Diverticulitis Diet Explained

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Diverticulitis Diet is prescribed to patients who have diverticulitis which is an illness in the intestine. Doctors also outline course of treatments like surgery and medicine but a long-term solution to relieve symptoms is to maintain I diverticulitis diet. If you or someone you knew has diverticulitis, this article will help them.

Diverticulitis Diet 101

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It is a disease which affects the digestive tract. It is when pouches in the intestine’s lining become inflamed and for pouches called diverticula. These pouches become weak and bulge out under pressure. Diverticulum often appears in the large intestine. Since you can have it without feeling any discomfort, most people are not aware they have it.

The worst case that can happen with diverticulitis is when it tears due to infection or inflammation. It can cause fever, vomiting, blood in your stool, fistula, and inflamed pocket of tissue (abscess).

Diverticulitis Diet What To Eat and What NOT to Eat
Diverticulitis Diet What To Eat and What NOT to Eat

What To Eat?

If you feel the symptoms above and get treatment for diverticulitis, you’ll need to start your diverticulitis diet. It usually starts with a liquid diet for a few days. This will give your digestive organs to rest from working. You can intake broth, ice chips, gelatin, water, tea, coffee, and ice pops and fruit juice without fruit bits or pulp.

After a week or so, you can now slowly include low-fiber foods in your diverticulitis diet. You can begin with fruits (without skin, canned or cooked), green beans, carrots and potatoes (without skin), eggs, fish, poultry, and white rice. You can also eat regular noodles, pasta, milk, cheese, and yogurt.

What Not To Eat?

1. Food high in Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols (FODMAP)

They are “short-chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols that are poorly absorbed by the body” which results in bloating and stomach pain. Foods with high FODMAP are:

  • High FODMAP vegetables- cabbage, broccoli, snow peas, asparagus, leeks, sweet corn, mushrooms, brussels sprouts, garlic and onions, celery, cauliflower, beetroot, and artichokes
  • Fruits high in FODMAP (stone or grainy fruits)- pear, peach, apricot, nectarine, plum, mango, watermelon, blackberry,  cherries, prunes, and apple.
  • Alcohol, coconut water, and carbonated drinks.
  • Sweeteners and artificial sweeteners
  • Dairy products with lactose

2. Fiber-Rich Foods

Fiber, as we have discussed in our High Fiber Diet article, adds bulk to your stool which enables colon contractions. If you have an inflamed pouch or diverticula, colon movement would be painful for you. But you don’t want to be constipated because of lack of fiber. Just drink plenty of water to avoid constipation make your stool pass easier. We have a list of high fiber foods here but in general you should avoid beans and legumes, whole grains, and high-fiber fruits. 

3. High-fat and High-Sugar Foods

This includes Diverticulitis Diet with NO red meat, full-fat dairy, refined grains, and fried foods. This will not just help your diverticulitis but your health in general.

Prevention is still better than cure. It is recommended to visit your doctor regularly to have your digestive system checked. And if you already have diverticulitis, we hope this Diverticulitis Diet help you live with it.

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