Diverticulosis is a type of medical disease affecting your digestive tract. In this disease, people develop little bulging pouches in the large intestine lining, called as diverticula, thus giving rise to the condition known as diverticulosis. Sometimes these pouches may become infected or inflamed, leading to a painful condition known as diverticulitis.
Experts often believe that diverticulosis can occur due to a low – fiber diet. This was understood when the disease incidence observed in the people of Asia and Africa was low due to their high – fiber diet.
What are the signs and symptoms of diverticulosis?
Knowing that one has diverticulosis can be a little difficult since diverticulosis usually causes nil to few symptoms.
With diverticulitis, this infected or inflamed diverticula may even tear leading to serious health complications such as –
- Severe abdominal pain
- Bloody bowel movements
What foods to avoid with diverticulosis?
The exact cause for diverticulosis is yet unknown, so a list of foods to be avoided is not available. Moreover, the National Institutes of Health states that there isn’t a need to avoid certain foods with diverticulosis.
However, it would be good to keep certain foods to a minimum. Consult your doctor about your diet and the foods to either avoid or consume to a minimum.
High – FODMAP foods
According to the article of research published on the gastrojournal, researchers found that diet containing low amounts of foods that are rich in FODMAPs can be helpful for people with irritable bowel syndrome. This can be said the same for people with diverticulosis and diverticulosis, as suggested by the research article as published by Baishdeng Publishing Group Inc.
FODMAP foods include fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. Some examples of the foods rich in FODMAPs are –
- Dairy foods such as milk, yogurt, and ice cream
- Fermented foods, such as kimchi and sauerkraut
- Brussels sprouts
- Onions and garlic
- Certain fruits such as pears, apples and plums
Foods high in sugar and fat
According to the research article published on gastrojournal, it was suggested that diet high in fat and sugar can be linked to increased incidence of diverticulosis and diverticulitis. Certain foods suggested to help prevent diverticulosis or reduce the symptoms of it are:
- Full – fat dairy products
- Fried foods
- Red meat
- Refined grains
Alcohol consumption is believed to be a risk factor for colonic diverticulosis as suggested by the research article on journals.lww.
Following a diverticulosis diet as suggested by the doctor is however a temporary measure that helps give your digestive system a chance to rest. Here, the oral intake is significantly reduced until the diarrhea and bleeding subsides.
The doctor would star you on clear liquids diet for a short period of time. A clear liquid diet usually includes:
- Soup broth or stock
- Ice chips
- Ice pops with frozen fruit puree or pieces of finely chopped fruit
- Gelatin (example: Jell–O shots)
- Tea without any creams, sweeteners or flavors
- Coffee without any creams, sweeteners, or flavors
- Clear electrolyte drinks
- Fruit juices without pulp
Gradually, as your health starts improving, your doctor would recommend you a low – fiber diet. A low – fiber diet usually includes:
- Cooked animal proteins such as eggs, fish or poultry
- White rice, white noodles, or white pasta
- Dry, low – fiber cereals
- Refined white bread
- Milk, yogurt and cheese
- Processed fruits such as canned peaches, or applesauce
- Olive oils or other oils
- Cooked spinach, beets, carrot or asparagus
- Potatoes with no skin
- Yellow squash, zucchini or pumpkin as peeled with seeds removed and cooked
- Fruit juices with no pulp
- Vegetable juices with no pulp
- Canned or cooked fruits without skin or seeds
- Canned or cooked vegetables such as green beans, carrots but without skin
Eventually, you can ease back into your regular diet and doctor can then suggest you to consume high – fiber foods in your everyday diet. The fiber content helps to soften and add bulk to your stool thus allowing easy passage through the colon. This would eventually reduce the pressure on the digestive tract. Some foods that are high on fiber and to be included in meals are:
- Whole – grains in your bread, pastas and cereals
- Fresh fruits such as peers, prunes and apples
- Vegetables such as potatoes, peas, spinach, squashes
- Beans including kidney beans and black beans
Any diet you are on whether a clear – liquid diet or low – fiber diet or high – fiber diet, drinking at least eight glasses of fluid daily is essential. It helps in keeping you hydrates and supports your gastro- intestinal health.
You should however always consult your doctor before making any dramatic dietary changes.
Diverticulosis is a medical condition in which there are pouches developed from the walls of your intestine, usually the colon. Sometimes, these pouches or diverticula may get infected or inflamed causing severe abdominal pain, leading to a condition called as diverticulitis. The treatment plan usually includes antibiotics and maybe surgery if its in extreme condition.
Foods to usually avoid during diverticulosis and diverticulitis include high FODMAPs foods such as dairy foods, fermented foods, beans, cabbage, sprouts, onion and garlic. You should also avoid diet high on fat and sugar such as red meat, full – fat diary products and fried foods. It is suggested to avoid alcohols too.
Your doctor may suggest you to follow a clear liquid diet for a few days so as to give your digestive system rest. The liquids included are water, broth, tea or coffee with no cream or sweeteners, ice chips, ice pops, fruit juices with no pulp, soup, gelatin such as Jell – O shots. Then it is followed by a low fiber diet which includes refined white bread, white pasta or noodles, low – fiber cereals, cooked animal proteins, canned or cooked fruits and vegetables, olive oils, etc. The doctor can then suggest you to ease back into your regular diet including high – fiber content.