RE discussion.......Advice requested re Diverticulosis in inactive bowel

Hi there,

I submitted a discussion in the  Bowel (colon and rectal) cancer forum   re the above and, as yet, haven't had much response. So, I was wondering if you could kindly help.

Basically, this is what I posted.

"I've had some recent issues with my large bowel which has involved excess discharge of mucous and bleeding from my back passage. I have a stoma and my large intestine is generally inactive although it still produces mucus which used to pass quite harmlessly from time to time along with "wind" on occasion.

However, in recent months it has been abnormal. Quite excessive and foul smelling and I also developed an infection which was treated by antibiotics. To cut a long story short, I was referred for a colonoscopy/sigmoidoscpy and the good news was that there was no sign of anything sinister in terms of suspected tumours etc. That was my biggest fear as I had a lot of treatment a few years ago. However, I had done very well and was even given the "all Clear" in  February after a final scan.

However, the colonoscopy did reveal that I have quite a few diverticulae scattered around. It's possible that some of them had "flared up" and caused the infection and general irritation. They couldn't confirm that for sure.

I was given lots of good information re diet and such but I feel that a lot of it was more applicable to patients who have active bowels...i.e. fruit, veg fibre etc . Of course, it's good to have a healthy diet anyway but I'm not sure how effective this will be if the food doesn't actually pass through my bowel?

So, I'm wondering if anyone else has any experience of such issues or advice? 

I will, of course, try to eat and drink sensibly and I eat lots of good things already. I'd imagine drinking plenty of fluids will help too but I'm on the look out for other suggestions.

Perhaps many of the benefits of the diet suggestions may also "work their way through" to the bowel in any case even if the "roughage effect" is not possible? I don't know.

Thankfully, some of the issues had already been settling down prior to the procedure and there was quite a lot of "gunge" washed out by the enema. Hopefully, it may not be as big an issue for me in the near future. Obviously, however, I'd like to keep on top of things."

Thanks meantime,


  • Hi, Johnnyj,

    Thanks for contacting us. I’m Lorna one of the cancer information nurse specialists on the support line.

    Welcome back to the online community and I’m sorry to hear that you have not had much response for your recent post.

    I’m glad to hear that nothing sinister has shown up with your recent colonoscopy/ sigmoidoscopy. It can be a worrying time when we have symptoms we don’t understand and I’m glad to hear that things have now started to settle down.

     Diverticular disease and diverticulitis are related digestive conditions that affect the large intestine (colon).In diverticular disease, small bulges, or pockets (diverticula) develop in the lining of the intestine. Diverticulitis is when these pockets become inflamed or infected.

    If you are still having problems with an inactive bowel you should speak to your GP or dietician, they will be able to assess you and offer further advice and support. You might find this information helpful.

    Guts UK and Bowel research UK offer some good information and advice about diverticulitis and you might find the Bladder and bowel community supportive too.

    I hope this information is helpful.

    Best wishes

    Lorna- Cancer Information Nurse Specialist

    Our Ref: LB/DT

    Lorna-Macmillan (Cancer Information Nurse Specialist)