Diverticulitis diet

Posted , 7 users are following.

This discussion has been locked due to a period of inactivity. Start a new discussion

I was diagnosed with acute diverticulitis Sunday. The doctor made it sound like I could eat anything I wanted, with the exception of spicy foods. Research told me otherwise. I feel like I can eat nothing for the time being. The things I have been craving, salads and fresh fruits, are the very things I need to avoid. The meds are making me so nauseous I have been eating crackers but I even have to choke them down. Anyone have any suggestions. I tried jello and I am just not a fan. Also, I am so tired. I want to sleep but don't want to miss more work.

2 likes, 8 replies

Report

8 Replies

  • Posted

    You have come to the right place for help.  I suggest you look at other posts too as you wait for responses.  I could not eat crackers at all.  I am not sure where you are located but my husband went to Panera Bread and got broth from their chicken noodle soup.  That was really good. I had made some broht and also had some from the can and I had about had it with doing liquids until he suggested that broth.  Do not drink soda it is too harsh.  Drink lots of water.  Eat very small amounts when you feel you can like mashed potatoes, very soft white bread like a small dinner roll.  Small bites at a time and chew well. 

    This is the beginning of small meals and chewing well for a life time from what I am learning from others.  As far as work goes you really do need to rest.  I went back to teaching school too quickly and had another set back.  Rest, use a heating pad on your abdomen.  Don't despair even though you feel awful.  You really will get better and you will adjust to having it.   My Dr. said to think white and soft after you finish the liquid diet. You may be able to do vanilla Greek yogart in the beginning stages. 

    You will hear from others who have great advice on this forum.  Hang in there!  It really will get better!! 

    Report
  • Posted

    Acute Diverticulitis is a nasty disease and the medications have very unpleasant side effects.  Between the two of them you are going to feel unwell for a few weeks - pain, cramps, nausea, lethargy, depression, altered bowel movements.  I found it took 4 - 6 weeks before you begin to feel more normal and for really serious bouts it can take much longer.  It takes time and patience and you will need to rest as much as possible. 

    I understand not wanting to miss work - employers can be very unreasonable, disciplining or even sacking people for being sick - they always find a way round the law.  Many people think this is a disease where you just take a couple of pills and all is fine - that's not true - an attack takes a long time to heal up inside.  It is a disease for life and will need managing for life.  But you will feel better and can live a normal active life, like I have for the last 18 years.  I had just 3 flares in the first 14 years.

    For the time being you should stick to fluids and low residue foods (very little fibre).  I had meal replacement drinks (for the mineral and vitamin contents), broth, soups like cream of chicken or mushroom, applesauce, teas, coffee.  Of course the lack of food will add to your tiredness.  When you feel up to it, you can try a little mash, steamed fish, broiled chicken, white rice, white pasta, crustless white bread, yogurt.  But small portions, well cooked and well chewed.  I make a lot of my own soup which I blend, and I make veggie puree (spud, carrot, swede, parsnip).  Fibre should be introduced back in slowly and in small portions, until you can eat a healthy diet, with soluble fibre (it's better for your compromised insides then insoluble fibre).  Google will give you lists of soluble and insoluble fibre.  I am lucky as I can eat finely chopped salad, but I have difficulty with the acidity of fresh fruit - I am restricted to melon, banana, some varieties of blueberries, peaches.

    Most of us kept food diaries to identify foods that can cause pain and irritation.  For me it was gluten and full fat products.  For others it varies enormously - red meat, dairy, skins, nuts, seeds, popcorn.  We each have to find our own best solution.  As there is no set answer, that is why the medical advice is so woolly.  To manage the disease you are best advised to avoid problem food, drink lots of water, maintain a healthy weight, exercise when you feel able, and keep your bowels well emptied without straining.  My doctor has prescribed a soluble fibre stool softener which bulks and softens the stool and I take it every day.  I also take a probiotic to replace the good bacteria stripped out by the antibiotics.  Different people have different preferences, some taking Dulcoease, Miralax or Lactulose instead of a stool softener. 

    I suggest you try and take time from work and rest if you can, particularly when you are on the meds.  During my first attack I didn't and still remember being doubled up over the photocopier.  You will find lots of helpful information here, but if your symptoms worsen, please go back to the doctor.  Some times it takes more than one course of pills.  Best wishes.

    Report
  • Posted

    Thank you both for so much information and for letting me know I'm not crazy. I can't believe how weak I feel. I didn't realize this is now my life. A wealth of information is here I'm sure.

    Report
    • Posted

      Probiotics!  Your gut relies on good bacteria to digest your food properly (there are a couple of great books about there that describes how the gut works such as the clever guts diet by michael mosely).  The antibiotics you are on will kill off ALL the bacteria in your gut - the good guys along with the bad ones that are causing you problems, so you need to replace the good guys.  You can get probiotics in capsules from a health food shop, or in live yoghurt (Greek is lovely!) and kefir or kombucha (drinks). You may need to go cautiously so you know which types you can tolerate - keep a diary for supplements as well as food.  Good luck!
      Report
  • Posted

    I have been adhering to a strict diet of soft foods (yogurt, jello, mashed potatoes, broths, milkshakes, Boost, Ensure, and the like). You mentioned you're not a fan of certain foods. Me neither. But I'm determined to do whatever is necessary to forestall another attack. So far it's working. I stay away from "scratchy" foods like crusty breads, chips, crackers, fried foods, even red meat, and absolutely no alcohol. It's not fun, but the DD attacks are the worst.  

    Report
  • Posted

    Uggh! How frustratrating. I was diagnosed on Monday and just like you was told "No special diet, other than avoid spicy foods." Yet here and everywhere else everyone is saying liquid diet. Why the conflicting information?

    Not that I've been eating much anyway though because of the nausea and pain, but I have been eating a tiny bit and I havent had a bowel movement since Sunday. Just some gatorade today. Dont feel I'm getting better. 4 days on the antibiotics and 2 1/2 weeks of barely any sleep, pain and so bloated it's like I've swallowed a beach ball

    Report
    • Posted

      The idea is to give your insides a rest until the attack has passed and your insides are healing.  Then you can start to introduce a more balanced diet and soluble fibre.  Information is vague because each of us react differently to certain foods.  For example I can't eat gluten or full fat and others have problems with different food.  This forum will help.

      You will still be feeling lousy as it is at the beginning of your attack and treatment - the medication is vicious with nasty side effects, including nausea and lethargy, on top of the bloating and diverticulitis pain.  It usually takes 4 - 6 weeks to feel more like normal, but the pain can niggle for months.  You won't have been putting in enough to generate much in the way of a bowel movement, but you do need to keep up the water intake to keep things soft (tmi I know but necessary).  It takes time and patience, but you will feel better.  Best wishes.

      Report
  • Posted

    Drink as much water as you can tolerate.   It helps with medication side effects and with the colon to heal.   Fried foods were the worst for me.  As for fruit, You can peel bananas and freeze them.  then put in blender to make like a banana pudding.  Melons are fine for you even now.  they mostly digest in the mouth.   You can get a juicer, (not a blender this time) and make fresh apple and berry juice.  Also, you can juice kale, carrots, celery, cucumber.  Add apples or grapes to sweeten it.  Green juice is very healing and has no fiber to bother the colon.  The chlorophyll (green) in it is very cooling and healing.  I took grapefruit seed extract, liquid or pills, to make the pain go away sooner.  It helps kill the bad bacteria.
    Report

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up