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A new diagnosis

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by westb, May 19, 2019.

  1. westb

    westb Well known member

    I've been around here for a while as I sought to deal with what I thought was IBS (constipation, bloating, gas), and, after an endoscopy a few years back that came up clear, this was confirmed by the doctors. I've always been open to the mind/body theories so I have had no resistance to following the approaches set out by Dr Sarno and others. Last February the symptoms changed to ongoing diarrhea and bloating, which was extremely alarming and has made it difficult to function, indeed on some days to leave the house, and that's when the alarm bells started ringing in my head.

    I had a colonoscopy two days ago and have now been given the diagnosis of diverticular disease/diverticulosis. I'm thankful that nothing more worrying was found. So I'm taking stock again. I'll be seeing my GP at some point to discuss the way forward, but as I understand it many older people such as myself (I'll be 70 in a few days time) develop diverticular pouches in the colon and go to their graves completely asymptomatic. So even though there is a physical reason for my symptoms, I believe that there is reason enough to continue the mind/body work that I have been doing for the past couple of years (I'm currently following Nicole Sachs' protocol). I fit the TMS personality type to a T and I know that stress and anxiety and the "fight or flight' reflex can wreat havoc on the gut.

    In addition have a history of disorded eating and food binging when I was younger as a way of dealing withe stress, so the poor old digestive system has taken a battering over the years. I now consciously choose to eat healthily, though with the diarrhea the temptation is not to eat as much (for obvious reasons!) but I have been advised by my GP that I have to keep up my normal food intake as the body needs the nutrients more than ever now.

    It feels as if I'm starting a new chapter here. It's a question of managing the symptoms rather than fixing the problem as you can't make the diverticular pouches go away, aside from bowel surgery which I would like to avoid if possible, and anyway I'm not at the stage where that would be recommended. I really hope that with patience and persistence, and at the right time, the symptoms will at least die down and enable me to live a reasonable life for the rest of my time here.

    If anyone has any thoughts, or experience, I'd love to hear it.
     
  2. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Hi Westb! Isn’t it good that you now know more about what causes your symptoms? I find that rather empowering. It seems we are in the same boat, although not with the same symptoms or diseases. I absolutely agree that a structural disease and TMS can go hand in hand. It is not an either or.
    The diverticulitis is something that happens often with age, but also men in all ages seem to have it more often. And you still can have IBS and diverticulitis. My father has. He had surgery (at the age of 84). He is doing well now and watches his diet. You can look the diet up on the internet or maybe doctors have also told you about it (no seeds and nothing bloating e.g.). And I also have a friend who had been diagnosed with it in the age of 56. He also had surgery and he also needs to watch his diet. Besides that he thinks that lesser stress etc. helps him a lot. My father had an emergency surgery, the inflammation was very bad. And my friend has these pouches in the whole colon and they just removed the worst part where it threatened to close the colon. These are more drastic cases. I think most patients can avoid surgery with keeping a good diet.
    So, in a way these are good news ... now you can much better control the symptoms.
     
    westb likes this.
  3. westb

    westb Well known member

    Thanks @Time2be for the support. Yes, I'm just coming to terms with the new information, but it is so clear how much the mind and body are linked in conditions such as this, and how big a part stress plays. So I'll definitely be continuing with the work that I'm already doing, digging deep into unresolved issues, while soothing and aiming to calm down that old "fight or flight" reflex.

    I do hope you are able to make progress now with your bladder issues?
     
  4. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Thanks for asking WestB, well it’s still a bumpy road. I’ll take antibiotics, now the third time for two weeks. I have no adverse side effects and there are now less bacteria. I have to avoid mast cell triggers (liberators), which is easy to do at home, it is a it an ordeal when eating out. Yes, overall it’s getting better. But slowly.
    I think you said something very important: the fight and flight mode is still alive and that is in itself a challenge. I try to tell me that I am alright, will be alright. However, I am sometimes doubtful, I have experienced so much with these symptoms that I sometimes cannot believe that they will go away.
    In your case: with diet and calmness you can have a wonderful life. If you think digging deeper into unresolved issues is helpful, then you should do it. But, sometimes the issues are just what they are, issues. And nothing can be done about them. Regrets or anger will not change anything. I have my issues and I think I start to accept that they are part of me. I will not remove them. It’s like grief about the death of a loved person, the grief will never totally go away. But it becomes liveable, maybe even productive as a reminder about the beauty of life.
    Well, just some reflections ...
     

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