Chia Seeds and Diverticulitis

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Since: Apr 10

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#1
May 11, 2012
 
Recently exploring green smoothies. Chia seeds are a recommendation for bowel health and fiber. Curious if these particular seeds fall outside the class of offending seeds for diverticulitis patients?

They differ in that they carry a soluble fiber coating that holds 3x water content through the bowel, while maintaining an insoluble fibre casing below this gel-like layer.

I'm assuming their gelatenous nature would prevent them from getting trapped in diverticuli (if that is still a risk considering recent articles).

Anyone have knowledge about these seeds?

Mike
Georgia

United States

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#2
May 11, 2012
 
Hi Mike,
the problem with your question is everybody's different. Mayo Clinic and webmd say there was no scientific proof that the previously banned nuts and seeds ever really caused problems. Lots of people swear that they do. I have only had mild attacks, but I eat everything and have no problems. I think you'll just have to experiment if you want to know for sure. If you do, we have brought up the idea that it could take up to a week for something you ate to become an infection, so don't blame it on something you ate the night before. Good luck
Mike

United States

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#3
May 11, 2012
 
Thanks for your reply. I'm leary of experimenting since I still work and my last bout a few years back was not worth repeating. I guess I'm more curious about the unique conditions here with the water gel effect of the chia, which suggests it would stand out and away from the normal action of seeds.
I'll wait to see if others have any experiences with Chia.
Thanks
Mary

Lubbock, TX

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#4
May 11, 2012
 
Mike, I believe that finely ground flax seeds have a similar water absorbing property. I use them as a food additive in small amounts and they are great for keeping things moving along. There are other benefits like cholesterol lowering as well. Psyllium for me was VERY irritating, causing a lot of bloating and pain. I don't have experience with chia seeds, though, sorry.

Georgia is right in that everyone is different.

One explanation for the nut/seed controversy is that the study that is so frequently cited, looked at lower rates of diverticulosis among nut and seed eaters, and did not include people with recurrent diverticulitis or symptomatic diverticular disease.
patricia

Prescott Valley, AZ

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#5
May 18, 2012
 
The chia seed has a soft seed coat. They are hydrophilic, meaning they absorb liquid readily. The fiber will start to form a gel around the seed.

My father had several bouts and was diagnosed with diverticulosis. He continues to eat his chia seeds every day. He puts them in his orange juice and drinks them down with no adverse effects. Others have chosen to used the milled chia. Just as someone else wrote, everyone is different.
Molly

Cincinnati, OH

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#6
Jul 15, 2012
 
My mother has a 30 year history with diverticular disease that includes several hospitalizations. She's been taking 1 tablespoon of chia every day in her orange juice every day for the last year. She has been completely asymptomatic since she began taking the chia seeds.

Good luck to you!
Taylor

Goffstown, NH

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#7
Jan 14, 2013
 
Wow. Thank you I know I didn't ask the question but its wonderful to see so many answers so helpful and open up some things to think about :0) I'm starting to take the Chia seeds so in a little bit more positive with it. Thank you. Ill post how it affects me. Have a super Day &#128515;
Barb

Winterset, IA

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#8
Jan 18, 2013
 
Hi,
I was also wondering about the chia. I have it ordered and am on the green smoothie diet by Nutri bullet. I found out my diverticulosis will not handle kiwi, raspberies ,strawberries, blackberries!!I have been up for two days with pain after drinking them in a smoothie...Strange , because I do eat these on occasion. My doctor also said. you have to try things and if they bother you, stop them. But heck, if it bothers you one time and not another, what do you do?? I guess stop them altogether. This pain is intense!!! I have had it before and was advised to be hospitalized, but I didn't . Took antibiotics and stayed in bed for 4 days. Pain ...wow! So its good to see that a few people take chia with no side effects. Sounds like a super food, so I am going to try it....Thanks for the info...
Shirley

Columbia, MO

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#9
Feb 15, 2013
 
I am just now finishing up my meds from my second attack in about 4 years. This attack is more painful and lasting longer than the first one. Thought that I was getting enough fiber, but apparently not. I think the culprit for me this time around was popcorn. My doctor told me he didn't think it was the fruits with the seeds. So, I've started a food journal to keep track of how I feel after I eat. I consider myself to be a healthy eater, no fried or processed foods 99% of the time. A diet of fish, chicken and fresh veggies everyday. I was researching the benefits of Chia seeds when I came across this site. Gonna give it a try. Enjoyed reading the posts, very informational....Thanks
Nancy

Euless, TX

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#10
Mar 6, 2013
 

Judged:

1

Ive been searching online for articles with Chia seeds and Diverticulitis. In my opinion I think the Chia seeds did cause the diverticulitis in my husband. A few weeks ago, my husband and I decided to really change our eating habits. We cut out all the bad fried foods and started eating healthier. I read about the Aztec Diet and Chia Seeds. So I went out and bought a bag and we started incorporating them into our smoothies. A few days after starting the seeds, he mentioned that he was having trouble with bowel movements. Then shortly after he complained of lower abdominal pain. We went to the ER and that's when he was diagnosed for the first time in his life. Its been a horrible experience for us. He was sent home with antibiotics and told in about 3/4 days he should start feeling better. By day 4 I didn't see any progress in him and decided to take him back to ER. Another scan showed that his diverticulitis had progress to the point that an absess grew. He had to have emergency surgery to drain the absess. He has been in hospital since then. This is day 5 of hospital stay and we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Going forward I'm staying away from the Chia seeds.
randi

Plano, TX

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#11
Mar 7, 2013
 

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My worst attacks were from psyllium and of all tbings indian food. I dearly love indian food but it ddoesn't love me. Chia and seeds tear me up
Laurel

Colonia, NJ

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#12
Apr 19, 2013
 
Can anyone give their recommendations or experiences using flax seed in a Nutri Bullet? My husband has diverticulosus and was advised to stay away from all nuts and seeds. We recently picked up a Nutri bullet and almost everything recommends adding flax seed. Any thoughts?
Barb

Winterset, IA

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#13
Apr 19, 2013
 
I have diverticulosis also and I use the Nutri Bullet everyday.I buy the ground flax seed and its very finely ground and light weight , fluffy almost... I have no problems with it. Hope this helps. You do have to keep it refrigerated for freshness....but its great!!
Laurel

Colonia, NJ

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#14
Apr 19, 2013
 
Barb wrote:
I have diverticulosis also and I use the Nutri Bullet everyday.I buy the ground flax seed and its very finely ground and light weight , fluffy almost... I have no problems with it. Hope this helps. You do have to keep it refrigerated for freshness....but its great!!
Thank you so much!!!! I picked up some of the ground kind from Trader Joe's. We're gonna try it tonight.
KEM

Swampscott, MA

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#15
May 22, 2013
 

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My mom has diva and her colon abscessed, severed, and nearly killed her. After a 3 month hospitalization with a short bout at home in between (colostomy bag and reversal) she has given up anything that is gritty and hard to digest. All seeds, nuts, corn (even pears). She was 48 when this happened and was otherwise the picture of health.
So, based on her experience, if I had the disease, I would certainly not eat chia unless it was finely ground. I personally eat them often and love them, but it only takes one bout of pushing/constipation or even inflammation from a change in diet or stomach bug to make the diverticulum more open which would catch a seed on the way out. And though I agree that these seeds are probably less risky because of their properties, they still have that hard shell even after submerged over night. Not as hard as a strawberry or worse blackberry seed, but hard enough.
My Mom's culprit for her big "spill" as we call it...hamburger. The reason...her colon had been previously agitated by something she ate that didn't agree with her, and opened up enough to catch a hamburger bit.(I call it open up, it's really more like move because with diverticulitis, you already have pockets from the diverticulum caused by a weakening colon over time. When it's irritated, the colon changes shape which can make the pockets more accessible to hard to digest and breakdown foods).
Joanne C

Chicago, IL

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#16
Jul 31, 2013
 
Barb wrote:
Hi,
I was also wondering about the chia. I have it ordered and am on the green smoothie diet by Nutri bullet. I found out my diverticulosis will not handle kiwi, raspberies ,strawberries, blackberries!!I have been up for two days with pain after drinking them in a smoothie...Strange , because I do eat these on occasion. My doctor also said. you have to try things and if they bother you, stop them. But heck, if it bothers you one time and not another, what do you do?? I guess stop them altogether. This pain is intense!!! I have had it before and was advised to be hospitalized, but I didn't . Took antibiotics and stayed in bed for 4 days. Pain ...wow! So its good to see that a few people take chia with no side effects. Sounds like a super food, so I am going to try it....Thanks for the info...
Barb I too suffer from diverticulosis and while I can eat strawberries with no adverse effects I do find that raspberry seeds will cause me pain. Kiwi also caused a problem. So far Chia seeds and flax seeds in the NutriBullet have not been a problem. The first day I tried the raspberries...pain...so it's a matter of experimenting like our mothers did when we were babies. Add one fruit at a time and see how you do. I had a spoon full of chia seeds on my salad today....we'll see how that goes!
Joanne
Perfectclippercu t

United States

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#17
Oct 16, 2013
 
I am a super healthy 37 yo female, until sat. oct 5 2013, I added 1 tbsp whole chia seeds (new for me)in my berry smoothie I make weekly with no issues. Tues October 7 2013 I wake up at night in pain. 3 days pass and off to the ER with increasing pain. Mild Diverticulitis was the diagnosis. I will never eat whole chia seeds again. Although I can say exactly for sure chia seeds are the culprit that initiated the flair up as I already had the slowly building diverticulosis, I can make an educated guess that it was the chia seeds!
Mary

Australia

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#18
Oct 16, 2013
 
Hi, I am fairly new to the 'Diva' club and wanted to comment on chia seeds. I first tried them in a protein ball and noticed I had increased gas about two hours later. This is too quick to be causing problems in my bowel so I think there is something about the actual seed that I am reacting to. Same thing happened when I soaked them first. Then I ate them for 3 days in a row (breakfast smoothie)and literally thought I was going to turn inside out. Couldn't get off the toilet for a whole day. The diverticulitis pain started soon after that and I have just had my 6th attack in 9 months. So, not a fan of the 'nano grenades' and want to duck whenever I see them :)
Canuck

Whitecourt, Canada

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#19
Oct 16, 2013
 
I don't know about chia seeds, but I DO know that even after talking with my surgeon, who ASSURED me that it was "ok to eat anything with seeds of any kind, as there is no proof, research-wise, that seeds cause flare ups", I had an extremely bad attack that caused my fistula to open/pass waste through my bladder not even a half an hour after I had a sesame seed bun. The pain was intense, and was the worst sudden onset flare up I've had. Needless to say, I've steered clear of any and all seeds since. I have an upcoming surgery, and I don't want to mess around with my colon at all.

Since: Jun 12

Location hidden

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#20
Oct 16, 2013
 
I think it's interesting that the seeds that are mentioned here are so small that you can't chew them. It seems to be the smallest seeds that cause the big problems; also the tiny bits in berries seem to be problematic for people. If nuts are big enough to chew, I don't seem to have an issue.

I haven't noticed a flare directly after chia seeds, but that might have happened when I wasn't paying attention and didn't know I had diver.

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