Hi - I'm new here & have been reading the posts & gotten a lot of good info from them. I began having severe pain under my rib cage & radiating down towards my belly on 3/22. I thought I pulled a muscle or something. I then began feeling nauseous & the pain got worse. I stuck it out until tuesday & went to the doc. she said I have diverticulitis, gave me cipro & told me to see GI doc. I can't get in until april 24, so will have to wait. i also have ibs so i guess that doesn't help matters much.
the cipro hasn't made much of a difference in the pain level, but it's only been a day & a half on it. i have no appetite & pretty much feel like crap.
I have some questions - does this tend to reoccur & when it does is it worse the second or third time around? also, it seems surgery is the answer to get rid of this, does this solve the problem?
First of all, did your doctor do a CT scan to diagnose Diverticulitis...or was this just an educated guess?
Do you have a fever?
IMHO, your next step is heading to the ER where they would do a CT with contrast and, if it is determined that it is indeed a diverticulitis flare, they would hook you up to some IV antibiotics for a few days and send you home with more.
If it is, in fact, a diverticular abcess, this is nothing to fool with, and I wouldn't wait another month before seeing a specialist....even though you are on Cipro.
And, yes, surgery is almost always recommended. My one and only episode with Diverticulitis landed me in the hospital with a 2 inch abcess. We waited for a couple of months, then went in and took out a large portion of damaged colon. I, too, thought I had IBS...not realizing that I had been abcessing off and on for several years. I just got so used to the pain, cramping and nausea that I lived with it. However, I was as sick as a puppy...very high temp and white cell count...when I went in last May. Had the surgery in August....and never looked back.
dunerkat, I also had diverticulitis and IBS. I had a bowel resection November last year. It really helped with the diverticulosis, but the surgeon did warn me that it might make my IBS worse. It's not really worse, but I still do have the diarrhea-constipation back & forth. However, the pain and nausea are gone. I'm also lactose intolerant which makes things even more interesting...So if you do end up having surgery, and you do in fact have IBS, just be aware that you will still have to deal with diarrhea and constipation, but that is much less dangerous than a bout of diverticulitis that can end up with an abscess (I also had an abscess that ruptured...EXTREMELY dangerous as Linda has said) (hi Linda).
If you start to feel worse, or get no relief in a few days from the Cipro, I agree with Linda that a visit to the ER is in order. And don't try to just live with the pain, I tried that and that's when the abscess ruptured. Good luck and hope all ends up with you getting well & feeling better!
I too was diagnosed with diverticulitis but I think I was mis-diagnosed... I was wondering if anyone had any imput...
Last year I was at work, it was just a typical day and all of a sudden I started getting REALLY bad pains in my side (right around where your kidneys are) and I thought well maybe I'm just hungry or something so at lunch I went and got something to eat and that seemed to make it worse. So by the end of the day (I stayed at work all day in pain) I was in so much pain I felt as if I was going to pass out.. So one of my co-workers insisted on taking me to the ER thinking that I was just had a kidney stone or something so I thought maybe its a good idea because I dont know what to expect if it is in fact a kidney stone and the doctors there (which aren't the best and everyone in this area will tell you that) sent me in for a CT scan and they told me I have diverticulitis... They gave me some anti-biotics and pain killers and sent me home and that night I felt completly better like nothing had even happend... The doctors told me to stay away from all seeds nuts and popcorn (which I have not done) and to this date have NEVER had any other problems... Then just about a month or two ago I had a bowel movement and discovered a large amount of blood in my stool.. So I immediatly called an On-Call Dr. and asked if this could have anything to do with my diverticulitis, he said possibly but you sound very young to have been diagnosed with that so I responded well I am only 23, so he asked how I was diagnosed and I told him by CT Scan. He said that it is very hard to diagnose that with just a CT Scan that in most cases you need to have a colonoscopy.
So does anyone else think that I was mis-diagnosed???
For what its worth, I recently went through a diverticultis scare with my wife and thought you might benefit by our experience. My wife has had several attacks over the past 4 years which were diagnosed by CT Scan and colonoscopy as "uncomplicated" diverticultis. Her GI specialist put her on Bentyl to eliminate the spasm and cramps and Levacquin to combat the infection. Both controlled the flare-up each time. By the way, Cipro isn't as specific or effective for diverticultis as Levacquin.
After the fourth episode he wanted her to consider the surgical option as elective surgery in order to avoid an acute attack with risk of perforation requiring more complicated 2 stage colectomy. He referred us to 2 well known colo-rectal surgeons. The first was a highly regarded local specialist in NJ and the second a world reknowned chief of colo-rectal surgery at Well -Cornell NY Medical Center.
Both surgeons disagreed with the recomendations of our Gastoenterologist for the following reasons:
1. Her flare-ups were "uncomplicated" episodes of diverticulitis, based on the CT Scans,the images of her most recent colonoscopy and their physical examinations.
2. Their was little risk of an acute attack resulting in perforation.
3. The risks of surgery and its possible complications outweighed the potential benefit in her case and the removal of the involved section of colon is no guarantee against future infections as long as diverticulosis still exists in other sections of the colon which is true in her case and most commonly in others.
4. Current guidelines don't recommend surgery for older people until after 5 attacks and then only when there is "complicated" diverticultis. My wife is 74 and severe acute cases involving high risk of perforation is greater among younger people.
5. Both surgeons felt that most episodes could be managed with Bentyl and Levacquin and we should keep a supply handy for immeduate use at first sign of symptoms.
6.If the attacks became more frequent or severe naturally the issue would be re-visited.
Naturally we were much relieved and so far so good. Gastroenterologists have a different perspective on severity and need for surgery than the colo-rectal surgeons since they see all cases as primary care physicians while the surgeons only see the cases referred to them for surgical consideration. When the GI physician feels he or she's done all they can its easy to hand the problem off to the surgeon who unless the surgeon is top notch. they're all too happy to have the business. Hope this anecdotal information is helpful to those of you wrestling with the dillemma of surgery vs conservative treatment.
You may well have been mis-diagnosed and should consult a colo- rectal surgeon. I would not advise letting it go based on an ER diagnosis The blood in your stool might be from simple hemorhoids or something more serious and needs attention. You're very young to have diverticulitis but if it proves to be that, its more serious when occurring at such an early age and requires treatment. A colonoscopy is the next logical step but only by an experienced gastroenterologist or colo-rectal surgeon not a general practitioner.
Secondly, babyface...so glad to hear you haven't had another episode and I agree that you might want another consult....
shs50.....glad, too, that your wife dodged the bullet! Seems Redneon (and a lot of others who have posted here) and I were "complicated." I was 59 at the time of my surgery last August. After viewing my barium enema results with the surgeon, I knew my deciding to have surgery was a no brainer. A large section of my colon looked like a worn tire ready to blow!! I went into the surgery feeling better than I had in ages....due to several weeks worth of Cipro and Flagyl.
I was fortunate to be able to have the surgery done electively...feeling healthy...rather than face emergency surgery with a temporary colostomy.
thanks for the info. the diagnosis was a guess on the doc's part. i am feeling a little better, but still have pain under my ribs & lower in my abdomen. i have the usual hesitancy of going to the er because in the past when i had endometriosis and went for pain relief, i got the impression the docs at the er felt i was wasting their time. however, after reading the posts, i realize i better be more pro-active.
I also spent years with endometriosis, feeling like the drs. were rolling their eyes behind me. I know how you feel. I had diverticuwhatis??? a year a half ago. I had a "different" stomach ache, back pain. Just didn't feel right. Went to ER the next day when it didn't get any better. They pressed on my lower left abdomen and it HURT! Immediately did a CT scan and IVP. It was diverticulitis and I was on IV antibiotics for 3 days. Exactly a week later, I had severe pain and went into septic shock after the colon perforated. the next day I had surgery to remove part of the colon and had colostomy for three months. I also had C-Diff from the heavy doses of antibiotics. The reversal was a year ago and I'm doing pretty good. I guess what I want you to know is that you need to be your own advocate and push for answers. Don't let it go until you are satisfied that you're healthy. A colonoscopy is a walk in the park. A great diagnostic tool, and if you have a family history of diverticulits just a darn good idea. Best of luck!