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Diverticular disease - Help please!

(13 Posts)
JacobsPrincess Sat 23-Aug-08 15:03:17

My DH has just been diagnosed with diverticular disease, awaiting blood tests to confirm and exclude other conditions. We've done a bit of google-ing on it and it seems to fit the bill, especially lack of fibre in the diet.
Any suggestions on living/coping with this diesase and how I can get more fibre in DH's diet? He pathologically avoids anything resembling "health food" and has a severe nut allergy so we have to be careful with food!

Mummyfor3 Sat 23-Aug-08 15:13:38

"Diverticular Disease" is a bit of a misnomer in that it is not a disease. It could more accurately be describes as normal ageing of the bowel which happens quicker in some people due to a genetic predisposition and, crucially, a low fibre diet.
Diverticula a little outward bulges of the bowel in an area of natural weakness where blood vessels enter the gut wall. Having a reasonable bowel transit time helps thing not to get stuck in these areas. Diverticulitis is when things get inflammed, much more unpleasant, more pain, occ blood in stool etc.
So diet is main point of treatment. IMO Allbran or non-Kellogs grin alternative is unbeaten in adding fibre to diet. Use as cereal, mix in any number of dishes ie Bolognese sauce/cassarole/etc. Also high fibre vegetables such as sweet corn etc. Be careful with introducing lots of fruit at one time as can be gassy experience wink. Better to increase them gradually.
Lots of thing available on prescription or otc from chemist ie Fybogel and others.

Depending on age of your DH and his symptoms apart from blood tests it may be wise to consider colonoscopy (camera test) to exclude nasties - this cannot really be done with blood test alone.

Also see www.patient.co.uk if you have not looked there already.

Mummyfor3 Sat 23-Aug-08 15:14:25

Sorry about sloppy typing - DS is "helping"

Kbear Sat 23-Aug-08 15:36:18

you need Maureenmlove - her DH had surgery for this last year and is now right as rain and can eat normally again.

Kbear Sat 23-Aug-08 15:36:49

but she won't be back until Monday night.!!!

Kbear Sat 23-Aug-08 15:36:49

but she won't be back until Monday night.!!!

JacobsPrincess Sat 23-Aug-08 18:58:31

Thank you so much!
DH is a real worrier (I'm sure stress doesn't help his tummy one bit!) and it's good to know things can be sorted out, even if he does need to start eating properly. I want to help, but without nagging him like his mother!
Currently baking wholemeal bread and cooking brown rice. He WILL eat it!!
Does the fybogel help or is it a just a short term solution?

MaureenMLove Mon 25-Aug-08 18:49:40

Just back and Kbear has directed me to this thread!

DH says Mummyof3 has pretty much summed it up for you! Conveniently, nuts are something that he really must avoid! He needs to avoid any foods with small seeds in, like fresh tomatoes and even the seeds in cucumber. (just cut them out) Anything that doesn't digest well and could get stuck in the pockets that Mummyof3 describes. This is how DH was finally diagnosed, because something got caught in one of the pockets, went bad and caused an inflamation, which is diverticulitis.

Your dh needs to eat anything brown basically! And green too. Both have a lot of fibre in and will help to keep him regular! Fibrogel does work, also lactalose. Pretty disgusting to drink, I'm told, but DH used to mix it into a glass of juice or squash, so it was slightly more bearable.

TBH, DH was diagnosed so late, there was not much he could do. He ended up having to have the bad part of his colon removed, which thankfully has solved everything. An op is not always necessary though, so hopefully your DH can just control it though diet.

Shout if you have any other questions and DH and I will do our best to answer them.smile

JacobsPrincess Wed 27-Aug-08 10:29:58

Thanks MaureenMLove. I hadn't thought about avoiding seedy things. So much to take in!! Glad to hear your DH is "mended"!
Still waiting for blood test results, and IBS has been suggested, but the diverticulur theory fits all his symptoms and might explain why we couldn't find a particular food intoloerance, just random bouts of painful cramps, D&V and serious gas!

MaureenMLove Wed 27-Aug-08 14:13:10

It does sound very similar to DH's symptoms. Just bare in mind that a lot of doctors call stomach problems IBS, because they can't actually pinpoint the problem. Hopefully you can keep on top of things with diet, most people can, DH was just very unlucky. Surgery is only usually reserved for much older people over 60.

Do keep me updated, I'd be interested to know if they can confirm diverticular disease with a blood test!

MaureenMLove Wed 03-Sep-08 18:46:54

Just looking in, to see if you have any news? smile

Califrau Wed 03-Sep-08 18:59:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MaureenMLove Wed 03-Sep-08 19:11:26

Ah, was it the sigmoid colon you drew? grin

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