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Author Topic:   Low-residue diet
BobJ
Veteran

Posts: 366
Registered: Jul 98

posted 12-04-1998 02:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BobJ   Click Here to Email BobJ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just to share this with everyone - no cure or magic bullet in it.

I went to my doctor (it always amuses me how we refer to our medical people with the word "my") - anyway, went for a follow up visit just to see if he could suggest anything new beyond meds, behavior, etc.

Well, my regular guy was out, so I saw his stand-in. At first this fellow had the "it's all in your head..." approach. Then we went round-and-round on that for a while, me telling him that, yes, I recognize that SOME of it is in my head, but the stress thing is only one of the many triggers that enhances this curse. Finally, he gave in and suggested I try to "regulate" my bowel function back into normalcy by trying a "low residue" diet for a week.

Now here's the fun part. The diet he wrote out for me is NO VEGGIES, NO FRUITS, NO PASTA, NO GRAINS OR BREADS, etc. (at this point in his explanation I'm beginning to wonder what's left). I can eat (this is the week long "experiment") only dairy products (e.g. eggs, cheese, milk), red meat, poultry, and fish. Fortunately for me, I haven't seen any signs that these foods are triggers for me (I don't believe I'm lactose intolerant), although a high fat content meal after fasting will usually produce an episode.

So, today is my first day of trying this - no dramatic sensations either way yet. Am eating a hard boiled egg and some cheese for lunch.

My cholesterol levels are not elevated, so I'm not fearfull of any impact there - maybe a spike for the week.

I did still take my Donnatal for the ride to work this morning, but I go weekends without meds, so I'll see this weekend if this new diet has any impact beyond the meds.

I can, and have, managed my symptoms with meds and behavior, so I'm not absolutely desperate yet but I'd like to see something with a positive impact here.

I know there's been some discussion on this board lately about "adjusting" with the curse or otherwise "resigning" ourselves to live with it, but I'm still not at that point yet. Yes, I can manage it, but this is so troublesome and bothersome. I don't think I'll ever give up trying to seek a remedy.

Anyway, I'll post again next week to report the results.

Hang in...BJ

Bill
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Posts: 137
Registered: Sep 98

posted 12-04-1998 08:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bill   Click Here to Email Bill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi, Bob!
That's interesting, it's pretty much the same diet I've been on for the last 6 months. Except, I don't get any milk. It's helping *a lot*, but it took about a month to see any measurable improvement (at least enough to convince myself it wasn't just a fluke).
Please do post your results, I'm curious if you see any difference.

sass
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Posts: 296
Registered: Aug 98

posted 12-04-1998 09:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sass   Click Here to Email sass     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi BobJ,
Good for you for trying something new!
That diet would deffinitely do me in, but I sure hope it does you some good!
best of luck & be sure to let us know.
sass

Chloe
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Posts: 309
Registered: Aug 98

posted 12-04-1998 09:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chloe   Click Here to Email Chloe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was put on a "low residue diet" for several weeks after being hospitalized with diverticulitis. I found it was boring. I ate CReam of Wheat, plain bread or rolls, or
eggs. I ate less than 800 calories a day. It
wasn't easy (I got hungry) and constipated
(didn't go for 5 days!) However, I was told to take Citricul (l tbl.) twice a day, which I did. Still, I was constipated. Sure, the diarrhea was gone but my body shifted in the other direction! With IBS either your're on the potty all day long or not going at all.
Go figure! Chloe

musem
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Posts: 202
Registered: Oct 98

posted 12-04-1998 09:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for musem     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
BJ:
If you have to explain the disease to your doctor, he's not the right doctor. I'm sorry, but it really just sounds like he just said something to shut you up and get rid of you. You really ought to be seeing a specialist. If this guy's a gastro-doc, you've got trouble.

bob

Rose
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Posts: 316
Registered: Sep 98

posted 12-06-1998 07:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rose   Click Here to Email Rose     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
See my posting on Chinese Herbs. The diet you are on seems to be one of no sugar.

BobJ
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Posts: 366
Registered: Jul 98

posted 12-07-1998 04:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BobJ   Click Here to Email BobJ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
First off, my "report"...

Been since last Thursday now and I can say that the "explosive" urgency has diminished - but then, what would you expect with a bunch of cheese and dairy products that seem to be getting me all bound up. Not quite in the "C" stage yet, but I can see that happening. I will also say that the gas discomfort, while still present, is diminishing. Clearly, there is a change, but I just can't say how much or how good yet. So, for now I'll continue on for the rest of the week and report more then.

Now, to some who have posted on the thread...

Bill,

While I was encouraged to read that this diet has helped you a lot, and also prompted to stay on it for the rest of the week based on your testimonial, HOW IN THE WORLD HAVE YOU LASTED FOR SIX MONTHS ON THIS??? Honestly, if I don't see another piece of cheese, another plate of cottage cheese, another omelet, or another can of tuna fish before I die, I won't miss it. I'm running out of ways to vary my menu, running out of ways to mix the components, running out of varieties of meat omelets and cheese omelets, and generally anxious to get back to real food. I never thought I'd yearn for the fibrous stalk of celery or a piece of bread, but I do now. Seriously, how have you maintained this diet for so long?

sass,

Thanks for the encouragement. I'd be glad to share my omelet with you...

Chloe,

Yes, I may be headed for the "C" side if I keep this up. I think I'm going to try a happy medium between the two when I come off of this Friday - a little fiber, a little not...

museum,

You're probably right about the doc, but fear not - he was a stand in for my regular doc - who is very good with this IBS stuff.

Rose,

Am interested in finding out more about these CHM things - your thoughts?

To all: I'll post again on this at the end of the week.

Hang in...BJ

Chloe
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Posts: 309
Registered: Aug 98

posted 12-08-1998 01:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chloe   Click Here to Email Chloe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When I was on the low residue diet I got quite constipated and after the 5 days I was on the potty all day long. There was no happy medium. However, I would have to say that eating that way is sure alot better than eating more fiber in my diet that gave me diarrhea on a constant basis. I now eat pretty much low residue and take Citricul once a day. My doctor also says I can take Milk of Magnesia every other day. (l Tbl.)
I also drink tons of water.

Even though I have been doing all this, I
have the signs of diverticulitis again.
(Infected colon). I'm on oral antibiotics and hoping I can lick it before it lands me in the hospital again.

I sure wish I could find food, pills or ANYTHING that makes me feel human again.
Chloe

Bill
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Posts: 137
Registered: Sep 98

posted 12-09-1998 05:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bill   Click Here to Email Bill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi, Bob.
First, let me say that you have my sympathy. It's a rough diet in the first month, lots of cravings (bread especially, for me). Seems like I was addicted to carbos. But it does get easier. As far as variety, I know what you mean, but the diet I'm on allows a *little* more variety as you improve. One thought, you didn't mention nuts, but I was able to have them. Doesn't sound like much, but they make a great snack (at least you don't have to cook them first). You do have to be careful, though, most roasted nuts have a starch coating that's not well tolerated. Also, if you can have them, you can grind them up in the blender and use them for a sort of flour. If you're interested, I've got some recipes for nut-flour bread. It's no where close to "real" bread, but you can toast it for sandwiches. Any way, hang in there, it was about 3-4 weeks for me to see any real difference, OTOH, it does get easier the longer you're on it. Good luck with it, keep me posted on how you're doing. E-mail me at syswsb@home.com if you want the recipes or have any questions, or just want to "share"

BobJ
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Posts: 366
Registered: Jul 98

posted 12-10-1998 01:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BobJ   Click Here to Email BobJ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bill,

Thanks for the reply - and the encouragement. Yes, I plan to e-mail you with some more specific questions. I'm seeing my doc this afternoon, so I hope to get his suggestions on how to lighten up on this regimen some without going totally crazy on fiber foods right away...or ever again for that matter.

Thanks again...BJ

BobJ
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Posts: 366
Registered: Jul 98

posted 12-11-1998 03:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BobJ   Click Here to Email BobJ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
UPDATE:

Went to the Doc yesterday. He is my regular Family Practice guy, and has been very good with me on this IBS stuff. My GI, who dealt with my gall bladder problem and did the two foot camera up the bottom (the Flexible Sigmoidoscopy) pretty much blew me off with the IBS (he acknowledged that IBS would be the default diagnosis, shrugged, and walked away) is out of the picture.

It was a week and a day ago that I started on this low residue stuff, after seeing my Doc's stand-in then.

Couple of things to report...

First, the "diet" did clearly diminish the presentation of symptoms - no cure, mind you, but I did recognize some improvement over the week. I did have one IBS-like episode, three days ago, but it was brief and consisted mostly of the loose stool and some slight urgency and gas. Not a big deal in the scheme of severe IBS episodes.

My Doc and I agreed that it would be good to try to come down off this regimen gradually and not jump in to high fiber foods right off. So, last night I had a serving of white rice, which is not high fiber but was not on my low residue list. So far, so good.

What I'm going to do is try to mix more low residue foods in with the vegetables and fruits - GRADUALLY bringing more vegetables and fruits to the plate. I've never identified any foods as absolute triggers, so the experiment continues.

He also gave me a scrip for some Colestid to try. He has not seen good results with this for his other patients, but was willing to give it a try. I'll be taking Christmas week off and staying at home, so that's when I'm going to try it.

He also agreed to give me another supply of Donnatal and Lomotil, my two standbys upon which I fall back if all else fails - or if I have to travel.

Finally, and this was the most interesting part of the visit, he said he had read recently of three different trial drugs due to come out sometime in the first few months of next year and was intrigued by the studies behind them. He did not go into detail, except to say that one of the drugs is NOT an anti-anxiety substance and NOT an anti-spasmodic either. He said it had something to do with adjusting the water balance in the colon.

Anyway, he was very encouraging and I trust him to keep me informed of the latest. Very good fellow (who by the way suffers from IBS himself).

All in all, good news and a sense of moving forward. All the better amunition to resist the next set-back (that would be the explosive IBS episode out of nowhere while I'm traveling).

I would encourage you all to keep a positive attitude with this curse (which I think most on this board have shown), and I'll share whatever more I find out on this.

Hang in...BJ

Lorettasun
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Posts: 134
Registered: Oct 98

posted 12-11-1998 08:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lorettasun   Click Here to Email Lorettasun     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dear Bob, Thanks for the info. I'm sure there is help for us in the future, there has to be. I mean Geez, we can travel through space, can't they find anything to treat our irritable bowels. Take care, Loretta

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