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Could I please ask advice on diet for a diverticular flare up, as I'm a bit confused in what to eat

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  • Posted


    Have you been diagnosed with Diverticular Disease through a colonoscopy or Scan? If you are experiencing the cramping pains that go with a flare up, the best thing to do is follow a clear liquid diet for about 48 hours, to give your insides a rest. This is broth, clear soup, black tea/coffee, and is what usually works for me when I get pains. If the pain gets worse, go to your doctor, as you may need antibiotics. Otherwise after 48 hours you can try introducing small amounts of bland low/no fibre food, like mashed potato (no butter/cream), steamed white fish, boiled white rice, crustless white bread, scrambled egg (no butter/cream), homemade pureed soup, Complan. Then slowly build up as you recover, re-introducing small amounts of soluble fibrous food, until you are following a healthy diet with soluble fibre. Google will help you identify soluble and insoluble fibre (insoluble comes out the way it goes in, such as skins, corn).

    The best thing is to keep a strict food diary for a few weeks, so you can identify what foods irritate your colon and what are OK. For example, I can't take gluten or full fat, but otherwise can eat most things in moderation. Others have to peel and skin everything, remove all pips/seeds, avoid red meat, diary, avoid raw fruit and veggies, or any combination of these. There are loads of posts on this forum about dietary advice, but what I have learned over the years is everyone is different, and what one person can eat, another cannot. If you avoid everything everyone has mentioned you'd starve - you just have to find your own suitable diet. It's why it's so difficult to know what to do, and why doctor advice is so vague. They say "eat fibre" but it has to be the right sort for you, and the right amount, which you find out through trial and error. For example, you are best to stick to a small bowl of Bran Flakes, rather than a large bowl of AllBran!!

    It can take weeks or months to sort things out, but please don't be discouraged as you will get on top of things.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the help, I was diagnosed in 2016 and I probably have had flares before but didn't realise what they were. This flare up how ever has made me really ill since Xmas eve and also vomit most day so my doctor scanned my bowel and started me on a combination of antibiotics which I finish tomorrow. I have been back to the doctor today as I was tested for coeliac disease which came back negative, but I have to have the camera again if the pain do not subside as there is bowel cancer on both sides of my family

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    • Posted

      It's best to be safe than sorry with a family history, and it will check whether your Diverticular Disease has progressed and look for other problems. If you were clear of bowel cancer in 2016, that's a good thing, as if there is anything suspicious, the colonoscopy will pick up changes at a very early stage. I find the prescribed antibiotics for DD do have very nasty side effects, including nausea and vomiting. It does sound like your doctor is trying to rule out other gastrointestinal problems as well as DD, as some people are unfortunate enough to also suffer from things like IBS or colitis as well. Now you are recognising flares for what they are, you may be able to tailor your diet. Good luck with the test.

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  • Posted

    Felinia has once again given brilliant advice. I have been able to calm down a flare by going on a liquid diet for 48 hours and then gradually introducing bland food with low fibre.

    I have found that in DD one size definitely does not fit all. It's trial and error as to what causes pains and/or flare ups in sufferers.

    I have been mostly free from pain for 8 months following a low insoluble fibre and high soluble fibre diet.Prior to this I had almost daily pains/cramps with occasional flare ups of diverticulitis.

    I have been lactose free and gluten free for 5 years and omit spices and tomatoes from my diet as well as anything with seeds or nuts...other than smooth nut butters. I peel all veg and fruit and make sure all veg is well cooked. It won't work for everyone but it works for me.

    I hope you will feel better soon.


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