Diverticulitis Diet: Foods to Eat and Avoid – Health Life Kit


 


The symptoms of diverticulitis can be influenced by what you eat. Some foods can help with symptom prevention, while others can exacerbate a flare-up.

Diverticulitis is one of the most common gastrointestinal diagnoses in US clinics, according to an article in the journal Gastroenterology. Antibiotics or surgery may be used in medical treatment.

During an acute flare-up of diverticulitis, doctors may advise people to stick to a clear liquid diet. According to some research, dietary changes such as increasing fiber and probiotics while avoiding certain carbohydrates and red meat may help some people with diverticulitis symptoms.

This article goes over what foods to eat, what foods to avoid, and other things to think about.

Can healthy diet help?

Diverticulitis is a condition in which the small pouches called diverticula in the intestine become inflamed or infected. Abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, fever, constipation, and diarrhea are all symptoms of diverticulitis.

Diverticulosis is a condition in which a person's pouches are not inflamed or infected, and they usually have no symptoms. Diverticulitis affects less than 5% of people with diverticulosis, according to current estimates Trusted Source.

Aging, increased fat around the abdomen, inactive lifestyles, and poor diet, according to a 2018 review, are all risk factors for developing diverticulitis.

According to the review, there isn't enough high-quality research to determine which diets are beneficial for acute diverticulitis. However, they did suggest that eating a high-fiber diet after recovering from acute diverticulitis could lower the risk of recurrence.

  1. A perforation or abscess in the colon
  2. Peritonitis is an inflammation or infection of the lining of the stomach.
  3. A fistula is an unusual tunnel that connects two organs or an organ to the outside of the body.
  4. A stumbling block in the passage of food or stool through the intestines

Continue reading to learn more about which foods to eat and which to avoid if you have diverticulitis.

Foods to eat

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains has been linked to a lower risk of diverticulitis in men, according to one study.

Foods high in fiber

A clear liquid diet has traditionally been recommended by doctors for people suffering from acute diverticulitis flare-ups. After that, they may switch to a low-fiber diet until their symptoms improve. Once a person's symptoms have improved, some doctors advise them to eat a high-fiber diet.

Dietary fiber intake of 14 grams (g) per 1,000 calories is recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015–2020. Foods high in fiber include:

  1. Bran cereal with a high fiber content that is ready to eat
  2. Fruits, such as pear, avocado, apple, and prunes beans and pulses, such as navy beans, chickpeas, split peas, and lentils
  3. Green peas, potatoes, squash, and parsnips are examples of vegetables.
  4. Bulgur, quinoa, barley, and whole wheat are examples of grains.

The following are examples of serious diverticulitis complications:

  1. If certain foods aggravate symptoms, a person should consult their doctor. Some doctors may recommend a fiber supplement, such as methylcellulose (Citrucel) or psyllium, according to the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) (Metamucil).

Probiotics

Probiotics are good bacteria that keep your gut in good shape. Probiotics can be effective in treating symptomatic diverticular disease, according to a 2013 study, especially when combined with medication.

Probiotics are available as a supplement, but they are also found naturally in some foods. Natural yogurt and fermented foods, for example, are examples of these foods.

  1. sauerkraut
  2. kefir
  3. tempeh
  4. miso

People who have been taking antibiotics may want to include these foods in their diet to help repopulate the gut with beneficial bacteria.

The potential probiotic effects of fermented foods, according to a 2019 review of the health benefits of fermented foods, can support a healthy digestive system and may help symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). However, there isn't enough evidence to say whether or not they have an effect.

Foods to stay away from

The typical Western diet is high in red meat and refined grains, with little fiber. This type of diet was linked to a higher risk of diverticulitis in a 2017 study.

Nuts, popcorn, and seeds, including pumpkin and sesame seeds, are safe for people with diverticulitis, according to the UCSF. Tomato, zucchini, cucumber, strawberry, and raspberry seeds are also safe to eat, according to experts. Doctors may have previously advised people to eliminate these foods from their diets.

However, each person is unique, and some people may find that certain foods aggravate their symptoms. Anyone who notices that a particular food causes pain or a change in symptoms should avoid it and consult their doctor or healthcare provider.

The High FODMAP foods

Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAPs) are abbreviated as FODMAPs. These are carbohydrate foods that have been linked to digestive issues like bloating, gas, and diarrhea, according to studies.

Low intake of FODMAP foods may help to reduce the risk of diverticular disease and alleviate symptoms, according to the author of Dietary Patterns and Whole Plant Food in Aging and Disease.

According to a 2016 hypothesis, a high-fiber diet combined with FODMAP foods can result in excess gas, which can exacerbate diverticulitis symptoms.

Foods high in FODMAPs include:

  1. Onions, mushrooms, cauliflower, and garlic are some of the ingredients in this dish.
  2. Pears, peaches, apricots, dried fruit, apples, apricots
  3. Milk, yogurt, and cheese are examples of dairy foods.
  4. Pulses and legumes
  5. Cereals and bread
  6. Sweeteners and sugars

Because some of these foods also contain beneficial fiber, it's important to talk to a doctor about your food choices and elimination. Because each person's dietary requirements and sensitivities are unique, doctors advise seeking professional advice.

Red meat

Higher intakes of red and processed meat have been linked to diverticulitis in studies. According to a 2017 study, if people follow a healthy diet and lifestyle, they may be able to prevent 50% of diverticulitis cases.

Consumption of no more than 51 grams (g) of red meat per day, 23 grams (g) of dietary fiber per day, at least 2 hours of vigorous exercise per week, maintaining a healthy weight, and never smoking are all recommended.

Another study in the Gut journal looked at males in the United States. Higher intakes of red meat, particularly unprocessed red meat, were linked to a higher risk of diverticulitis, according to the study. They suggest that substituting poultry or fish for red meat may reduce risk.

Other things to think about

Diverticulitis is caused by a combination of factors, including diet and other aspects of one's lifestyle. Obesity, physical inactivity, and smoking, according to a 2018 review, may all play a role in its development.

Several medications are also linked to an increased risk of diverticulitis, according to the study. The use of non-aspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, or opioid analgesics on a regular basis may increase one's risk.

Diverticulitis may be linked to low levels of vitamin D, which is obtained primarily through sun exposure.

According to the study, genes are responsible for about half of a person's susceptibility to the disease, though genetic markers have yet to be discovered. If a person has a family history of diverticulitis, they may be at a higher risk.

Summary

More research is needed to determine which foods are beneficial to people who have diverticulitis.

Researchers are currently investigating how beneficial gut bacteria can support overall health, with promising results for diverticulitis as well. However, there is currently insufficient high-quality evidence to make recommendations.

Fiber appears to be a crucial component. A high-fiber diet may lower the risk of diverticulitis and improve overall digestive health. People who are experiencing a flare-up, on the other hand, may benefit from avoiding high-fiber foods.

Reducing your intake of red and processed meat may also help to lower your risk and symptoms. It might be a good idea to replace them with poultry, fish, and plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.

Being active, eating a healthy diet, limiting alcohol consumption, and quitting smoking can all help to improve overall health and reduce the risk of obesity and disease?

If you have diverticulitis, you should always talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian nutritionist about how to best manage your symptoms through diet and lifestyle changes.

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