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How Your Diet Impacts Diverticulitis

Diverticula are small marble-sized pouches that develop on the outer layer of the digestive tract as a result of the inner layer pushing through the weak outer layer.  Diverticulitis is a condition that develops when the diverticula tear and become infected or inflamed.  This condition is common among people who are older and consume a low fiber diet.

Symptoms of diverticulitis flare


You can have Diverticulitis without any symptoms and when you do, they are as follows:


●        Severe abdominal pain

●        Nausea

●        Vomiting

●        Bloating          

●        Fever

●        Constipation

●        Diarrhea and bloody stool

Diverticulitis recovery diet


If you're experiencing the more severe symptoms of diverticulitis flare, your healthcare provider may recommend a diverticulitis recovery diet as part of the treatment process.  In the beginning, you will be put on a liquid diet which will include liquids such as water, fruit juices without pulp, broth, gelatin, and popsicles without pulp or fruit bits.  The liquid diet works better when used alongside antibiotics. You will then be allowed to slowly introduce low fiber foods like eggs, milk and milk products, refined grains, fish, poultry, and low fiber cereals into your diet as your symptoms improve.


Later, you will be allowed to introduce high fiber foods like bran, whole wheat foods, whole grains, brown rice, beans and legumes, fruits, and vegetables to your diet. When you eat a high-fiber diet, you will not suffer from constipation and the pressure on your colon will be eased considerably.  The introduction of fiber should be done gradually to avoid bloating and discomfort.

Foods to avoid with Diverticulitis


So of the foods to avoid with diverticulitis are:


●        Red and processed meat

●        Foods high in sugar and fats

●        Foods that have high carbohydrate concentration that puts more pressure on the colon

When Do You Need Surgery for Diverticulitis


You might require surgery if you have a severe case of diverticulitis.  You need surgery if you have any of the following:


●        Bleeding from the anus

●        Intense abdominal pain experienced for several days

●        Colon blockage that leads to bowel obstruction

●        Perforation of the colon

●        Signs and symptoms of asepsis

●        Constipation, diarrhea, and vomiting that persists


There two types of diverticulitis surgery that can be done i.e Bowel resection with primary anastomosis and Bowel resection with colostomy. When conducting a Bowel resection with primary anastomosis, the surgeon will remove any part of the colon that’s infected and sew together the ends of the healthy ones.  In a bowel resection with colostomy surgery, the surgeon will cut the infected part of a colon and make a connection through the abdomen.  Each of the above surgeries can either be open surgery or laparoscopic.


If you’re concerned about these symptoms and think you may have diverticulitis, check out this article: When Do You Need Surgery For Diverticulitis?