Diverticulosis/Fiber Intake

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Wachkel
Wachkel Posts: 20 Member
I've been following a low carb/moderate protein diet since March and have dropped close to 40 pounds. I've had digestive issues most of my life - IBS, periodic constipation (sorry), and had my first diverticulitis infection about 12 or so years ago (before I turned 40). Two weeks ago, I was diagnosed with diverticulitis (the last infection was 9 years ago). I'm eating a lot less volume of food so I'm not sure what my new normal is quite yet. My question is for those of you out there that are watching your carb intake how are you addressing the right balance of fiber in your diet (along with lots of fluid intake) to manage your digestive health. I recently started adding psyllium husk power (1 teaspoon 2/day), vitamin D3, and vitamin C to my supplements arsenal. What works for you? Any words of wisdom?

Replies

  • nvmomketo
    nvmomketo Posts: 12,019 Member
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    Bumping for those who are also dealing with this.

    I'm a celiac and had constipation my entire life. I added so much fibre to my diet in a misguided attempt to help things along. I did not realize that it made it worse if anything - I don't need MORE bulk when things aren't moving ;)

    Too much info:

    TBH, my bm's get better the more I avoid carbs (aka plants). Right now I doing the carnivore challenge (Meaty May) so I've had no fibre at all for about 3 weeks resulting in no constipation at all, slightly softer if anything, and with the added bonus of less bulk so when I do go - there is less there.

    I would be careful bulking up your bm's with the issues you are dealing with. I could be totally off base, but less bulk and softer stools sound like it could be a good thing in your situation.

    And congrats on your success so far! Forty pounds since March is huge! Almost too big... are you feeling like you are getting enough still? :)
  • Wachkel
    Wachkel Posts: 20 Member
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    Thanks for your reply. I've been striving for 12 servings of protein (a mix of lean and semi-lean sources), 4 servings of fruit/veg (max 1 fruit a day), and fat (olive oil, butter, full fat salad dressings, real mayo, avocado). I drink approx. 100+ oz of liquid each day (mainly water but I also have coffee in the morning (w/cream) and tea in the afternoon). I just started adding the psyllium husk slowly this week. No discernible difference. I also discovered this week (using a Tanita scale that shows much data including % of water weight) and learned that I've gained nearly 10 lbs in water weight in the last week or so. Not sure what I'm doing wrong. I've been told to salt my food but am I eating too much sodium (in cheese, lean deli meat, turkey bacon)? I want to keep my low carb journey going but feel paralyzed with how to take care of my digestive health. I have an early July appointment with my GI doc but not sure what is the best course in the meantime. The low carb lifestyle has been the only thing that has worked for me in dropping the weight and I want to safely make this a complete lifestyle change.
  • melmerritt33
    melmerritt33 Posts: 1,071 Member
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    I’ve also had awful bowel problems and chronic constipation for years, like nvmomketo I find that the less fibre I eat the better. I tried psyllium husks a few years ago as part of a recommended increase in fibre and really it just made everything worse.

    I find that my bowels work best with eating very little plants/fibre and plenty of fat (generally in the form of fatty meat but also butter, cheese etc added to lean meat). Any time I ignore that I get problems and also gain a lot of water weight.

    Having said that, the psyllium is worth a try as some people do seem to find it helpful and you might be one of them. You may have to spend months experimenting with different things to see what works for you.
  • baconslave
    baconslave Posts: 6,980 Member
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    I had IBS-C. The best thing for me is low-carb, magnesium, and a 15 strain probiotic. Fiber never did anything to help.
  • swezeytba
    swezeytba Posts: 624 Member
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    Personally magnesium really helped me in that area when I started supplementing with it.
  • WholeFoods4Lyfe
    WholeFoods4Lyfe Posts: 1,518 Member
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    I have IBS-D and Diverticulosis. My BMs are the "best" when I'm low-carb. When I'm strictly Keto I have virtually no IBS symptoms and my veggie intake is mostly leafy green vegetables with very occasional fruit.

    PS No reason to avoid nuts and/or seeds when you have a Diverticulosis Dx. That was the recommendation many years ago, but there isn't actually any scientific evidence out there to support that. Just throwing that out there in case your doctor told you to avoid them (mine did, I ignored him LOL)
  • Dragonwolf
    Dragonwolf Posts: 5,600 Member
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    Wachkel wrote: »
    I've been told to salt my food but am I eating too much sodium (in cheese, lean deli meat, turkey bacon)?

    It is, for all intents and purposes, almost impossible to have too much sodium when you're low carb. Ketones bind to sodium, flushing it out, so your body doesn't really hold onto it. Most people need something like 3500mg just to maintain levels.

    Have a look at the Launch Pad. There are a number of threads on sodium there, which should be enlightening.
  • Wachkel
    Wachkel Posts: 20 Member
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    Thanks for sharing.
  • Sunny_Bunny_
    Sunny_Bunny_ Posts: 7,140 Member
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    I had IBS my whole life. I did pretty well on keto taking magnesium. I never supplemented fiber. I knew then I didn’t like how it felt.
    I tried carnivore out of curiosity and it turns out eating zero fiber is what I needed to finally eliminate all of my IBS symptoms. Fiber just doesn’t agree with me. It was actually causing my issues.
  • GaleHawkins
    GaleHawkins Posts: 8,159 Member
    edited May 2018
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    baconslave wrote: »
    I had IBS-C. The best thing for me is low-carb, magnesium, and a 15 strain probiotic. Fiber never did anything to help.

    I see magnesium is being mentioned over and over. I was concerned about fiber but found that was a misplaced concern in my case.

    If someone told me I could only take one supplement for the next 90 days I would order a boat load of Doctor's Best High Absorption Magnesium 100% Chelated with TRAACS. Because they are horse size tablets some make go for a different source. I learned about this source right here.

    For Vitamin D3 to convert to the form the body can use it takes a boat load of Magnesium I have found in my case. Currently I am doing a high level of D3 before rechecking my level of calcium build up in my carotid arteries soon and take upto 1200 mg of Magnesium a day.

    Low on Magnesium is the only cause for constipation I have found in my case. Too much is the only cause that I find for diarrhea but I have to go very high to trigger that.

    Keep in mind these are the kinds of things that vary greatly from person to person and it is a study where n=1 and you are the 1 to know for sure.

    Taking high amounts of Vit D3 I consider dangerous if not taking enough Magnesium because D3 REQUIRES Magnesium. I do not know if it is factual but I have read reports of D3 toxicity is most often just signs of a Magnesium deficiency.

    The talk about the need for fiber may come mainly from sellers of fiber in some cases.
  • nvmomketo
    nvmomketo Posts: 12,019 Member
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    Wachkel wrote: »
    Thanks for your reply. I've been striving for 12 servings of protein (a mix of lean and semi-lean sources), 4 servings of fruit/veg (max 1 fruit a day), and fat (olive oil, butter, full fat salad dressings, real mayo, avocado). I drink approx. 100+ oz of liquid each day (mainly water but I also have coffee in the morning (w/cream) and tea in the afternoon). I just started adding the psyllium husk slowly this week. No discernible difference. I also discovered this week (using a Tanita scale that shows much data including % of water weight) and learned that I've gained nearly 10 lbs in water weight in the last week or so. Not sure what I'm doing wrong. I've been told to salt my food but am I eating too much sodium (in cheese, lean deli meat, turkey bacon)? I want to keep my low carb journey going but feel paralyzed with how to take care of my digestive health. I have an early July appointment with my GI doc but not sure what is the best course in the meantime. The low carb lifestyle has been the only thing that has worked for me in dropping the weight and I want to safely make this a complete lifestyle change.

    I try not to worry about water weight in the summer. I'm one of those people who holds onto water when it's warm. My weight can easily change well over 5lbs in a day... and then I get tubular ankles and sausage toes. :D

    As others said, salt/sodium is pretty important when low carb, and low sodium can lead to constipation too. I wouldn't cut back on it yet.

    A lot of protein can cause some constipation too. Make sure you are getting moderate protein (at least 70g, and upwards of 100+g) but you don't need to go really high - 12 servings of protein sounds like a fair bit.

    Are you keeping a food and symptoms diary? I found that helpful while I was recovering from celiac disease because it seemed to have caused other food sensitivities. It helped me discover that apples and pears are painful foods for me (an odd one). It could help.

    You're eating whole foods, lots of meats and some veggies, and that is a great place to start. Stay with it. :) (hug)
  • Wachkel
    Wachkel Posts: 20 Member
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    Many thanks to all who have responded and shared their insight and experience. I'm truly grateful. Plan to look into supplementing with magnesium and Vitamin D3. Have a great holiday weekend all. Kelly
  • swezeytba
    swezeytba Posts: 624 Member
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    If someone told me I could only take one supplement for the next 90 days I would order a boat load of Doctor's Best High Absorption Magnesium 100% Chelated with TRAACS. Because they are horse size tablets some make go for a different source. I learned about this source right here.

    This! Never forget my magnesium and that is the brand I use as well....Works great for me. You get used to the horse sized tablets.....
  • supergal3
    supergal3 Posts: 523 Member
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    swezeytba wrote: »

    If someone told me I could only take one supplement for the next 90 days I would order a boat load of Doctor's Best High Absorption Magnesium 100% Chelated with TRAACS. Because they are horse size tablets some make go for a different source. I learned about this source right here.

    I also use this brand and cut the horse pills in half. :)