Confusion- Diverticulitis but which foods to eat?

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Hi all,

I have just joined this Forum & this is my first post. I hope that some of you may be able to help me?

I had Colonoscopy 3 years ago and got an all clear and not to return for another 10 years. Hence my surprise, that after having a CT Scan yesterday and blood tests, it shows that I have Diverticulitis .

My confusion is that I do not know what I should eat for the next couple of weeks since I was “diagnosed” today.

I had my “pain attack” on Monday night 3 days ago. As I didn’t know the reason for my pain & I was so lethargic on the following day (Tuesday), I just ate some oatmeal w/butter in the morning & some brie w/cracker late evening. It was a very different feeling for someone who is always hungry & trying to lose weight ;-)

Second day, Wednesday, my appetite picked up a little bit and had a lot of fruit, more oatmeal and Soy- lin bread w/brie & a little jam.

Today, Thursday, I continued with same type of food as Wednesday until I went to my GP.

When I visited my GP for the results, she gave me antibiotics to take for 5 days. I am also taking a Pro-Biotic suggested by the chemist. As my C reactive protein blood was suer high ,199 (normal is only5), she thinks it must be the Diverticulitis.

My GP also said I should not be eating Soy-Lin bread but instead wholemeal, she said quick oats oatmeal was ok and also cheese, but no more than 2 pieces of fruit.

The DR who ordered my test, called me after my visit to my regular GP, to ask how I was. He had seen the results and he said to go with the clear broth diet but when I told him I had already eaten more and was feeling ok, he said , that there is no clear indication of what one should eat, so to sort of “play it by ear” and see what my body can tolerate but to “take it easy”

I have also Googled and still VERY confused, especially because I am already feeling better today. I have only had a pain(mild) this morning and just feeling a bit tender in the lower left side of my abdomen when walking.

Has anyone of you been in a similar position and can possibly give me some suggestions of what to eat the next couple of weeks until I go on to a healthier more high fibre food plan?

Thanks in advance!

Kate

 

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Kate

    Yes this can be very confusing.  I would agree with your doctor to play it by ear as each of us is different and we all need to find what suits us best.  You do sound as though you are recovering well.  You will see from a lot of the posts that many people do not have that experience.

    The usual practice is that as soon as you feel the first symptoms of niggling pain, to go on a fluid only diet for 48 hours to see if that settles things - hence your GP advice.  The important this is to differentiate between inflammation of the diverticula WITHOUT infection (diverticulosis) and infection (diverticulitis).  That is when you get the chills, fevers, high white blood count, cramping etc and need antibiotics.  Inflammation only is treated with first the fluid only, than a conservative diet, cutting right back on fibre at first then slowly increasing back to normal.  Most people find their trigger foods by keeping a food diary and seeing what gives symptoms.  It sounds like you are already starting to work out what you can and can't eat.  I would just say, stick to small meals, cook and chew thoroughly.  Are you normally heavy on carbs and dairy?  You might need more in the way of well cooked veggies, perhaps in the form of home made soup.

    Prevention of a recurrence is the most important thing.  This may require you to make some lifestyle changes and eliminate some foods.  I am prescribed a daily dose of Fybogel which bulks and softens stools and makes them easier to pass - it helps keep the bowels clear of matter which could get trapped in the diverticula and become infected.  Also recommended are probiotics which replace the good bacteria stripped out by the antibiotics - they don't discriminate between good and bad!  I take Aloe Vera pure juice daily as that is a natural healing remedy.  If one brand does not suit, another may.

    You need to find the post DiviDIners by jacqueline01135 as that will give you all the food info you need  I think it is something like patient.info/forums/diverticula/discussions/DiviDiners

    I have been successfully managing this condition for almost 17 years.  I do have slip ups and have had a few flare ups, but otherwise have lead a totally normal active life.  Best wishes

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    • Posted

      Oh dear Felinia - thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!

      You have given me such valuable advice and I am so grateful.

      Funnily enough,

      I decided to go with my gut feeling and the dr who said i should play it by ear ;-)

      Thus I made a "home made soup" consisting of what I had in the cubboard:  Beef broth, can of corn /peas that I put into my mixer and sived out the rough stuff so ended up only digesting the fluid soup.

      I will freeze the bulge for when my stomach can take it ;-)

      I will go on the link you tagged .

      I am so happy to here that you have managed your condition for so many years and I in that regard, have just one question to put to you. How do you manage your flare ups? Do you go on a certain diet for a couple of days?

      Thank you again , Felinia 

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    • Posted

      As you have so much experience of this, I was hoping you might be able to offer some advice. I do the liquid diet for a couple of days, then slowly introduce some fibre, mainly oats and maybe a little mashed potato. However by then I am always a little constipated, which just makes the whole situation worse again! It seems like a neverending rollercoaster! Any advice very greatfully recieved!
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    • Posted

      Oops, Felinia, I now when re-reading your reply, see that you mentioned "The usual practice is that as soon as you feel the first symptoms of niggling pain, to go on a fluid only diet for 48 hours to see if that settles things"... so you have  answered my question already  !!!

      All the best !

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    • Posted

      Hi

      After my liquid diet I introduce my fibre in the form of home made vegetable soup which I blend, and have some crustless white bread which I dunk.  I also have steamed fish, grilled chicken with my mash, and plain yogurt.  I restrict my oats to 30gm only, and I soak them overnight.  And I drink lots of water.  It does take time for the tummy to settle down, and I do experience some constipation.  I treat that by doubling my daily Fybogel.  I know others take something like Dulcoese or Senekot, but the last thing you want to do is get sucked into the cycle of laxative/Immodium.  Susan99156 might be a good person's posts to read as she had to deal with constipation/the runs.

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    • Posted

      The link might take a bit of finding as I couldn't remember the exact name.  But in a recent post, Jacqueline highlighted it so you might find it that way.  Julia1040 also made a good post about 15 months ago.  Corn and peas are two of the more irritant veggies, and a lot of people can't take corn.  I make a soup with roasted squash, sweet potato, onion, red pepper (with the skins removed), veggie stock powder, water, a teaspoon of curry powder and a can of light coconut milk.

      The thing with this disease is that at first it can seem overwhelming, and as it can take some people a long time to heal, very depressing.  But you will find many posts on here of people who have learned to cope and manage, each in different ways.  I'm a "well I'll just get on with it" type of person, or you can be a "I'm not going to let this dominate my life" type of person, another uses their own particular brand of humour, - each to their own.  Hopefully you won't get flare ups, but if you do you will find doctors know very little apart from generalisations, and the general public, and particularly employers, do not understand.  This is not just a tummy ache you get over in a few hours and all is back to normal.  If you find you need to make dietary changes, please don't be afraid to tell family/friends you can't eat certain foods.  No point suffering just to be polite.  The article on this page under Related Information is very informative.

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    • Posted

      I meant to add that latest research does not think the sole cause is lack of fibre - some people have always followed a healthy diet and still get DD.  And I would suggest soluble fibre, not insoluble (Google will explain the difference).  I've read of where a huge bowl of All Bran was too abrasive, and Bran Flakes were a better option for the bowel.

      The feeling is there may be a genetic component as well.  Two members of my family suffered, born in 1883 and 1927, so they never had the modern rubbish over processed Western diet.  But all 3 of us suffered from hypertension from a young age and I am the only one who was overweight.  Best wishes - I'm off for my daily exercise - I fractured my kneecap and am at the stage where I am reintroducing flexion.  Being stuck indoors for 3 weeks without exercise has not done my DD any favours!!

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your reply. Do you continue with the fibogel during a flare or wait a couple of days? The soup sounds good, so I will give it a try.

      Hope you continue to recover well.

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    • Posted

      I have done, but I know others do not.  The side effects of the medication can be pretty nasty and if I'm feeling queasy I've found the Fybogel comes back up. 

      If you're a cheese lover, a soup made with broccoli, cauliflower, potato and onion in veggie stock, with stilton crumbled into it also makes a tasty blended soup.  But some people find they can't take broccoli.  I use the tenderstem purple sprouting type - it's less woody and indigestible. 

      I also make a yellow soup with celery, onion, yellow and green peppers, potato, butter beans, sweetcorn, veggie stock, skimmed milk and sage.  I puree half and keep the other half chunky.  But again, it depends on if you can take celery and corn.  And I roast and skin the peppers first.

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  • Posted

    As hard as it may be go on a liquid diet for a few days. Chicken broth, apple juice, etc.
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    • Posted

      Thank you Surf ! I am eating hardly anything and in very small portions. I am on a semi liquid at this stage and will see how I feel. So far so good but will go straight on to a full liquid diet if I get pain again.
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  • Posted

    I have managed this for 6 years but recently had two flare ups.  I always go on liquid diet until the pain goes then gradually build up to normal.

    I however can't eat nuts, seeds, rice or oats.  That's up to now! smile

    It's all a bit trial and error what to eat and what not to eat as I think different foods affect different people.

    Good luck and hope you feel better soon.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Chele!

      I am starting to think that I can't tolerate nuts either as been eating a lot of them the past months :-(

      Yeah I can gather that this Diver K situation is a very individual thing ...and THAT is why its hard to find hard & fast rules of what to eat.

      I have akways, with a little bit of "junk" food like potato chips obce in a while, eaten a very healthy diet with a lot of fibre. But that may not have been the right diet for me.

      One good thing about this and maybe a blessing in disguise, is that I have lost a big portion of my appetite. So the 10-15 kilos that I need to lose, will hooefully come off now !!!

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