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Hello All - I have written in a few times about my digestive problems and have met with doctors, etc. but nothing was ever set in stone. On Monday night I woke up in the most serious of abdominal pain. I went to the doctor on Tuesday morning and after a long day was told I had diverticulitis and that it was possible I had a rupture. So, now I am on an antibiotic and bed rest for one week. Depending on the success or not of the antibiotic I will probably have a CT scan and from there find out if more tests and/or surgery will be necessary. Has anyone here been through this? I feel like a wet noodle! I need to understand the dietary changes I will need to make. Any suggestions? Are folks with scleroderma prone to this? Thanks! -Ann

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Hi Ann,


Diverticulitis is high on the 'not fun' list, isn't it? I hope the antibiotics and rest do the trick for you.


Your doctor will probably give you lots of diet advice, but a visit with a nutritionist might be helpful. I know that doctors used to recommend avoiding foods that could cause mechanical irritation to the diverticula (little pouches that have formed along the intestinal tract) like nuts and seeds, but now they seem to be recommending a diet with increasing amounts of fiber in it. Since excess fiber can be tough on people with scleroderma-related dysmotility problems, I guess it is another place where a doctor with knowledge of scleroderma in relation to his specialty would be really helpful. ;)


As far as a link between scleroderma and diverticulitis, I couldn't find any articles suggesting one. The prevalent theory seems to be a low-fiber diet combined (possibly) with a lack of exercise. Diverticulitis is a lot more common than scleroderma (well, most things are!) and according to the National Institutes of Health, 10% of American aged 40+ have it and about half of folks over 60 are afflicted with it.


Warm hugs (high in best wishes but sadly low in fiber),

Jeannie McClelland

(Retired) ISN Director of Support Services

(Retired) ISN Sclero Forums Manager

(Retired) ISN Blog Manager

(Retired) ISN Assistant News Guide

(Retired) ISN Artist

International Scleroderma Network

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annkd, I have diverticuler disease and have had many bouts of diverticulosis attacks. Each time so far I have been set to rights with the proper medications. Balancing your food groups is still important. Chewing more is one of the most important issues. My doctor says when I think I have chewed my food enough to swallow then chew it at least ten more times. I am allowed nuts, strawberries and popcorn but not daily. I now have popcorn a few times a month instead of a few times a week. No eating the hard tacks, which I use to love to do. I can forgo that as long as I can still have the popcorn. Strawberries I chew them and have to listen to the seeds popping so I usually eat them as I am cleaning them or when I am not around others. You can get your fiber in many ways. Eating eight or ten Cheerios cereal pieces daily or a bowl full will provide enough fiber to help keep your system regular, along with other foods. I also take oral medication daily to help with bowel issues. Once you get your system working on schedule then you will have less bouts of bloating and or pain issues. Keep us informed on how you are doing.

Strength and Warmth,



Sheryl Doom

ISN Support Specialist

(Retired) ISN Chat Moderator

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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