Prednisone & Diverticulitis : I was hospitalized... - PMRGCAuk


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Prednisone & Diverticulitis


I was hospitalized last week for the 2nd time in 4 months w/ diverticulitis which is an infection in the colon. I came very close to requiring surgery which would have meant taking out part of my colon. I’m not out of the woods yet though. The surgeon told me he was having a discussion with his colleagues about the surgery & when he told them I have been on prednisone since last October he said they ALL raised their heads. He told me that not only can taking the prednisone cause the diverticuli to become infected turning into diverticulitis but also since preds. break down your immune system that if I have the surgery that I would be @ High Risk for infection from the surgery which could prove fatal. So it’s like damn if I do & damn if I don’t. I’ve had to completely change my diet to a high fiber diet. It’s really a shame that all the GOOD food is bad for you while all the nasty stuff is good. I got out of the hospital last Sat. & I’m still on a full liquid diet, YUCK 🤢.... If you are on prednisone & have issues w/ diverticuli you probably want to change to a high fiber diet ASAP, if you already haven’t.

13 Replies

Hi Larry

Thanks for the heads up. I do have that, but not having troubles with it now. I will be more serious about adding fiber to my diet. Good Luck. Sounds like a really serious problem.

Take Care


LarryLeek in reply to Linny3

Thanks Linny. Same to you & prayers as well. I’m just ready for this PMR to hit the trail & can’t wait until it’s ready lol. I just want to get off these preds ASAP. I do take vitamins everyday w/ a glass of OJ & the surgeon told me that’s played a large role along w/ the antibiotics as to why I was able to avoid surgery this time. I also dramatically increased my intake of milk when I started on prednisone to negate the loss of bone mass. I guess as tough as it may be, when you get to be my age (59) you should already be on a high fiber diet anyway. I wish I had gotten on one when I was young but who knew that GOOD OLE Fried Chicken 🍗 was a bad thing lol....

Hi Larry, I hope your recovery continues.

This subject interests me, as I have had a couple of minor bouts of 'itis. Usually caused by chomping on peanuts, and always resolved without antibiotics, etc.

However, no one has ever mentioned the potential connection between PmR/pred and diverticulitis.

Keep us posted, Im sure others have experienced similar issues.

LarryLeek in reply to Purplecrow

Thanks Purplecrow. One thing I learned since I’ve had issues w/ diverticulitis is that not being able to eat peanuts, seeds, popcorn & other foods/snacks because they were said to cause the diverticuli to form in the colon walls is all just a myth. It’s now known that different things disagree w/ different people & you just hav e to figure out what those are. Making a journal of the things you eat each day can help. Another thing I found out is that 90% of all people have diverticuli & don’t know it. The diverticuli turns into diverticulitis once it becomes infected. The diverticuli pockets develop in the colon wall over time. As I said earlier the best thing one can do is have a high fiber intake & it’s highly likely that you will never have to worry about diverticulitis.

lindanna in reply to LarryLeek

Hi Larry,

I can add a little to this issue as I had a colonoscopy a year before I was diagnosed with GCA and put on prednisone. I have 2 sigmoid diverticulosis pouches in the colon. They are not inflamed and it was not reported in the summary. This is important because I was offered Actemra ( Tocilizumab), I had to prove to my doctor my reason for not taking it as Actemra is associated with holes in the bowel.But I keep a daily diary and the pamphlet and was told the two pouches are stretched and feces can gather. Yeah I even have a colored picture! I have to constantly monitor so I never get constipated and I found what works for me. I take a big tablespoon of crushed flax seed every morning with my yogurt and prednisone. If needed plan B is added, a half cup of coffee. You are absolutely right it is so important.

I am sorry that you are suffering in this way LarryLeek and they can’t do anything definitive because of the Prednisalone. That’s a worry. Thank you for the warning, I do get an upset digestive system and stomach pain quite often. Who knows what’s going on in there.

If you haven’t already, I would suggest having a colonoscopy done ASAP to find out what’s going on. I had one last October for the 1st time & that’s when they found the diverticuli. I just wish I had got on a high fiber diet then.

Thanks Larry I will talk to my Rheumatologist.

Have this myself Larry. Also have a fair chunk of my Transverse Colon missing after cancer operation. I find too much fibre gives me problems. If it starts to flare up it's better for me to go low fibre for a while. (white rice & no spices) Onions are a definite no no. Can't do a really low carb diet. Like you dammed either way. ATB

Yea they say it can w/ some people & the dr. Also told me that sometimes a low fiber diet can be nessassary but usually when the diverticuli is infected. He also told me that not being able to eat certain things like peanuts & seeds is just an old myth, that you just have to figure out what foods don’t agree w/ you & the best thing is to stay away from them....

Well I’m bk. In the hospital for the 2nd time In 2 weeks. The abscess in my colon has gotten worse. I’m scheduled for minor surgery tomorrow morning. They are going to clean/drain the abscess & run a small tube out to keep it draining and healing then I have to be bk. In 6 weeks to have the bad part of my colon removed. One good note, the surgeon said that after the surgery has healed I should never have anymore issues with diverticulitis & that I can go bk. to eating anything I want. He also said it would be good if I could be down to 5mg of prednisone a day by the time of The surgery. I’m on 12.5 a day right now, but I see my rheumatologist on July 3rd & I’m certain he will cut me down to 10mg cause he always cuts me 2.5mg each time. It’s worked every time except the last time he tried cutting me to 10mg. 4+ weeks ago. Keep your fingers crossed that the 10mg works next time.

All the best Larry. Hope the operation goes to plan & sorts the painful problem.

Thanks very much Pepperdoggie. The very best to you as well....

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