vegetarian with diverticulitis

Hello -

I spent all night in the ER because the docs thought I had appendicitis. After a very uncomfortable CT Scan and blood / urine tests, it turns out that I have diverticulitis. Better than appendicitis, but still very painful.

How can this be? I eat nothing but fiber. The only animal product that I eat are eggs.

Ten or more years ago, I had gastritis and acid reflux so bad that I had to sleep sitting up. After I quit dairy, this completely went away.

Right now I am on a liquid diet. The docs told me that I should avoid eating seeds & nuts or any foods that are 'particulate'. However, research shows that the jury is still out on seeds and nuts.

I am puzzled because I do not fit into the risk category for this condition. Could this be something else?

Replies

  • Jthanmyfitnesspal
    Jthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 3,123 Member
    I am sorry that you are stricken with this. I am not a doctor, but for some reason I know of several cases. One friend was "downgraded" to IBS following further diagnosis (mostly, that meant there was no particular treatment). Another was ultimately told it was Crohn's. There is also UC. I say all this to urge you to stick with it until you get a final diagnosis. I wish you the best of luck!
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,054 MFP Moderator
    edited May 2017
    Hello -

    I spent all night in the ER because the docs thought I had appendicitis. After a very uncomfortable CT Scan and blood / urine tests, it turns out that I have diverticulitis. Better than appendicitis, but still very painful.

    How can this be? I eat nothing but fiber. The only animal product that I eat are eggs.

    Ten or more years ago, I had gastritis and acid reflux so bad that I had to sleep sitting up. After I quit dairy, this completely went away.

    Right now I am on a liquid diet. The docs told me that I should avoid eating seeds & nuts or any foods that are 'particulate'. However, research shows that the jury is still out on seeds and nuts.

    I am puzzled because I do not fit into the risk category for this condition. Could this be something else?

    Diverticulitis is largely genetic and often passed down from your mom's side. And while being a healthy weight and a solid diet that is very fibrous can help, if you have the pockets, it can get inflamed at any point (especially post 40)
  • sheclimbsrocks
    sheclimbsrocks Posts: 181 Member
    psuLemon wrote: »
    Diverticulitis is largely genetic and often pasted down from your mom's side.

    Interesting. My mom has Crohns and is on every drug imaginable. However, she makes really bad food choices and will often eat things even when she knows it will give her stomach trouble. I rarely eat processed food and make my food from scratch.
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,054 MFP Moderator
    edited May 2017
    psuLemon wrote: »
    Diverticulitis is largely genetic and often pasted down from your mom's side.

    Interesting. My mom has Crohns and is on every drug imaginable. However, she makes really bad food choices and will often eat things even when she knows it will give her stomach trouble. I rarely eat processed food and make my food from scratch.

    If there is anything I have learned with the plethora of healthy issues my wife has, you can't beat genetics, no matter how good your diet is. Sorry that you have had to deal with it. Just hope it doesn't flare up a few more times or you will need surgery.

    And based on my wife, diverticulitis is the second worse thing that happened to her (first being pancreatitis). In fact, in order of pain severity its been:
    1. Pancreatitis
    2. Diverticulitis
    3. Child Birth
    4. Appendagitis
    5. Appendicitis

  • cmtigger
    cmtigger Posts: 1,450 Member
    psuLemon wrote: »
    Hello -

    I spent all night in the ER because the docs thought I had appendicitis. After a very uncomfortable CT Scan and blood / urine tests, it turns out that I have diverticulitis. Better than appendicitis, but still very painful.

    How can this be? I eat nothing but fiber. The only animal product that I eat are eggs.

    Ten or more years ago, I had gastritis and acid reflux so bad that I had to sleep sitting up. After I quit dairy, this completely went away.

    Right now I am on a liquid diet. The docs told me that I should avoid eating seeds & nuts or any foods that are 'particulate'. However, research shows that the jury is still out on seeds and nuts.

    I am puzzled because I do not fit into the risk category for this condition. Could this be something else?

    Diverticulitis is largely genetic and often passed down from your mom's side. And while being a healthy weight and a solid diet that is very fibrous can help, if you have the pockets, it can get inflamed at any point (especially post 40)

    This. I watch out because my mom's mother had diverticulitis issues.
  • sheclimbsrocks
    sheclimbsrocks Posts: 181 Member
    I also worry that it might be misdiagnosed ovarian cancer. But that would have likely turned up in the CT scan, right?
  • cmtigger
    cmtigger Posts: 1,450 Member
    edited May 2017
    I also worry that it might be misdiagnosed ovarian cancer. But that would have likely turned up in the CT scan, right?

    Yes. There is also a blood test if you are still concerned.

    (They saw something on a CT of mine 10 years ago they thought might be ovarian cancer- it was ruled out with the blood test and follow up ultrasounds.)
  • mhwitt74
    mhwitt74 Posts: 159 Member
    psuLemon wrote: »
    Hello -

    I spent all night in the ER because the docs thought I had appendicitis. After a very uncomfortable CT Scan and blood / urine tests, it turns out that I have diverticulitis. Better than appendicitis, but still very painful.

    How can this be? I eat nothing but fiber. The only animal product that I eat are eggs.

    Ten or more years ago, I had gastritis and acid reflux so bad that I had to sleep sitting up. After I quit dairy, this completely went away.

    Right now I am on a liquid diet. The docs told me that I should avoid eating seeds & nuts or any foods that are 'particulate'. However, research shows that the jury is still out on seeds and nuts.

    I am puzzled because I do not fit into the risk category for this condition. Could this be something else?

    Diverticulitis is largely genetic and often passed down from your mom's side. And while being a healthy weight and a solid diet that is very fibrous can help, if you have the pockets, it can get inflamed at any point (especially post 40)

    This can happen to anyone regardless of your diet. Also I spoken with many doctors and they all agree that nuts, seeds etc. have nothing to do with flare ups. Basically you eat what you want. You could have steak or something else that's solid type food and still get a flare up. I have had it for years but thankfully don't have trouble with it. It can be very painful and I wish you the best in coping with this.
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,054 MFP Moderator
    cmtigger wrote: »
    I also worry that it might be misdiagnosed ovarian cancer. But that would have likely turned up in the CT scan, right?

    Yes. There is also a blood test if you are still concerned.

    (They saw something on a CT of mine 10 years ago they thought might be ovarian cancer- it was ruled out with the blood test and follow up ultrasounds.)

    Agreed. Blood test quickly reveal things like cancer. If there is an potential misdiagnosis, its that appendagitis is misdiagnosed as diverticulitis or appendicitis. And if they really want to check, they can do an endoscopy to check for infection.
  • jgnatca
    jgnatca Posts: 14,465 Member
    I have diverticulosis confirmed from a colonoscopy. If I have had any attacks they weren't bad enough to floor me. Potatoes are hard on me.

    A pure diet won't save you from this diagnosis.
  • sheclimbsrocks
    sheclimbsrocks Posts: 181 Member
    Since I last posted, I am much better and on my last day of antibiotics. Thank you for the well wishes.

    I went 5 days on a liquid diet with no desire to eat, at all. I am now eating, but much less than I normally do. But at least now I get hungry!

    My PCP referred me to a gastroenterologist, who I will see in a few weeks. She is concerned because my infection was on my right side (on top of my appendix) rather than my left and that my mom has Crohn's.

    At least I can eat food now, right? :smiley:
  • jgnatca
    jgnatca Posts: 14,465 Member
    Oh my goodness honey. I hope you feel better soon.
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,054 MFP Moderator
    Since I last posted, I am much better and on my last day of antibiotics. Thank you for the well wishes.

    I went 5 days on a liquid diet with no desire to eat, at all. I am now eating, but much less than I normally do. But at least now I get hungry!

    My PCP referred me to a gastroenterologist, who I will see in a few weeks. She is concerned because my infection was on my right side (on top of my appendix) rather than my left and that my mom has Crohn's.

    At least I can eat food now, right? :smiley:

    Didn't they do a cat scan? Because that could show if it was appedicitis.
  • sheclimbsrocks
    sheclimbsrocks Posts: 181 Member
    psuLemon wrote: »
    Didn't they do a cat scan? Because that could show if it was appedicitis.

    Yes - I got a catscan and it absolutely showed diverticulitis. My doc wants to see if there is more going on aside from the diverticulitis (such as Crohn's) because of the unusual location of the infection.