Im a healthy woman in my 30s just diagnosed with Diverticulosis

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Hi I was just told i had diverticulosis and im really concered. I had a high fever and pain was in the hospital 2 weeks ago (diverticulitis) and back to normal chasing after my little onessmile. Getiing Colonoscopy done as a folow up. I always had a low fiber diet never ate fruits or anything. Now my diet is changing to healthy foods. How many flare ups is average? Im scared bc i heard people have them quite a bit. Can you have a glass of wine now and then while having divertiulosis? What triggers divirticulitis?

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  • Posted

    Sorry to hear you have DD you are so young. Everyone is different I find if I eat to much fyber I have a problem and if I don't eat enough I have a problem so just working out what's good for me. I was diagnosed last august had a bad flare at Christmas and had 3 small flares since. Some people manage things really well On here you will find people really helpful and caring. Are you in the U.K. Or USA here in the U.K. DD is treated differently to the US here the DR treats it with antibiotics you have to be really bad before they think of surgery. But in the US they tend to do surgery. Sorry I am not much help. Hope you feel better soon

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  • Posted

    The best advice I was given was to avoid eating things with skins or seeds.

    This rules out small fruits like berries or grapes, but as long as you can peel it you can eat other fruits.

    Look up the difference between soluble and insoluble fibre, the former being better to digest.

    I find red meat and processed meat more difficult to digest so i dont have that on consecutive days.

    On the plus side, I have never found alcohol to cause a problem.

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  • Posted

    Hi Jessica

    Sorry to hear you have this condition at such a young age.  However glad to hear you have picked up so quickly in just 2 weeks.  I suggest you read the article under Related Information on this forum, which will explain all the various terms - Diverticula, Diverticulosis, Diverticulitis and Diverticular Disease. 

    Most people in the Western world have diverticula in their bowels- probably the result of the western diet (low fibre and highly processed).  This condition is known as Diverticulosis, and for the majority of people it causes no problems at all.  When matter becomes trapped in the diverticula, and it becomes infected, that is when you have Diverticulitis. 

    As you have had an attack, you now know you are susceptible.  I am guessing from your post that you now realise your diet needs to change.  I have had this disease for 16 years and have learned to cope.  After my 1st attack I changed my eating habits to a much healthier one, and did not have another attack for 6 years.  Then I went 4 years before my 3rd attack and I am now very conscious of what triggers an attack.  So it is possible to live a totally normal life.  The trick is to learn what you can and can't eat, by keeping a food diary to see what foods give you problems.  I suggest you trawl through this forum for a post from julia1020 and all the replies.  It covers diet very comprehensively. 

    Everyone is different as to what they can and cannot eat.  For me, it is gluten, wheat and full fat - particularly ice cream.  I also remove all the skins from things like potatoes, apples, nectarines as they are what is known as insoluble fibre.  I make a lot of home made soup which I blend.  It's a good way of getting your veggies in an easily digestible form.  Fruit smoothies are OK occasionally, but you need to limit them due to their high sugar content.  I have lots of yogurt too, and frozen yogurt as a replacement for ice cream.  I also cook most of my meals from scratch, so I know what goes in them, and cut right down on the fats and additives.  You mentioned chasing your little ones.  You will be giving them a healthy diet and setting a good example for them.  You can batch cook and freeze to help manage your time.  I've not come across anyone who has had to cut out wine, so just try it and see.

    Then you need to start taking a daily dose of Metamucil in 12 oz water.  This is a natural soluble fibre supplement.  It bulks and thickens the stools and makes them easier to pass - no straining, which is bad for Diverticular Disease.  It also has a slight laxative effect so you may go more often.  But an emptied bowel is good - less chance of matter becoming trapped and causing an infection.  I was prescribed the UK equivalent and have been taking it ever since with no problems or side effects other than regular bowel habits!  I also take pure aloe vera juice (a revolting tasting but effective natural internal healer) plus probiotics (to replace the good bugs killed off by antibiotics).

    Just a word of caution - this is a balancing act.  Not too much fibre or too little.  If you get niggles, stick to fluids only with no fibre for a few days and see if things settle down.  They normally do and you have a better idea what not to eat.  This sounds all a bit daunting and frightening, but it very quickly becomes a habit and way of life.  The USA treats this disease very aggressively in hospital and, from the posts I have read here, not always with the best results.  2 attacks and it's under the knife.  The UK treats with antibiotics and diet from home - hospitalisation and surgery is the last resort, as the disease can spread to the remaining part of the bowel.  Money seems to be the driving factor - US surgeons want yours, and the UK NHS is broke!  Best wishes.

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    • Posted

      Wow thank you for all the useful information! This I will do. I had the attack 2.5 weeks ago and my bowels are still loose and mild stomach pain from time to time. Does this happen to you?
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    • Posted

      Oh yes!  Not sure if you saw my other post a couple of hours ago, but I agree with Susan.  It can take time and patience but yours does seem to be clearing quicker than most.
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    • Posted

      I think it depends on what suits you best.  Metamucil is the one I know of - its the same as Fybogel in the UK.  The other one I haven't heard of.  Some people find Fybogel fives them the runs and others find it constipates them.  For me it makes things nice and loose and easy to pass, without being the runs.  But I also have quite a lot of vegetable and fruit fibre, without skins and pureed down.

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