Collon surgery(16in)2010,chronic cons...

Collon surgery(16in)2010,chronic constipation, diverticulitis again

Posted in the Diverticulitis Forum


Prato, Italy

#1 Aug 3, 2012
I am 65 years old and living in Italy since Feb.(retired) Amazing, but I learned from this post that chronic constipation can causes diverticulitis, which has been most of my life. Almost sure I have diverticulitis again. Called my doc in USA and now on flagyl and cipro for 4 days (brought with me). Went on very low fiber diet, lot of liquids. Have not had a bm on my own yet. Took ducalax last night and 5 days ago. With that, I get diarrhea the next day and then nothing. Bowel movement rarely normal before. When should I come off this low fiber, mostly bread and saltine and liquid diet? How long and how much fiber should I add a day? Should I now be taking Metamucil or something like it or should I wait? How long should I wait without having a bm before taking ducalax now and after I get over this? So sorry I have so many questions, but I am really panicked and don't want to end up in an Italian hospital or have to fly home sick.. I will be so grateful for any help from back home.

Prato, Italy

#2 Aug 3, 2012
Egads, I must be sick....I spelled colon collon in the subject and I'm a former teacher!

Olivet, MI

#3 Aug 3, 2012
Constipation was the primary reason for why I got diverticulitis. I believe whole grain bread was the cause of my constipation, because I ate a lot of sandwiches in the three months before the constipation and bloating began. I rarely eat bread now (maybe once per week) and have not had any constipation problems since I had colon resection surgery in November.

Here's a link that lists foods that can cause constipation:

Notice the sentence under the paragraph for "White Bread":

"Processed breads in general should be avoided as processed wheat, rye and barley grains can all be constipating."

All breads are hard to digest and should be avoided when having a diverticulitis attack and when prone to having constipation.

Prato, Italy

#4 Aug 3, 2012
Thank you. What about saltines while I am on this low fiber thing? They are what I've mostly been eating for the past 2 days.

Olivet, MI

#7 Aug 3, 2012

I posted a response to your saltines question a while ago and then posted it again, but Topix didn't post either response -- maybe it didn't like the link I included, so I've added spaces in the URL. You'll have to copy and paste the URL, delete the spaces, and change the "dot" to periods.

I wouldn't eat crackers if I was constipated. In my opinion, high-water content foods are best to relieve constipation and keep the bowels moving. When you eat high-fiber foods, you should drink lots of water. Otherwise, the waste in your intestines will be dry and hard to move, causing constipation. If you're having a diverticulitis attack, you should avoid any high-fiber foods.

Here's another link that goes into much more detail about constipation and getting too much fiber without enough water:

freeacnebook dot com / constipation dot htm

If I had to go through again what I went through all last year, I would eat lots of watermelon, melons, grapes, and lots of fresh juice (with pulp removed) from green leafy plants, vegetables, and fruits, because these foods and juices will help to soften the stools and provide the body will lots of liquid and nutrients that are lacking in foods from the standard diet. If I was having a diverticulitis attack, I would avoid eating rougher vegetables, such as, lettuce, radishes, carrots, zucchini, etc, unless I juiced them.

United States

#8 Aug 3, 2012
Anne, Deb is not a doctor and some of her theories are unsafe if you are having an attack. She has been chastised elsewhere on this site repeatedly but continues to dispense her wacky theories.

That being said, I agree with her that Saltines shouldn't be part of your diet while you are having - and recovering from - an attack. We all agree that the Mayo Clinic Diet should be followed. Here's a link: If the link didn't post, you can find it when you search Topix for the Diverticulitis forum. There are a gazillon threads on there with much valuable information.

It must be scary to be away from your doctor and having an attack. But the pay off of being in Italy, well, fatastico.

Please follow the Mayo Diet, then move on to solids but think bland and gentle proteins (eggs, white meat chicken), mashed potatoes (no skin), Cream of Rice or Wheat, some juice (pasturized only if you are having an attack or just recovering) and well cooked veggies when you are ready like green beans. I found I couldn't tolerate milk very well and switched to almond milk. Loads of water and herbal teas are great. Of course nothing could keep me from black coffee :0)

I hope you heal quickly and can avoid another attack. We have people posting here from all over the world but Italy is my favorite place. Keep posting, asking questions and keep us updated.

Best of health to you!

Olivet, MI

#9 Aug 3, 2012

Not to start a pissing match here, but DianaL (who started this in the post above) has posted false statements about me in the post above. I have never posted any unsafe theories for those having diverticulitis attacks. I'm here only to share my experiences and to help others who are going through what I went through almost all last year. DianaL is one of the negative and hateful ones here who has taken my words out of context or simply didn't read everything I wrote in order to blast me simply because she and a few others don't agree with my opinions. However, she has posted a few times that people who have had surgery should consume 100 grams of protein, which is two to three times the required amount of protein. Excess protein gets stored in the fatty cells and pulls calcium out of the bones, which could lead to osteoporosis. So, it can be dangerous to consume that much protein.

As you can see, though, she agreed with everything I wrote to you, including not to eat saltines and to drink plenty of water. So, she only posted her negative comments about me, because she enjoys arguing. I know of no other reason for her comments today.

By the way, DianaL is not a doctor, either. We all have our own opinions, and we're all here to share our experiences with diverticulitis and colon surgeries. That's all I've ever done here, but a handful of people became negative and hateful toward me (in early March) after I started talking about changing my diet after I had colon resection surgery and how much better I was feeling after eliminating dairy, meat, breads, sugars, and processed foods -- and consuming juices and raw foods 90 to 95% of the time. The foods I eliminated are acid and mucus-forming and are one of the causes of inflammation in the body, which leads to many illnesses and diseases. There are many sources concerning this, so these are not just my opinions, but are based on real-life experiences of many, many people.

Good luck to you! I hope you'll recover from this attack very soon!

Olivet, MI

#10 Aug 3, 2012

Here's the information from the Mayo Clinic regarding their diet for diverticulitis:(Topix won't let me post the URL to that page, so here it is):

Diverticulitis diet
By Mayo Clinic staff

A diverticulitis diet is something your doctor might recommend as part of a treatment plan for a mild case of acute diverticulitis.

Diverticulitis occurs when small, bulging pouches (diverticula) in your digestive tract become infected and inflamed. Mild cases are usually treated with antibiotics and a diverticulitis diet, which includes clear liquids and low-fiber foods. More-severe cases typically require hospitalization.


A diverticulitis diet can't treat or prevent diverticulitis. Rather, it's intended to give your digestive system a chance to rest. A diverticulitis diet is typically recommended along with antibiotics for mild or uncomplicated cases of diverticulitis.

Mayo Clinic Diet details:

A diverticulitis diet starts with only clear liquids for a few days. Examples of beverages allowed on a clear liquid diet include:

Clear soda
Fruit juices without pulp, such as apple or grape juice (notice this line does NOT say pasteurized or in a can or bottle; it just states "without pulp," which means you can make your own juice)
Ice chips
Ice pops without bits of fruit or fruit pulp
Plain gelatin
Plain water
Tea or coffee without cream

As you start feeling better, your doctor will recommend that you slowly add low-fiber foods.

Examples of low-fiber foods include:

Canned or cooked fruits without skin or seeds
Canned or cooked vegetables such as green beans, peas and potatoes (without the skin)
Eggs, fish and poultry
Refined wheat and white bread
Fruit juice with little or no pulp (notice this line does NOT say pasteurized or in a can or bottle; it just states "without pulp," which means you can make your own juice)
Low-fiber cereals
Milk, low-fat yogurt and cheese
White rice, pasta and noodles


You should feel better within two or three days of starting the diet and antibiotics. If you haven't started feeling better by then, call your doctor.

You should also contact your doctor if:

You develop a fever
Your abdominal pain is worsening
You're unable to keep clear liquids down
These may indicate a complication that requires hospitalization.


The diverticulitis diet has few risks. However, continuing a clear liquid diet for more than a few days can lead to weakness and other complications, since it doesn't provide enough of the nutrients your body needs. For this reason, your doctor will want you to transition back to a normal diet as soon as you can tolerate it. Your doctor may even recommend switching to a high-fiber diet to help prevent diverticulitis from recurring. Just be sure to increase the fiber in your diet slowly and aim for the level recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans — at least 25 grams of fiber a day for women and 38 grams for men.

United States

#11 Aug 3, 2012
Nope, not hateful, don't lie and am not a doctor ;0) But I am a veteran of this most valuable forum and I so appreciate all the wisdom and support I have gotten here. I am disease free and super healthy (yay!) but feel the need to be here for people and be helpful. There are quite a number that also want to help but were so turned off by Deb, the only person in the whole history of this forum to be sucky, they have left. Here's a thread they started and it makes me so sad that they have left and that Deb continues on here:

If it doesn't post, you can see it within the last 10 topics and Trolls.

Good health to ya!

Mi dispiace...


#12 Aug 3, 2012
Whoops! I think I started to get constipated in my 20s. I have just turned 72. A doctor or nurse or physio, can't remember, asked me how long I had been constipated, I said about 50 years.
Actually, I think it started when I began thinking seriously about losing weight and tried Ford Pills.
Remember them? I believe they upset the whole works and over the ensuing years,(in good times and in bad) I could never work out what I did to make things work, and what I ate to make things not work.(Although I had a funny feeling that hard boiled eggs, rich fruit cake, and the newly sliced white bread were some of the culprits)In those days we were not too aware of fibre and a nutritional daily diet.

Yakima, WA

#13 Aug 4, 2012
Ann one of the things that I read on the Google site said that many times diverticulitis and constipation is caused by food allergy. somebody referred to on the Google forum and it was really helpful. I noticed that they talked a lot about diverticulitis and constipation being associated food allergies. So you might want to check out the Google form for diverticulitis

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