Diverticulitis some things that work for me

Posted , 18 users are following.

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

I have been dealing with diverticulitis attacks on and off for 14 years now. There have been periods of time when ive had alot of symptoms, pain, and repeated attacks. I have been hospitalized during 2 attacks and have taken many prescriptions of awful antibiotics including flagyl and cipro. At this point I have gone long periods of time with good health, being very active and no symptoms so I thought i would share some information that may be helpful.

When I am symptom free some things that help me feel great and remain symptom free for long periods of time are:

Eating oatmeal (rolled oats) every day

Eating yogurt regularly

Eating slowly and chewing my food well

Eating small portions of food and more often

Drinking alot of water

Eating portions of pineapple regularly or daily ( pineapple has enzymes that help digestion)

Avoiding nuts, seeds and vegetables that are hard to digest like broccoli, cabbage, peppers, and foods that have a thick skin or shell

Removing skin from sausages or hot dogs

Having small portions of foods that I should avoid to fill the craving (when needed only)

No popcorn

Avoid eating fried foods often

No raisin bran or crunchy cereals, brown rice, or whole grain rice

Avoiding foods with cornmeal. (Many things and many snacks have cornmeal which can irritate the bowel)

Taking metamucil every day

Making a protein shake(in a blender) with foods that would be hard to break down but are healthy

Staying active and exercising

Getting good sleep when I'm able

Reducing stress

7 likes, 36 replies

Report

36 Replies

Next
  • Posted

    Hi Julia

    This is an absolutely brilliant post, which I am going to recommend to a fellow sufferer.  Thank you!  Like you I have been mainly flare up free for 15 years until a recent attack.

    I am guessing you are USA based from your medication and terminology.  Here in the UK Fybogel is prescribed rather than Metamucil - as far as I can tell both are flavoured Psyllium Husk drinks (it may simply be different generic names for the same product).  I already follow the majority of this advice, and would just add a few things.

     

    - Gluten free products (recommended by my dietician for DD).

    - Home made, well blended vegetable soups (for the good fibre in easily digestible form).

    - Digestive aids like probiotics and pure Aloe Vera juice.

    Best wishes.

     

    Report
    • Posted

      Hi Felinia!

      Thanks for your reply. I am from the USA. I am using metamucil orange smooth. There aren't many good forums, blogs, or sites for people that are USA based that I could find. You make some great suggestions also, and I will definitely add the aloe vera juice into my diet. I feel that I want to try and help others as there is little to no guidance from the medical providers on basic tips, and natural remedies to avoid flare ups and people are suffering. I was symptom free for years and had a recent flare up from being careless and eating things I shouldnt. 15 years ago I was luckey to have an uncle who unfortunately suffered from diverticulitis also, and provided me with alot of guidance and tips as the medical community in USA still doesn't even admit that seeds and nuts are a problem! I was 32 years of age when I started having problems.

      Some things I left out that are also important tips:

      Don't let yourself get constipated, but if you are then use a stool softener or mild laxative if needed. Whatever you do don't strain.

      My doc recommended I take magnesium, small dose

      Avoid eating tomatoe seeds and skins (you can deseed and remove skins with a machine made by sonoma. Don't eat a big homemade sauce made by anyone as there are tons of seeds in it!

      Also, peel your apples and peaches, no cherries or grapes.

      I use an herbal pill that helps to harmonize digestive function. I use them when I feel like I might be starting to have a problem, but not when there are serious symptoms or fever present. I call them my magic pills as they have helped me through many iffy times.

      I'm sure there are other natural foods, with natural enzymes and foods that reduce inflammation that also help, I continue to seek these out. I do whatever I can to avoid infection and taking high doses of awful antibiotics but sometimes they are needed. I know someone who got cdif twice after repeated episodes of flare ups and regimes of antibiotics.

      Take care and be healthy!

      Julia

      Report
    • Posted

      Hi Julia

      Thanks for replying.  Here in the UK our NHS offers very little in the way of advice, just a pamphlet which tells you what DD is, and eat plenty of fibre, or not if it doesn't suit you.  This is where this Forum is so important.  Only people who have the disease understand what fellow sufferers are going through, and can pass on what has helped them.  

      It is also able to provide reassurance to people new to the disease, who often fear the worst.  I feel so sorry for the very young sufferers - some only in their teens - who are suddenly faced with permanent lifestyle changes, and without life's experiences to deal with chronic illness.

      I only joined recently, after the latest flare up, when my tried and tested coping mechanisms were no longer so effective.  I have learned a lot since, and like you, now try to share my experiences.  If just one person benefits, it is worthwhile.

      I recently introduced the probiotics, pure aloe vera and the occasional mild laxative, based on suggestions from the Forum.  I have also started removing the skins and seeds, even though they are a good source of fibre.  The other thing I need to do is lose weight and exercise more!  But at 66 and with a bad hip, it's not so easy!  One question - what's cdif (I racked my brains)?  

      Best wishes and happy holidays (food in moderation!!!)

      Janice

      Report
    • Posted

      Hi Janice,

      I couldn't agree with you more! So much of dealing with DD is related to being well informed and so disciplined with you're diet, its not easy for many people including myself. You really have to be an advocate for yourslef too. I love spicy food and that is also not good as it irritates the bowels :-( alcohol can also be an issue if you drink alot.

      Cdif is a bacterial infection called clostridium difficile causing clostridium difficilecolitis. This is an awful infection that often results from taking prolonged doses of many anti biotics. A friend at work who suffers from bad DD got cdif twice from taking prolonged antibiotics for DD flareups. He was in the hospital and extremely ill. Poor guy. He has chronic symptoms.

      If I have problems and flareups it's usually around the holidays because of all the rich diverse food and cheer. I am going to try my best to be on good behavior since I just had a flare up and another one right now would just be very bad.

      Take care and be well!

      Julia

      Report
    • Posted

      Hi Julia

      Thanks for the information.  Fortunately cdif is not something I have come across, although I do suffer from antibiotic related thrush following bladder infections.  I am teetotal and dislike spicy food, which is probably helpful in my case!!  I also have other medical problems which exclude most fat, dairy, sugar and acid, so it's actually been easier for me to follow a fairly bland diet and probably why I've had so few flare ups.  My downfall is quantity.

      Tonight I'm off to my annual Christmas Concert with buffet.  I can eat the lettuce and drink the water!  If I'm really lucky there will be plain chicken drumsticks, otherwise it's wall to wall gluten and fat!  So I've just had my steamed chicken, boiled potato and steamed veggies!  Best wishes

      Janice

      Report
    • Posted

      Julia I'm also from the US. I was ready to go under the knife and my surgeon was the one who recommended Metamucil aka psyllium seed. It is apparent after going from one doctor to another that you must be your own advocate when it comes to your own health. That's why forums like this one are very important so we can all bounce ideas off each other to find out what works.

      Report
  • Posted

    Julia glad to hear you manage the bid D. I have been pain free for 5 years now because of Metamucil twice per day.

    Try taking the psyllium products twice daily and hopefully that will thicken your stools so you can flush your bowels regularly. You have to flush your system without any pushing and the psyllium will do that for you. If the colon is clear you will stop diverticulitis. I have and still eat what I want including red meats just not as much.

    Again, this disease is very managable and you can beat it by following simple steps which I believe you already do and congrats on being your own advocate.

    Take care of yourself.

    Report
    • Posted

      Hi there! I will give it a try and do 2 metamucil doses a day! Thanks for the tip.

      Be well

      Julia

      Report
  • Posted

    Hi Julia 

    Thank you for your post, I was about to come away from this site after reading lots of posts from people who have needed surgery resulting in a colostomy bag, or repeated admissions into hospital etc

    Whist I do find it extremely interesting and feel deeply for my fellow sufferers, I don't always want to be reminded of what may happen, I prefer to read how I can keep myself well and live my life to the full. It seems you may have mastered this!

    I was diagnosed 6 years ago following an emergency Laparotomy, on recovery was offered no advice from the hospital other than to eat a high fibre diet. 

    I paid to see a dietitian who taught me the difference between soluble and insoluble fibre, the importance of no fibre and fluids only during a flare up. She told me to always remember my gut does not have teeth! Good advice and goes along with eating slowly, chewing properly. 

    I have been lucky with only 2 major flare ups in six years requiring the high dose antibiotics, however this nasty condition has caused me to give up my full time stressful job as a social worker, it also interferes far too often with my social life, I find it so unpredictable never knowing when my stomach is going to swell or when I'm going to feel the pain down the left side that only laying down with a hot water bottle seems to help. 

    I will follow some of your tips and take more care with my diet. I have just started adding aloe Vera juice. My dietician recommended I take a probiotic food supplement following any use of antibiotics. It is a bit expensive around £30 for 10 sachets here in the uk but I believe it's worth it. 

    Thank you again Julia, long may you stay as symptom free as possible. 

    Rosie 

    Report
    • Posted

      Hi Rosie

      Loved your comment about the gut not having teeth - I'll remember that one!  Although sometimes when I get the left sided twinges, it feels like it!  I rather get the impression when reading the posts, that treatment in the USA is very different than in the UK.  Here in the UK the knife seems to be the very last resort, in an emergency, but in the USA it seems to be more of a policy of 1 or 2 flares and chop chop!  Cynical me thinks money may be the reason - the NHS wants to save it, and the USA professionals want to earn it!

      My cousin, a healthcare professional, advised the knife as only the last resort.  Having said that another cousin was admitted with a fistula, had the surgery and no further problems for years.  I personally have found if I don't monitor my diet very carefully I get twinges or flare ups, and since retiring 7 years ago have had just 2 flares.  I am sorry for you if your flares are less predictable.  Hopefully the aloe vera juice will help you as much as it has for me.  I was surprised at the price you pay for probiotics - they must be very special.  Is there no way you can get them on prescription?  Have you shopped around for the best deal online?

      I hope your pain reduces and your social life improves!  Best wishes.

      Report
    • Posted

      Hi felina

      thank you for your reply, it is so good to have fellow suffers to talk to. The probiotics I mention are so expensive due to the content I think, 450 billion bacteria per sachet. I did name it but the moderator on this site removed the name so I guess it must be a no no to recommend something a professional has recommended and has positive results. 

      Have a good Christmas felina and anyone else reading this post. 

      Rosie 

      Report
    • Posted

      Hi Rosie , I find the moderating strange on this forum. You can recommend Metamucil but not the name of the probiotic. We have to monitor our own health as the professionals don't really know too much about DD so I would have thought it good policy to name products which help us. God knows it's an uphill struggle already. 

      Report
  • Posted

    Hello Julia and all that have posted comments here. Thanks so much for talking about this and sharing your experiences. Some really good advice there. Time for some lifestyle changes I guess.

    Going to miss my spicy food and popcorn though....

    I cannot beleive that every medical site I visited said not to worry about seeds and nuts etc. It only makes sense that they could provoke an attack.

    Once I've re-organized my diet and done a little more research, I'll let you know what has worked the best.

     

    Report
    • Posted

      Hi Neil

      You'll find this a very helpful forum, full of ideas and tips to manage your DD.  Julia has covered virtually everything, but we all seem to find psyllium husk powder mixed with water one of the most beneficial tools.  Depending on where you live, the most common brand names are Metamucil and Fybogel.  You can source online, or if you are lucky like me, get it free on prescription.

      The medical profession seems to go by the belief that one size fits all, but unless they actually experience this disease they cannot fully understand.  Everyone is different and what some people can eat, others can't, so it's trial and error.  You may actually be able to eat some foods that others cannot, but you'll soon find out if you get a flare up!  A good idea is to keep a food diary until you've worked out what suits you.

      Have a good Christmas, but perhaps give the curried turkey leftovers a miss!

      Report
    • Posted

      Neil please listen to Felinia because she knows her divertic. Her message is precise and she tells it like it is. You don't have to suffer and you can live a normal life just by taking simple steps that Felinia lays out.

      It's called psyllium husk and it's the difference maker for stopping outbreaks. Get it use it and be pain free.

      Report
    • Posted

      Felinia you get your husk free from Dr. I have to buy it at store and it costs $26 US dollars. How do I get your deal come live in the U.K.?

      LOL.

      Report
    • Posted

      Hi

      I am 66 and in the UK all people over 60 get all their medications free, on prescription from their doctor.  When I was diagnosed first 15 years ago, it was prescribed to me, and I had to pay an annual fee.  Then when I hit 60 the charges stop.  We might complain about our NHS but it does ensure that elderly people, or those with certain chronic long term serious illness or terminal illness do get their medication free.  

      Unfortunately for you, unless you have UK or EU citizenship, the government are looking towards charging for medical matters!!  And would you want our weather?????  lol

      Presumably you have looked to see if you can get a better deal online.  I am pleased to say that one month after starting the aloe vera and probiotics I have just enjoyed 2 completely pain free days - first in 5 months - without even the early morning pre-BM niggles.  So for anyone else reading this post, it can take time and care, but you can manage it.

      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