A medical condition known as diverticulosis is when miniature pockets that are formed in the lower areas of the intestine and the colon. This condition usually affects adults, although more often in the elderly.
Know more about this condition, including the recommended diet for those suffering with this affliction.
Diet Characteristics for People with Diverticulosis
Usually with diverticulosis one might be constipated, and there is one special diet for that. This diet not only prevents further inflammation, but also encourages proper waste elimination from your body. The diet is, firstly, packed with fiber, which will allow the natural healing of the colon, and help in preventing further complications.
A high-fiber diet is good in curtailing pressure on the colon when waste is eradicated thoroughly. By adopting a diet that’s high-fiber, you can also prevent other discomforts like bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. When you add fiber-rich food in your diet, you may also be preventing more diverticula from forming.
Normally, you need to intake about 18 grams of fiber in a day. On the other hand, it is also essential to be faithful to the recommended amount of fiber to avoid bloating and gas, which are common with too much fiber intake. Additionally, slow increase helps your gut to get used to the increasing fiber in your system.
Recommended Food for the Diet
- Beans & legumes
- Whole-grain cereals
- Whole-meal bread & flour
- Whole-wheat pasta
- Brown rice
It is essential that you follow the recommended amount (5 vegetable and fruit servings daily), so that you can nourish your body with the correct amount of fiber. Great sources where one can find fiber that you should also add to your diet are apples, dried figs, oranges, broccoli, blueberries, pears and asparagus. Make sure that you intake at least eighty grams of each of them – that is about one serving.
In addition to eating fiber-rich food, increase your intake of fluids too by drinking two liters every day (at least). You can get your fluids through water, but you may also want to try teas and fruit juices. You should try your absolute best to avoid or limit drinking juice from packages or fizzy drinks because these are very high in sugar content. Also, when you drink pure fruit juice without sugar, your body can quickly recover as it is being supplemented with minerals, vitamins and fiber that you will need for optimal health.
When you are already following a high-fiber diet and still your symptoms have not diminished, you might be prescribed fiber supplements. Make sure you consult your doctor before taking these supplements so that the right information especially on dosage amount will made suitable for your condition.
Important facts about the Diverticula
Diverticula are mostly found in different areas of the gut, but commonly they develop in the areas where stools solidify, including the colon. It’s possible too for multiple diverticula to form after a specific period, and be careful as this can cause serious health issues to people.
Summarizing, there are usually no symptoms of diverticulosis. On the other hand, there are cases when these small pockets start bleeding and get infected. Other people also experience sharp pains in the abdomen and a fever once there is an infection. Complications in cases like these are rare, however, these can turn into pretty serious health concerns that will require immediate medical attention.
Symptoms and Causes
Sometimes, signs of diverticulitis appear, bringing pain in the lower right or left part of the abdomen, constipation, tender abdomen, vomiting, fever and nausea. Commonly, the symptoms are felt as the condition gets worse over time.
Diverticulitis may happen because of a tear on the diverticula. Inflammation or infection may also be a result of the tear, which can make the situation worse. To others, diverticula may develop because of extreme pressure in the colon, leading to certain areas to weaken and give way. Thus, the pockets that slightly protrude through the colon walls may begin to form.
Some other factors may also make you at risk of diverticulitis, like:
- Lack of exercise
- Intake of medicines like steroids, opiates and some NSAIDs.
Over time, you might encounter some complications, and this could result to blockage in the colon or small intestine, rupture and abscess or inflammation in the diverticula. This will require you to seek immediate care so that you will prevent further discomfort and damage in the abdominal activity.
Acute Cases of Diverticulosis: What to Do
Should you ever have a flare-up, you might have to eat low-fiber food to avoid irritation and encourage proper digestion of food. Remember, though, that this is only short-term to ease the discomfort and that you may slowly start to reintroduce food that are richer n fiber. Always remember, your condition must always be monitored and checked for possible worsening of symptoms when you start a new diet.
Recommended food intake:
- Plain crackers
- Baked potatoes
- Olive oil and butter
- White Grains
- Ground and tender meats
- Dairy products, milk
- Well-cooked fruits and vegetables.
In addition, you might also want to add clear liquids to help ease the inflammation in your colon – water, clear broths and soups, jellies and herbal teas.
When you have acute diverticulosis, try to avoid eating these:
- Beans, legumes and lentils
- Fruit and vegetable skins
- Dried or raw fruits and vegetables
- Seeds and nuts
- Products that are whole wheat
What to consider
It is good to note that how your body reacts to the intake of fiber may be different from other people’s. Meaning, you have to always keep track of the symptoms, if any, that may show up as you do your low-fiber or high-fiber diet. For example, some people suffer severe cases of gas and bloating because of taking brain supplements & other food rich in that substance. Putting that in mind, it is a lot better to eat food that is abundant in soluble fiber like fruits and vegetables to avoid the undesirable symptoms.
Some people may suffer a flare-up just after eating a serving or two of seeds or nuts or other food rich in fiber, so simply make adjustments to your diet.