Hello.  Has anyone experienced a connection between drinking diet soda and pouchitis?  I'm trying to figure out what triggers it, and I love my diet cola.  

Thank you.

Original Post

I love my diet soda too! I usually don't get pouchitis from drinking it, but from eating too much sugar.  That being said, I know that diet soda will increase my appetite which may cause me to eat too much in general; therefore increasing my output.  It will also increase the gassy feeling in my pouch, which may or may-not be over the top.  It probably isn't good for the inflammation in my pouch either.    I know that when I drink it, that is the risk I'm willing to take. I consider it a treat and am trying to drink more water than soda

Any carbonation is going to make pouchitis worse, anything that is add gas to your system is not going to help. I don't know if what makes the diet soda is worse then regular sugar but diet soda isn't really good for you to start...

I drink diet soda, a small size, 222 ml.  I have not had any issues. What are you eating with your diet soda?  Could it be the food you are having with the soda?  (If you use a straw, you are swallowing more air, which could contribute to bloating / air / gas in the stomach and pouch.)

Hi.  Thank you for your response.  What I eat with the soda generally varies, and I usually don't use a straw.  People have mentioned sugar as being a problem.  I have cut back on sweets, but I juice at least every other day, which includes fresh fruit.  I'm wondering if the natural sugar in the fruits could be causing a problem. It's been very frustrating.  My doc suggested going back on a monoclonal antibody, which I don't want to do.  I'm currently on medical marijuana which seems to help a bit, but not enough.  

If your pouch is misbehaving due to sugar/carbohydrates in your diet then all sources of sugar are equally problematic: sweetened beverages, fruits, desserts, starches, etc. There’s not a special exemption for “good” sugar. I tried a *very* (close to zero) low carbohydrate diet for a while, and didn’t see any benefit, but others here have had much better results. It takes a while to help, if it’s going to help.

I'm going to guess the juicing might be causing you to have issues more than the diet soda.  When you juice,  you're putting a higher concentration of sugar into your system than if you ate the whole fruit. Try cutting it out for a while and see what happens.

Still Standing is right about juicing and the amount of fruit you are getting in one serving. My doctor told me (I'm diabetic) never drink commercial bottles of fruit juice or even home made juicing. She said it takes many oranges to make that one small bottle of commercial juice and no diabetic would ever sit down and eat 4+ oranges. She said it would be healthier to peel and eat ONE small orange, including eating some of the white pith and membranes for the fiber. If you're juicing you are probably using several fruits at once. Maybe try a smoothie?  A smoothie can use one fruit (maybe a frozen banana to make it thick) and the rest can be unsweetened almond milk or soy, and some Greek yogurt for protein? 

While a very recent European study demonstrated that those would ate a moderate amount of fruit had a lower incidence of pouchitis than those who consumed hardly any, ”juicing” is a different animal altogether.  You’re dumping a large, concentrated dose of fermentable sugars into your GI tract, which launches an eating party and reproductive orgy for your gut microbiome!  This can certainly feed bacterial overgrowth and hence inflammation we experience as pouchitis. 

Gut bacteria, however, do not thrive on common artificial sweeteners, and I find them quite benign in coffee or tea. However, as much as I love diet ginger ale, I limit myself to a max of about 12 oz/day.  I just don’t have the storage space for all that CO2 released into my gut and find the bloating uncomfortable, especially when trying to sleep. Same with beer; no more than one, if I have any at all.  Too much gas. If I want to booze it up some, a couple of Martinis sit well with me, though. 

Thank you all so very much for your responses.  How ironic--here I thought all that fruit would be doing me good, and it was, more than likely, the culprit.  Pretty dumb, huh?  I will definitely limit my sugar intake with the juicing, etc.  Does anyone think celery juice would be a problem?  

In celery, the vast bulk of the carbs are cellulose, which humans do not digest. So you won’t be getting sugar fermentation problems.  But most of the plant is “raw fiber” (cellulose), and I’d take slow in rapidly adding bulky fiber to my diet.  Maybe start with ½ of a stalk after a meal, and work up from there as tolerated.  A good rule of thumb for pouchers never to make radical changes; start gently to avoid throwing whatever balance you may have achieved out the window. 

I've been drinking probably an average of about a liter of diet soda a day for about 25 years.  Had a j-pouch for 14 years.  Never noticed a problem from the diet soda j-pouch related or otherwise.

Hi, Daleer. Have you ever had a kidney stone or pain around your kidneys in your back?  I read that cola, either sweetened or artificially sweetened, can contribute to kidney stones. I drink mini diet cola, 200 ml, couple times a week, and have had two incidents of kidney stones, thankfully passed with only sharp twinges of pain in my back, with pink pee.

Yes once in my life.  About 4 years ago I was playing the piano and suddenly felt some of the worst pain in my side I've ever felt.  A couple weeks later I had surgery to break up/remove 2 stones in my kidney (luckily they were able to do it by going through the urethra without cutting me).  The surgery was successful but the surgeon left a stent in me for a couple weeks and until I had it out I was in complete agony.  Once the stent was removed I was good as new.  Went right back to drinking about a liter of diet soda a day and haven't had another problem since.  I'm 47 years old and that's the only time I've ever had kidney stone issues.  I don't know if it was related to the diet soda - there's probably no way to know.  I also eat meat 3 times a day and have my whole life.  Also eat a lot of fast food.  So there are a lot of potential reasons.  I personally attribute it to a 3 week fast (not eating or drinking during the day) I did prior to the kidney stones when I was dehydrated a lot of the time (I'm missing my colon so obviously am more susceptible  to dehydration).  Now when I fast I don't eat but keep drinking plenty.  I also drink a ton to the point that I'm constantly pissing before hitting the gym.  I'm more careful to avoid long periods of dehydration (using diet soda as much as water lol) and no problems for the last 4 years knock on wood.

Agreed.  With the caveat that soda, diet or not, generally contains significant amounts of phosphoric acid.  The phosphate group (PO4)3- has a high affinity for calcium, and are the main minerals involved in kidney stone formation. Thus soda pop may plausibly contribute to stone formation, but is the pleasure worth the risk?

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