I have just had laparoscopy for endo and also found that I have diverticular disease of sigmoid colon. Never heard of this disease before!

I am 43 years of age and as I understand am quite young to have this disease. The doctor gave me a rectal examination yesterday and although I asked to be referred for a colonoscopy the doctor just gave me the impression that this is something that I can live with - ie. keep taking the high fibre, movicol (although this doesn't always help and at times causes quite uncomfortable pain in lower left abdoman). Stomach continually swollen. I have an extremely healthy diet including high fibre and at the moment the only help I am getting is very strong peppermint tea doses throughout the day (4 bags in 1 cup), although even then is hard to push to go to the toilet and without going too much into detail, have to help myself go to the toilet. Feeling really frustrated as when I had the op I was advised at the hospital that I would probably be referred for a colonoscopy to examine further next steps but the doctor just tells me its nothing to be worried about and I can managed it with diet and laxatives. Should I get a second opinion?. Any help or advice would be greatly welcomed.

16 Replies

  • Hi jay42,I suffer IBS(20yrs) and also have diverticular disease,the only think thats helped me with the constipation is taking magnesium citrate tablets,nothing from GP helped at all,i have recomended this to other people who have also found it helpful,you can buy them from health stores or online,hope this helps you,x

  • Hi, have just bought magnesium citrate tabs, can you tell me how quickly they work? and any side effects, are they good for IBS-C or just IBS-D? thanks.

  • Hi,they are for IBS-C,they worked for me in a couple of days,you need to find the correct dose to suit you and I take the daily dose in one go,I take between 400g-600g at night some need less some more so you will need to perhaps start on a lower dose and work up to find what works for you,they are the only thing that does work for me I told a friend of mine who had suffered constipation all her life and she said they have transformed her life.I still suffer IBS and diverticular problems but these have solved the Constipation part,hope they help you.x

  • Hi Jay,

    I have IBS and try to manage it through diet, Movicol, Fybogel etc, it doesn't always work though, and I have 'to help myself go to the loo'.

    A lot of my friends have had colonoscopy's, so if I was you, I would ask for a second opinion, I am not a Doctor, but a rectal examination cant go into the length of the colon, colonscopy's are much more thorough.

  • It means that your bowel has little pockets example like blisters where your poo can get trapped in so that make it very hard to go. You should insist on seeing gastroenterology surgical side to talk through your options as you are prone to getting a blockage and infection so while you wait you should be on antibiotics to combat infection inside your bowel. Go to your Dr and insist on being sent to hospital out patients otherwise you will land up in one if you get a blockage. My patner has this.

  • Hi .may I suggest that your high fibre diet might be part of the problem .IBSC can be made worse by too much fibre which can slow gut motility over time and make constipation worse.I have cut out my daily porridge fix and reduced my fibre intake in general and can report that my IBSC has improved a great deal .Also the early morning cramps that have woken me at 5.30 every day for a year have subsided to virtually nothing . It's a bit counter intuitive and not what GPs recommend who tell you fibre is the answer for everything ,but it's worth a try .i also agree with the comments above ,magnesium tablets are my lifeline also when things stop !

  • yes, keep nagging for the colonoscopy, they sometimes invite people to have one without referral which is how I got mine. there is also endoscopy. is high fibre really helping you, my system can't cope with it and not to be too specific the fibre comes out the other end manifesting itself as nothing I have eaten! (my GP confirmed when I showed her the result). my prob is also hard stools which nothing seems to affect except movicol which gives me the runs or no affect also. obviously your good diet and laxatives are not managing your problem so they must refer you to someone who can suggest other things. you are not the only person with this. I am still waiting for some sort of proper diagnosis other than IBS which has taken them some 25 years to come around to. My fear is its probably not the right diagnosis. I have another appt. middle of June, so will see what the (bored with me) consultant says this time. Good luck.

  • Thank you all for your very helpful and insightful replies!! I will definitely try the magnesium citrate Cassie17, thank you. I have to go back to see the doctor in two weeks' time so will definitely push for the colonoscopy - I did push for this when I saw him last but he said there is a process, first starting with rectal examination and pretty much got the impression that I was worrying about nothing, yet we are all having to deal with this and live with it basically until, as I have been told, I have an uncontrollable fever or start bleeding prefusely from the rectum! It's great to be on this site and realise that I am not on my own here. Thank you all for taking the time to reply, I will bear each and every one of your comments in mind.

  • I had a colonoscopy and was told this is the alternate test .i was told I had IBS and that test made me believe that after 10 yrs of endless other tests.So push for I for your piece of mind.Good luck

  • I highly recommend Arthur White's book Diverticulitis. My daughter cured hers using his method. I also have diverticulosis and IBS (and PD) . DIverticulosis is common but not the end of the world. Good luck.

  • Hi.

    Absolutely get a second opinion . Don't want to worry or upset you but I had these symptoms for many years and only because I had a rectovaginal fistula and they did various scans etc was it found that I had severe diverticulitis in my sigmoid colon and had to have a good part of it removed!! Some doctors totally poo poo diverticulitis but I am lucky that I have a new consultant who recognises the issues this disease causes. Yes to a certain extent you can live normally whilst you are symptom free and diet exercise and relaxation techniques all play there part. However if it was me I would ask for 2nd opinion demand a colonoscopy to find out the extent of damage also a CT scan and ask to be referred to a dietician. It's not going to happen overnight but don't give up it's your body your pain so fight for it!! Hope this helps let us know how you get on Anjie x

  • I totally agree with the comments of using magnesium citrate. I have had Ibs c for about 30 years. I was lucky enough to have private insurance and have had all tests and scans. I have taken every medication natural and expensive prescription and the magnesium is the best thing for me. I take about 500 - 750 mg last thing at night before bed or early morning with lots of water. All the fibre, Movicol etc made me bloated. Give magnesium citrate a try. You can also read up a lot of info on the web about it.

  • Hi! Jay no one has mentioned your endo, I presume you are talking about endometriosis and that is why you had the laparoscopy?

    If so this is very important because depending on where the deposits/scar tissues are it can exacerbate your current symptoms. For example my endo diagnosed at 38 caused deposits on the ascending colon(and a lot of pain). 20 years on a recent colonoscopy showed I too have diverticulosis my Gastro chap said it happens in people over 40 and the % gets higher as we age. Moving on my fellow sufferers on this wonderful site have said it all. A high fibre diet may not be suitable, ask for a 2nd opinion and get a colonoscopy, and diverticulosis is common and you can live with it providing you do not get infections. Good luck Jay and let us know how you get on.

  • Thank you to Linley, Pat1, Anjie24, Pat V and Gemini71 - My magnesium citrate arrives today and as soon as this is received believe me I will be taking it immediately. Your comments are really helpful and I am going to do my own research and definitely demand a colonoscopy!! I am interested to see how the magnesium citrate works, will keep you all posted. Linley - Yes I did have endometreosis cysts removed via laparoscopy as well as left ovary/fallopian tube. I still have pain in left pelvic/abdominal area but doctor tells me this is due to recovery following op (thought I would be fully recovered by now as op was just over a month ago however I am a slow healer). Do wonder though if this pain could be related to my bowels which is why I am keen for a colonoscopy as this just doesn't feel right. We all know our own bodies right? Thank you all again. x

  • I'm sure the magnesium citrate will help you jay42,you may have to experiment to find your correct dose I find it works better taking the daily dose all at once at night,I can honestly say it was a lifesaver for me,hope it helps you,x

  • Hi all,

    Well I have been taking Magnesium Citrate for over 1 week now and it does help, albeit a bit painful and grumbling when having bowel movement and sometimes this can be very sudden so a toilet is needed extremely quickly. I can't believe that I am now experiencing return of pain in my left pelvic area (chocolate cysts, along with left ovary and fallopian tube were removed at time of op on 20 March / Mirena Coil also inserted). How can this be after 6 weeks ?- is it possible for endo to return in this area? This, along with constipation/diarrhoea/pain/bloating and the feeling of exhaustion again isn't helping. I have been off work for 6 weeks now as I have healed slowly and now I feel that I am back to square one. I did go and see a different doctor for a second opinion last Thursday and demanded a colonoscopy as well as mention about the return of pelvic pain - she advised me to get in touch with my consultant to request an earlier follow up which I have now done - 4th June instead of 2 July - that was earliest he could see me. She also didn't have a record of my post op letter from my consultant so advised that she was a bit in the dark but was sympathetic. I then had to chase my consultant's PA at the hospital to ask for a copy to be faxed to my doctor in order for her to decide on next steps to move forward. The doctor has advised to go back and see her next Tuesday following Bank Holiday in order for her to be able to read letter and advise. Honestly feel so frustrated and fed up! I was talking to my husband about this and I suddenly burst into tears as by now I was expecting to be active again and rolling back to working full time. The doctor has suggested that I return to work on shorter hours/lighter duties (I work as a Learning Support Asst with Special Needs Children in a school and my job can be very tiring, albeit rewarding!) but honestly its the sheer feeling that doctors just are not take this seriously or understand the pain/discomforts we ladies have to face!! I think even my sister (who I am extremely close to) is getting bored of hearing my same old, same old news! I am going to be adamant for referral on Tuesday of next week; Sorry for rant. Could anyone give me any advice on pain relief in the meantime? I did take amatryptyline prior to op and this worked a little, didn't totally take pain away but made me relaxed/slept well which I was lacking in but did make me feel totally dazed on following days. I am currently taking paracetamol/co-codamol/ibuprofen - any help or advice would be greatly appreciated - Thank you.

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