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Colonoscopy ruined my regularity, can't get straighten out


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Old 05-22-2005, 09:06 PM   #1
sivad
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Colonoscopy ruined my regularity, can't get straighten out

Hi, well here I am again, seeking help from the knowledgeable people who help here. This Board's participants gave me the courage to have my first colonoscopy. It came back with 40% diverticulosis in my colon, but no polps or other problem. As instructed, I increased my fiber more (already was doing pretty good) and water a lot. It has now been 3 months and I am still having problems. I have no urge to go on most days.If I am worried I take Milk of Mag in the evening. After 2 days of not going I begin to feel the discomfort in my left side. If it is bad, I go on a clear liquid diet until feeling better. I have had to do that twice, so far, for 1 to 2 days. I am pretty much out of answers at this point. My Doctor has left to go another place now. Other than this, the only medical problem I have had in the past 3 months was a UTI, for which I took Nitrofur antibotic for 7 days. I am on Lipitor regularly, small dose for the past 3 years. What the heck am I missing here? I am in my mid-60's, good health, very active. If I could get this one problem back on track I would feel super. Thanks you all. Sivad (sorry for such a long post, but I don't think you can expect a lot of help if you don't tell everything)

 
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Old 05-23-2005, 07:19 AM   #2
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Re: Colonoscopy ruined my regularity, can't get straighten out

Hi Sivad Do you take a fiber supplement such as metamucil???? I would highly recommend you do. As much as you may add fiber to your diet, it just may not be enough. I would try not to take milk of mag too much. What you want mostly to do with diverticuloisis is to avoid constipation as much as possible. Possibly increasing your fruits, veggies & your water in your diet may help as well. The pain in your lower left side is where most episodes of diverticulitis occur. This is an area where there is a bend where food tends to get stuck in the little pocket (diverticuli). Eventually they will become infected and present with pain, fever, chills, some nausea & diarrhea and the such. If this happens be sure to have it checked out ASAP. Avoiding such things as nuts, popcorn, seeds, corn will help in preventing this occurrence. I hope this helps, you really should find a way to keep yourself regular....that is the key to preventing any problems which may develop knowing that you have diverticulosis. Good luck.....Goody

 
Old 06-09-2005, 10:04 PM   #3
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Re: Colonoscopy ruined my regularity, can't get straighten out

Hi Goody,
I took your advice and really increased my water and fiber. Now I am regular one time per day. But here I set with a new outbreak of pain. My question is should I be going more than once per day? My stools are full and soft and easy to pass. I will start on the clear liquid diet tomorrow and it will usually clear up in a day or so.(I pray) The pain is a little stronger this time than any before. Thanks again Sivad

 
Old 06-11-2005, 07:49 AM   #4
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Re: Colonoscopy ruined my regularity, can't get straighten out

Do you have any fever or feel fatigued? I have those and also body aches and sinus drainage when I have an attack of diverticulitis. I have had four in a year despite working on the fiber and going to the bathroom every day. I don't get it????? Do you eat much fat (dairy fat), sweets or processed foods? I am wondering if too much fat in a meal may cause problems. I eat a lot of salmon/chicken but no red meat at all. I also wonder if I pushing one's self and not getting enough rest can play a part in the flares. I am just getting over my most recent flare and plan to do three metamucil supplements (the powder in water) per day and see if that makes a difference. Many people have diverticula and NEVER have a problem. Would love to figure it out and I know you would too.

PS Anything spicey is a definite problem for me.

 
Old 06-13-2005, 09:53 AM   #5
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Re: Colonoscopy ruined my regularity, can't get straighten out

Teasugar, thank you for your reply. You sound like me, still trying everything to figure this out. I am over my last painful, scary bout. I go on all clear liquids, and a lot of them, as soon as the pain starts. My hubby knows I am hurting when I go to making plain jello. When the bout is over, I go back to very high fiber, But To No AVAIL. Day before yesterday, and yesterday, I had 46 grams of dietary fiber, starting with 1/2cup of Fiber One cereal + 1 c. of Kashi High fiber. that made 24 grams alone. Add all the fruit at each meal and vegetable 4 servings. I do not eat much fat at all and no sweets or sugar at all. I do drink a lot of hot tea and my water 9-16.9 oz bottles. Well, sounds good right? Last night I had to take Milk of Mag. because of no urge to go at all. I tell you, I too am at my wits end. Lets try to keep in touch, to see if we can figure out what is causing these bouts and how to stop them from ruling our lives.
Warm regards, Sivad

 
Old 06-13-2005, 10:02 AM   #6
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Re: Colonoscopy ruined my regularity, can't get straighten out

Quote:
Originally Posted by sivad
Hi Goody,
I took your advice and really increased my water and fiber. Now I am regular one time per day. But here I set with a new outbreak of pain. My question is should I be going more than once per day? My stools are full and soft and easy to pass. I will start on the clear liquid diet tomorrow and it will usually clear up in a day or so.(I pray) The pain is a little stronger this time than any before. Thanks again Sivad
Sivad....One bowel movement daily is fine....some people go every other day but it is best to have one daily. My concern is that if you have a history of diverticulitis if you are experiencing pain it is not good to be on a high fiber diet. You need to rest your bowel and keep the pressure down until the inflammation resolves. You should be on the complete opposite diet (lo residue) until the pain resolves. Back up your diet to clears...lots of jello, clear soups, juices, italian ices. Progress to full liquids/soft and regular within a few days. Yogurt is also good. Avoid high fiber foods such as whole grains, uncooked fruits and veggies, potatoes, nuts, seeds, peas and corn. Do this for a few weeks and when the pain is gone then go back to the high fiber diet. You should still have BM's on the lo residue diet (what I just describe) but they may be more frequent & looser.

If you should have pain with fever, chills or if your pain doesn't improve you should definitely tell your doctor because you may need antibiotics as well.

I hope this helps.....Goody

Last edited by goody2shuz; 06-13-2005 at 10:06 AM.

 
Old 06-13-2005, 10:19 AM   #7
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Re: Colonoscopy ruined my regularity, can't get straighten out

sivad,
Be careful of too much fiber also, I have read that can cause constipation too. The other thing I have read is that soluble fiber is a must for preventing diverticulitis. Oats, carrots and many of the fiber supplements are good examples of soluble fiber. Do a google on soluble fiber to get more examples. From what I read you need a good mix. The insoluble keeps you regular and the soluble keeps the stool soft (soluble is like a sponge). I am trying this approach now. Three fiber supplements as well as low fat, few processed foods and fruits and veges too. I read somewhere that drinking warm water a few times a day will stimulate your bowels and that iced drinks are bad for regularitiy. Don't know if this is true. I have read everything I can about diverticulitis, and I am finally beginning to believe that once you start getting these attacks they keep coming no matter what you do. I know you said you have 40% diverticula, but have you been dxed with acute diverticulitis by a cat scan or dr exam? As far as going every day, if your stool is soft and easy to pass, I don't know if not going every day is a big deal. All the literature says everyone is different and some people have different schedules. Is it possible your pain is not from your colon but somewhere else? I agree, It is miserable to worry about this all the time. Good to compare notes........All the best, Tea

PS I love the tea too, but I like mine iced and I usually drink decaf.

 
Old 06-13-2005, 12:22 PM   #8
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Re: Colonoscopy ruined my regularity, can't get straighten out

Thanks for help and comments. I will check to see if I am getting enough soluble fiber too. I think I am getting mostly insoluble. You all are right, I probably need a mix. I am having attacks about every two weeks or so. This is unacceptable to me. I must find a way to control this disease. According to some of the best medical center web sites, it does not seem to matter what you eat, i.e. seeds, nuts,etc. They stated, "the only effective treatment for diverticlosis, is preventing stool from staying in the colon too long and setting up inflamation". The GI health site agrees. I wonder. My goal is at present to find a way to manage this disease. I am really worried about a possible colon resection if I get an infection. You all on the boards are great. I always feel better talking to someone who knows how I feel. Thanks again.

 
Old 06-13-2005, 07:28 PM   #9
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Re: Colonoscopy ruined my regularity, can't get straighten out

Sivad ~ You say that your colonoscopy shows that you have diverticuli throughout 40% of your colon. Did your gastroenterologist identify what area of your colon is most affected???? And have you ever had an infection yet???

Just a little education....diverticulosis is the disease of having diverticuli (tics)throughout the colon. Diverticulitis is the infection of the colon once food clogs up a tic causing the colon to inflame and infect as a result. If this happens and is left untreated, there is a good chance that the colon can perforate causing a very dangerous systemic infection (one that enters your bloodstream and can lead to death). Emergency surgery with a colostomy is usually necessary. So it is important to keep yourself from getting to the infective stage which sometimes is out of our control no matter how well we try to do this.

Avoiding foods such as nuts, seeds, corn, peas, popcorn etc. and kddping yourself regular and from becoming constipated is key. But evenso, if the tics are in a bad place EG:the sigmoid colon where there is a turn where things still get stuck a resection may be necessary.

Sivad....I am concerned at the percentage of diverticulosis in your colon. Your body will tell you how things will go. I had a resection a little over a year ago because no matter how I avoided the target foods and increased fiber I got 5 infections within an 18 month period of time. My gastroenterologist told me that it was only a matter of time before I perforated. I had 8 inches of my sigmoid colon removed and have no regrets in having had the surgery. I have not had pain or an infection since. I was fortunate in the sense that the surgeon was able to get all my tics since they were concentrated in one area. I thought I would share this info with you and Teasugar so that you are better aware of the facts and will do what is best for your overall health. When you are experiencing pain please be very careful....each time you have inflammation of the colon thetics thin out more and more and eventually you will perforate. It is very important that you rest the colon and not put any unnecessary pressure when you are experiencing pain and that if your pain worstens that you inform your doctor. Even without a fever antibiotics maybe necessary to prevent things from progressing. I hope this info helps....knowledge is power....Goody

Last edited by goody2shuz; 06-13-2005 at 07:56 PM.

 
Old 06-14-2005, 08:41 AM   #10
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Re: Colonoscopy ruined my regularity, can't get straighten out

goody2shuz,
I have read some of your other posts. I have Crohns in the colon as well which complicates things a bit for me. Since I have had Crohn's from a young age a resection is something I have always thought might be in my future. The irony is not I never thought it would be for diverticula. I have had these attacks about one per year for the past five years, up until last summer I thought it was my Crohns. Last summer it wouldn't let up and I had a CT and got the dx. I was somewhat shocked although I knew I had diverticula, so do lots of other people and they never have an infection. Anyway I started out a year ago fearing a resection, then went to dreading it, then accepting it, now I just hope the docs will think I am a good candidate for it. I have educated myself on this problem and I def know where you are coming from. Even the best efforts don't seem to prevent my attacks. I have eliminated so many foods from my diet, the most recent my beloved salmon. Eating and become a chore and no pleasure at all, I live in fear of the next attack. I am sure you can relate. I hope I can have a sucessful resection and be rid of this nightmare. That is the best word I can use to describe these repeat infections. Thanks for bringing your experience to the board.....your story is so helpful for those of us currently trying to figure it out. Tea

 
Old 06-14-2005, 09:04 AM   #11
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Re: Colonoscopy ruined my regularity, can't get straighten out

Tea ~ Thank you for your post. Yes I do understand the nightmare of trying to prevent infections and regulating my diet and to no avail. It was a tough decison but for me one I do not regret after having my resection a little over a year ago. I know in your case it is wuite different but if I may share, there are two women who had Total Colectomies (having their entire large intestines removed and reattached ileums to the rectum) on my thread and who are doing wonderfully. This should give you hope for your fears. Since having my resection, I am now eating everything I desire. Just the other day I had an Everything bagel.....something I absolutely love And I have no fear of it leading to another infection. So if that doesn't paint a picture of how the surgery has changed my life for the better I don't know what will.

Does the Crohns effect your small intestine???? I know that you want to save the surgery as a last resrt but I would think that between the inflammation from the Crohns and your divertculi, you are at higher risk of perforating. How extensive is your diverticulosis????? What have the colonoscopies shown??? I think that if you need a resection and your small intestine is not involved, that you may be best oof looking into a Total Colectomy. How old are you, BTW??? And what has your gastroenterologist suggested??? And when do your attacks/infections occur???? Mine seemed to come every September until after the second one and then every monht or so....that's why I went for the surgery becuse my body was teling me that this was only going to get worse.

I am glad that you have benefited from my posts. I hope that things will improve on their own with diet and meds but wanted to reassure you that if they don't a resection is a fairly routine surgery these days and that as much as you may fear it, it may be something you may need to save your life.

I am happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have.....Goody

 
Old 06-14-2005, 10:28 AM   #12
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Re: Colonoscopy ruined my regularity, can't get straighten out

Goody,
Most of my problems over the years have been in the colon, however two years ago the scope showed sores in the ileum. Believe me ever since I was dxed with this I look at each episode as a potential killer. I even seem to take it more seriously than the medical staff I have seen. Of course it is after all my body. I started having these episodes in my forties and I am now just starting my 50s. I was dxed with Crohns colitis in my 20s. I do have diverticula throughout my colon, I have even had one episode of right sided diverticulitis. At this point I would love to have the resection (or even the colectomy) and call it a day, I too know someone who had a total colectomy for UC and is very healthy. My only problem is Crohns can pop up anywhere so the connection thing I think is my big deal. Where and how much? I had a Colonoscopy in early May with the report of "no imflammation", but I wasn't in a position (brain fog from drugs) after the scope to actually inquire about the extent of my diverticula and if surgery is possible for me. I will have to take that up at a future appt. I go to Mayo so I have total trust in what they tell me I should do.

I use to think hamburger brought on my attacks. I started having more constipation and these strange episodes about 5 or so years ago. I would always just up my crohns meds and would kick it off in a few days. Mind you if I had a clue what it was I would have been in the ER pronto. Last June when I couldn't get over one of the episodes I got the CT and since then I had one on Dec 21 (happy holiday), one early March and now one two weeks ago. I think based on the CT scans all of mine have been leftsided and sigmoid except for one on the right side in the area of the cecum (my appendix has been removed). Two weeks ago before my most recent attack, I had a dessert with butter cream icing and salmon right before I got sick. I am thinking that high fat meal might have kicked things into gear. I avoid anything spicey and all of the culprits like seeds etc. I love iced tea but lately have been even avoiding that. I am at my wit's end, and must say I envy you having solved your problem. Oddly enough mine come on rather slowly with fatigue and vague stomach distress the first signs, then I have this sinus drainge everytime (weird, huh?). From what I have read many people just go right to severe pain. Did you alter your diet severely in hopes of preventing attacks and what results did you get from that? Also, did you have any foods that you thought were culprits? I also think pushing myself and getting exhausted plays a role. I feel fatigued and haven't felt my healthy self for the last five years to be honest. Did you notice any changes in your energy level after surgery? Thanks so much for taking the time to support and inform. Tea

 
Old 06-14-2005, 03:38 PM   #13
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Re: Colonoscopy ruined my regularity, can't get straighten out

Hi Tea and Goody,
Sorry I did not get back. I am caregiver for my Mom who is 85 and depends on me for most of her daily living activities. Sometime time for me is a premium. I have read all of your posts and once again, I always learn as well as learn there are a lot of people who have it much worse than me, huh Tea.
To answer Goody's question about colon location, I did not have a GI, just a surgeon did mine. He said the worse were at the bend in the colon where it attaches to the rectum.
Tea, thumbs up on the Mayo. I had two heart procedures there and would desire to go there if I had a resection. It is 700 miles away by car at least the nearest one.
My husband has an aortic aneurysm that they are monitoring as well.
Thanks for two kinds of fiber deal. Definitely an improvement.
Tea, I am eating any kind of food I desire, of course watching carefully the fats. So we will see. Your very restrictive and I am not, lets see how it goes. (Does not take away the fear) Warmly, Sivad

 
Old 06-15-2005, 07:34 PM   #14
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Re: Colonoscopy ruined my regularity, can't get straighten out

Quote:
Originally Posted by sivad
To answer Goody's question about colon location, I did not have a GI, just a surgeon did mine. He said the worse were at the bend in the colon where it attaches to the rectum.
From what you describe, Sivad, you have your "tics" in the hot spot of your colon. This is in the sigmoid which is the area that Goody had removed...8 inches. Apparently everything seems to sit there until we push it out (sorry for the graphics) and it tends to get stuck in the pouches of the "tics" which inflame and get infected. You can only do so much to make sure that things move smoothly through this area. Each time you infect the lining thins out and weakens and there is a higher risk of perforation or leakage. That is why I had my resection because I am 45 and was told that diverticulitis runs rather aggressively in younger people (those under 50). I had 5 infections within 18 months and decided that I didn't want to end up in the ER with a perforated colon and a colostomy. But in alot of cases diverticuli are present and never cause a problem. If you have pain going back on your diet for a week or so to rest the area helps but if you have repeated infections a resection may be necessary. Everybody responds differently and your body will tell you whether you really need the surgery of not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teasugar
Did you alter your diet severely in hopes of preventing attacks and what results did you get from that? Also, did you have any foods that you thought were culprits? I also think pushing myself and getting exhausted plays a role. I feel fatigued and haven't felt my healthy self for the last five years to be honest. Did you notice any changes in your energy level after surgery? Thanks so much for taking the time to support and inform.
The big culprits were seeds. My gastroenterologist said that seeds were not the culprit, that you would infect with or without them. Well, he was half right....I avoided the seeds but still infected twice and ate seeds and infected twice. So in my experience avoiding seeds, popcorn nuts and any undigestible foods is good. And keeping yourself on a high fiber diet with lots of water is another. Tea is not good if caffeinated, that is irritating to the colon. If you are having pain you need to avoid all fiber and eat the food I described in a lo residue diet. That relieves the pressure that an inflammed colon. Beef & fatty meats are also bad. Take the skin off of chicken. And stress definitely flares things up...so try to avoid that as much as possible. With my lifestyle of raising 2 teenage girls it was easier to remove the colon than the stress I hope this helps....Goody

Last edited by goody2shuz; 06-15-2005 at 07:38 PM.

 
Old 06-16-2005, 03:47 PM   #15
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Re: Colonoscopy ruined my regularity, can't get straighten out

Goody,
I have a daughter too, so I really enjoyed your last comment about getting rid of the colon was easier than the stress. My daughter is grown and gone, and I must say I am grateful I didn't have this illness when she was still at home. I can hardly look after myself when I am in a flare. I have had IBD since my mid 20s and it was never as bad as the diverticulitis has been. As I said before I am ready for surgery if the docs say it is advisable for my situation. As I mentioned before I have been having these attacks for five years or so and they started in my mid 40s. Do you know why it is more agressive in younger patients?? Strange! I can't believe I went five years and didn't get dxed. Of course most of the attacks I never saw anyone while it was going on, it was logical to think it was the Crohns. Lucky I didn't perf....... Thanks so much for the info and comments. TEA

 
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