Doc says High Fibre?

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I'm a newbie DD sufferer. I have been reading all the posts, so can't understand why doc says a high fibre diet if we're not allowed fibrous foods. Understand about the pips, seeds and skins (oh heck, I had granary bread tonight, one slice - I forgot!!). Where am I supposed to be getting all the fibre from then? 

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi n,

    Welcome to this inauspicious 'club'! :-(

    Why high fibre? Why indeed!

    Just remember that pockets fill up - and then they need to empty - before the contents start to rot! "Simples!" (If you're a marketing-savvy meerkat)

    GPs seem to have a problem with diferentiating 'constipation' from 'diverticular disease'. I'm not a medic, just an engineer and a medium-term sufferer (now mid 50s - with onset in late 40s). Fibre seems to be broadly good for the mechanics of the gut, but it still fills-up the diverticula! Can't win! My theory is that pockets will fill, whatever, but if the stuff that fills them is less toxic, then maybe you - like me - won't actually suffer the dreaded 'diverticulitis flare-up' (so far, touch wood!). My breakfast is a large serving of rolled-oat porridge, with just set honey added (no milk). That's washed down with green tea as well as orange juice - oh and a probiotic yoghurt drink too (the flavoued ASDA ones are fine!). My reckoning is that this provides a a pretty bland starter to the day, but one which gives volume for the compromised system to work on - with the addition of honey, which has long been used in medications through the centuries. Use 'set' honey, rather than the clear type, as the wax inclusion must be good for lubrication, mustn't it?

    So that's breakfast. Again, yes, there's proper insoluble and physical fiber there in large amounts, but....... rolled oats are so much more likely to remain in a benign state in the gut than 'fermenting' green veg -based fibre, for example, aren't they? I think the theory is good - and the breakfast whilst not stunningly exciting is tasty, filling and quite nutritious.

    The rest of the day can then be anything! The 'other end'(!) of this 'guidance' is to have a stimulant laxative prescribed, that frees-up the enevitable impaction that occurs regardless of what you do. If you clear the impaction on a 4-to-8 day basis, I have found that only mild discomfort - and certainly no true 'pain' - is encountered. However, I sincerely believe with DD, you cannot get by with bulking agents (like Movicol) that would otherwise work with a 'slow gut' or constipation. I find a good stiff stimulant laxative - in my case 'Bisacodyl' 10 mg (that's two 'Dolcolax' tablets) - at night at the end of that 4-to-8 day period effectively 'resets' the colon after a half-day of, shall we say 'uncertainty'(!) More frequently and your downtime is too much. More than 8 days and I find the accumulation causes a very violent evacuation, iyswim. Not nice!

    I must stress that I am unaware that anyone else adopts anything like this strategy! It's mine! But it works for me - and has done for over a year.

    I hope you manage to manage your fallout....... (ooh! there I 'go' again ... and again :-( .... )

    Good luck, and try to get your GP to explain the efficacy of bulking matter in the context of pockets - just gagging for it!

    I think I'd better stop. :-)

    HTH.

    Cheers,

    Pete aka CauliColon.

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    • Posted

      Hi Caulicolon. I may be wrong but I think set honey is runny honey that's crystallized! So I don't think it would make any difference which honey you ate. Its all great!! Anniecat x
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    • Posted

      You are of course correct!  Set (aka 'creamed') honey would appear to be clear honey that has been whizzed - and therefore comprising tiny particles - so that it is that typical beige, opaque colour/texture.   Only a tiny beeswax content in fact.  Shame!  Beeswax is a great support medium and has been used through the ages in poultices and the like. 

      Darn!  Now it won't do me any good in me porridge! :-(

      Pete.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Pete, I was recently diagnosed with Diverticulosis and after 4 months am getting by on your advice. Lots of water in the morning helps and keeping a clear bowel is a priority. I have tried the bulking agent with no success, neither was the osmotic drinks similar to bowel clearance prep used before colonoscopy. Dulcolax is the one thing I can rely on if not used too often and if I leave the day free afterwards for obvious reasons.

      As far as diet goes, I am pretty unimaginative as used to a normal diet with lots of veg, pulses, lentils etc. I am struggling to find a low residue diet which contains a variety of nutrients. Last night had potatoes and beefburger (home made, no onions or veg) pretty bland. However, no big events this morning, touch wood.

      Liked your advice, seems pretty logical to me.

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  • Posted

    Hi N, welcome.

    The first point to remember is that if you have had a flare, your gut needs to rest; hence the very low/no fibre diet.  If you look through the older posts, you will find a lot of really useful information and some new friends.  Caulicolon speaks a lot of sense, but again I will say we are all different.  Personally I do not use laxatives, I don't need them.  Initially I was told DD was caused by a "poor" or low fibre diet in early life.  Frankly, this is a load of codswallop.  My DD was diagnosed in my 50's so if I had a diet that was that poor, I am certain it would have shown up years ago.

    Anyway, slowly reintroducing fibre is the way to go.  I too eat porridge, but at lunchtime as it is quick and easy to prepare.  When you are feeling a little braver, you could introduce some fruit perhaps.  Avoid seeds - including granary bread, I'm afraid.

    Take your time on this new journey, welcome aboard.

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    • Posted

      How do you acess the older posts on this subject, I would like to read them. My mother is 87 and presented with sever abdominal pain and weakness. GP did a CT Scan and says it is Diverticulitis and sent her home to rest and take antibiotics that was two weeks ago and she is barely able to get from the bed to the kitchen table and has absolutly no energy and is bedfast. I am concerned that something else is required to help her recover so would like to read the older posts with more information. So far no other tests have been ordered and she doesn't seem to be getting any better.

      Any comments?

      Ann

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    • Posted

      Hi Ann.  I am not sure but I think you may be on the wrong trail here, you should be following Divi Diners.  There's lots of help there and I am sure the mediator will pop a link on for you.  It goes on for three pages currently, so I certain you find information of use to you.  See you over there!
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  • Posted

    Thanks both, useful info there. I'm not in 'flare-up' mode at the moment, just was a bit confused because a high fibre diet means stringy veg/bulk. Yes I realise already that it's a matter of trial and error! Oh the joys...(not!)
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    • Posted

      Yes, "joys", indeed!  I suppose the biggest 'joy' is that the inspection/diagnosis by colonoscopy usually includes biopsy, which hopefully proves it's not the big 'C'  - at least for the forseeabble'.

      'Trial and error' certainly seems to fit!  It looks to me like a balancing act between attempting to keep the rest of the gut in good, muscular shape - whilst avoiding long-term containment of ageing waste within the pocket(s).  Therefore, a practical strategy possibly needs to avoid making life too easy for the majority of the gut (that needs exercise to avoid it too becoming flabby?) whilst peroidically clearing the pockets (that themselves are unlikely to disappear without surgery, it seems).

      Be sure to report back on any strategy you find that avoids/minimises flare-ups for you, maybe.

      Cheers,

      Pete.

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  • Posted

    Waiting for the results of my biopsies (4 samples taken), but doc said things looked healthy besides the 'few diverticulum' he saw. Actually feeling a bit down tonight. I feel like I should avoid everything, just in case. I know that's silly, obviously, but it's got to me more than I first thought and I have read loads of info already and still don't know what to eat (or is it that I just don't fancy anything I've read about that should be ok?).
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    • Posted

      I understand, this past month has been a roller coaster ride. An ER visit for extreme pain that has been on and off for years uncovered a few hernias in my abdomen again. They repaired them but the pain in my intestines was killing me. I felt like I was going to pop. 2 weeks in the hospital, test after test was given. Nothing they gave me could get me to poop. I threw up every time I ate. Only clear liquids for a month. My medical records are everywhere. I am prior military and my husband is active duity. We move alot. My records can't be accessed from hospital to hospital. I tried to explain to the doctor that I had been diagnosed with diverticulitis 4 years ago but haven't had a problem since having a blood transfusion. They treated me like a psych patient. The only thing I have found for flare ups is take motrin, rest, drink lots of fluid. Warm tea, no dairy. I get weak so I drink protein supliments. It sucks, nobody gets it. But, you have to make it one day at a time. If you have a reclining chair it helped me sleep at night. Good luck. I'm sorry for your guts but I've got them too. It will be ok.
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  • Posted

    ...oh and Pete - CauliColon, my strategy is water and nothing else (so far!!).
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    • Posted

      Hmm? Clearly your fasting 'strategy' will 'terminate' in a months time!  :-(

      You must start on a balanced diet plan once you're over what appears to be shock.  You might need more medical help in the short term - certainly as far as dietary guidance goes.  Whilst there are things that are more troublesome when they get impacted (like seeds, apparently),  you still need to eat!  It then becomes a question of how you clean your gut.  I've mentioned my methods.  You need to work with your doctor's team to sort that out, maybe?

      Pete.

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  • Posted

    Hey folks.  I've found something called aloe Vera colon cleanse in Holland and Barrett works well.  Recommended when I used to have colonic irrigation which is now advised against with DD. I don't use it every day, maybe two to three times a week or when I get that full up bloated feeling.  Full of natural ingredients too. It's a b***** isn't it never knowing when you might flare up. I had about six flares over the Christmas to end January period this year out of the blue, so painful could barely move from the settee and hot water bottles, but since then touch wood things seem to have settled.

    good luck, a lot of it is trial and error for the individual.

     

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