Diverticula is a kind of bulging pouch that develops in the lining of the large intestine. It usually happens in people of older age group. The pouches might get inflamed and infected, thereby leading to a condition known as diverticulitis...During a diverticulitis flare up the patient will be suffering from abdominal pain, alternation in bowels, nausea and digestion problems.
So does the diverticulitis diet help?
Doctors insist on following the diverticulitis diet for such patients because it is soothing for the digestive system and alleviates the symptoms. Since the diet entails consumption of simple and light foods, the patient recovers quickly, along with medicines.
What is the diverticulitis diet?
As said before the diet mainly consists of soft and liquid variety of foods.
The clear liquid diet
Clear liquids do not bother the digestive system at all. Rather they aid in healing symptoms of abdominal pain and regularize bowels.
Clear liquids means- pulp free fruit juices, broth, clear soda, and plain gelatin. Ice cubes, cold water and pulp free ice pop are very much helpful for the digestive system.
The clear liquid diet is suggested for the first 2-3 days of flare up. It is not continued in the long run because lack of proper nutrition can lead to weakness, nausea and light-headedness.
Soft diet low in fibres
Soft foods moderately rich in fibres are easily digestible. There is a controversy regarding whether to incorporate high fibre foods or moderately low fibre diet. The benefits of the latter definitely weigh more because foods loaded with fibres can intensely affect bowel movements.
You doctor should help you choosing low fibre cereals and white rice, pasta and bread. Apart from that you can also have low fat milk and yogurt in moderation.
Solid foods are started after the clear liquid diet phase is over.
What foods are excluded from the diverticulitis diet?
Anything that exerts pressure on the digestive system needs to be avoided.
Fruits and vegetables containing seeds, for example tomatoes, guava, etc. should not be eaten. Furthermore, nuts and seeds, including popcorns could be dangerous for diverticulitis as they tend to get stuck in the pouches.
Red meat and other types of high fibre foods like whole grains must be restricted to prevent future outbreak of diverticulitis. Also limit intake of cream and cheese.
Are there any risks associated with diverticulitis diet?
Diverticulitis diet is recommended by doctors after examining your health condition. The guidelines will be explained to you and therefore, it is safe. The only problem that patients might experience is –weakness, during the clear liquid phase.
You need to make a smooth transition to normal diet. Do not start gorging on high fibres and commit any mistake in choosing the foods. Listen to what your doctor advices regarding your food habits to recover speedily.
Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: February 24, 2014