Step backwards? Fistula (sorry it might be graphic information)

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 49
   Posted 4/5/2010 3:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello, Can anyone shed any light on their experience with diet & fistulas or healing in general. I am a 49 yr old female with a very low recto-vag fistula. Been on cipro & flagyl & pred & lialdo for 3 months with no healing yet, so now started Humira 2 weeks ago (4 shots, then 2 last week). Initially, the fistula hurt a great deal. Since it came thru, it mostly doesn't hurt a lot, but today it really did - absolute fire, burning, pain pressure. What a step backwards. And it seemed 90% output (stool) came from the fistula , not rectally. Usually it's 90% normal /10 from the vaginal or sometimes good days are better. Anyway, I have been eating fruit (watermelon, banana, mango, apple) , no meat, and I cave in and have an ounce or so of cheese & crackers (no will power). I have been reading & trying to do the fruit healing diet in Self Healing C& C Book. I don't know if all the fruit could change the course of the "traffic"?

Has anyone had any experiences like this? I know I have a bad habit of not trying things for a long enough time (like the fish diet I tried for 2 weeks). But I'm just puzzled if switching to fruit is related to the very painful day. I had to leave work. Ate a pain pill, still feeling pain. I am trying anything, cause if this doesn't heal, it's not a good candidate for surgery and I will have an irreversible surgery.

I see the Dr. on Wed, but he always says diet isn't a big part, aside from the obvious no-nos.
I hope someone has some advice. Backwards steps devastate me.... I am trying to take it one day at a time, knowing good & bad days come. Any thoughts welcome.

45 mg pred (weaning from 50 yay), Lialda, cipro, flagyl, Humira
diagnosed 10 yrs ago, now in 2nd major flare

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1220
   Posted 4/5/2010 4:30 PM (GMT -7)   

I can't help you diet suggestions, but I think you may need more antibiotics. I finally went on flagyl and levaquin for several months until the infection and inflammation were gone. I got a seton installed and that really helped. If your fistula is wide in diameter, you may want a seton until it gets smaller. The seton can always be taken out. It keeps the fistula open and draining so it doesn't get infected. I hope it closes soon!!
Diagnosed with Crohn's in early 2007.  Several peri-rectal abscesses and two fistulae with setons.  Allergic to Remicade and Humira.  Currently on 6MP, and vitamins D and B-12.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 674
   Posted 4/5/2010 7:19 PM (GMT -7)   
My surgeon told me the less D I have the faster my fistula would heal. Is the fruit causing D for you? Eating mostly fruit would rip my stomach apart.
Dianogsed with Crohns: At 16 years old. 23 years old now.
Surgeries:3 Bowel Resections, Gallbladder Removed, 3 Abscess Cleanings, Fistula Repair
Current Meds: Methorexate, Vitamin B12 (injections), Nexium.
Next Surgery: None.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 6117
   Posted 4/5/2010 8:23 PM (GMT -7)   
also any excess gas and bloating from a diet change may cause the healed part to blow out again.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 49
   Posted 4/5/2010 8:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Randy, Mag & FallColors, thank you for your info. I am not too bad with D, just more frequent trips to the bathroom than before in smaller quantity. And yes, had some gas, pass thru the opening at times today. Must be the diet change, cause that is unusual also at this point. I hope it didn't blow out any healing that may have happened. I tried eating fruit cause I read this book about Natural Healing ... thought I could try it. Looking for a miracle! Based on what you wrote, I guess I will try it with more moderation and keep eating other things while I wait for Humira to kick in.

NDBC (trying to be - "not defined by crohn's" but today I was!)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1202
   Posted 4/6/2010 8:54 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm one who doesn't seem to have particular sensitivity to food. However, eating so much fruit would put my guts into over-drive (any kind of fiber does) and that kills me. I made the mistake not long ago of thinking I'd be "healthy" and add some fiber to my diet. HAHAHAHAHA Talk about doubling the pain. No more of that for me. Sorry to my surgeon who is pushing it. "Fiber is good for you." Or not... if you have Crohn's.
1 fistula, crohn's colitis, limited to large intestine
Compounded budesonide 3mg/daily, Cimzia, MTX . Dx Osteoporosis 10/08 started Forteo 1/27/09

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 384
   Posted 4/6/2010 8:56 AM (GMT -7)   
For me personally, Fruit comes out the same way it went it, just in a more chewed up form.
I think if you are going to continue this, slow it down. Maybe changing your diet so drastically has amped up your system. I have found that when I am eating something that my body isn't liking, it will cause my fistula to act up alot more. It feels like it is trying to get it out of me the fastest way possible.
Dx'd w/ Crohn's in 1979 at age 14. Bad flare 2008 but no health insurance so I dealt with it. Colonoscopy in July 2009 caused a perforated colon, emergency bowel resection. 2 fistula's, perianal and perivaginal. 
Dr. wants to try Humira...STILL waiting on that! Not sure what is taking so long...
Currently just take a probiotic, a multivitamin, calcium, magnesium, and fish oil. I also take Tramadol 50 mg and Klonopin (for anxiety) as needed.
Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 2346
   Posted 4/6/2010 1:21 PM (GMT -7)   
The pred isn't helping with the healing.  It makes it harder to heal.  So keep weaning off of that.   My vaginal fistula was closed using remicade, high doses of flagyl and leviquin.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 49
   Posted 4/6/2010 3:22 PM (GMT -7)   
I had a good day today, ate very little, and a very little amount of fruit. So, will stay more balanced on eating, (I was looking for a miracle by eating fruit). Stupid, probably. Keep tapering the prednisone (sure hope to be able to do it, last time, failed), and not so much fruit! Thanks for the info of everyone here, there is no one else I can really tell this to, or if you do, they don't get it, never mind get feedback, experience & info! Thanks.

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