The Diverticulitis Diet
The Diverticulitis Diet: – For those with diverticular disease, preventing the painful inflammation of diverticula small bulges that form along the digestive tract are of extreme importance. Although there is no sure way to prevent inflammation from occurring, some doctors believe that eating a high-fiber diet may help.
Fiber and Diverticulitis
Many researchers believe that the first reason for diverticula is simply too little fiber within the diet. Studies have shown that people in Africa and Asia, wherever diets high in fiber are common, rarely suffer from diverticular disease.
Fiber, or plant material, plays a very important role in the digestive process, softening the stool and serving to move it more smoothly through the colon. A lack of fiber will cause constipation, which makes the stool more resistant and more difficult to pass, putting stress on the muscles of the colon.
And since diverticula are usually formed in areas where the digestive muscles are tense or weakened, constipation could make the development of diverticula more likely.
Because constipation causes pressure to build up in the colon, it should also lead to inflammation or infection of the diverticula that are already present in the colon, causing the painful condition called diverticulitis.
The Diverticulitis Diet
It should be noted that there have also been studies that recommend eating too much fiber could lead to diverticular disease causing more frequent bowel movements.
The recommended amount of dietary fiber is 20 to 35 grams per day. There are two types of fiber found naturally in the foods you eat:
Soluble fiber dissolves in water, forming a gel-like material that makes the stool softer and larger, allowing them to simply pass through the intestine. Insoluble fiber helps to move waste through the digestive system by absorbing water and adding volume to the faeces.
Most plant foods contain every soluble and insoluble fiber. However, some foods contain more than one type of fiber than the other.
To ensure that you are getting enough of each, consume a wide variety of fiber rich foods, including:
Ereales: wheat bran and crushed corn
Grains: bran scales, whole wheat pasta, pearled barley, oatmeal, brown rice
Baked goods: bran muffins, whole wheat bread
Legumes: split peas, lentils, black beans, lima beans
Vegetables: artichokes, peas, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots
Fruit: raspberries, blackberries, avocados, pears and apples (with skin)
Dried fruits: prunes, raisins
Nuts and seeds: peanuts, popcorn
Because foods that are high in fiber are generally in addition to high in vitamins and other nutrients, it is best to get the fiber you want from food. But if dietary restrictions keep you from consuming all the fiber you want at meals, your doctor may recommend fiber supplements.
Psyllium, which is present in supplements like Metamucil and Konsyl, is a fiber option. This supplement is also sold as a powder or liquid, in granules, capsules, or as a wafer. Methylcellulose-based supplements, such as Citrucel, are typically sold as powder or granular.
For many years, doctors suggested that people with diverticulosis should not eat nuts, seeds or popcorn, which they believed could block the openings of diverticula and cause outbreaks of diverticulitis. However, the analysis has not proven well that ingestion of these foods will increase the chance of developing redness, and doctors now do not build this recommendation.
Prevention of Diverticular Disease
There are several other ways you can maintain good digestive health and prevent diverticula from forming:
Avoid excessive consumption of red meat.
Avoid fatty foods, which can lead to intestinal blockage and worsen the symptoms of diverticulitis.
Smoking cessation (smokers are at increased risk of developing complications from diverticulitis).
Avoid the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Drink plenty of fluids.
Maintain a healthy body weight.
Respond to bowel movements.
NSAIDs such as aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen have been associated with a greater number of cases of diverticular hemorrhage. Fiber-rich diets want water to work properly. If you do not drink enough water, you will be at greater risk of constipation.
Finally, delayed bowel movements will lead to hard stools and increased stress on the muscles of the colon, which can lead to diverticular disease.