NUTS!!

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Hey Guys 

Had my first Diverticulitus attack nearly 2years ago, it rumbled on for a few weeks maybe more and culminated in a perforated colon, so deeply unpleasant as I’m sure you can imagine. Luckily they decided to treat it conservatively (IV antibiotics) but I was in hospital for 2 weeks and very ill. Since then I’ve tried to be as proactive as I can with my diet and avoided food’s that don’t digest well but still trying to take on good roughage. I gave up red meat (something I meant to do anyway) and cut down on wheat and gluten. I particularly avoided nuts and seeds despite the medical profession insisting they were fine . I love nuts and seeds but that one seemed obvious to me. A small chunk of nut or a seed getting stuck in a pouch was likely to cause trouble.

Since then it’s not been to bad although not that great either, a couple of times I’ve had to go down to the doctor for a short antibiotic course or just put up with a bit of discomfort. And there are a couple of spots in my colon where I always feel discomfort, where the actual perforation was I could always feel.

About a month ago a friend told me about the Plant Paradox diet and even bought me the book. Now although I’m usually deeply suspicious of these kind of things, I’ve a huge amount of respect for my friend who has battled with autoimmune diseases since childhood and has done a huge amount of research into diet and he feels this book/diet was a bit of a breakthrough moment and after reading through the first few chapters so did I. So I adopted the diet, or most of it (it suggests a three day “cleanse” which I haven’t done yet) and I was blown away by the effect. Within 3 days  ALL pain or discomfort had gone, friend’s and family were commenting on how well I looked etc. I was quite shocked at the effects despite thinking that book did make good sense to me. 

After a couple of weeks I started to get a bit cocky and thought ‘Great I’m cured’ and if it’s on the “yes” list, I can eat it. And that would include nuts, so about a week ago I started back on things like macadamia nuts, not much, but I wouldn’t have gone near them before. 

Right now I’m writing this from my bed in the Royal United Hospital, Bath, I was admitted on Saturday evening with a temp of 104 (“good effort” said the triage nurse) I started to feel uncomfortable last Thursday. My wife and I had quite a large photographic job in London on Friday, I lasted about 2 hours before I had to leave and get to the hospital, I have never walked off a job in my life. I thought it had perforated my colon again (same pain level) but in fact I’ve got away with it and it’s just a major attack. I was discharged Friday night from the London hospital (does anyone else get all the excruciating pain but all vitals are ok) and re-admitted to Bath hospital 24 hours latter. 

So I was going through this with the consultant on the ward today and told him I considered  the nuts to be the prime suspect and he literally scoffed at me. I was shocked that he could be so arrogant about it, he said I could start to take on food and I replied that because I’d missed the lunch run I’d pop down to the cafeteria for something, “and you eat as many nuts and seeds as you like down there” he proffered as he left the room. The bloody arrogance of it. He’s no diverticula specialist just a general practitioner.

So, after all that, where do we stand on nuts guys?

I’m delighted to have found this site, this is a horrible, horrible condition we have, but at last I’ve found somewhere to gain and share information.

Kind Regards 

Ian

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Ian,

    Hope you are recovering well.  I have had 3 attacks over 10 years - the first one slightly perforated the colon and was in hospital for 3 days on IV.  Caught the other two in time and just took antibiotics.  The last one was about a month ago (4 years after the 2nd one).  I have to admit I became very lax on the nuts and seeds - love nuts!  Ate tomatoes, okra, nuts, and popcorn.  I think it is the popcorn that may have gotten me.  My doctor actually said even though the thinking is anything was okay, he would go easy on them.  My thinking has changed to the idea that if a tiny piece of stool can get caught in the pouch, it stands to reason that a small piece of nut or seed could also just as easily.  So now I am staying away from all of that - much to my dismay.  Curious - what was on that super diet you said helped you so much?

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    • Posted

      Hey Dee

      The book is called The Plant Paradox by Stephen Gundry, a lot of what’s in there I suspected anyway, hormones in meat, pesticides on crops and intensive farming methods generally and of course processed foods, but this takes it to a whole new level. I think the difference with this work is that it’s a very scientific approach and the author is a world renowned heart surgeon who fires a proper broadside at the food/pharmaceutical industry. It has a good look at our history of diet and the changes in our health as our diet has changed. It had made a huge difference to my wellbeing in a very short space of time. Of coarse, since I’ve been in hospital it’s all been blown out of the water (you know what hospital foods like)  As soon as I’m out I’m straight back on it and I’m really going to go for it so watch this space. Interestingly, according to Gundry, tomato’s:only peeled and deseeded, okra:fine, nuts:some but not all(no peanut,cashews) Popcorn an absolute no, in fact no corn at all. Like I say I’ll crack on with it and let you know how I get on.

      All the best 

      Ian

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  • Posted

    Hi Ian

    Hope the antibiotics are doing their job and you are much more comfortable now.  I know all about arrogant consultants.  Mine didn't even bother to see me, just sent a letter to my GP saying "only diverticular disease - a benign condition", before signing me off.

    Now you've found this site, you'll see that many of us have had to adjust their diet, despite what all the so called experts say.  Perhaps each of them should have to suffer an attack and colonoscopy to fully understand.  But on a serious note, it seems each of us have different intolerances, which is why it is impossible to give blanket advice - one size does not fit all.  Many of us have kept a food/lifestyle diary to find out what triggers a flare up.  You are one step ahead, as you can put nuts at the top of your list.  I'm OK with nuts, but can't tolerate gluten or full fat.  Ice cream and toast today, doubled up tomorrow.  For others it varies - red meat, dairy, popcorn, spices etc.  Also like you, I became over confident after many years of managing this disease, and had 3 flares in quick succession 16 months ago.  It took a year to settle down.  I take a daily stool softener, prescribed by my GP, to keep my bowels well emptied, and take a supermarket probiotic drink daily to help my gut.  Like any other chronic condition, this requires a lifetime of maintenance.  Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

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    • Posted

      Hey Felinia 

      Thanks for the reply. Interesting on the probiotics, of course the antibiotics we have to take completely wipe out our own good probiotic and so leave our intestines without a natural defence system, we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place though, we have to kill the infection.

      I’m going to start the probiotic repopulation as soon as I’m out. I’m going to go down the kefir route and cultivate it myself using raw goats milk. I’m going to crack on with the diet I’d started that was making a difference before I decided I must be bulletproof after all. I’ll let you know how I get on.

      All the best 

      Ian

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  • Posted

    I never eat nuts seeds skins red meat eggs  or drink fizzy pop I had a bad attack this time last year but managed through it with antibiotics. I have played around with different foods and I think I have found what works best for me. I have fybergel probiotic tablet and mabevarine every morning. I also have IBS they seem to help.                                     Has for the DR I was told it's only diverticula why have you come here just get on with it. I paid to see a consultant who did a sigmoidoscopy (not as bad as a colonoscopy) he wants blood tests for celiac and colitis and I see him in January. Hopefully he can tell me if I have any of these so I can alter my diet.                           It sounds like you had a really bad time I hope everything sorts its self out. I would stay clear of nuts. I hope you have a good Christmas 

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    • Posted

      Hey  Susan 

      I’m going to get a probiotic regimen going with raw goats milk kefir and back on the diet that was helping before I messed it up 😟. I’ll keep you posted.

      All the best

      Ian 

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