Posted 30 November 2013 - 03:57 PM
I am a 46 year old woman, have had 3 bouts of diverticulitis, one with hospitalization. I have been diagnosed with IBS and have been dealing with it, fairly successfully, since I was about 22. The diverticulitis being new, I am wondering how many others have developed this after long term IBS-C? Is this a "natural" progression, or is it highly unusual? Oddly my mother also has divers, and we both developed it within a year of each other. She has never been hospitalized, but I suspect she has refused, and asked to be sent home with meds instead (stubborn!).
Any comments and any experiences are welcome and encouraged.
Posted 30 November 2013 - 07:34 PM
Some people theorize constipation over time (whatever the cause) may make one more prone to getting diverticuli, but I don't know if there is any solid data for that.
The outpouching in the colon are VERY common so most people will have some if they live long enough. They get more and more common as you get older.
Not everyone gets an infection in them, even if most people in their later years get them.
Some people get a lot early in a segment of the colon and repeated infections may mean that part of the colon may need to be removed, but that is pretty unlikey.
Ph.D in Biology
Posted 02 December 2013 - 09:57 AM
This won't be much help to you but my situation is the reverse of yours. I had the diverticulosis first and have had two diverticulitis attacks both managed with antibiotics. It was after the second attack when the lower left side pain did not go away that I was diagnosed with IBS. Had a ton of tests and nothing showed up and there was no infection, just some lingering inflammation. My IBS symptoms are mostly nausea and abdominal pain. Since I never had constipation or diarhea I never considered that it was IBS as I thought you had to have one or the other or a combination of both. Reading about everyone else's experiences, especially those with similar symptoms to mine, has made it easier to accept that it is IBS as I didn't want to admit that it was.
In your case, a lot of people believe that prolonged constipation can be a factor in why the diverticular pouches develop because of the straining to go and then again I have also read that that theory is unfounded. Because everyone is different, it is difficult to say conclusively what causes the pouches to develop. Family history seems to be definitely a factor and with your mom having it, it could be as simple as you were predetermined to have a weaker intestinal lining. It is quite common and the majority of people who have it, have no symptoms and do not develop infection. Unfortunately, we are in the small percentage that are prone to infection. Stress can be a major cause of an attack and was probably what contributed to my attacks. You might never determine whether or not IBS caused it, but it could be a possibility that triggered a diverticulitis attack.
I have not had diverticulitis for 4 years now, even though I get the pains that are similar to an attack. I sometimes have to go on a clear fluid diet for a few days until the pain subsides but have not had to take the antibiotics yet. They make me so ill that I try to avoid them at all costs. I have been managing semi-successfully on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) for the past year. I say semi because I was having longer periods being pain free than when I was not on it so at the moment I am still following it. My pain has been slowly starting to come back on a regular basis so I am not sure now what to do going forward. I am considering the Low Fodmap diet but need to look into it more closely.
I hope that you can find an answer and do not continue to have any more diverticulitis attacks. Some gastro doctors will consider doing a bowel resection after 3 attacks but I think that is a last resort unless a colonoscopy shows a very damaged colon.
Posted 02 December 2013 - 10:23 AM
Thank you Anne, and Kathleen for your replies! I have to remind myself constantly that the two are not really related, other thn both being to do with the intestine. I should also mention that the original bouts I had with IBS were of the D kind, which also coincided with a hyperactive thyroid. Isn't it odd that so many women suffer with these issues and there is little to no research about the commonality?
Thank you both for your interest.