Patient Comments: Diverticulitis (Diverticulosis) - Causes

Question:

What are the causes of your diverticulitis? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Rosie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 16

I have an appointment with a gastroenterologist tomorrow to schedule a colonoscopy to check for diverticulitis. I have had pain on my lower left side and lower back since February of 2021. My gynecologist administered a Pap smear. It came back negative. Shortly afterward, I would spot from my vagina after a bowel movement. I called my gynecologist who instructed me to get a urine analysis. The test revealed blood in my urine, but the test, itself, did not show anything else. I wonder if anyone else has these symptoms. I'm 65 and female.

Comment from: Amber, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 14

I have had diverticulosis for about 3 years and get diverticulitis flare ups about every 6-8 month. I avoid gluten, sodas, alcohol and dairy. For the most part, I eat fiber plus I take fiber. I just took my 2nd dose of Pfizer COVID vaccine and on the day after, felt bloated and had pain in my lower left abdomen with tenderness. I had other common symptoms from the vaccine, muscle aches and joint pain. I stopped eating solid food and will fast for today and treat this like a flare up. Wonder if anyone else had this happen.

Comment from: J, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 30

I am 57 and just getting over my 2nd bout of diverticulitis. I exercise regular and eat a balanced diet. I don’t smoke and rarely drink. Why me! I have narrowed the cause down to stress and strawberries which I haven’t had for ages until the recent flare up. I saw a specialist last week who has strongly recommended surgery, not sure which way to turn really. I have decided to watch closely what I eat and try and let the stress go over my head, but if I have another attack maybe reconsider the surgery.

Comment from: AL, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: August 10

This was my first attack of diverticulosis and hope I never have a repeat! The first sign of the ailment began with a change in bowel habit, ribbon like stool, gas and not being able to fully evacuate. I paid the price for not investigating this by talking with my physician. When it hit, I had a constant burning, gnawing ache in my lower left quadrant. No fever or vomiting but, occasional nausea. A CAT scan confirmed it was diverticulosis. I am recovering after antibiotic treatment.

Comment from: Kat, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 06

I experienced my first bout with diverticulitis in January of this year and wound up in the hospital on an IV. I was released, put on the standard protocol of medications (antibiotic and anti-fungal) and took about 3 weeks to get back to normal. I have, however, continued to feel an occasional tinge of pain in the affected area. I was astonished to hear that a low-fiber diet is considered the culprit, along with the other suspected causes. I eat a lot of raw and cooked vegetables, a bit of chicken or fish on occasion, and brown rice, whole wheat grains, fresh fruits etc. I drink a lot of water throughout the day as well, so I stay well hydrated. I take a prebiotic regularly. I exercise regularly and run at least a mile to 2 per week now, while before the first attack I averaged about 3 to 6 miles/week. I do believe however, that I have a sluggish metabolism after surviving thyroid cancer almost 20 years ago now as I eat healthfully and exercise but still struggle with being overweight. I do not suffer from constipation but previously suffered from it as a child. I am really perplexed as to why I would be experiencing this difficulty with my particular lifestyle and my diet and wondering if it's just in the genes.

Comment from: Age 38 M, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: June 30

I had diverticulitis pain on the lower left side, worse when breathing in and crouching. Constant pain. I went to the emergency room and they took a CT scan and blood tests, and gave IV antibiotics. Next day out of the hospital, my pain came back it was painful for a week while on antibiotics by mouth. Finally I got better on the 8th day but every day I feel a small tickle in that area. Stick to liquid diet (only during flare up), it will get better faster when there is pain in the first few days. Try Pedialyte, it helps. High fiber cereal with banana is great. Metamucil works.

Comment from: Crampy, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: July 30

I was recently diagnosed with a severe case of diverticula after a routine colonoscopy. I'm 53 and I have had 22 diverticulitis attacks over a 33 year period. Each time I went to the doctor's or the emergency room, I would describe the severe cramping on my left side, vomiting, gas, bloating, fever and chills, I was diagnosed as having a panic attack; each, I kid you not. If it wasn't for the fact I had a bladder infection on a few occasions which prompted antibiotics, I would probably be dead.

Comment from: Ivana, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 31

I have had diverticulosis for the past 8 years. I have flare up about every 8 months. I did not have seeds or nuts, etc., for 8 months. Also tomato sauce soup, etc., gave me flare ups. I eat lot of raw vegetables, follow a good diet and still have flare ups. Most mornings after bowel movement I have pain but that goes away. It is not a flare up. I don’t know what causes my flare ups. They just happen even if I follow good diet.

QUESTION

Bowel regularity means a bowel movement every day. See Answer
Comment from: Thisisn'tfun, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 29

I am currently experiencing my second bout of diverticulitis. My first bout was in 2006, and I was hospitalized for two days, kept off food and had IV antibiotics. I have been an ovo-vegetarian for two years, so I am very surprised that this came back, since eggs are really the only thing I eat that doesn't have fiber. I think that stress was a major factor in the first time I had diverticulitis, but I am at a loss for this time, as I am not in a stressful state at this time. I am about 30 pounds overweight, so that can't be helping the situation. I plan on seeing my gastroenterologist, and once healed, will increase my fiber to ensure that I am eating at least 1 piece of fruit and 1/2 cup of beans daily. I do believe in a high fiber diet. Colon cancer runs in my family, and although I've heard that diverticulitis is not related, I don't really believe that. It's all about the colon.

Comment from: Miami Sue, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 28

In 2008 I had a colonoscopy and was congratulated because no polyps were found. I did have diverticulosis and had no understanding of what that meant. I was active with a healthy diet and when I got increasing abdominal pain in 2011 I called my doctor. He asked if my appendix had been removed. I said no and he sent me to the hospital. There I was diagnosed with diverticulitis, given antibiotics and sent home with prescriptions for Cipro and Flagyl (10 days). After taking same I felt much better. My attack occurred after eating a box of crackers with poppy seeds. Now there is a debate, some doctors say it doesn't matter what you eat, others say avoid nuts and seeds but eat high fiber. The catch is that high fiber foods are difficult to digest, so if you are having a flare up you should not eat high fiber foods and fruit. Allow your bowels to rest and heal first. Probiotics are not a cure but they support colon/abdominal health, especially if you take antibiotics. I had additional flare ups in 2013, 2014 and 2015. I decided to have the surgery as I had lost a lot of weight (I was small to begin with) and was in a lot of pain and did not want to perforate. It is just 3 weeks since my surgery and I am feeling so much better. Eating fish and poultry, I can now tolerate salad and green vegetables. My advice is, each person is different, so if you aren't having flare ups maintain a healthy (high fiber, low grease) diet with exercise but if you are having repeated infections contact an experienced highly skilled surgeon and schedule your operation.

Comment from: miggins, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 14

I'm experiencing a second diverticulitis attack; first due to reaction to naproxen prescribed after hip surgery 3 years ago, now same problem with Ibuprofen, taken daily post-surgery for broken wrist. Last time I ended up hospitalized five days, no food or water for four, on IV antibiotics, morphine, etc. It was horrible, but I didn't need surgery. This time, I’m trying clear liquids, first three days, then low fiber, but it came back, so now on second day clear liquids. How long!

Comment from: david, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: March 13

Today after a few days of severe abdominal pain I went to the emergency room. I had my basic metabolic panel then CBC and differential, then CT abdominal pelvis with contrast, differential, ECG 12 lead, ECG physical documentation, insert peripheral IV, urinalysis, urinalysis, chemical analysis and urine microscopic. Result is diverticulosis. I went with symptoms of severe abdominal pain passing of blood and constant diarrhea. What shocked me most is that I have a high fiber diet and always have soft stools and am very regular. Having read everything about this disease I ponder on how I have it, I don't go to doctors and know my body very well, this was a good call for me I just can't think what to do to change my diet as I eat lots of fruit and vegetables with small amounts of meat if any. Let's hope the antibiotics work and this is the end of this chapter. I'm just grateful this is all it was and surgery was not needed. And I must stop thinking I'm 20 years younger than I am.

Comment from: Miss Sicky, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 20

I am 44 years old and will be undergoing a bowel resection for diverticular disease within the next 6 weeks. I"ve had problems for the past 5 years, suffering from irritable bowel, antibiotic colitis and a ruptured bowel from a colonography (CT version of colonoscopy about 5 months ago. Since then, my diverticulosis has gone from mild to advanced and even described as aggressive. All I can say is that although I"m not crazy about having the surgery, I will be happy not to be in pain every day. And if any doctor tries suggesting a colonograpy with the presence of diverticular disease, get a second opinion!

Comment from: Paula, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 14

The only change in my diet that I believe led to my first ever episode of diverticulitis was Plexus Slim!

Comment from: Zhen, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 17

I had terrible "belly aches" since I was a child. My Mother did not believe in cold cereal for breakfast. I ate eggs or pancakes mostly. She also thought it best to cook canned vegetables 20 minutes, so I got little fiber. My first diverticular attack was at 18 years of age. I was hospitalized on antibiotics and liquids for two weeks at the age of 32, then 37. They told me at the time my surgery was elective. I had terrible constipation problems and pain for years. At age 53 I decided to have surgery. The surgeons, after testing, wanted to do it immediately, but my daughter was getting married in a month, and I chose to hold off until right after the wedding. A week and a half later, with excruciating pain, I was rushed to the emergency room. My intestine had ruptured. They told me if I had waited another hour to get there I would have been dead. My surgeon had to cut me wide open and remove my entire large intestine, and clean me out because peritonitis was setting in. He was remarkable, he re-attached my small intestine to my colon and I did not even have to wear a bag.

SLIDESHOW

Diverticulitis (Diverticulosis) Symptoms, Diet, Treatment See Slideshow
Comment from: nyzki, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: August 27

I had been having a stabbing pain that went from my lower belly to my lower back. It was the worst pain that I had ever experienced. I ended up in the emergency room. Blood and urine tests were taken. My urine was fine. My blood test did show that my white cell count was a little high. I was then given a CT scan which showed that I had diverticulitis. I was prescribed a pain medication Percocet and two antibiotics Cipro and Flagyl. I have been on the antibiotics for a few days now. I still have mild pain. But, it is better than what I was experiencing. My doctor did tell me that I needed to add more fiber to my diet. I am working on adding that to my diet. I just hope that this will correct the problem. I do not want to have surgery or any future reoccurrences.

Comment from: Annie, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: January 14

I developed voluminous hemorrhages, hemoglobin dropped from 11.7 to 4 requiring four transfusions. I have had no former problem other than chronic diarrhea, treated for 2 years now diagnosed with diverticulosis. I am 83 years of age, frightened and looking for suggested treatment plans. I have been on low fiber diet for 2 years prior to this development. Where is the balance!

Comment from: lou, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 18

I am 62 and never had problem with my stomach. After six days straight of constant diarrhea, I went to a doctor’s office for results of blood work and passed out in his office from dehydration. I was taken to the emergency room and then admitted. CAT scan showed diverticulitis. I had four days of liquids, then jello and soup. I was given IV antibiotics plus Flagyl pills. It’s three weeks now, my stomach still rumbles after I eat and I am exhausted.

Comment from: gene, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: March 11

I wonder if diverticulitis can cause the left side of the abdomen to swell.

Comment from: chlsyck, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 02

I was just diagnosed with diverticulitis 3 months ago while I had my first attack. The doctor said I need surgery but because I have no insurance I have to go through the state free clinics and they don't even have an appointment for another 2 months. I can’t see me going another 60 days feeling this way. I’m feverish, have chills, and am extremely exhausted all the time. I had to quit school and can barely work a full day. Half the time I have to leave halfway through the day due to nausea, pain, weakness, fatigue, etc. Yeah, and I am only 25 if that helps any. I can’t eat. I maybe drink a protein shake once every other day but even those hurt and my mom is on my case about the fact that I might end up having a heart attack by not eating or even end up dead (mom is dramatic). I’m lost and freaking out.

Comment from: Pam M., 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 06

I just got prescribed Cipro and Flagyl after a day in the emergency room with diverticulitis. After first day on the two medicines I woke up extremely nauseous. I am pretty sure it's the Flagyl as I have tolerated Cipro before.

Comment from: Cassy, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: January 05

This is so helpful. Seems I get very little from my hospital or doctor. I have had 3 bouts of diverticulitis, where I have been hospitalized. They send me home with metronidazole and cephalexin which both send me in a downward spiral in my mind.

Comment from: pat, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 05

I have had diarrhea for almost a month and I am hurting in my lower back and up my left side. I went to the emergency room a few years back and it was constipation. Then I was told I had diverticulitis. I have not been bothered with it too much. I was wondering if anyone had diarrhea this long.

Comment from: R355, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 27

I had gallbladder surgery on March 19, and after 3 weeks I had a colonoscopy. I was told I had severe case of diverticulitis. All the doctor told me was to take Miralax every day and take Metamucil. I'm still in so much pain. I bloat up after I eat! I'm drinking lots of water and not had sodas. No burger, fries and such. The doctor never really told me what to eat. I just really am so miserable!

Comment from: willow, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 12

I have had diverticulitis for about four years now, I keep a prescription of antibiotics on hand with my doctor's blessing, especially if I am going on holiday. I keep myself fit with exercise, and consider that I am reasonably healthy, as I have arthritis and ankylosing spondylosis (AS). I am a vegetarian but do eat fish occasionally. I experiment with food and have found that I cannot eat seeds of any kind, I have a flare up right now caused I believe by fresh figs. It is the season. Strawberries, blackberries and raspberries are also out, so summer season is not kind to me. Hope this helps anyone recently diagnosed.

IMAGES

Diverticulitis (Diverticulosis, Diverticular Disease) See a medical illustration of diverticulitis plus our entire medical gallery of human anatomy and physiology See Images
Comment from: glenn, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: November 25

I have frequent diarrhea along with excessive gas.

Comment from: wanguy2k, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 15

I've had diverticulitis 4 times over the last 12 years. The first time I went to the doctor, got a CAT scan, was prescribed antibiotics for a few weeks, got cured. The second time I felt the symptoms I looked online and it was suggested try aloe juice. It cured me. I've had the symptoms a few times since then, got a cheap bottle of aloe Vera juice ($2.50) and this has cured it each time. I'm not a doctor and not suggesting you skip a doctor's visit, but the aloe cure seems to work for me after two days.

Comment from: Kris, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I had a particular colonoscopy where I was pumped up too much, kept back for a long time under observation and then suddenly developed diverticular disease within 3 months of the surgery. I would like to put it out there that maybe some instances of diverticular disease are caused inadvertently when a persons colon is pumped full of air during colonoscopy procedures. If there I any weakness it may well be that over inflation will cause the rupture of the intestinal wall.

Comment from: salvador, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: April 15

After passing a kidney stone (right side), I was not getting better. I had three trips to the ER, two CT scans, and two ultrasounds. I had gallbladder surgery because I had stones. Now they say I have diverticulitis. I have right-sided flank pain extending to my right lower abdomen, lots of bloating, and gas. I’m on antibiotics now and waiting. I’m not angry – but these symptoms can mimic anything. Maybe it’s appendicitis or Meckel's diverticulum. I’m just waiting and watching.