Diverticulosis & Diverticulitis

j 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

Who cares about diverticular disease? Not me, particularly; but if you or someone you know is affected by it, then you would. So I have undertaken an exhausting research project (thanks, Google) that probably anyone could duplicate or improve on in some way. This is Poonurse reporting on... Diverticular Disease.

So What's The Deal?

Even though these two names sound the same (and no, I didn't make them up), they are very different in the opinion of your colon.

Diverticula are small pouches in your colon that bulge outward through weak spots, like an inner tube poking out through weak places in a tire, or like my ass bulging out when I try to wear jeans that are obviously too tight in a pathetic attempt to reclaim my lost youth and former attractiveness before multiple marriages to controlling losers sucked the life right out of me.

Each pouch is called a diverticulum. When you have more than one, you have diverticulOSIS. When the pouches become infected or inflamed, you have diverticulITIS. Stay with me, now... this will get semi-interesting at some point soon. Hopefully.

What Could Cause This?

Now that we know about our colons' potential to make deadly pouches inside of any one of us, it would be good to know how to prevent this from happening. Doctors believe that a low-fiber diet is the main cause of diverticular disease. (Let's just refer to it as DD from now on because I'm getting very tired of typing out the whole thing. *Note* DD is very different from the ED that Bob Dole is always talking about in those commercials.)

So it's the old story: not enough fiber. Genetics might play a part, too, but since there isn't anything that any of us can do about that, let's just latch right onto the fiber theory.

Fiber is the part of fruits, vegetables and grains that the body doesn't digest. There are two kinds of fiber -- soluble and insoluble -- but I'm not EVEN going to get into. One kind of fiber is all I can deal with at this point in my life. Fiber makes your poop soft and easy to pass and prevents constipation- - that's all I think we need to know. Aim to get 25 to 30 grams a day.

Brief Boring History Part You Can Skim Over Without Endangering Your Health

DD was first noticed in the United States in the early 1900's. This was about the same time that processed foods were introduced into the American diet, although I can't think what processed foods these could have possibly been. I know there weren't Cheetos, Fritos, Little Debbie Cakes or anything like that available back then, so I am a tad suspicious of the supposed link to processed foods. Also -- who the hell knew what was going on in the world in the 1900's? I guess a lot of people kept diaries or something. Anyway, DD's been around a while.

DD is most common in developed nations -- particularly the U.S. where we tend to come down with a lot of stuff like this. Low-fiber diets are rampant in the U.S. The disease is rare in countries in Asia and Africa, where people eat high-fiber vegetable diets. Although I have to wonder -- in Asia and Africa, aren't they are too busy worrying about deadly diseases like AIDS and the plague to really concentrate on DD and the pouch-making activities of the large intestine? I think DD would be the LEAST of their worries.

How Do You Know If You Have It?

Diverticulosis' symptoms can range from nothing at all to mild cramps, bloating, and constipation. Other non-deadly bowel diseases, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome and ulcers might cause these same symptoms, so don't run around saying "Poonurse said I have Diverticulosis" if you experience any of these symptoms. In fact, keep my name out of it altogether, if possible.

Diverticulitis is far more serious, anyway. The most common symptom of this is abdominal pain, usually on the left side of the lower abdomen. You might also have fever, nausea, vomiting, chills, cramping, and constipation. Bad things can happen from here on out.

Like What?

Diverticulitis can lead to severe complications like bleeding, infections, perforations, or blockages in the intestines. It ain't fun. If you develop any of these, you'd better get yourself to a doctor, pronto. Bleeding rarely happens, but sometimes a blood vessel in a diverticulum weakens and bursts. (I HOPE it goes without saying that if you are bleeding from the rectum, go to a doctor. But judging by the number of people who write in saying, "I'm bleeding from the rectum, what should I do," it apparently needs saying. So I'm saying it: go to the doctor.)

An infection caused by diverticulitis often clears up after a few days of treatment with antibiotics. But if it doesn't, you might get an abscess in your colon. Colons are pretty particular about who they let set up housekeeping in there, and if you get an abscess (an infected area that fills up with pus), the colon will serve an eviction notice in the form of rupturing and sending the pus to a new home in your spanking-clean abdominal cavity. This pisses off the abdomen, which will retaliate by doing its best to kill you. At this point, doctors have to get all involved to settle the dispute. To get rid of an abscess that doesn't respond to antibiotics, the doctor has to stick a needle into your abdomen and drain the fluid out through a catheter. This is expensive and probably very painful. Sometimes surgery is needed to clean out the abscess and actually remove part of the colon.

One more bad thing (but an interesting little complication) is called a fistula. This is an abnormal connection between two organs. When damaged tissues come into contact with each other, they tend to stick together. If they heal that way, a fistula forms. The most common type of fistula is between the bladder and the colon. It occurs mainly in men, thank God. It makes them have frequent urinary tract infections, and requires surgery to fix. I don't know why I think fistulas are so interesting, but I do.

Your intestines can also just go on strike and shut down production completely. While it sounds restful for the colon, it is a serious emergency and requires immediate surgery.

OK -- I'm Scared -- So What Is The Treatment?

The best treatment, of course, is prevention, which is why I'm constantly on your backs about fiber. For God's sake -- if you can't be bothered to eat properly, get Metamucil or some other fiber product and use it.

If you do get DD (and remember, it's not always your fault. Genetics plays a role, so feel free to blame your parents), adhering to the aforementioned high-fiber diet and pain medications will in most cases help relieve the symptoms.

Until recently, doctors believed people with diverticulosis should avoid foods with small seeds, such as tomatoes or strawberries or brownies with pot in them (unless you take the seeds out). They thought the seeds could lodge on the small pouches and cause problems. Apparently someone decided that this is no longer true, so I'm giving you a green light on the pot brownies. Zucchini, cucumbers, raspberries, and poppy seeds are also generally considered harmless. You should, however, avoid nuts, popcorn, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds. But your colon may have a different idea about what it will and will not tolerate, so keep track of what seems to piss it off.

If you get mild diverticulitis, your doctor will often prescribe antibiotics, put you on a liquid diet (no, not a beer diet), and give you some nice pain relievers that can often be hoarded and used just to get a buzz when you need one.

A severe attack will require a hospital stay. Along with your nice liquid diet and pain medication, you might also part with a portion of your colon. The goal of this surgery is to keep the attacks from coming back, and to prevent serious complications.

What Have We Learned?

Probably nothing, but what I'm trying to get across is that it's always best to do what you can to prevent these kinds of things from happening. Go get your Metamucil or Citrucel or generic fiber supplement. Often times they can be mixed with Jack Daniels for a tasty and entertaining way to ensure colon happiness. I also hope you know I was kidding about the brownies. That would be a waste of some perfectly good green.

Poonurse is an RN with 25 years experience in labor and delivery. Her qualifications
include seeing a lot of poop, and owning a computer. Also, she works in Michigan, which she calls the asshole
of the universe, so that's another bit of credibility.
Got a question for her?

88 Comments on "Diverticulosis & Diverticulitis"

Anonymous's picture

You seriously crack me up! So glad this came up in my google search. I needed a few good laughs!

Anonymous's picture

I am 28 years old and have recently discovered that what my doctor has been telling me is bladder infections, spleen infections, kidney infections, is actually DD. I found this out by going to the er because of the pain and being diagnosed with a ruptured colon, caused by the DD. Needless to say, it has not been a pleasent experience for me. I've had to endure TWO colon ruptures, one emergency surgery to remove the sigmoid portion of my colon and install a colostomy, 4 months of being 28 and having to wear a poo bag, another surgery to remove more of my colon and reverse the poo bag, and I am currently healing with a 12 in. midline incision and a three inch incision from the colostomy. DD is not a joke! Thank you very much for sharing the importance of digestive tract health! Nobody thinks about it, including me, until something bad happens.

Anonymous's picture

I don't know if you're still out there but the same thing happened to me. I went to the doc, had a colonscopy and was given 5 units of blood. They can't figure out where the bleeding came from so ordered another test I take tomorrow. What has it been like since your post in 2006?

Anonymous's picture

I've been dealing with this for 5 years now. I've been hospitalized over 20 times in this time period, near death multiple times and only recently have they finally been able to diagnose me, and now I am on a waiting list for surgery. I was just let out of the hospital after one of the worst bouts ever, and I feel like I've been run over by a Mack truck. I am 37 and have felt sick on my insides for the entire 5 years, and not a day goes by where I feel strong. Basically feel like I am dying from the inside out. This has to be one of the most horrible diseases ever. To top it off I was born with a short intestine, so a simple resection is going to be a nightmare for my surgeon.

Anonymous Coward's picture

In the middle of my 1st attack in 20 yrs, I've been lucky. Mine was stabbing pain on the right side, gas pains unbelievable, chills, nauseous, and pressure over the pelvic bone. The CT Scan showed DD so I'm on Cipro and liquid diet. Kinda glad I'm nauseous now so I'm not hungry! I've been sleeping constantly, way too much but the bod seems to need it. I always ignored DD when it came up in conversation since I had a mild bout those yrs ago. Now, I'm reading all I can, really appreciate hearing from real people who are 'there.'

the thin brown line's picture
j 1000+ points

Where's Poonurse? Chief, when you said she's no longer around, a sad knot entered my soul.

Somethin' mysterious made an exit from the gift shop.

The Prof's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

Born 11/3/48. Retired cardiovascular ultrasound guy. Got in on the ground floor, got out when the gettin' was good. Lots of pubs; textbooks & research papers but a bunch of potboiler shit, too. Used to run the CV ultrasound school at a major university m

Born 11/3/48. Retired cardiovascular ultrasound guy. Got in on the ground floor, got out when the gettin' was good. Lots of pubs; textbooks & research papers but a bunch of potboiler shit, too. Used to run the CV ultrasound school at a major university m

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ points

We are into all aspects of poop with the exception of scatological fetishes. Talking about poop is practically taboo in our society and has probably caused many deaths because some are ashamed to discuss the subject even with their doctor.

Poop is one of the few things that is universal, even as I type this message to you an Arab is crouched behind a sand dune somewhere grunting one out. Somewhere in the frigid north an Inuit may have his warm cozy trousers down around his ankles dropping a load hurriedly in hopes he can finish before his partially extruded log freezes or his plump succulent buttocks are spied by a passing polar bear. Even the Pope poops.

We talk about poop but, for the most part, try to do it in an intellectual and humorous manner. We have members that are cancer survivors and claim that the support they received here helped them through their ordeal. Many IBS sufferers have also found that linking with others who suffer the same ailment can give them new things to try and a ray of hope.

We can also be pretty damn disgusting at times as we discuss taboo things that virtually every one does.

Dirty old men need love too!!

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

The Prof from Hell's picture

OK, Dave, I done done it. North of the Mason-Dixon line that would translate into something like "I really did it." Now I get to assess what it is that I have really done done.

The Prof

The Prof's picture

Well, OK. I will, at least tentatively. What exactly am I to be participating in? My interest was specific to the relationship of alcohol with DD, & the NIH seems to have answered my questions on that. What are you guys up to?

The Prof

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ points

John, I went back and checked your first submission and the name "The Prof" appeared at the end of your comment only and not in the box where your username goes. "Anonymous Coward" appears automatically unless it has been deleted and a user name of your invention used.

This thread is about seven years old and Poonurse is no longer around. Also mods are the only ones that can see your email address and after a post is a few days old that becomes a little bit difficult.

Why don't you register and become a regular? We would be happy to have you.

Dirty old men need love too!!

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

The Prof's picture


"Anomymous coward?" How did I achieve that status? How do I avoid it? As for your article & my question, feel free to use my E-mail address to answer it, if that's more convenient. We got a family discussion going on, here, dude. Well, it's a very slow discussion, I admit, but...

John Cooper
The Prof from Hell

Anonymous Coward's picture

Fun, interesting article.

I have diverticulosis (had? Still have one diverticulum left). I'm six years out from a major-league iatrogenic diverticulitis attack leading to a bacterial infection of both my large & small intestines & ultimately to a "spontaneous" rupture of my enlarged & sodden spleen. Crit & BP on arrival at the hospital that time (the day I arrived home from my initial hospitalization for the infection itself) were 16 & 42, respectively. Bad shit, if you'll pardon me. During the course of that first hospitalization my waist size went from 33 to 51. Not comfortable.

Through the luck of the draw I got an unusually competent surgeon & I'm doing great.

Now my question: How much does booze enter into the progression of DD? I admit to an affection for Bourbon, tequila, decent wine & the occasional beer when confronted by shrimp. So far all I've seen suggests that alcohol isn't implicated in the progression of DD, except that its dehydrating effects should be countered by drinking water. What's your take?

The Prof

Jazzy John's picture

Hi fellow troubled poopers. I'm 47 and was recently diagnosed with Diverticulosis after having had 2 attacks of diverticulitis. It felt like someone took a knife to the lower left side of my abdomen/colon and turned it like a screwdrive . 6 days of Cypro and the obvious increase in fibre across the board as well as a ton of fluids each day have erased the intense pain leaving me with a simple desire for just staying well at all costs. I am petrified of another attack and don't care to be less of an asshol* than I already am and you all know what I mean. No surgery-eat fibre! Thanks for the this column - it's been extremely brown eye opening to read. Cheers, J

sleepydog's picture

Thank you, poonurse, love your writing! I now understand the words and the disease. I have a dog that suffers from both Diverticulosis & Diverticulitis and did not get enough info from the vet who diagnosed her.

Big's picture

Oh yeah, and apparently, it DOES show up on the right-side; that's where mine are.

Big D's picture

Not really here to post anything new, but I did want to add to this whole "stress" thing that seems to be in question. K, really fast.....I had a really awful thing happen to me that caused HUGE stress for nearly 1 full year. I wasn't able to deal with the issue and could actually FEEL the stress affecting my body more and more DAILY after the event.

It started in my neck with a dull pain and eventually ended up resulting in major bloating and a tight belly. I have always been rail-thin and although I DID gain weight since my ordeal, it was only to the tune of about 15 pounds. However, the bloat made me look like it was more like 50. Anyway, (I'll get to the point, no really, I will). I had an episode a few days ago (out of nowhere [I should mention I've NEVER had stomach issues of this level in my 33 years]) of stabbing pain in my lower-right abdomen. I decided to check it out and it was initially thought I had appendicitis. No. After a C.T. I was informed it was diverticulitis. It was hellishly painful and upsetting to learn and the worst part?: I KNEW something bad was going to come of having this intense period of loss and the stress associated with it. I simply found myself without the ability to deal with having let go of something I thought I never would....it sucked having to do it and all my instincts said not to.

So yeah, I'm pretty pissed off that I didn't change a situation a year ago that I, in fact, had full control of. I totally believe this was the result. Although stress was not cited by professionals as being a likely culprit (I got the fiber story), I remember thinking (after hearing it was diverticulitis) "I knew something was happening in there.....".
Would LOVE to think this is reversible....considering that I am now PAST that crappy (yeah, yeah) situation that I think lead to all this.

As for the people that posted about stress, I would love to know if there were any major emotional situations you dealt with prior to your respective diagnoses.


Anonymous Coward's picture

Is this anonymous.. what if i want to speak to someone but dont want to post it.. let me know

Cindy's picture

Great article, thank you. I'm 41 and got out of the hospital a few weeks ago. I had an abscess the size of a golf ball that proliferated my colon. I had 6 inches of the colon removed. I too have had a good healthy diet for years and was vegetarian.

Another poster mentioned stress. I too had an extremely stressful, angry situation the day before this happened.

Btw, even though I was in severe pain and seriously sick, throwing up, I was sent out of the ER 3 times, having had 3 CAT scans that didn't show the abscess. It was after my general doctor sent me back to the ER yet again and called them and literally had to fight them to get me another CAT scan with contrast this time, and they finally found it and I had to have surgery.

My Surgeon told me he didn't see any other pouches either, just that one.

Thank you for this great, informative and entertaining article.

overdone's picture

I found that the poopnurse explained DD in way that are better understood than how my Dr. explained it to me. Kudos to the poop nurse

Phomp's picture

Hello all you little poops....I'm new and have a question or two. Sorry, probably will not joke about this, I need your help.

I have a lot of constipation, I know why too, I have Fibromyalgia and have been on a lot of meds, one is Oxycontin for my pain. That is the culprit so my diet has always been sensible and I still have serious problems. My poop went from a normal long to little marble size last April. At least twice I've gone as long as 10 days without really pooping. I don't need to tell you how scared I was and how bad I felt. I finally got some of that bottled poop-blaster and that helped for a few days. So we have established the chronic marbles. My stomach always hurts, it started to pull when I bend over to make the bed or ? This all happened back in April after the first 10 day absence of bathroom success.

Something really happened at that time and since then the pain is nonstop. The problem; most of the pain is in the lower right side (not left as they say it should be). My back hurts too. The heating pad is my best friend.

Has anyone else had that pulling feeling when they bend? Can I have diverticulitis if the pain is on the right side?

I am having an upper and lower GI July 1st but I feel so bad I am a little afraid something might be really going wrong. However, I've been in this pain since last April so maybe it is nothing.

Any help you can be is much appreciated.


HeatherCho's picture

Thank you for your article. I completely appreciate the factual information and also the great sense of humor, especially the green and the hoarding of painkillers. You made me laugh out loud and I could relate with EVERYTHING, from the DD symptoms to the green to the stockpile.

tonyzee's picture

i am an occasional bud lite drinker and people said this is taboo. but how is it taboo, if you drinking hops and mild alcohol for weekends?
o well we wait and see when the next attack of the meteorite poop shower comes at us! or maybe a heavy case of colitis!! cheers

diverticulitis diet's picture

Foods to look for, which will definitely help, and will get the Diverticulitis diet kicked in high gear, would be, carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, peas, broccoli, sprouts, turnips

and beans such as lima and kidney. All these foods are high in fibre at that is what the body needs to ease pressure on the colon’s duties. For starters a high fibre cereal should
also help as it will enhance the digestive system and boost the metabolism.

diverticulitis diet's picture

When our diet is poor in fibre, diverticulitis may form. This is when pouches are formed within the colon, after it becomes inflamed and infected from trapped bacteria. The formation of these pouches is called Diverticulitis. This is a sensitive and painful condition, and straining when you have Diverticulitis means that extra pressure will be put on those soft, vulnerable areas. A Diverticulitis diet, will definitely help the colon to work properly. It will soothe the pain and even make the condition go away, and since the system will be working properly, less strain will be placed in the colon. This will all help in nursing it back to a healthy state.

IBS NO MORE's picture
k 500+ points


Each and every human malady which can be "caught" or even inherited is caused FIRST by the food we eat. There may be an external irritant which takes hold inside our body and wreaks havoc, but if we were truly eating right then that wouldn't be possible--not even colds or the flu can take hold in an internally clean body.

What does being internally clean mean? It means maintaining the proper pH balance inside the body by increasing intake of alkaline foods and reducing sources of acid build-up.

What are sources of acid build-up? There are 4: Eating foods together that require opposite digestive processes, eating too much refined/processed/DENATURED foods, eating too much protein, and keeping waste in the colon too long.

How do we get internally clean? By eliminating the sources of acid build-up: eating more whole natural REAL foods (less denatured junk, which isn't food), in the right combinations (separate carbs from proteins), and in the correct proportion as required by the body as replacement material (not too much protein).

What about #4? If you take care of the other three, the fourth will take care of itself :)

What does truly eating right mean, exactly? It means that the correct human diet should consist of mostly raw fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts, with very little starch or animal protein intake--quite the opposite of what most of us eat on a daily basis--even what the government recommends is far too much. What it truly means, exactly, is that you should be eating 4 servings of raw fresh fruits and/or vegetables for every serving of starch or protein consumed each day. The closer you can get to that ideal, the faster your body will heal itself of any and all health problems you are having.

Bottom line: FOOD is the root cause of all disease, and FOOD, therefore, is also the ONLY CURE.
(actually your body does the curing--you just feed it the right building materials and get out of the way!)

Don’t believe me? I can prove the power of food if you will take this challenge: Try separating carbs from protein for just 1 week. This means if you want meat in a given meal, just don’t eat any breads, pastas, rice or potatoes with it. If it seems like this change will be very difficult for you, then all the more reason to try it and feel the power of this one change in that short week.

Want to know more? Need personal help? Contact me.

How I beat IBS

When you say the word “poop,” your mouth makes the same motion your butthole does when pooping…
The same can be said for the phrase “explosive diarrhea.”

Anonymous Coward's picture

very informative in layman terms!!! ty

ChiliKahKah's picture
j 1000+ points

Makes me glad I am not in the medical field !

Anonymous Coward's picture

I believe mine was caused from dealing with the stress and germs from a psychopathic boyfriend. I caught bacterial infections, was constantly in fear all the time, not sleeping from worry. He caused me to loose my job, and turned everyone and everything against me, I was horrified, helpless and confused for several years. I kept telling the clinic that he was giving me strange infections and they would not give me antibiotics. Then my symptoms escalated into diverticulitis.

So, I am convinced that highly stressful situations and bacterial etc., germs passed from person to person can cause this. The medical field is full of idiots!

Samauria Pooper's picture

I have a kidney stone and DD. Pain in the back right (kidney stone) and front left (DD). Having to take pain medicine causes constipation and the DD causes constipation. Drinking half a gallon of water a day and eating properly helps after 3 trips to the ER screaming in pain. I can't believe popcorn, nuts and seeds are good for DD as they are hardest foods to digest. Obviously low fiber diet is the safest bet. pleasant BM to all and to all a good night.

IBS NO MORE's picture
k 500+ points

Food combining can immediately put an end to digestive problems including acid reflux/GERD, gastritis, constipation, IBS, heartburn, diverticulosis/diverticulitis, diarrhea, ulcers, colitis & Crohn's (IBD).

I was eating very healthfully, following all the "rules" for eating with IBS, and still suffered daily for 5 long years. When I started following food combining guidelines, all IBS issues, excess gas, bloating, cramping and indigestion ended immediately, starting literally DAY ONE.

Search food combining on the web and check it out for yourself... or the extremely easy and tasty program I used is linked below.

Your ass will thank you.

How to beat digestive problems

When you say the word “poop,” your mouth makes the same motion your butthole does when pooping…
The same can be said for the phrase “explosive diarrhea.”

3timesthecharm's picture

Home from the hospital again. This is the 3rd time confirmed and there was 1 other time not confirmed.My doctor is now sending me to the surgeon. I have avoided all the recomended foods and still get this crap.

But recently found out tomato juice is a no no. I drink alot of tomato juice cause they say it is good for you.Still not sure why it happens and other times i am fine. The first few times sausage was the problem, the fennel seeds and herbs never break down.

I hope all here get well soon..

sittingpretty's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

Pample poop, I was told by a colo-rectal surgeon that a partial colectomy doesn't work. I guess it is too late now. Sorry.
...And their flesh like dung. Zeph. 1:17

...And their flesh like dung. Zeph. 1:17

PamplePoop's picture

Interesting poop page; interesting comments.

I'm 45 and have just returned from yet another hospitalization for diverticulitis. What's worse -- this last attack has come after the partial colectomy that was supposed to clear up the problem.

Like someone mentionned above, I too am beginning to doubt this high fiber stuff. I am (and have for quite a while) been almost completely vegetarian. I am slim, fit and have no other health problems. And yet, this is my sixth moderate to serious attack of diverticulitis in 8 years and my 4th hospitalization. The week before I got this last attack I had high fiber cereal for breakfast, hummous and pita for lunch and various forms of rice and beans for dinner everyday. I also drink herb tea, decaf and/or water all day long. Maybe I had too much fiber?!

Looking back over my attacks, it seems that stress and anger have had much to do with precipitating them. My first attack (at age 37) came after what must have been one of the most stressful weeks of my entire life (about 6 hours sleep for the entire week; a seemingly intractible problem I felt I simply had to solve to prevent the imminent and humiliting end of my career; intense anger and paranoia -- to the extent that I was running around my house screaming to myself and pounding on the walls, etc.) When I suggested that stress might be the culprit to the veritable parade of specialists that I saw in the hospital, they all said that stress had nothing whatsoever to do with it. Idiots!

In every other case (except this last one) I had some intense and unusually stressful situation occur directly before an attack. Example:Coming within a hair's breath of failing my dissertation defense while simultaneously attempting to buy and sell a house without going BK.

Anyway, I'm going to see my GI guy Friday. I'm sure he's going to tell me I need more surgery. But at this point I'm much more interested in experimenting with my diet, stress levels etc.

Thanks for the great column, BTW

CarlinLPN's picture

I am home from work today after a stint in the ER last night. Antiobiotics, bedrest and Lortab, not to mention my little pity party. I am 47 and have had "DD" for many years, but this was the worst. Just wanted to say thanks after I came accross this posting while trying to search out the latest info on the web. I found the humor to be refreshing and it took my mind off of how serious this really can get. Trying to figure how to change my busy lifestyle to actually take care of myself.

mike676's picture

Here's my story hope it will help someone.
I was diagnosed with div after a colonoscopy 2 years ago. Everything was fine until a bout of
constipation caused by of all things tofu....yes that healthy stuff can be your worst enemy with div. If I learned anything through this whole experience and listen carefully....don't push when pooping!!! Common sense tells you by pushing you are forcing matter into the div pocket. I asked my surgeon about the seed nut issue, he and the Mayo clinic agree these foods are safe just chew it well. My surgeon also said after 100's of bowel resections he's never found any seeds or nuts in the infected pocket it is always a ball of poop. My intestine was almost completely swollen and the pocket was perforated. Lucky for me the staff misread my cat scan and missed the free gas in the body cavity.That indicates a perforation which surgery is standard procedure when discovered.Three days had passed and it was finally discovered when my temp was 105. Because I was on heavy meds for days the colon was starting to heal. I was feeling and looking better so my doctor decided to treat the patient not the symptom.After 10 days of meds and rest I was discharged and haven't had a bout since. I have given up red meat and most dairy products and have never felt better and oddly I haven't been sick once since then.
No colds or anything! A good diet and plenty of veges,fruit and plenty of water seems to be the trick for me and I hope it will help you too.

Anonymous Coward's picture

My last attack of diverticulitis scared me. I can't afford to go to the hospital. I held off going to a doctor for 2 days, then finally went. I knew what I had already, since I've had it before. Anyway, for those of you who are new to this...water and clear liquids for the first few days (until the cramping subsides), then slowly introduce bland foods. I quit drinking, but still have a cup of coffee in the morning. I've cut way back on sweets. I had my first red meat last night. It didn't even taste good, and then I got a lot of gas. Tells me this is not good either. The trick is to get well again and then eat a GOOD diet, take Metamucil and drink lots of water.
Good luck to you all.

Pagan Girl's picture

Hi there,
I was diagnosed with this a couple of years ago, suffering for a 2 1/2 years now...
A low-fibre diet or processed foods as *my* cause for this, makes no sense. I spend my first 13 years in New Zealand, with nary a McD's in sight and ate very well.
Then we moved to the Yukon T., Canada, and it wasn't until I was 16 that I had my first Big Mac. I used to get teased on Ski Patrol about my little packets of instant oatmeal that I'd carry around for my stints in the 'Bump Shack' (not quite as much fun as it sounds...).

Personally, I believe that stress has a huge amount to do with it, yet I have not seen it mentioned in this article.

I do know I can't eat red meat (I miss the occasional steak, but won't take the chance, but other than that, I don't really miss it.)

However, I still get serious pains/flare-ups and am confused as to either: not eat & drink lots of water, OR: consume more fibre & drink lots of water.

Can someone clear this up? Thanks to the Pooh Nurse for this. I was searching for what ails me and this reminded me of the diagnosis. "duh".

PS -- Daphne, you rock.

Anonymous Coward's picture

Your descriptions have been very helpful to me. I've been having flare-ups now for about every 3 months, and am currently on another round of Cypro. In pain, and a colonoscopy showed many diverticulii.

Thanks for the tips, and your friendly way of discussing ways to avoid these flare-ups. made me smile and I am in such pain at the moment.

dave61's picture

I've had diverticulitis for the past two weeks. I just finished up a course of antibiotics. I'm still having quite a lot of pain in my lower left side. Do I need to go on a liquid diet in order to heal up? How long will it take to start feeling better. I didn't realize how serious this condition is. It it has really sapped my energy and I'm feeling quite sick. This has happened to me only one other time and it came on the day after my first colonoscopy. I thought maybe the instrument was contaminated and it caused an infection. The doctor who administered the colonoscopy said my colon was clean. No pouches or polyps. A previous doctor who performed a barium enema determined that I had diverticulosis. But I did get sicker than a dog and spent one week in the hospital. I sure don't want to repeat that experience.

Dallas in Pcola's picture

Very informative. I was just diagnosed of having diverticulosis in my mid-decending and mid sigmoid. Which is a sort of relief (I went to the ER thinking it was my Spleen) Anyhow- I have other pains now- and i'm having the upper endoscopy done tomorrow and praying it's not the pancreas. Thank you for your humor injected information. I laughed soo hard i pooped all over myself (which is a good thing- since I may have IBS and haven't done the deed today)

Thanks again!

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ points

Here is some interesting news for everyone, not only can a diverticulum form up your butt, your bladder is also fair game for these little pouches. I was referred to a urologist several years ago to check out blood in my urine.

Using a medieval torture instrument that looked like a straightened coat hangar with an eye-piece on one end the good doctor invaded my weenie and decided that my problem was an inability to empty my bladder completely. While he was up there looking around he discovered three little pouches bulging out from my bladder.

This procedure was marvelously educational as I discovered that I was able to curl my toes under until they touched my heels. The next time the urologist invaded my weenie it was with a knife on the end of a coat hangar so that he could
remove part of the old prostate. It was a few weeks before my peeing became joyful again.

Eat chilies and feel the burn!!

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

Cindy in nc's picture

Hello PN,

Enjoyed the article and it was very funny and informative. My mother has DD, and I have had Ulcerative Colitis for many years. I was able to cure mine by drinking 4tblsp of organic apple cider vinegar with water and 4 ounces of organic aloe vera juice mixed with the juice of my choice each day. I also cut out all pork and drink only organic milk occasionally. My mom started the vinegar and aloe vera juice about 6 months ago and has had not had any attacks of DD except for one due to not having the juice to mix with the aloe vera. She used fibercon instead and had a severe attack of DD the next morning. I don't know if Aloe Vera and the vinegar are a cure but they have done wonders for my mom and I. I had been hospitalized at least 12 times over the last 30 years with UC with a total shutdown of my bowels and kidney on 2 occasions. So if anyone wants to give it a try here is where you can get some info and here for the vinegar . We also cut out all prescribed meds, prilosec, antibiotics.
Good luck to all!

Diverticulitis Treatment's picture

diverticulitis is a problem for many. with all the junk and processed foods intake on a regular basis this is happening. so people take good care of your health and prevent it from happening to you.

Anonymous Coward's picture

I found some interesting information about Diverticulitis here. Check it out!

Anonymous Coward's picture

I had diverticulits back in feb of 06, I was pregnant at the time, and I had really bad pains on my right side, thinkin I was losing the baby, wrong I had diverticulits that bursted had gangreen all inside, I had a tube down my throat, I was so scared.. Now here it is, I am constipated again, nausea, no pain, but gassy.. I am worried I have it again

Anonymous Coward's picture

i just had a colonoscopy and the dr. said he found about 23 pouches, how many is too many? i cant find anywhere where it says the average number of these pouches are found.i had 5 pouches last time i had the test which was about 8 years ago. Had a terrible attack of diverticulitis a month ago, hence the colonoscopy yesterday. I am scared that 23 is an awful lot to have.

daphne's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ points

It pisses me off that so many people in this country can't get decent health care. It should be an inalienable right.

.....hugging bunnies since 1969

.....hugging bunnies since 1969

The Shit Volcano's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

So, don't see a doctor. What do you expect from us? A faith healing?

Beware the shitticane. Election, 2008.

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

Anonymous Coward's picture

Your writing is so witty, but I'm so scared. I was diagnosed with acute diverticulitis and a blockage in my bowel last Jan after a CT scan. Prior attempt at a colonoscopy failed because my colon was so inflamed and the instrument would not go very far because of a blockage - something I've never heard of. This all cost over $10,000 and I had no health insurance because it was going to cost over $600 a month for private insurance - now I can't get it. I refuse to go to the doctor ever again - would rather die - it's just not worth the hassle. It's possible the blockage is malignant - I've got all the symptons. Don't tell me to see a doctor - it's not going to happen!

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