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HELP!! with diet during diverticulitis flareup

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Old 03-16-2005, 07:45 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 157
gomer4 HB User
HELP!! with diet during diverticulitis flareup

I am having a diverticulitis flareup and am not sure what I should and shouldn't eat. I know that nuts/seeds/popcorn are to be avoided always... or at least I always avoid things like that......and I am not sure what sent me into this recent episode. I was doing well w/ BM's and then all of a sudden I KNEW I was on my way down. Does this happen to anyone else?

I am really discouraged. Not knowing what caused me to take these 100 steps backwards, I am not sure how to proceed forwards and NOT have this keep happening.

I am on antibiotics, still have abd pain, feel bloated, and sort of depressed.
I was told at the doctors following the last colonoscopy that during an episode I should be on a "low residue" diet, and otherwise be on a "high fiber" diet. I thought all was well, but..........
Any advise, help, or encouragement would be welcome........
Also, can diverticuli perforate?
Any does anyone have any advise for constipation?

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Old 03-16-2005, 08:09 AM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 25
janna7782 HB User
Re: HELP!! with diet during diverticulitis flareup

FIBER, fiber, fiber...

I suffered 2 diverticulitis attacks within a month, one severe enough to warrant a 5 day hospital stay. Yes, diverticula can rupture. That can lead to peritonitis which requires emergency surgery. Now, I had what the docs called a "contained leak" where one of them did rupture but was healing itself and was not going to be a further issue once the antibiotics kicked in. Because of the aggressiveness of this disease in young people (I'm only 27) I opted to have surgery to remove the diseased portion of my colon.

Metamucil, Citrucel, FiberCon, Benefiber... find the one you can afford and can tolerate and make it a regular part of your diet. Drink as much water as you possibly can. Purchase a liter sized bottle of water and drink at least two of them each day. Avoid carbonated beverages, coffee and aspartame... you don't want to have gas because it causes more pain, coffee is a diuretic which may further dehydrate you, and aspartame is particularly irritating to the intestinal tract. During an attack you may actualy find that a liquid diet helps to speed your recovery since your bowels get to take a rest. Low-residue may also help but can then lead to further constipation.

I was hoping to avoid the surgery at first and did some extensive research on how to manage the disease. Now that I am disease-free I plan on NEVER being put in that situation again, therefore I will eat a high-fiber diet (at least 25 grams per day) for the rest of my life. I take a FiberCon capsule in the morning and drink my Metamucil in the evening every day.

I hope this helps... good luck. And if you find yourself looking at surgery, come visit on the Colon Resection, Resecties and Newbies thread. There is a wonderful community of people there to help you through it.


Old 03-16-2005, 08:33 AM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Reno, NV
Posts: 246
Streetcar HB User
Re: HELP!! with diet during diverticulitis flareup

Hi gomer4,

Really sorry to hear about the diverticulitis, been there, done that, afew times. Yes, they can and do perferate. My first experience with "D" was when I had several perferate and put me in the hospital for 15 days and I came out wearing a bag (only 4 three mos.). The diet the dr. puts me on whenever I have a flare up is called the B.R.A.T. diet. It stands for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. I'm to stay on that throughout the course of antibiotics, then it's back to high fiber.

Plenty of fiber (25 -30Mg) per day and lots of water are the key to staying regular. If you're constipated now, I'd sugesst calling the dr. and asking him/her what you should do. You definately don't want to do the wrong thing right now. But, lots of water might help!
GOD bless and be Comfortable!!

Peripheral Neuropathy, Chronic Pain, IBS-C, Esophageal Spasms

Old 03-16-2005, 08:53 AM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 70
DiverGal HB User
Re: HELP!! with diet during diverticulitis flareup

Like Janna and Streetcar, I also suffered a perforated diverticulum that put me in the hospital. I escaped without surgery that time, but opted for surgery five months later because the inflammation wouldn't go away. During those five months, I lived on a low-residue diet which I made sure included modest amounts of fiber every day: at least one serving of peeled apple or pear, cantaloupe or romaine lettuce. Not much fiber there, but every little bit helps, and people on low-residue diets should only eat a little.

Metamucil or other bulking agents (I use FiberCon) are useful for avoiding constipation, and can be used in conjunction with low-residue diets.

In addition to the LOTS of water advice, which is so important, also do whatever you can to exercise every day. A morning walk, a daily jog, or any other active exercise, does wonders for elimination! Exercise stimulates the bowel and promotes regular bowel movements. Most of us are slugs, and so too are our bowels.

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