Hi Hillbillygal.....sorry to hear about your husband. I was just diagnosed last week with having diver and had heard of it before but don't know anyone else that has or does have it. I was in so much pain, that they have put me on two meds. The pain feels a bit better but unfortunatly the meds have caused me to spend alot of time in the bathroom:( I think what it boils down to is if whatever is trapped inside doesn't come out, that they do have to go in and surgically get it out. Which in turn means they will probably want your husband and me as well to go on a special diet after that so it doesn't happen again.
To prevent attacks of diverticulitis, it may help to:
* Eat more fiber. High-fiber foods — such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains — soften waste and help it pass more quickly through the colon. This reduces pressure within the digestive tract, which can reduce the risk of diverticulitis attacks.
* Drink plenty of fluids. Fiber works by absorbing water and increasing the soft, bulky waste in the colon. But if you don't drink enough liquid to replace what's absorbed, fiber can be constipating — which increases pressure within the colon.
* Exercise regularly. Exercise promotes normal bowel function and reduces pressure inside the colon, which can reduce the risk of diverticulitis attacks.
There is a lot of confusing information about what foods you should avoid if you suffer from Diverticulitis.
Recently we did a survey at the End Diverticulitis website. In this survey we asked people to rate foods on how much of a problem they caused. Specifically when they were feeling OK, that is they have Diverticulosis (as opposed to Diverticulitis), so are not in any pain.
Basically Diverticulosis is where you have the pouches, and Diverticulitis is where the pouches are inflamed (usually you are in pain).
These are the foods that most people said they had trouble with. The foods that would cause them a flare up of Diverticulitis.
If your not in pain, and are not on any medication for Diverticulitis (i.e. antibiotics), then have a serious look at these foods and food groups, and try to avoid them.
These foods were rated as HIGH RISK by our survey respondents. I would look to exclude these in your diet. Just remember that even though most people said they caused trouble, they may not cause trouble with you personally. This is only the recommendations as per the survey we did for the End Diverticulitis web site.
These are this foods you should avoid according to the survey report.
1. Stress - while not a food, this rated as the highest problem from our survey.
2. Nuts, Hazel, Peanuts etc.
3. Sesame Seeds, this will include buns, and burgers with sesame seeds on them.
4. Corn (any corn, pop corn, sweet corn, even corn flour and tortillas)
5. Chili's and peppers, hot and spicy.
I would also like to add a couple of things that got a specific mention, these were not rated as they were not on a question in the initial survey, but a lot of people specifically mentioned them as a problem and something to avoid.
1. V8 Tomato Juice
2. Iceberg lettuce
3. Fried, Deep Fried or Fatty foods.
5. Raw Vegetables
One thing that did come out of the survey was some people had no trouble even with the above (except stress). So it seems the things that effect you can be very personal.
How do you tackle a diet for Diverticulitis? this is not a strict rule, it is only a suggestion.
Eliminate from you diet initially.
Nuts, Corn, Sesame Seeds, and Chili's. Also Tomato Juice (the V8 tomato juice got mentioned quite a few times, however I think that all tomato juices should be questioned). Iceberg lettuce (try other options like the Cos Lettuce or baby spinach leaves my favorite), fired food and fatty foods, onions and raw vegetables. This should immediately help reduce problems with your Diverticulitis.
Nuts is a funny one, a lot of people say they are no good and a lot say they are OK. In a nut shell (pardon the pun) leave them out to begin with then try a few here and there. But do not over indulge.
Leave out Corn, Sesame Seeds and Chili's (or hit and spicy foods) all together.
So after you have eliminated these from you diet what do you do?
Well after all the survey replies we had, if you really really miss the foods, when you feeling OK and well again you could try them. Only in small batches, do not over indulge in them. Just a few and see how you go. Keep a food diary to know how things progress. But in general things like nuts are most likely OK, they were a 50/50 food on the survey and current medical thinking suggests they are OK.
But if your feeling OK, and do not really miss them, why bother??
There are usually heaps of food options no matter where you go, so why not just leave out the questionable ones