I have diverticulitis and IBS. I'm in pain, and trying to decide what food to avoid. Any advice? — Scope | Disability forum
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I have diverticulitis and IBS. I'm in pain, and trying to decide what food to avoid. Any advice?

ChrisHutch Member Posts: 2 Listener
I was diagnosed with diverticulitis more than 20 years ago but I now have been told I have IBS as well. I'm struggling with the pain and also trying to decide what food I should avoid. Any help would be gratefully received


  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 6,030

    Scope community team

    Hi @ChrisHutch :) Welcome to the community! It's great to have you with us. Thanks for sharing a bit about yourself and your situation.

    I'm sorry to hear that you're experiencing pain. Are you receiving support from your doctor to help you manage your IBS? Have you discussed with them the possibility of keeping a food diary, for example, to work out which foods might trigger your IBS? Or whether there's any medication you could try? 

    There's also plenty of advice on the NHS's page on IBS, which you might find helpful. 
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  • ChrisHutch
    ChrisHutch Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Thank you for your reply. Docs not much help but I'm doing a food diary and being careful what I eat. 
  • Teddybear12
    Teddybear12 Member Posts: 765 Pioneering
    edited September 29
    Hi @ChrisHutch I hope you enjoy being part of the Community. I have Ulcerative Colitis and do not touch tomatoes, onions or leeks. I am very careful with cheese, butter and milk only in small amounts.  Also no fried food. This is my own experience. Hot water bottle can help ease the pain.
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser Posts: 334 Pioneering
    edited September 29
    Hi @ChrisHutch

    Welcome to Scope's forum. It is great to see you have joined us. I am so sorry to hear you are struggling with IBS. I can completely empathise as I also have IBS. I can only emphasise what @Tori_Scope has already said about the importance of working with the NHS and keeping a food tracker. I know it is frustrating, I had to return to the doctors several years later to be re-assessed as I did not think it was IBS because their treatment management was not working for me. After several medical tests, it turned out symptom management rather than condition management works best for me in addition to having a lactose free diet. I hope you receive answers and can feel better soon  :) We are here to support you!

    I have expertise in the following subjects, gained through professional settings such as high level education or employment: autism spectrum disorder, dyslexia, down's syndrome, social, emotional and mental health difficulties, assistive technology and education. Pronouns: She/her.
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 6,030

    Scope community team

    I'm sorry your doctor hasn't been that helpful @ChrisHutch. Have you asked to speak to a specialist, or someone who could help you work out what foods to avoid? 

    I hope that the above replies have helped you to feel a little less alone.

    I also found this information on The Association of British Dieticians' website:
    What steps can I take if I have IBS?

    Try to:
    • eat three regular meals a day
    • try not to skip any meals or eat late at night (smaller meal sizes may ease symptoms)
    • limit alcohol intake to no more than two units per day and have at least two alcohol free days a week 
    • reduce intake of caffeine-containing drinks e.g. no more than two mugs (three cups) a day
    • reduce intake of fizzy drinks
    • drink at least eight cups of fluid per day, especially water or other non-caffeinated drinks, for example herbal teas
    • cut down on rich or fatty foods including chips, fast foods, pies, batter, cheese, pizza, creamy sauces, snacks such as crisps, chocolate, cake and biscuits, spreads and cooking oils, and fatty meats such as burgers and sausages
    • reduce your intake of manufactured foods and cook from fresh ingredients where possible
    • limit fresh fruit to three portions per day (one portion is 80g). 
    Seek advice from a healthcare professional about the amount of dietary fibre that is right for you.

    Helpful Hints
    • Take time to relax – relaxation tapes, yoga, aromatherapy or massage may help
    • Take regular exercise such as walking, cycling, swimming
    • Take time to eat meals – chew your food well
    • Keep a food and symptom diary whilst you are making changes so you can see what has helped
    • Make one change at a time so that you can see what has helped.
    • Make changes according to your symptoms
    Dietary changes can often help IBS symptoms and sometimes simple changes are all that are needed

    If symptoms include bloating and wind:
    • Limit intake of gas producing foods e.g. beans and pulses, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and also sugar-free mints/chewing gum.
    • You may find it helpful to eat oats (such as oat-based breakfast cereal or porridge) and linseeds (up to one tablespoon per day). 
    If symptoms include constipation:
    • Try to gradually increase your fibre intake – any sudden increase may make symptoms worse. Rich sources include wholegrains, oats, vegetables, fruit and linseeds. They help to soften stools and make it easier to pass.
    • Try adding one tablespoon per day of brown or golden linseeds (whole or ground) to breakfast cereal, yoghurt, soup or on salad. Have around a small glass/teacup (150ml) of fluid with each tablespoon of linseeds taken.
    • Avoid eating extra wheat bran. 
    If symptoms include diarrhoea:
    • Replace lost fluids by drinking plenty.
    • Limit caffeine intake from tea, coffee and soft drinks to three drinks per day.
    • Try reducing intake of high-fibre food (such as whole-wheat breakfast cereals and breads).
    • Avoid sugar-free sweets, mints, gum and drinks containing sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol. 
    Of course, ideally you should speak to a professional about this to discuss your symptoms and what you think the triggers might be. 
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