I have had diviticulitis and got the surgery last Fall. But something I find that bothers me to eat is beef. Does beef generally cramp anyone else with diviticulitis? I aways stay away from nuts & seeds but beef we dont hear much about. I know it cramps my stomach and gives me upset stomach. Anyone else with this problem?
Good question Gaylord! Particularly hamburger! I stopped eating any beef. I actually read online (medical site - an article written by MDs) that limiting beef was suggested. I have yet to hear or read it anywhere else. The GI Nurse Pract. didn't know what I was talking about. She did say low fat was desirable. Initially I was convinced if I didn't have burgers with tomatoes anymore I would never get another attack of diverticulitis. Sadly I have had four in the year since I swore off beef. Who knows maybe I would have had 10 attacks if I was still eating burgers. I do agree with you beef is hard to digest and the less of it you eat the less your body has the enzymes etc to digest it I think. Tea
I was diagnosed with diverticulitis at the same time I had a resection, so I don't have the experience of experimenting with foods when I had the pockets (so far, there has been no recurrence).
But, after surgery (it was a couple of surgeries, actually), I could not handle beef, poultry, even the lightest fish . . . any kind of flesh, it seemed. I think it had more to do with all the surgery than the diverticulitis, but I don't know for sure. Eventually (over several months), I added stuff back, but even five years later I still don't eat much red meat (a couple of servings over a couple of day can get uncomfortable - cramping). I do okay with nuts and seeds, though.
I disagree about low fat, though, and strenuously. The best thing I did for my GI track was forget about low fat and look at the quality of fat. I get very little transfat, more canola than I would like; otherwise its olive oil, nuts and avocadoes, animals fats are from organic, free-range, pasture-fed sources as much as possible and dairy is organic, unhomogenized and cultured as much as possible.
Gaylord & auntjudyg,
If you don't mind sharing what part of your colon did you have resectioned. Although I have have multiple small mouth diverticula in in several places in my colon. The sigmoid seems to be where all of my diverticulitis has occurred (except one right side attack). Not looking forward to the surgery, but the meds are harsh and I am tired of feeling ill so much lately.
auntjudyg: as for the fat, I am so confused about what to eat. My last attack I had salmon and a dessert with butter cream filling. Most of my attacks happen on the weekend and almost every weekend we grill salmon. It is a good fat, but I am now concerned it may be causing me a problem. Appreciate the info from folks who have already gone thru the surgery. Tea
Teasugar, A section of my sigmoid and descending colon was removed (that's where all the pockets were, plus I had a big abscess). I don't know exactly how much was cut out, but it was in the neighborhood of 1/4 of the colon. I hadn't been through attacks previously, as I said, so I don't know much about weighing the inconvenience/discomfort of attacks versus facing surgery.
I went nuts trying to figure out which foods were causing problems, plus it seemed to change as time went on. For some reason, it took me forever to figure out the vinegar was causing problems, for example. Certainly there is a lot of individual difference. Salmon is one of the things I added that was good. So who knows!
I had sigmoid diverticulitis that perforated, but I got better without surgery the first time and tried for a while to treat it with diet. I kept a food journal for about a year before I had elective resection surgery (and for about 6 months after). I highly recommend keeping a food journal, as it helps pinpoint problem foods.
Ground beef definitely caused problems. My doctor confirmed it was probably because ground beef can have bits of bone and cartilage in it. As beef goes, it has lots of fat and gristle (just ground up into tiny pieces). I found that I didn't have problems with tenderloin, but that's expensive. Unless you get your ground beef from a butcher who you know will trim the meat to your liking, I'm not sure ground beef can be trusted. After surgery now, I can eat beef without any trouble at all.
Pork chops also gave me problems, though ham did not. I never had trouble with fish, but shrimp never sat quite right. Again, I can eat all these meats after surgery. But, boy, do I remember those days! I went on a cruise and had to be soooo careful about what I ate. I didn't have any flare up on the cruise, but watching my diet so strictly kind of took away some of the fun.
Wow Divergal You must have really been sick with the perfed diverticula. I have read some of your other posts. I am going for evaluation for surgery(I requested it!!!). I also have Crohns so I hope I can get some relief with surgery. After four attacks in the past year and pretty much some discomfort every day I am ready to give it a try. Were you able to prevent diverticulits with diet the year between your attack and surgery. Which fiber supplement did you use and how many times a day? It is good to hear someone else confirm my thoughts on the ground beef. I so appreciate the sharing of all who have experience with this. It is such a wonderful act of kindness to share your knowledge. Tea
I'm glad my posts have been helpful (at least I hope they have).
I didn't know I had diverticulitis until my colon perforated. I did know I was having problems with "the runs" and cramping, which is why I started keeping the journal. I self-diagnosed ("it's probably IBS, it could be Crohns") and got into trouble. So you're smart to stay on top of things! I was very sick when I was admitted for the perforation and it took seven days of IV antibiotics/no solid food before they let me go home again. And I was on a mission after that. I didn't want surgery! So I ate mostly broth and applesauce, I swear, for months. Lost a lot of weight, but didn't completely stop the flare-ups. I had three bouts in five months. My doctor didn't even want me to use fiber supplements at that point. I ate just enough soluble fiber to keep out of trouble.
After a follow-up CAT scan, my doctor told me my colon was still a little inflammed from the diverticulitis and he advised surgery. Well, at that point I had done a lot of research and knew that another perforation was 1) likely and 2) bad news. I scheduled right away and have never looked back. Since surgery I use FiberCon tablets, per my surgeon's recommendation. He has diverticulosis, too, so he's been a fount of useful advice. He also said other fiber supplements work as well, so I would say use what works best for you.
Four attacks in a year is a lot! Been there (now that I know that was what was happening to me), done that, and really feel for anyone else who is going through this. Crohn's must make it worse, I would think. It sounds to me like you're doing all the right things, finding out as much as you can and making informed decisions about your health care. The people on this board are great sources of information, and support.
I had to have a colonostamy for three months then get re-connected so I am trying not to ever go through that again. Beef seems to bother me though..I have given up nuts, corn, pop corn, sesame seed buns. Some say not to drink soada but I do. I LOVE Coke Cola. Any of you heard of sodas causing troubles? Also how long would you say it takes for my colon to completely heal after reconnecting it>? I got it done in Feb 2005! Always so afraid it will begin leaking.
The thing I read about carbonated beverages is that it speeds up the digestive tract. I don't drink much pop. Don't you hate it when the thing you love becomes your enemy. So glad for you that you have had your surgery and have had the 2nd phase completed. Did you have emergency surgery? I sure hope you do stay attack free, Most people do after surgery don't they? What is the chance of leaking? Don't know much about that at all. Tea
More on beef......I saw an Oprah show recently with Dr. Oz. he another man wrote a book a so called owners manual for the human body. It was the best Oprah I have ever watched. I will rewatch it if I happen to see that it is going to be rerun this summer. I believe he said the way meat processes in the gut is by actually rotting or decomposing, and as you said Harry you need the fiber to push it along. I love beef, but will prob never eat another bite of it. I also recently heard that twinkies have beef fat in them. Go figure.
Harry - I have read many of your other posts and if I recall you have not had surgery but have managed diverticula with diet and fiber supplements. I take supplements and go every day, but I must admit for some reason the stools do tend to be dry. I drink tons of water too, and very little caffeine. Do you think I have any hope of preventing these attacks w/o surgery. I am not sure if I will be a good candidate having Crohns as I do. What do you think? Tea
Last edited by Teasugar; 06-16-2005 at 12:35 PM.
It is sometimes extremely difficult to get the proper balance of fluid and fiber to have normal bulky BMs without straining every day!!
As you know everyone is different and we all eat so different and we do it everyday!!!
A person needs 25 to 35 grams of fiber daily and it needs to be divided between soluble and insoluble fiber. This is the really difficult part (most people only get 13 grams or so daily) -- because not everybody knows the difference ---
Soluble fiber is the fiber that absorbs fluid-- like grains (rice, oats, corn whole wheat), beans&peas-- like limas, pinto, red beans, green peas, blackeye peas etc., and root veggies like potatoes, carrots, beets and some others-- also supplements like psyllium and the stuff in Citrucel.
Insoluble fiber does not absorb very much fliud like most fruit bananas, apples, pears, peaches, even grapes-- all have fiber & their own fluid but they don't absorb fluid, veggies like all greens, green beans, cauliflower, all nuts and seeds don't absorb water. (by far not a complete list)
All meats, seafood and dairy products contain NO fiber.
You also need enough water and exercise daily.
I get about 6 to 8 grams of water soluble fiber daily from psyllium supplement and at times that is not enough for the food I eat that day. I use Equate from Wal Mart -- the orange flavored sugar-free type and I use Fiber Choice tablets some days that contains chicory root that is also added to the yogurt I eat--
The big problem these days is so much food that we eat is process /refined and contains not much fiber and not alot of the right kind of nutrients...WE NEED
You really have to manage your diet daily!!
I really believe you are what you eat and optimum health begins in what you eat and drink. It certainly has to be balanced.
Thanks for your info Harry, I have read a great deal of info on preventing diverticulitis, and more diverticula, but there is nothing like comparing notes with others. In the past I have eaten a lot of processed foods. Really trying to reduce those items from my diet. I did know about the soluble/insoluble difference. It is very difficult to get the right balance. Insoluble moves things along and soluble keeps things soft. Presently I think I am getting more soluble and maybe not enough insoluble. I have to be careful with too much insoluble because in the past I have believed it to be hard on my Crohns. Although lucky for me I have been pretty good with it for the last 15 years or so. I would never have guessed diverticulitis would cause me more misery than the Crohns, but it is. I am sure my poor functioning colon didn't help the cause when it comes to developing diverticula. I have read that diarehea is as hard on the colon as constipation. I suppose they both increase pressure. How many doses of the fiber supplements do you take per day? Sounds like from the grams you mentioned it might be 2-3. I am considering taking a dose with every meal. That would make ensure every meal had a good balance of fiber. The yougurt I have been buying has 2 grams of fiber from chicory root too. Good stuff. Thanks ever so much for responding to my question. Your response was great, I read it twice. Tea
Tea I am ot aware of the percentages or chances of the colon leaking after getting hooked bak together but he told me that was the biggest risk with reconnecting. And said that if it did start leaking he would have to do ANOTHER colonostamy but that was in Feb. Four months ago would any of you think I should be well healed back together by now??? Anyone know how long it takes? Anyway I stay nervous and parinoid all the time. After getting cramps and bad stomach attacks this past Tuesday from eating stew beef I got nervous. But it must of been ok. Except for the pass two days I have had a terrible time with gas. But I have eaten fresh veggies? I guess they'd give you gas? Right?