the infection was in my body cavity, he put me on two weeks of the strongest antibiotics to take twice a day. When I went back and the temperature was still there . He stated that before he would send me for surgery he wanted me to had a Galium Scan which is a Nuclear Scan and is done over a 3 day period. I get the results tomorrow, If they didn't find anything else wrong inside then I will be going for surgery. Much like you I can't stand feeling sick anymore, running a temperature, and sweating like I am going thru menopause. Believe me I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the fact that I have children with multiple medical issues. I wish you luck. I think you need a second opinion. Go to a Infectious Diease Dr. As for me I'm just glad they found this cause there is light at the end of the tunnel.

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anitapeter said on 07 April 2014

Fan jay. I don't know if my experience will help you but last October I was admitted to hospital with severe stomach pain (I had previously had a big op. of my large and small intestine which had burst due to DD) and with painkillers (and rest?) it eased off. My consultant suggested I go on a gluten free diet which I did and have been on for 6 months and apart from the odd occasion when I have eaten something with gluten or soy/soya without realising it I have had no pain. Coincidence? Don't know but it seems to have worked. If you do try this be aware it is not cheap being on a gluten free diet, and you have to read every ingredient on the packaging, and for me especially soy/soya (this is in almost every chocolate item you can think of and gravy items. It could be worth a try, though. Good luck.

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Fan jay said on 30 March 2014

I was diagnosed with DD about 2 months ago, after in and out of hospital for the last 4yrs with pains. I have been reading a lot of reviews from here and also been eat high fibre food and vegetable but nothing help, I even bought forever aloe Vera juice take every day, it's taste very disguising, but I said it will make me better, so every morning before I drink them b4 food, there is no sign or the pain releasing. Last night it got worse, I called 111 and spoke to a doctor who said its unrine infection I am on antibiotics and still in pretty pain. I work full time and considering to stop working as almost every week I go of sick. Do any body know what can help.

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lookonthebrightside said on 21 March 2014

I am will be 52 in may and have a 2 year old daughter so when i got severe stomach cramp last year i went to a&e after a 3.5 hours waiting to see the doc the pain eased off then half hour later the doc said i was ok there was nothing wrong with me i was on cocodamol for back pain but my stools were getting more and more loose and i continued to get stomach pain although not as severe as the day i went to a and e finally just after new year (my daughters 2nd birthday) i told my own gp who i feel is a good doctor he arranged for a colonoscopy which was not so straight forward to get the appointment as when i followed the online procedure there where no avail appointments but after some call backs and a prebook appointment i finally got my appointment i was begining to dread the worst by this time but decided to remain positive as i had read info about pemft being a very good alternative cure for many things besides cancer( i am curently building my own pemft machine) however the result of my colonoscopy yesterday was very relieving like a few other people have said on here feb 16 2012, and sept 12 2012, in descending colon diverticular disease and one pulip removed which has been sent to lab for testing, everything else was normal this for me was a great relief it gives me more time to study and work on this pemft technology which i believe to be suppressed because of the effect it will have on large drug companies although I could be wrong? but royal rife had a similar technology back in the mid 20th cent but he that all got washed away.

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squaw63 said on 17 March 2014

I had my first attack of diverticulitis in Dec 2012. It was uncomplicated but I was quite sick, and the antibiotics wreaked havoc on my body. The pain has never gone away. I have been on and off antibiotics ever since with multiple repeated attacks. I am physically, mentally, and emotionally worn out. I think I am going to have to quit work as the stress of being ill and missing work is causing more stress and therefore, more diverticulitis attacks. The most frustrating part for me is the lack of support or willingness to help I have received from my doctors. I have fibromyalgia so my gastroenterologist blames my pain on fibromyalgia. He even did a colonoscopy, found diverticula and narrowing of sigmoid colon, and still says "that's not the cause of your problems." Really? I went to a colorectal surgeon (after much resistance on my part) and she walked in the room and said "I'm not removing your colon." OMG! What the hell is wrong with the medical profession these days. I'm so sick of this disease and disinterested doctors that I am nearly suicidal. I can't go on like this. I want my life back. This disease has taken every morsel of joy from my life. I'm only 51 and I feel 97.

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Poppa Dom said on 08 March 2014

I have been diagnosed with diverticulitis, but only after a fistula (hole between the bowel and bladder) developed. The symptoms started in June last year and at last I have a date for an op in May this year.
I suffered from bowel pains for years but as they came and went I ignored them. I think it was a combination of a hectic time at work as a chef, and moving house, lots of lifting and carrying that finally caused the fused tissues to rupture. The result is frequent bladder infections and a major operation that has a 5% chance of a permanent stoma bag, which would be a disaster for me. Moral is, if you do have symptoms, get them checked out and avoid strenuous exercise until you get an all clear..

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User851991 said on 05 March 2014

I was diagnosed with DD about 4/5 years ago and the more I have changed my diet the worse it has got, even to the stage now that I am bleeding from my back passage so many times that I have been told by my GP has told me to go back every time I bleed and have an examination. I am so fed up with the fact that I keep bleeding but I have a sister and colleague who both have the same thing and neither one of them suffer like I do.
I have read all the reviews below and find it interesting the different symptoms/problems that occur. I have also learnt a few things from the reviews below. I have had a colonoscopy but showed nothing but the DD. I am always in so much pain, discomfort and sore. I also take Lansoprazole. I also have IBS and high fibre diets have only increased the suffering. I too am fed up as when I was diagnosed I had to find out the symptoms, solutions but no one ever give me any advice or referred me to anyone who could help. This condition is very common but yet not many people know about it. I am just glad to find other people who are going through the same thing. I mean that in a nice way, as this condition is not nice at all. I too suffer with sweating at night, my appetite keeps going, I feel so alone, scared, helpless etc etc.

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SuzieD007 said on 25 January 2014

I was diagnosed with DD earlier this month after being admitted to hospital. A CT scan showed I had a mass of absesses attached to my colon that they were unable to drain. I have an appointment at the endoscopy clinic next month and an appointment with the general surgery clinic the following week so I think I will end up having the affected part of my colon removed, I hope this puts an end to four years of suffering.

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designerlady said on 13 October 2013

Why is there no advice from consultants and doctors regarding diverticulitis? I was initially sent home with the advice not to eat tomato seeds, and that was it. My second colonoscopy two years later showed a dramatic increase in the disease spread. My consultant looked down on me with folded arms and said, lt's much worse'. And that was that! No advice, oh except to eat more bran muffins, with gallbladder disease as well, that was great advice!!! I went home feeling terrible and spent the next two years in such an anxious state I almost went mad. My doctor prescribed antidepressants, which I refused to take as they have ruined my sisters life.
I have been over prescribed drugs for an under active thyroid which are now being reduced, my anxiety is returning and I am in more pain from the DD. I have never been given any help regarding this disease and feel vey abandoned and scared.

To make matters worse, I cannot have another colonoscopy and both my parents died of bowel cancer.
Well, there is my story.

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lijholt said on 09 October 2013

Husband just diagnosed with suspected diverticulitis, to be confirmed at hospital next week. Have read symptoms and he seems to be showing most of them but is also freezing cold in the day time and sweating profusely in bed, has anyone else experienced this?

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jaybirdx said on 08 October 2013

I found the coverage of diverticular disease outdated by at least two years and potentially dangerous to those who for whatever reason do not seek medical assistance.
My first issue is with the comment about lack of fibre making this a western processed foods illness. Not true and there is research from America in particular that is more up to date. In my own case I always had a good high fibre diet - which at the onset of illness made it worse. I have also discovered that have Crohns disease and dairy intolerance which have both contributed negativey I need to carefully manage my diet to avoid flareups. Treatments omit two year old research again from the US indicating that a combination of a specific antibiotic with other medication, on a regular cycle delivers long term benefits. Finally, there is no mention of how this illness interacts with other maladies. In my case, regurgitating mitral valve where aspirin is prescribed (or was), Regular exercise is not a fix all, nor is high fibre. Caution please along with updated information

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Ellie Baloo said on 11 August 2013

I was diagnosed with DD so increased my fibre intake to help ease the symptoms. This triggered IBS and I suffered from cramps and the runs.

I was in a lot of pain and going to the toilet up to 5 times a day. I considered resigning from work and staying at home.

I did a lot of research and found when I gave up wholemeal and brown bread my symptoms stopped overnight. Before I gave up wholemeal bread I was taking L-Glutamine tablets which helped ease the symptoms. But the symptoms would return when I stopped taking the tablets but I was symptom free whilst taking the tablets. Now that I have cut out wholemeal bread I live a normal and symptom free life. I'm so happy and can continue to work full time.

I eat fresh oranges and drink fresh fruit juice for my fibre intake to help with the DD. I've not had any problems with my DD since giving up wholemeal bread.

Good luck, hope you find a solution too.

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sue_marie said on 30 July 2013

Diverticulitis was diagnosed following a colonoscopy a few years ago and I was basically told: "there's no cure...eat healthily...take paracetamol for pain". At a Macmillan fundraising event someone said I should try Aloe Vera juice because it works on the digestive system and is a little miracle worker. I was told to go for the best I could afford. It's nasty-tasting stuff but within three weeks the pain had gone! Ever the sceptic, I stopped taking the AV juice only to have the symptoms come back after three days. Went straight back on it and haven't stopped it since. Because the juice is expensive I've tried AV capsules instead but you need the highest strength ones. The capsules are not as good as the juice but still much better than nothing. If you or a loved one suffer this horrid disease, I recommend that you try Aloe Vera for at least a month (perhaps check with your GP first). I really really hope it works for you as well as it has done for me. Good luck x

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pigbooty said on 25 July 2013

I was admitted to hospital early last year, with acute pains in my stomach. The doctors were,nt sure what the problem was, but organised an ultrasound scan. This came back normal. Then they organised a flexible sigmoidoscopy, which showed small amounts of DD. Last week I again took myself to the A&E dept, with excruitiating stomach pains again. They took no end of blood tests, and they all came back normal. My GP put me on antibiotics as she thought I may have a slight infection. I eat quite a healthy diet, and drink at least 3pints of water a day. The pain is starting to wear me down, and my husband is getting fed up of seeing me in so much pain. I can,t eat a lot of vegetables, as since I had my gallbladder out many years ago, vegs don,t agree with me. My GP gave me co-drydamol for the pain. I keep asking myself how many more times. The pain is unbelievable. I,m frightened to go far just in case I need the toilet, or I get pain. Its got now that I can,t work, as the flare ups knock me for six. No employer wants you to keep vanishing to the loo, and spending ages in there. This has happened now (in the last year) at least 5 times. Just fed up with the pain. People who suffer with it, I,m sure, can understand. Chronic cramps in my upper abdomen and below my navel.

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Robert Haywood said on 18 April 2013

I am a man of 68 years and have recently been diagnosed with diverticulosis. and I am confused about the widespread advice given by the medical profession about increasing high-fibre intake. Since marriage in 1967, I have always had a high-fibre diet - and I consume large quantities of water daily. So I may well be just unlucky. But current medical advice in the UK, and elsewhere, clearly flies in the face of a research paper by Anne F. Peery and others, of the University of North Carolina, in November 2011, the conclusion of which states: "A high-fibre diet and increased frequency of bowel movement are associated with greater rather than lower prevalence of diverticulosis. Hypotheses regarding risk factors for asymptomatic diverticulosis should be considered." So should I eat more, or less, high-fibre? You tell me!

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lw2012 said on 19 November 2012

I have suffered with IBS for 15 years and over the last year have had a really bad time of it, it was suggested that my diet was to blame, apparently I was eating to much fruit and veg, brown bread and brown rice etc, basically I was an healthy eater, unfortunately all the fruit and veg I was eating was not good for the IBS as this lead to severe diaharohea and stomach pains. After 6 months of intensive and instrusive surgery it started to settle and with my new diet to hand I thought I had cracked it. Now that I am a very low fibre diet I have now been diagnoised with Diverticulitis which I'm told is due to the fact that I do not eat the right amount of fibre to keep my bowels moving. I really am at a lose end as to the balancing act I am now suppose to perform to keep the IBS and Diverticulitis both happy with the right amount of fibre. Think I'll go back to the healthy eating and suffer the IBS at least this kept the weight off and I was free from the bloating.

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jinx703 said on 13 November 2012

had diverticulitis for 3 years with out knowing what it was problems going out as walking made pain worse . had a bowel resection but got infection which ended with month in hospital and futher op 9 months later , then suffered still with pain and diarrhoea .. for futher 6 months .
practice doctor as started me on peppermint oil
3 day on them and pain free for first time in 4 years
no diarrhoria . and running up the stairs carnt wait for week end start walking out again and getting self fit

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trucker142 said on 08 November 2012

I have had Diverticulitis now since 2010, I have posted on here before. I had been off work for several month's due to constant toilet need's etc, and could not work due to the type of job I do. Had an operation in March this year to repair lower bowel,rectum and anus due to the disease all done through the back door if you know what I mean, everything seemed ok and returned back to work, untill end of June, I started to get very bad pain's on the right side of my stomach which upset's the diverticulitis, ie:- now back off work sick again. I have now found out that I have a large stone blocking the appendix tube, so I am having surgery to remove the blockage and my appendix, I am pleased to be having it done, but have been warned that it could upset the diverticulitis all over again. No one can tell me if the blockage could have been caused by the Diverticulitis or not or it's just one of those thing's.

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jontee said on 08 November 2012

I was diagnosed with DD last year and after many months of discomfort was fortunate to find a book on internal health. I am not permitted to name it or the publisher but it can be found on the internet with those 2 words in the search engine. It works on the principle that most of our problems are caused by a clogged colon and suggests means of curing that, not by use of laxatives but naturopathic colon cleansers. In practice I have found that they can be bought in health stores or on line and I have no evidence that the more expensive are the most helpful. It was around a week before I found any great improvement but since then my condition has turned around and I am virtually pain free. Best wishes to all.

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DnotC said on 12 September 2012

I was diagnosed with diverticulosis after a colonoscopy yesterday.
To put it in perspective i have to agree with the comment below from: jjdivert said on 16 February 2012
I am glad to have this, as the alternative outcome of what was in my bowel would indicate cancer.

I have read comments on this site, and they vary from person to person, as to which is the best way to treat it. But more importantly to prevent it getting worse.
Good diet, exercise etc, is what i am going to try.
(which is the opposite of what i have been doing uptill now)
I will try different foods and find out what works best for me.
I will also put any findings on my website in a few weeks time, and post again on here with results or other info i find out.
Thanks to everyone for comments here, and good luck.

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awaoro said on 12 September 2012

Like many others I have this disease and looked for what one should eat and drink. Even the experts agree that there is no simple answer to this as people react to different foods.
I recently came across an ad by a sufferer who had investigated the subject very carefully and in depth. His conclusions showed that the most important thing is to avoid mixing certain food categories. The most important is not to eat Starch Foods and Proteins at the same time. This will disappoint most people as a cheese sandwich is out of the question as are many other mixes. Don't drink with your meal is another suggestion. This still leaves plenty of leaway for creating interesting meals and the article is well written. . It makes sense to me although I have only just begun to follow the advice.
There is a cost but its very reasonable.

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bevy13 said on 05 September 2012

Looking for advice please. Mum is 85 she's recently been diagnosed with diverticulitis. Most of the comments I've seen on various sites have been constipation, but mum has continual diarrhea. She's had all the tests at hospital and they've given her notes for diet but all these include a high fibre diet. Won't this make the diarrhea worse? She's as weak as a kitten through all this and I am so worried about her. If you could give any advice I would be really grateful.

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Michael 1937 said on 27 August 2012

I was diagnosed with severe Diverticular Disease 9 years ago, after a colonoscopy. Each of us had a different gut, I like salad, granary bread, fruit and nuts, but find an excess of anything, especially almonds with skins on can bring on an attack. I drink plenty of liquids, exercise daily 25 mins, gym once or twice a week. The liquid and exercise definitely help. Think each of us needs to experiment to find out what suits us. For instance I love raspberries,and tomatoes. but the pips are bad for me I am 75.

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elrhia said on 21 August 2012

I have recently been diagnosed with Diverticular Disease and have had two attacks of diverticulitis this year and possibly one two years ago. Ive had the ultra sound scan and then last week the flexible signoidoscopy. It has started to rule my life to the extent that i have cancelled a holiday abroad and lost alot of money. I was given some information about DD and told to go on a high fibre diet and that if I dont get constipated I probably wont have any attacks! I was also told I have a touch of IBS. Just great!

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puddles57 said on 19 August 2012

i have just deen told that i have had an attack of acute diverticulitis a fortnight ago and i am just wondering how long does it take to get over this, i left hospital with no information just told to go home and rest i still feel unwell and wondering if this is normal. i get very tired if i do anything.

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gayleinUK said on 08 July 2012

After ten or maybe more year of being treated for ibs I finally now know I have dd, I have tried to manage my diet but feel nothing helps, I am so miserable and fed up of always bein in pain and on the toilet, my family are fed up too as this disease has taken over my life,. I was discharged from hospital with no advice no idea of what happens now, and after reading all the above comments there doesn't seem a lot I can do, where do I go from here :-(

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willsmyth1980 said on 22 May 2012

Hi there i am 32 now but was 30 When i was told i had diverticulitis. I have had severe abdominal pain and sweating which i now know is high temperature and also have had severe diarrhoea since i was 26, My weight was and still is going up and down by 2 and half stone in 2/3 weeks and doctors said my diet is to fault but i eat healthy but i am 15-18 stone and there is no support at all, I have seen the dietitian 2 times and she says i have pit on a stone in 6 weeks which is true but i went up and below in the 6 weeks and i told her this and she said i am not eating wright and to much but she did not ask what i eat only looked at my size, On the last meeting she told me to cut down so i told her what i eat and she told me to eat more ?? Then to cut out all fruit and veg and to only eat white foods and no fibre As i am there for help i asked for a diet and she said she can not give me one incase something happens to me so how will i find out what to eat, Also i will be discharged if my weight is not down by next meeting, It is really affecting my job as i was given a warning when i was off for 3 days even when i took in my doctors sheets they said it is still in place so 6 months i can't take a day off but with this you never know when it will happen ?????

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lilyjo said on 19 May 2012

I am age 65 and I was diagnosed with diverticular disease 16 years ago, following several months of unexplainable diarrhoea and was advised to watch my diet. I had no real problems until last year, when I had terrible pain in my left side. I went to my GP later that day and was admitted to the surgical assessment unit of my local hospital where I was starved for three days, given iv doses of strong antibiotics and 'threatened' with inclusion on the surgical list twice a day by the wonderful lady consultant. After five days, I was sent home on oral antibiotics with a leaflet of 'dos and dont's' and verbal recommendations from the charge nurse for a high fibre diet - which I follow to this day (fruit, vegetables, wholemeal bread etc). But the best advice I got was from my ex-husband. I take Lactoferrin Capsules 250mg daily - a dietary supplement which has a direct effect on the health of the gut, and supports the immune system. I have other health issues which I believe are also improved by this one capsule. There is plenty of information on the internet regarding Lactoferrin for anyone who wishes to know more. Stay healthy!!

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juneaxten said on 01 May 2012

My 75 year old mother in law suffers a lot of stomach pain from Diverticular disease and I have informed her gp on many occassions, they seem to be uninterested in her and I don't know what to do. She has dementia and bi-polar along with many other illness and I am disgusted that I can't get the help I need for her. She is on an excellent diet and drinks lots of fluids. She is severally disabled and over weight and I have done almost everyting possible to help her. I have looked after her for 25 years and have been accussed on many occasions of having a too higher expectations...

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Gringa said on 14 April 2012

I have just been diagnosed at the age of 60 without any previous symptoms.
I have so many questions:
Is there no website (a bit more interactive than this one) where we can exchange ideas?
What about the use of Slippery Elm?
Why are joggers and runners protected and would dancers also not seem to get the same problems?
Once a bit of food infects the diverticulus, can it be dislodged without surgery?
Anyone got any suggestions? If so, thank you in advance.

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Dean64 said on 14 April 2012

I am not a health professional and have no health training, these are my own personal observations and opinions.

I have just been diagnosed with diverticular disease and I am a firm believer that this condition is caused by stress, first manifesting as IBS.

IBS is a spasm where the normal rhythm of the colon goes out of sync which can cause the bowel to expand or balloon causing pain.

It therefore makes sense that this stretching of the gut would cause weakness in the gut wall and therefore a site where pockets can form.

In hindsight, my advise for anyone suffering from IBS would be to try and avoid stress,mid you are in a stressful job then change jobs, it really isn't worth your long term health.

Another way of dealing with stress is to get aerobic fit. The fitter you are the more you can tolerate stressful situations, this is fact.

Diet may have a small part to play in the the onset of DD but I firmly believe it is not the trigger. Once you have DD then yes, diet is important for relief of the symptoms, obviously, the firmer your stool the more it will hurt as it passes through the large intestine, a high fibre diet softens and bulks out the stool.

I too, have gone on for over 30 years being fobbed off with suspected appendicitis and IBS but not once in that thirty years has one medical professional asked me about my lifestyle or whether I am in a stressful job or lifestyle.

Western culture is very fast pace and is becoming increasingly stressful, hence again, it is common sense to presume this could be a major factor in the cause of IBS and not diet.

Wake up doctors, it isn't rocket science

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Temptress said on 29 March 2012

I'm 33 and doctor shocked seeing I had diverticulitis after my colonoscopy I have had this problem for 11 years as soon as I had my daughter, doctors just said look and change your diet, no help I having to do trial and error on what food starts me off. Where is the support?

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trucker142 said on 06 March 2012

Picked up the wrong yoghurt out of the fridge on Sunday and eat it, after I had noticed I had eaten it I was worried that I was going to pay for my stupidness for not looking and was waiting for the usual diarrhoea stomach pain's etc to start.
I am happy to say I was pain free no diarrhoea all the usual things with diverticuliis did not appear, I can only wonder if there is something in this yoghurt that has helped settle my pain's and helped with the diarrhoea etc.
I would put the name of the yoghurt but I do not wish to break any advertising laws

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AngieDPW1 said on 04 March 2012

I've had the retched disease for 8 years and am 45 years old. It has progressively got worse the older I have become. So severe that a trip to A&E yesterday to obtain 2 lots of anti biotics, anti spasmotic drugs and strong pain killers that send you off the planet! I drink water, water, water but this does not seem to aid the constipation or the blood in the bowel. I sympathise with you all for the pain, lower back pain, sweats and hallucinations when infection strikes. Flaxseed oil and natural yoghurt have been on my diet list for 3 years and have helped but not stopped the attacks. Worse thing is they appear so quickly and before you know it, you are doubled up in pain!! Having been fobbed off with IBS for years before diagnosis, I'm rather negative of the health professionals. Why isn't there a cure? We are in 2012 and shouldn't have to suffer in this day. Please let me have your cure advice. Thanks

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earthwoman said on 29 February 2012

I have just had a colonoscopy and they found I have polyps and diverticular disease, but I have eaten a healthy high fibre diet most of my life. I never eat junk food, and always eat wholewheat products.
I have been suffering from dreadful bloating of the stomach for many years, since adolescence, but recently had a very severe bout. Also bleeding from my bowel, which is why I had the colonoscopy.

I did try a kind of Hay diet for a while which relieved the bloating somewhat.
So what's the answer for me?

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bea27 said on 27 February 2012

just back from hospital after having colonoscopy and diagnosed with diverticular disease. procedure was just a little uncomfortable and i am quite surprised at the outcome. Now online looking for explanations and advice and as i would say i already have a healthy diet but looking for just what else can i do As im only 47yrs old im not a happy girl

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raw0485 said on 25 February 2012

I have had diverticulitis since I was 37, and am now aged 65. In the first few years the pain and discomfort was excessive, but by maintaining regular multi-weekly exercises and golf, and by generally watching my diet I have had a fairly easy time in the past 15 years. Whilst working I only had 4 to 5 days off in total as a result of the disease. I do get flare ups, particularly after traveling overseas and any prolonged change in water. I offer a solution for immediate pain control, and recommend soaking in a warm to hot bath and using over the counter pain killers which are unlikely to cause stomache issues. My mother and other family members similarly suffered with the disease from an early age, which leads me to believe that it is DNA related.

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gt11 said on 24 February 2012

I have just left hospital after my doctor diagnosed diverticulitis. I have to go back and have a colostomy within 2 weeks to confirm this. I am 42years old. Is it true that this procedure is done under local or not. I have enough of the pain ith the symptons let alone any procedure.

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Ivanovski said on 17 February 2012

I was diagnosed with diverculas after a colonoscopy four years ago following a lot of IBS. had no further problems until four months ago. GPs not that bothered about the pain I was in and prescribed Colpermin for the IBS - motions are almost normal. Problems continued until at my insistence referred to General Surgeon. He suggested a Colonospopy again but this is not so good as I am on a blood thinning drug so referred for CT scan. In the meantime he said that if nothing operable was found, there would be nothing further they can do -and I would just have to look to my diet. no health care on offer! On being pressed by me he added that I could have a referral to a dietician. It has taken over four months to reach this point and I still await an appointment to discuss the CT scan. In the meantime I started taking Probiotics in one form or another and Manuka Honey + 12 and pain has almost completely gone, and I no longer take Colpermin For these symptoms conventional medicine might be able to eliminate Cancer or Polyps but for diverticulosis it can let you down badly so look to alternative health methods.

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natural health choices said on 16 February 2012

I have seen my mother-in-law suffer with this so I decided to do some research from a natural view point rather than a knife be taken to her digestive system or constantly on drugs to either relieve the pain or the diarrhoea. What we have found has worked! She no longer suffers frm pain or diarrhoea, she does eat a healthy diet but with no after effects at all. What did she do I hear you ask? She took high strength fish oil cold pressed, NOT cod liver oil! The fish oil has high level of omega 3 to help the healing process. You can use Flax seed oil as an alternative, also probiotics on a daily basis in capsule form not the milk drinks you get from supermarkets. And then the key to it all L-Glutamine this is a major source of energy for the cells in the GI tract, it helps to heal the mucosal membrane and it reduces pain and inflammation. She is like a knew women, her energy levels have increased and she has no more pain. i hope this combination helps others suffering from this problem.

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jjdivert said on 16 February 2012

Hi fellow unfortunate sufferers..........or as I prefer, glad to learn I have Div. Dis. rather than the big C, as I learned after the very unpleasant clear out sachet drinks and the colonoscopy last week. Got to look on the bright side and for the positives! At 54 I have learned finally to look for the betters in life; then I feel better!
So the symptoms I have, I actually share with numerous individuals who understand. Yes, I find it uncomfortable, painful sometimes, very inconvenient going to the loo perhaps 10 times in a couple of hours sometimes. But at least I now know what is wrong and that it can be controlled or eased to a greater or lesser extent. Let battle commence! Thanks for the ideas and advice. And good luck to everyone.

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windywoman said on 26 January 2012

I am just turned 57.Told that I have Diverticular disease, had gut problem for years, said I.B.S years ago. Doctor just flippantly mentioned that my barium meal scan showed it up. No advice. I go so cold, like all my gut area is freezing to the core, lots pain, sweats are bad, shaking. And the wind is vile, And worry when out and about in case makes a mess as is so smelly. haphazard bowel habit. Is this all the normal thing you get with the disease then? Strong pain killers aggrievate my hiatus hernia. Can't sleep. then suddenly when shouldn't be asleep do sleep if sit down as am so tired. Anyway after reading some of the sufferers comments I am hoping my wind is containable tomorrow and will go to the heath food shop. so thankyou to all you people who wrote comments

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tonyc007 said on 14 January 2012

try a search on facebook for Diverticular Disease support UK

i have built a page where maybe we could share experiences and try to help and support each other

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EddieP said on 14 December 2011

Come end of Feb next I will have been suffering with it for two years, been hospitalised twice with it, the second time to be operated on as I was in such pain from it. But because I had had half my bowel removed in an earlier operation 11 years ago, no Consultant Surgeons in the hospital would touch me, as the first said he would never remove even more to leave me with none. My sister has had it, been operated on and has it again, so it will return. It makes me angry when Doctors seem to think it goes away and look for other reasons for my severe pain. I read in a hospital leaflet that there are many people with the disease, suffer with constant pain and yet a blood test will show no inflammation! I am one ..

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trucker142 said on 15 November 2011

This is for Shona1986,
All I can say to you is watch what you eat change your eating habit's, eat healthy food's etc, and if anything upsets you then make a note and avoid it, that's what I have done it take's time and it seem's to work for me, but like everything and everyone is differant and may not work.
Regard's.

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Marieeliz said on 12 November 2011

I have been diagnised with"Acute divertaticulitis in the past week. I have had a colonoscopy. I am ok for a couple of days and then like yesterday and today I have a flare up and a sore stomach and pain when I walk.

My Consultant did not tell me what to expect. Just that it could flare up in a few months or tighten itself up. He also said that Surgeons preferred to operate on bowel cancer than diverticular disease. Has anyone else been diagosed with Acute. I thought it would all settle down for at least a month or so. I take Movecol but have stopped because of loose bowel anyway. I was ok Mon to Thursday but yesterday discomfort started and I had a really bad night. Stomach and back sore this morning.

Any advice appreciated.

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shona1986 said on 10 November 2011

I was diagnosed with diverticular disease yesterday after suffering from pain for 2 years. They did not check for this before as I am only 25. I just want to know what the best thing is to do to help control this disease and the pain

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moonstar said on 12 October 2011

i think i have diverticulitis i am having tests at the moment but i get very bad burning in my abdomen i think this is the small bowel looking at the diagram above does any body else get this? and bad back pain when i go the toilet? is there a help group in the uk for this disease ?

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PeeVeeAh said on 23 July 2011

Strangely enough(!) this NZ site gave me the best overview of the disease:-

http://www.oxfordclinic.co.nz/medical-conditions/intestine-bowel-colon/diverticular-disease

In case the link is excluded, just google 'oxfordclinic(dot)co(dot)nz and then search the site for 'diverticular', I guess.

The irony appears to be that insoluble fibre is the 'catch-22' in diverticular disease. It appears (in this engineer's opinion) that weakening of the smooth muscle in the colon is possibly due to a lack of insoluble fibre passing through the gut, such that the smooth muscle doesn't get much of a workout! I have my own thoughts that environmental and dietary additives may have some bearing on why many more of us seem to be suffering these conditions at an earlier age than previous generations. The catch-22 I was inferring is that once pockets appear, the last thing you want is insoluble build-up in them! So such fibre must to some extent be your enemy (....rather than your enema? <facepalm> !).

I believe it's Peritonitis that is the immediate hazard when stuff goes rotten in the pockets. This seems a likely complication if the diverticulitis flare-upsd aren't managed by evacuation, successfully.

It does seem that the disorder is one that needs management - rather than one that can be 'fixed'. The notion of removing a section of the colon would appear to be a short-term one, as the systemic failure might reappear at any later time, perhaps?

The medics need to look at what environmental factors breakdown smooth muscle, imho.

Pete.

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kencando said on 22 July 2011

I have been suffering with all these symptoms for 6 months now and recently had a CT scan.
Yesterday i had a phone call from the hospital to tell me what the results were. They confirmed that it was diverticular disease. Over the 6 month period i have been trying all sorts of food eliminations to no avail. Last week i had a chat with a good friend who i had not spoken with for some time and he suggested taking some ginger. This i did and the next day all the symptoms and the pain have gone and has stayed away ever since.
The hospital has asked me to do a colonoscopy again which as i am sure you know consists of taking 2 sachets of pixolax the day before. The first time i done this it pulled me inside out and the thought of doing it again upset me. They said that they just wanted to have a closer look but informed me that at the end of the day it could only be controlled by the food that i eat. I have always eaten sensibly eating fresh foods no packet or processed food, drink very little alcohol and no spicy foods at all. So do you think now that i have found a way to control the symptoms i need to go through all this again? as my moto has always been "If it is OK then leave it alone"
Comments please

Ken

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kiwichick13 said on 21 July 2011

I was diagnosed with Diverticulitis a month ago, aged 31. I'm vegetarian so eat a fairly high fibre diet prior to this. For the last month I've had 2 spells in hospital and am currently taking 33 different pills a day so combat both infection and pain. One course of antibiotics finishes and a flare up occurs within the week. I'm on synthetic morphine daily to combat pain and have been told to rest an d avoid stress but am a single mum of 3 working 2 jobs so not quite sure how to go about either!! I have a sigmoidoscopy booked a month from now, not entirely sure what the result from that will be. Does anyone know of a UK based internet support group for sufferers? I'd love to be able to try and understand this disease more.

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PeeVeeAh said on 14 July 2011

Aged early 50s, I've been diagnosed with diverticular disease. Colonoscopy confirmed this and initial treatment with Movicol daily and then senna at roughly fortnightly intervals to evacuate the pockets. This worked well - and was manageable - for a few years, but now Bisacodyl is prescribed as senna was not doing the clearout effectively. Now, just a few months into the 2 x Bisacodyl each week, the reliable activity 'downtime' has increased so that a greater percentage of the week is 'unreliable' than at any time since onset.

I'm wondering if any meds I had earlier to control BPH have softened the smooth muscle that comprises the colon? I used Tamsulosin Hydrochloride for a number of years - and the smooth muscle commonality between urinary tract and bowel structure makes me wonder if the current situation was accelerated without side effect warning being declared?

I think the major hold-up is probably at the first bend at the top of the rectum, as the main discomfort area is across under the thoracic region.

I'm wondering how feasible it is to assess how much of the colon is at risk of future pocketing and whether the notion of removing 'one loop' of the colon is the surgical benchmark?

It's certainly more difficult to manage and so if others' experience of surgery has been successful, then I'd like readers to sing its praises!....or otherwise :-(

Thanks,

Pete.

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CoeliacChic said on 03 July 2011

I was diagnosed with this yesterday, but need to go to my own GP tomorrow as i may need a colonoscopy. im only 17 so to have this is very puzzling, i also have coeliac disease so my diet is limited enough as it is...

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JamesIV said on 10 May 2011

Diagnosed at 82 with "quite severe diverticulosis", I was recommended daily Fybogel.

I can very definitely recommend it.

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trucker142 said on 08 April 2011

I was diagnosed with Diverticula Disease in 2010, due to loss of weight and bowl changing habits and rectal bleeding,I have had all the tests pills etc, and changed my eating habits.
I have found that certain foods inflame it more and cause my bowl habits to change very rapidly, thus causing me to have time off work again, in total I have had 7 months in the last year and into this year off work already.
I am due back to my local hospital in May and am thinking of asking for an operation to try and sort this out so that I can get on with my life and not keep needing the toilet.

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Sophiejazz said on 27 February 2011

I have just been diagnosed with diverticulosis. I've experienced pain in the lower left abdomen for about 5 months. Over the past month it has been worse and needed pain killers. Has anyone with this disease tried a colonic irrigation? Also I don't know whether it has progressed to being diverticulitis.

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stonechipper said on 01 February 2011

@jwb1. I have had IBS for many years and in recent times have had a lot of 'loose bowels' and irritated anal passage. My doc was concerned at frequency (4 times a day) and recommended probiotic yoghurts. These didn't have much effect and I'm not a big fan of yoghurts. So when my grownup daughter was put on a detox regime for a skin complaint i read up on the supplements she was to take. One of these was a probiotic in capsule form (Lactobacillus GG) This has a far higher serving of probiotic than the yogurts and I decided to give it a try. It can be found in health food stores but is cheaper on-line. After taking it for just a few days symptoms improved dramatically. Frequency is only slightly reduced but now within 'normal' range. I don't take it every day now and on the odd occassion symptoms return I take them for a week. I don't know if they will work for everyone (and there are a few contra indications for not taking them) but please read up on them and decide if they might be the way forward for you. Good luck.

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clotheshorse said on 17 January 2011

I have suffered from this illness for 10 years , I have now seen an acupuncurist [for 8 weeks] I now take one sachet of fibregel every morning and am on a wheat and dairy free diet. This is the best that I have felt for years. No foggy head syndrome , bloating, headaches etc ,anymore. I am sure that my symptoms are linked to diet , please try.

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jon111 said on 05 January 2011

After complaining to the local GP for many months they finally referred me to the hospital for a scan that revealed that I had many Diverticula. I am only 37 years of age and always had regular bowel movement. I not sure how I came to get this but it is unbelievably painful, my sympathy to all that suffered with disease.

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jbw1 said on 21 December 2010

I'm in my late 60's and have suffered with a form of IBS/diverticulitis for more than 30 years. I've always eaten a good diet and I take regular exercise.
My symptoms do not include lower abdomen pain but consistent flatulence which has got worse over the years and now troubles me daily. Socially it is extremely embarassing.
Over the years, I've had several colonoscopies which have revealed inflamation in the lower bowel area and have been told that I probably have a high level of bacteria in the gut that is the cause of the problem but have never been provided with a solution or a satisfactory prescription. Can anybody help?

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Ian_1944 said on 22 August 2010

I have had diverticulitis since 1992. My experience has been that stress is a significant factor, that I need continual daily opiate pain killers to function at all, and that the choice of which has to be made on the basis of balancing strength and side effects. At the moment I'm using three of them, each with its own spectrum of pros and cons.

Then in addition it helps a great deal to use lots of H&B Echinacea and Vitamin C at the first sign of a viral infection (of which the gut itself is now the first and most sensitive indicator), because its one of these which moves the problem from being a controlled background one to an uncontrolled foreground one. When it does become the latter, Loperamide is essential to stop the bowel from turning into a sloppy ferment of gas and diarrhoea and to settle it down again.

So these various medicines are always on hand and available, and between them they control the condition - just! I'm now hoping that enough cabinet ministers will get diverticulitis so that they will vote the funds to find a proper cure.

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Ian_1944 said on 22 August 2010

I have had diverticulitis since 1992. My experience has been that stress is a significant factor, that I need continual daily opiate pain killers to function at all, and that the choice of which has to be made on the basis of balancing strength and side effects. At the moment I'm using three of them, each with its own spectrum of pros and cons.

Then in addition it helps a great deal to use lots of H&B Echinacea and Vitamin C at the first sign of a viral infection (of which the gut itself is now the first and most sensitive indicator), because its one of these which moves the problem from being a controlled background one to an uncontrolled foreground one. When it does become the latter, Loperamide is essential to stop the bowel from turning into a sloppy ferment of gas and diarrhoea and to settle it down again.

So these various medicines are always on hand and available, and between them they control the condition - just! I'm now hoping that enough cabinet ministers will get diverticulitis so that they will vote the funds to find a proper cure.

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volusia said on 30 July 2010

I'v just been diagnosed with diverticulitis today,suffered tummy pains for 2 weeks and was told my ibs was playing up on wed,but pain was so bad I had to get Dr in today, he put me on antibiotics and antacid tablets.I only hope this does the trick as the pain is unbearable.

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luvmykitties39 said on 23 January 2010

WOW!! I wish I had discovered this a year ago. I am 70 years old, have always followed high fiber diet and been active, yet overweight. After atypical symptoms of diverticulitis (no gas, bloating; pain , but irritation in the anal area)--for 6 months, i had a colonoscopy--previously had one 8 yrs ago with instructions to follow-up in 10 yrs). Dr . reported diverticulosis, take metamucil once a day (a-a-g-h!!) and nothing else. Of course I still had flare-ups and pain. I'm so glad to get some medical advice that is finally helping and making sense.

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bern47 said on 10 January 2010

im 47 yrs old and in may this year i was taken into hospital after my doctor was called out who diagnosed diverticulitis i was in extreme pain and had many antibiotics i was told that i was young to have this disease.

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nanshirley said on 04 December 2009

Ive just had a bowel resection due to diverticular disease and an abcess removed, I was extremely ill throughout my ordeal It was the most frightening thing ive ever experienced, but thanks to a fantastic surgeon he saved my life and reading up on this page about the out come of the problems and so on have put my mind at rest I really thought I was going to die or that it will return again ,I still have left side pain and now my top bowel gets blocked from time to time , I am currently trying to find out all I can to help my condition
stabilize and reading this article has at least given me hope for the future, thank you very much

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graham1950 said on 30 November 2009

Ive had diverticulitis since 1998, i constantly suffer from abdominal pains, i take loperamide, i eat fruit and veg, brown breads etc, i don,t eat junk foods, but there does,nt seem to be any relief from the symtoms, if i stop taking loperamide the diarrhoea returns i have been told that the loperamide is stopping from losing weight so i can,t win.

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