Posts Tagged ‘Diarrhoea’

A look at the fibre theory

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Diet sheets, recipes and menus are frequently requested by people newly diagnosed with DD but there is great variation in which foods help or cause problems for different people. A strict diet is not needed other than one which has plenty of variety and fluids, and conforms to the healthy diet currently recommended for everyone. Anything which is found to cause problems should be avoided, or reduced in amount or frequency but not to the extent that diet becomes restricted. People have different tastes and food should be enjoyed.


DD patients, new and old, will find that many resources recommend a diet high in fibre, some to the extent that fibre needs to be doubled in quantity with the aid of wheat bran. The fibre and bran treatment for DD started about 1970 when some doctors working in Uganda (1) found no cases of DD and attributed this to the large amount of fibre in the diet. As Mr Hutchinson described in the last Incontact magazine, too much fibre can have its own adverse effects (very high incidence of sigmoid volvulus). Was this evidence from Uganda sufficient to conclude that a low fibre diet was the cause of DD and increasing dietary fibre, and bran in particular, would both prevent and treat DD? (more…)

The water we drink

Thursday, October 28th, 2010


Seasoned British travellers are well aware that 30 to 50 % of their visits to developing countries and popular holiday areas are estimated to result in traveller’s diarrhoea. Known as Montezumas revenge, delhybelly etc, the episodes usually last no more than 2 or 3 days but can extend to weeks or months of illness. People from the UK have a higher incidence of diarrhoea than those travelling from other industrial nations. Toxin – producing strains of E. coli are the most common cause, contaminated food and water pass them into the gut and diarrhoea is the body’s response to get rid of the invading organism. Adults in areas of poor sanitation and hygiene develop resistance to such organisms, having survived their effects in childhood. This resistance persists on moving to another developing country. A study of expatriates in Nepal found that the incidence of diarrhoea began to fall after 3 months residence. (1) The body reacts to unfamiliar bacteria as well as those causing infection. Traveller’s diarrhoea can have a long term effect on the bowel (2) and may account for 1 in 10 cases of IBS. (3) The pockets in the colon with DD are an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, can traveller’s diarrhoea cause diverticulitis? (more…)

Migraine, the gut and diverticular disease

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010


What has migraine got to do with diverticular disease?”

That was the occasional response when DD sufferers were asked in a survey if they or any blood relative have/did have migraine. However, 42% of females and 29% of males had migraine themselves or a blood relative did. Some noted that they ‘used to have’ migraine. These figures are far higher than the 10% or so incidence of migraine expected at retirement ages. A survey of migraine sufferers in Ireland found that 51% had also been diagnosed with IBS. A survey of people with IBS found a 60% greater prevalence of migraine than in non-IBS controls (1). There was a frequent association between headache, including migraine, and gastrointestinal symptoms (acid reflux, diarrhoea, constipation and nausea) in a Norwegian report (2).

Patients who did not respond to a high fibre diet, who had a single, intermittent abdominal pain were investigated in Leeds (3). Symptoms and family history suggested that 49% of them might have abdominal migraine and 32% of these had typical migraine symptoms during the attack. Mulak (4) noted that migraine and IBS often coexist. (more…)

What is Constipation, Diarrhoea and Normal

Thursday, August 12th, 2010


Scientists desperately try to put values on body functions to measure and classify symptoms. This enables statistical comparisons to evaluate the effects of diseases and treatments. Defaecation is a good example of this and also of the influence of history, fashions and personal opinions. (more…)