Pain in lower left abdomen - Diverticulitis/IBS? Please help

Hi, I have a nasty nagging pain in the lower left side of my stomach. I've had it for 2 weeks with horrible diahorrea. Last Friday I was prescribed antibiotics for diverticulitis but they haven't worked. I've been cold and shivery and felt really poorly since this all began. I went back to see a different doctor on Monday and he just said it wasn't an absess and to keep taking the antibiotics. On Wednesday I was still feeling very ill with this pain in my left side so went back again and saw yet another doctor. He said it wasn't diverticulitis and is going to send me for an ultrasound scan but it's going to take about 6 weeks. I really don't know what to do. I have still got the pain and having diahorrea also feeling pretty ill. I've had a blood test come back this week which was clear and not showing any infection. I don't have a temperature although I feel shivery and feverish. The urine sample I gave was clear. Have any of you had diverticulitis and had these symptoms. My husband is really worried and wants to take me to accident and emergency but I don't want to be a nuisance. I really don't know what to do. Any help would be much appreciated, thank you.

29 Replies

  • You should ask for a colonoscopy as there are many bowel diseases

    I had diarrhea for about 3 montgs before I had my colonoscopy and gastroscopy to diagnose IBS

  • Thanks for your reply cricketqueen. I had a colonscopy some years ago and was very allergic to the prep. so cannot have another one but have had a CT Scan. I've had stool samples done but nothing seems to show up. I was diagnosed with Diverticular disease some years ago. I saw a gastroenterologist earlier in the year and he said it could be IBS. I feel so ill and cannot go out, I spend most of my days in bed with a hot water bottle and it's getting me down. I just don't know what to do really. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

  • I'm sorry you had a reaction but I'm sure there are other preps now and they will have improved

    Hope you get a diagnosis soon

  • Thank you so much, if I ever get to the bottom of all this I'll let you know.

  • Just to let you know, Cricketqueen, that my husband took me to A&E this afternoon as I felt so ill. They were amazing and took lots of blood which came back clear. The gave me pain killers, anti-sickness medcation and Hyoscine-N-Butylbromide intravenously to help with the pain in my stomach. They didn't think it's diverticulitis but more likely to be Bile Acid Malabsorption due to having my gall bladdder removed and I need to get some medication to sort things out long term. Many thanks for your help and messaging me. I am very grateful you took the time to answer me early today when I was so worried.

  • I think a lot of people have BAM and you may get some advice in thisgroup

    Hope you're feelingbetter

  • I didn't know there was a BAM group, have not gone down that route yet so thanks for the info. I am feeling a lot brighter this evening thank you. They have given me some tablets to take over the weekend which will help and I'll go on from there. This is such a helpful group to belong to, many thanks again.

  • Try taking probiotics especially if you've just had antibiotics as you need to re-balance gut flora. I take SYMPROVE which is live bacteria, every morning. Go easy on dairy, gluten especially wheat, fruit and tea/coffee which are gut irritants. Hope things improve for you but yes definitely have more tests

  • Hi Natcat, Thanks for your reply. Due to the diahorrea my diet has been reduced to white bread, mashed potatoes, chicken, chicken soup, salmon and eggs. I expect I'm eating too much wheat but cannot have gluten free as it contains additives I cannot tolerate. Cereals and porridge seem to make things worse. I have tried probiotics in the past but they didn't seem to help my stomach much. Anyway, I'm very grateful for your help and like you said, I will have to have more tests.

  • Try taking out the white bread and see if it is the yeast affecting you? Good luck and stick with it

  • Thanks Natcat, I will try and cut out the white bread but it's difficult to know what to substitute it with as I can't eat gluten free bread. All gluten free food contains horrible additives to mak

    e them more palatable. I will have to think of alternatives.

  • If you have diverticulitis this is a pocket of traped wind etc the pain is from your left illiak being streched. it wont show up on blood test UNLESS it starts to get inflamed and you should let your husband take you to A and E. You need to have the sigmoid AND YOU ARE NOT BEING A NUSANCE !

    Every blessing S x

  • Hi Pain57, Thanks for your reply and info. and kind reassurance, it does help such a lot when people reply when you are feeling so poorly and ill. I am not one to make a fuss and it's diffcult to know what constitutes as an emergency. Many thanks once again for your very kind reply.

  • Just a quick note Pain57, to say thanks very much for your messages. I took your advice and also Hippylongstocking's too and my husband took me to A&E this afternoon. They were amazingly helpful and took lots of blood to test which came back clear which I was thankful for. They didn't think it was diverticulitis but probably Bile Acid Malabsorption as I've had my gall bladder removed so I need to get some medication to try and sort that out now. They put a line in my arm and gave me paracetamol, some anti-sickness medication and also some Hyoscine-N-Butylbromide to help with the pain in my stomach. I felt a lot better when I came home but will need to get some long term medication for the future. I am so grateful that you encouraged me to go to A&E and that I was not being a nuisance - we don't like making a fuss however ill we feel. I wasn't sure if I had a blockage or something, it's so hard to know. Many thanks again for your very kind message, much appreciated x

  • Hiya pump do you suffer pain everyday and where is your pain?

  • Hi Kathmax, I have had diahorrea off and on with all over stomach pains since January. It was decided I had IBS/Diverticular problems/Bile Acid Malabsorption. I've had several lots of antibitoics over the months and sometimes have had a few good spells. But nearly 3 weeks ago this pain started in the lower left side of my abdomen so I went back to see my Doctor who said it was Diverticulitis and I was given another lot of antibitoics but they didn't work and I've been really very poorly ever since, just wanting to crawl into bed with a hot water bottle. The pain was worse some days but never really went away. Now I am taking Buscapan 4 times a day it has eased thank goodness but I'm a long way from being myself but feeling better than yesterday. I will keep going back to see my doctor until I get myself sorted out. Thank for your message.

  • Hi pump hope that you soon start to feel well it's not a good feeling when you feel ill everyday .I can't take antibiotics or Buscapen they make me feel worse ?Take care and get well soon 💐

  • Thank you so much Kath x

  • Hi Pump 37. So glad you went to Aand E; was soooo worried for you.

    Next time you feel poorly AWAYS remeber you are NEVER a nuisance and medics allways want to help you

    You are speacial and you are loved

    Every blessing S x

  • Hi Pain57, I found it totally amazing that people like you and others on this site are prepared to reach out and comfort others like me when we are so worried. It has been such a comfort to receive so much helpful information and kindess. I think it was just what I needed to convince me to get myself to A&E and they didn't think I was wasting their time, they were marvellous. I would never go to A&E unecessarily but there comes a time when you feel so worried and cannot take any more pain without finding out what the cause is. Many thanks again, your message helped me so much, you'll never know how relieved I was to get your message and so much help. Thank goodness for Health Unlocked, an amazing site. Take care and many thanks again x

  • I hope you start to see an improvement soon. I went to my GP with similar pain but constipation and I'm still suffering nearly 2 years later. I've been offered no diagnosis, no medication to help with symptoms other than laxatives. So I think waiting 6 weeks for a scan is not that bad.

    Having said that you know your body better than any doctor and if you're worried then I would take that trip to A&E. If your husband is only home at the weekend I'd definitely go with him.

    Really good luck with whatever you decide and you're very welcome to contact me if you have any more questions or even if you'd just like to chat.


  • Thank you so much Hippylongstocking, how kind of you to get in touch. I'm sitting here feeling so ill and thinking that I perhaps I will have to go to A&E soon. I have put it off all morning. I know this can't be normal to feel so ill as I'm usually such an active person, love being outside and used to be so strong but I'm now reduced to a wreck. I feel so weak and poorly. Will let you know how things are going and thanks again for being so kind.

  • That's quite all right Pump321. I found reading the posts on here and the response I got to my first post helped me feel so much better. I'm glad I've passed that on to you. I was so relieved to discover that I wasn't the only person with these symptoms and I wasn't over-dramatising things. I'd started doubting my own sanity. I thought I was being over-sensitive with the pain. I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders just reading the posts on here.

    Do get yourself to A&E and please let me know how you get on.

    I've been battling the health system for 2 years trying to get this sorted out and there's no way I want to see anyone else go through what I have.

    Really, really good luck and I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you! :)

  • Hi Hippylongstocking, Well, after your encouragement and advice (also from Pain 57 too) I decided I must seek help and my husband drove me A&E earlier this afternoon. They were amazing and took me very seriously. They examined me and listened to my history etc. and took loads of bloods samples. They put a line in my arm and gave me an intravenous painkiller, some anti-sickness medication and some Hyoscine-n-Butylbromide to ease the spasms in my stomach. It did help such a lot and I was really grateful for their help. They don't think it's diverticulitis causing the problem but Bile Acid Malabsorption because I've had my gall bladder removed. So I've got to get some medication to try and sort that out.

    I'm so sorry to hear that you are suffering the same kind of symptoms only with constipation, the pain is awful. I can only sympathise with you, it's a nightmare either way isn't it? It's such a shame you have not received any help whatsoever and are still struggling on after 2 years. Have you ever been referred to a gastroenterologist? If not I think I would actually ask to be referred to try and get some help. It's so hard to struggle on alone with these debilitating problems. As you said, it is so helpful to receive support from others on this site rather than struggle on alone and worried. I was so relieved to think that you and others took the time to help and advise me, I was so grateful to find the messages.

    Please let me know how you get on. I really hope you are able to get some help before too long. It's not fair to have to suffer like this. Take care and thank you so much again for your kindness and understanding x

  • Hi I am a sufferer off diverticulitis I have had this three times in the last 18 months. I also suffer from ulcerative colitis and it sounds like you have also ulcerative colitis but I am no doctor. If I was you I would go to A&E and you will get a correct diagnosis that day. Right now I have been in hospital twice this year with diverticulitis and I thought that this 3rd time I had another bout of diverticulitis and my doctors give me antibiotics and for five weeks I have a pain in my left hand side. One week ago past Sunday I've got a ambulance to come and take me to hospital and once I was admitted and they done the tests it was a flare of my ulcerative colitis and I am on my full dose of asacol 40 mg of steroids and enenamas. The symptom that you have sounds like it could be more than diverticulitis. So it may be a good idea to go to the hospital and get them to do the tests and get the correct diagnosis. I'm so sorry to hear how your feeling so ill but I feel for you and understand how you're feeling as I have been through this so many times. I wish you well and hope you get over this soon. Good luck

  • Hi Jan, Thank you for your message yesterday. I am so sorry to hear that you suffer from ulcerative colitis and have had so many problems too. It certainly is a nightmare trying to cope with all this pain and living on a knife edge not knowing how your bowels are going to behave from one minute to the next.

    In the end I did go to A & E yesterday afternoon as I didn't know what else to do. They were very good and took lots of blood which all came back clear. I had a urine test and that was clear too. After listening to my history they decided that because I have had my gall bladder removed I was probably suffering from Bile Acid Malabsorption and would need some medication for that. They didn't think it was diverticulitis. They put a line in my arm and gave me some pain killers, anti-sickness medication and Buscopan which did help a bit and relieved the acute symptoms somewhat. I have an appointment with my GP on 1st December so will have to go from there. I had antibiotics all last week but they didn't help much at all. I just wanted to thank you so much for responding to my message. It is such a comfort to know that when you feel so ill and desperate that some kind person who knows what it's like will get and touch and give advice. It really does help. My grateful thanks to you and all the others who helped me yesterday. I hope you are having a good spell at the moment . Good luck and many thanks again.

  • Hi you are more than welcome. I also have had good advice and help from the site. The people are so willing and caring and want to help if they can. I also this year have had a Vertoplasty done on my sine and the nerves cut so I am also recovering from that on top off flare of my colitis. With so many things that I have had all in one year, I have nearly lost a whole year of my life. But I feel I'm on the way to recovery. I have to see my colitis specialist on Monday. I spoke with the secretary and he was very good fit me in before his clinic starts on Monday. I am very lucky to have good doctors and specialists around me. You must stand strong and make sure they get to the bottom of what's wrong with you and on the right medication. I truly truly wish you well and hope that you soon will not have to encounter what you're going through. Take good care 🙏👍

  • Hi Jan, You sound as if you have had a pretty horrendous year having so much to contend with. Colitis is bad enough without having to be completely out of action having Vertoplasty carried out on your spine etc. I do hope you are beginning to get over it and it will help you to a full recovery.

    I will keep pursuing my problems until I get sorted out, I don't want to live like this as it's very debilitating.

    Once again Jan, thank you so very much for your kind concern. I really hope your appointment goes well on Monday with your Colitis specialist and sincerely hope you have a much better year next year. You take care too.

  • I also wish you all the best and for you to get well soon. But I would also like to send get well wishes to all the people on the site and out there to get as well as they can be and I hope that 2017 is a better year for you and lots of people that are feeling 100%. From the bottom off my heart ❤️ I send you all good feeling and to get well. Jan 🙏👍😘❤️️

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