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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm cross posting this in nutrition.

I'm very distressed. I just found out I have diverticulosis and diverticulitis. I know this is probably the result of a lifelong poor diet so of course I blame myself which only makes matters worse. Now I just need to know what to do. I'm on antibiotics and then I'm supposed to have a colonoscopy next month. From what I've read this is a life long condition that needs to be managed but I'm not sure how. I'm afraid to eat anything.

Any advice? Dietary or otherwise.

Any resources that may help me? (There's so much conflicting info on the web).

Thanks.
 

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I'm interested in comments as well. My gastrointerologist told me I had some diverticuli but that it was normal for my age. He didn't suggest any dietary changes.
 

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My dh was hospitalized for this for 5 days last summer, and hasn't had a recurrence, if it helps
He had to eat a very mild low-fibre diet for a while until his intestines healed and then he went back to his regular diet, which isn't the healthiest, but does include a plate of salad every day.

His episode seems to have been triggered by a sudden switch to a very high fibre vegan diet, ironically. He'll never do a major sudden dietary change like that again.

From the people I talked to, I gleaned the advice that sometimes it is a particular food that they simply need to avoid or include religiously in their diets. One lady told me that her mother had horrible episodes whenever she ate popcorn or kernal corn. The hulls just got trapped in her intestinal pockets and created huge problems every time. A guy I know told me he has to eat at least a quarter cup of Bran Buds cereal every day or his diverticulitis would tend to flare. Smoking and drinking coffee and eating greasy foods were also problems for him -- if he overdid it and didn't remember the Bran Buds, it would be a sure thing that he'd get sick.

Everyone basically said that the right diet for you is a matter of trial and error, and that you should think carefully about what you were eating/doing around the time you got sick to see if you can figure any triggers.

I also did a lot of googling and came across anecdotal evidence that vitamin d supplements and food grade diatomaceous earth (which we used for pinworms) also help with diverticulitis. So I have made sure that my dh takes regular vitamin d supplements and we use the diatomaceous earth once a month or so now mixed in smoothies as a parasite cleanse/preventative. This may have helped him stay healthy - but who knows? 6 months isn't such a long time.

ETA I also should add that I went into a local health food store that I trust and spent an afternoon going through their desk references on diverticulitis when my dh first got sick. I came home with a bunch of supplements, including Aloe Vera juice and some homeopathics that were recommended by the references. I can't tell you if they work because dh wouldn't even try most of it
I guess I can't blame him -- his tummy was in a delicate condition and he didn't feel at all like experimenting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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Originally Posted by MoonStarFalling View Post
I'm interested in comments as well. My gastrointerologist told me I had some diverticuli but that it was normal for my age. He didn't suggest any dietary changes.
Normal for your age? Ugh... it's not normal but our western diet has made it common place. I was not told to do any kind of special diet either which bothers me. I wish they would have given more information on what to do. Thanks for your post. Hope we both get some good advice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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Originally Posted by Aubergine68 View Post
My dh was hospitalized for this for 5 days last summer, and hasn't had a recurrence, if it helps
He had to eat a very mild low-fibre diet for a while until his intestines healed and then he went back to his regular diet, which isn't the healthiest, but does include a plate of salad every day.

His episode seems to have been triggered by a sudden switch to a very high fibre vegan diet, ironically. He'll never do a major sudden dietary change like that again.

From the people I talked to, I gleaned the advice that sometimes it is a particular food that they simply need to avoid or include religiously in their diets. One lady told me that her mother had horrible episodes whenever she ate popcorn or kernal corn. The hulls just got trapped in her intestinal pockets and created huge problems every time. A guy I know told me he has to eat at least a quarter cup of Bran Buds cereal every day or his diverticulitis would tend to flare. Smoking and drinking coffee and eating greasy foods were also problems for him -- if he overdid it and didn't remember the Bran Buds, it would be a sure thing that he'd get sick.

Everyone basically said that the right diet for you is a matter of trial and error, and that you should think carefully about what you were eating/doing around the time you got sick to see if you can figure any triggers.

I also did a lot of googling and came across anecdotal evidence that vitamin d supplements and food grade diatomaceous earth (which we used for pinworms) also help with diverticulitis. So I have made sure that my dh takes regular vitamin d supplements and we use the diatomaceous earth once a month or so now mixed in smoothies as a parasite cleanse/preventative. This may have helped him stay healthy - but who knows? 6 months isn't such a long time.

ETA I also should add that I went into a local health food store that I trust and spent an afternoon going through their desk references on diverticulitis when my dh first got sick. I came home with a bunch of supplements, including Aloe Vera juice and some homeopathics that were recommended by the references. I can't tell you if they work because dh wouldn't even try most of it
I guess I can't blame him -- his tummy was in a delicate condition and he didn't feel at all like experimenting.
Thanks so much! It's funny because my situation is similar to your dh. A few months ago I started a super healthy diet and have been losing weight. I suspect that the increase in fiber has caused this episode of diverticulitis. It's such an irony because the condition of diverticulosis which leads to diverticulitis is caused by a low fiber diet (from what I've read), but then healthy eating and fiber causes the flare up. This is what distresses me the most. I want to continue to eat healthy, but I'm scared to eat fiber because of what has happened. I hope that I will be able to resume my healthy high fiber diet soon.

Please tell me if you can remember; how long did your dh have to stay on the low fiber diet? How did he know when he was well enough to start adding fiber to his diet again?

Also, was he told he needed a colonoscopy?

Thanks so much for your post. And thanks for the info on supplements. I will look into the ones you mentioned.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sahmmie View Post
Please tell me if you can remember; how long did your dh have to stay on the low fiber diet? How did he know when he was well enough to start adding fiber to his diet again?

Also, was he told he needed a colonoscopy?
He started adding in more veg after 3-4 weeks and was back to his normal in about 6 weeks.

He'd try a veg at a meal and see if it caused a stomachache, basically, and went bac to his diet gradually.

He was told he should have a colonoscopy, but since he recovered completely and hasn't had any other issues, he hasn't gone for one.

He missed about a month of work with his diverticulitis and hasn't felt he could take more time off lately, honestly, or he probably would have. If it flares up again, I"ll be insisting that he follow dr's orders.
 

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I was told I had diverticulosis based on one of those barium enema things, then they did a colonoscopy and told me I didn't have it. Before the colonoscopy my doc told me all I had to avoid was corn and seeds, as they can become lodged in the pockets and become infected, but I haven't changed my diet at all since it looks like I don;t really have it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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Originally Posted by Aubergine68 View Post
He started adding in more veg after 3-4 weeks and was back to his normal in about 6 weeks.

He'd try a veg at a meal and see if it caused a stomachache, basically, and went bac to his diet gradually.

He was told he should have a colonoscopy, but since he recovered completely and hasn't had any other issues, he hasn't gone for one.

He missed about a month of work with his diverticulitis and hasn't felt he could take more time off lately, honestly, or he probably would have. If it flares up again, I"ll be insisting that he follow dr's orders.
Thanks so much. I don't have any pain at all right now so maybe my case wasn't that severe. The pain was already subsiding when I had the CAT scan done. I'll probably stay on a low fiber diet at least until I'm done with my antibiotics, or maybe I should stay on it until I have the colonoscopy. Ugh... it's so confusing. Thanks for your help. I really appreciate it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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Originally Posted by BedHead View Post
I was told I had diverticulosis based on one of those barium enema things, then they did a colonoscopy and told me I didn't have it. Before the colonoscopy my doc told me all I had to avoid was corn and seeds, as they can become lodged in the pockets and become infected, but I haven't changed my diet at all since it looks like I don;t really have it.
Hmmm... I guess that's why it's good to go ahead and have the colonoscopy, though I really wish I didn't have to. Thanks for your post. I am happy that you don't have diverticulosis.
 

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I would have thought it was caused by low fiber diets but I eat twice the RDA and have for many years. I suppose the pockets could have been from childhood. I was always constipated due to dairy and a poor diet.

The only person I know that had diverticulitis was veg and they told her to avoid seeds. I have no plans on avoiding seeds but maybe I'll be sorry someday.
 

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I would look into following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, starting with the intro diet and going very slowly with the introduction of raw fruits and veggies, or any of the higher-fiber legal foods on the diet.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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Originally Posted by MoonStarFalling View Post
I would have thought it was caused by low fiber diets but I eat twice the RDA and have for many years. I suppose the pockets could have been from childhood. I was always constipated due to dairy and a poor diet.

The only person I know that had diverticulitis was veg and they told her to avoid seeds. I have no plans on avoiding seeds but maybe I'll be sorry someday.
Yeah, I think it probably takes years before you know you have this condition. In your case it probably started in childhood. I don't eat a lot of seeds but I was eating them occasionally right before this attack started. So I probably will avoid seeds for now. Thanks for your post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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Originally Posted by momofmine View Post
I would look into following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, starting with the intro diet and going very slowly with the introduction of raw fruits and veggies, or any of the higher-fiber legal foods on the diet.

Good luck!
Wow. That diet looks tough. I've often wondered if I might have other digestive issues such as Celiac. I guess this diet would help me to find out. Have you done it? I'd probably lose tons of weight! Thanks for the information. I'll definitely research it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm really scared now. I'm having a second attack of diverticulitis. Intense pain and fever were the telltale signs. The only differences in my diet in the days preceding the attack were, cucumbers (I love them but haven't had them since last summer), grape nuts cereal, and an increase in my coffee drinking from 1 cup a day to 3-4 cups a day.

Any advice or wisdom? Especially about natural/dietary help for this condition.

Anyone else here struggling with this?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sahmmie View Post
I'm really scared now. I'm having a second attack of diverticulitis. Intense pain and fever were the telltale signs. The only differences in my diet in the days preceding the attack were, cucumbers (I love them but haven't had them since last summer), grape nuts cereal, and an increase in my coffee drinking from 1 cup a day to 3-4 cups a day.

Any advice or wisdom? Especially about natural/dietary help for this condition.

Anyone else here struggling with this?
I'm sorry you are struggling. I would take a look at the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and read Breaking thw Vicious Cycle . I am out of the house on my phone so can't write more now. Good luck.
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
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Originally Posted by momofmine View Post
I'm sorry you are struggling. I would take a look at the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and read Breaking thw Vicious Cycle . I am out of the house on my phone so can't write more now. Good luck.
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Thanks. I found the book on amazon and will order it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
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Originally Posted by Vancouver Mommy View Post
My father had surgery for diverticulitus about 36 years ago and hasn't had a recurrence. He gets checked regularly and has made some (not drastic) changes to his diet.
That's reassuring. From what I've read a person could end up with a colostomy, which is terrifying to me.

I think I am going to go and see a Naturpathic Doctor before making any decisions about medical interventions or invasive tests. They want me to have a colonoscopy but I am not sold on that right now. And I can't understand why they are talking about surgery already when I've only had two attacks and I'm pretty sure what brought this one on (coffee, grape nuts cereal and sugary snacks). I can avoid those things and other things I know cause problems, like seeds, etc. So why rush in and cut things out?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sahmmie View Post
So why rush in and cut things out?
Because I think that surgery and pharmaceutical meds are the only tools in their toolbox. That's just the conventional medical model right now. I wish it wasn't that way, but it seems to be the way it is for now.

If I were you, I would start the intro diet to SCD today. I just saw your above post about losing weight on it. Do you need to lose weight or are you saying you fear you would lose weight? It has been my experience with people that I have talked to that their weight normalizes, depending on whether they need to gain or lose. My son and I were eating the exact same diet, and he GAINED weight (which he really needed to do) and I LOST weight (which although I was not obese, I needed to lose what I did).

There are several SCD and GAPS threads, a couple that are active right now, just do a search for them if you want to. There is also a great SCD support list. Good luck!
 

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Just to add in that my mother, who has diverticu-something (not sure which one or both, just that she had really bad symptoms), is seeing very good results with the GAPS diet, which is very similar to SCD. (I think they allow a few different foods than SCD, like seaweed, and encourage bifido supplementation in addition).

I sort of went on the GAPS diet by accident -- I meant to try grain-free/paleo, and found a menu planner that was both GAPS and paleo. I couldn't keep it up, because I started the "healing crisis" and was detoxing into my breastmilk. But I was amazed at how much of an effect it had on me. I may try it again at some point.

My mother has been on basically the "intro diet", with just a few things added, for a couple of months now, and is finally having normal bowel function for the first time in years. Her psoriasis is also improving. She is also getting acupuncture, and feels like that is really helping, too.
 
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