Patient Comments: Diverticulitis: Diet, Foods to Avoid

Question:

What foods have you found to aggravate your diverticulitis? Do you take probiotics, and in what way have they been helpful? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Annie Mc, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 09

I was diagnosed with diverticulosis about two years ago. Not knowing what to eat was a real challenge. Recently I was hospitalized with another bad bout of the illness. The doctor said I had one of the worst cases he had ever seen. He suggested I stop eating red meat, his words were 'if it has four legs don't eat it'; and also eat a few prunes every night. It is nine months later and no more flares. I eat chicken, fish, nuts, peas, fruit and vegetables, and ground provisions.

Comment from: bubblemonkey, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 07

Contrary to all the information out there, I ate a well-rounded diet, passed motion more than once a day, almost never constipated, took vegetarian probiotics, and had diverticulitis anyway. Now when I eat a salad with more than a few meals in a row I get horrible gut pain. I make severe cutbacks in my fiber intake and the pain goes away after a day or two. So to really answer your questions, foods high in fiber seem to aggravate it and I still take probiotics. I think the probiotics do help because when I run out I seem to have more gut pains.

Comment from: rosielily, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 22

I had an initial mild attack of diverticulitis several years ago and just waited it out. Recently I've had 2 severe attacks in 2 months and am trying to figure out why. I want to warn people of the possibility that they may want to be careful with low-sugar foods that have sugar alcohols (e.g. erythritol, glycerol, isomalt, lactitol, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, and hydrogenated starch hydrolysates (HSH)) in them. These are known to have laxative and other gastrointestinal effects but in my case I strongly suspect they led to my attacks. The only change in my diet recently was the addition of Atkins bars. Just something to keep in mind; although I’m not suggesting eating high-sugar foods instead!

Comment from: Lynda, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 11

My first diverticulitis attack was 3 years ago when moving. I was stressful, eating too much popcorn. Now I am eating healthfully, though I have bouts of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), no reoccurrences of diverticulitis until 3 months ago. I was eating baked squash seeds. Disaster struck, and was on antibiotics again. Now I have it again! Two months later and I have no idea of the cause other than maybe too many rich meals at Christmas. I never overdid it though. I am perplexed about what not to eat. Recent colonoscopy showed a healthy bowel other than diverticulosis. I love fruit and vegetables!

Comment from: somewhat paranoid, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I am 52 years and was diagnosed with diverticulitis this past month. The first time I heard that name, I was aware of colitis but not that diverticulitis word. I had a colonoscopy 2 years ago and was given a perfect colon health. I must admit I never pay much attention to my fiber intake but never had a problem with my bowel; actually I thought it was great having a bowel movement every morning never have to strain or anything. I was diagnosed with hypertension within 2 years of colonoscopy and was taking water pill. Now I have learned these medication contribute to diverticula. I haven’t read that on my warning label.

Comment from: crawfski22, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: July 03

I have just been diagnosed with diverticulitis and don't know what foods to avoid.

Comment from: Reene B. , 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 04

I was diagnosed with diverticulitis in the sigmoid colon yesterday after a colonoscopy. I am surprised to read all the comments about constipation as I am 'regular as rain.' I am also confused by folks who use Miralax daily as this medication is not recommended for long term use. After hours of research, I'm going on a diverticulitis diet for three months (nothing gets fixed quickly) and will let you know how it goes (no pun intended).

Comment from: Dianne, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 19

I was at the doctor’s this week to see if she could find a reason for my stomach pain. Immediately she knew it was diverticulitis. I told her that I had eaten corn on the cob and my husband had cooked it in the husk on the barbeque. It wasn't cooked to the tender stage. I feel it was this corn that caused the problem.

Comment from: my dad has this, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: May 27

I am 20 years old and have severe stomach problems for about two years now and going to get tested for diverticulitis in a few weeks. My dad on the other hand already has it and was diagnosed with it when he was 42, he is 48 now. It has gotten progressively worse over the years. He has had 6 to 8 episodes a year the past 2 years. He gets very swollen and severe pain that he can't move. We realized meat was aggravating it, all meats; chicken, pork, beef as well as spicy food and anything with lots of grease and oil as well. Black pepper the ground kind also irritates him. But yogurt seems to calm down the symptoms for him, but the yogurt with no fruit pieces in it. Any fruits that has small seeds, like strawberries, also irritates him. Caffeine also aggravates him. I hope this was helpful to people with this illness especially if it’s as severe as my dad’s.

QUESTION

Bowel regularity means a bowel movement every day. See Answer
Comment from: LB, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 15

I was diagnosed with beginning diverticulitis 10 years ago with no treatment offered. I was just told certain foods might aggravate it. The only thing I have found extremely helpful is a variation of the Paleo diet. No dairy, no carbs, just meat, vegetables, fruits, nut and seeds. The best I have felt in years!

Comment from: LindaLou, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 05

In my case, it is tiny seeds: raspberries, blueberries, blackberries that trigger my bouts with diverticulitis. In addition, I'm suffering with it right now, and I think it was a chocolate milk shake which brought it on. Painful. Usually on left lower side, but this time all across the lower area of my colon. I eat a lot of fiber, so I know it isn't from that.

Comment from: Sandy616, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 19

I know for a fact that if I eat a sunflower seed, nuts of any kind, I will not only have pain but change in bowel pattern. I ate a salad with a lot of ingredients (not knowing it had sunflower seeds in it) and that evening was just in terrible pain. I never get a temperature with the diverticulitis flare ups but nuts and seeds do not work for me at all regardless of what new data might suggest that nuts are okay.

Comment from: frances robinson, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: July 24

I have had several colonoscopies due to the fact that my mother had colon cancer. I have been eating seeds and nuts and take probiotics. Lately I have been passing black spots in my stools. The doctor has told me I have diverticulitis. I will probably have to be checked if this does not stop.

Comment from: Kmeaton1957, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 15

I have diverticulosis. Doctor said to eat high fiber and avoid food without fiber.

Comment from: de, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: April 28

The hospital told me I have diverticulitis. I have just finished a course of antibiotics.

SLIDESHOW

Diverticulitis (Diverticulosis) Symptoms, Diet, Treatment See Slideshow