Diverticulitis is a prevalent and severe disease that infects the digestive tract with the formation of small and abnormal pouches in the lining of the small intestines.
According to the survey, 65 percent of people suffering from Diverticulitis, which is more common at the age of 60. Around 40 percent of cases of Diverticulitis is mainly influenced by genetic or heredity. Up to 25 percent of Diverticulitis is attributed to bacterial infections.
People who suffer from Diverticulitis are suggested to follow a standard diet that contains Low-Fiber food that is a major or primary source. They can also include High-Fiber foods along with doctor-prescribed medications.
Intake of Low Dietary Fiber and Clear liquid Diet plays a significant role in diet plan for those who suffer from the disease called Diverticulitis. Let’s learn about the diet for Diverticulitis.
Diet for Diverticulitis
1. Low-Fiber Diet
A low-fiber diet is the standard and primary diet plan of Diverticulitis(1). It promotes regular bowel movements in the intestine, which makes stools bulky and soft and enabling them to pass through the colon easily. Low fiber helps in reducing the frequency of stools, which further helps in reducing the GI discomfort.
Remember, If there is no intake of limited or less food, the pressure on the wall of colon may arise. This condition can happen because the food becomes hard and could be challenging to pass through the colon and unfortunately take a form of Diverticula.
To ease the symptoms of the disease, we should start consuming Low Fiber Diet for Diverticulitis that includes:
- Meat, Fish, Poultry Eggs (includes: baked, boiled, grilled or steamed and deli slices of Eggs)
- Dairy (includes Lactose-free dairy and Low Lactose dairy: Cream or Hard cheese, Yogurt)
- Meat Alternatives (includes Almond, Coconut, Rice, Soy, Tofu, Creamy nuts, butter, etc.)
- Vegetables (includes Cooked; NO pulp, no skin such that Beets, Carrots, Spinach, Potatoes, etc.)
- Fruits (includes Avocado, Banana, Lemon Melons, or peeled fruits such as Apple Pear, etc.)
- Beverages (includes: decaf coffee, Fruit and Vegetable Juices, Tea, Sport drink)
- Desserts (includes: Sugar-free desserts, Marshmallows, Chocolate, Angel Food cake)
- Grains (made with refined Wheat such as Bread, Biscuits, etc.)
- Seasoning condiments (includes: Broth, Butter, Cooking oil, All spices, Salad, Salt, Vinegar, etc.)
Follow a low-fiber diet usually 10-15 gm of fiber per day until the problem resolves.
2. Clear Liquid Diet
A clear liquid diet is recommended to Diverticulitis patients to help them relieve the stress caused due to digestive problems such as Diarrhoea(2). The main motive of the liquid diet is to make you feel hydrated all day long and quickly clean the intestines and stomach. It also contains Vitamins and Minerals that are needed to maintain the energy of the human body.
Some Clear liquids diet for Diverticulitis:
- Clear soups
- Sports Drink (includes: Vitamin Water, Powerade, etc.)
- Tea and Coffee (without milk or cream)
- Lemonade (without pulp)
- Clear Broth (fat-free)
- Fruit Juices without Pulp: Apple and White Cranberry)
- Carbonated Soda (includes: Pepsi, cola, etc.)
- Hard candies (includes: Peppermint and lemon)
- Clear Nutritional drinks (includes: Ensure and Enlive)
- Plain Gelatin
- Popsicles (without Fruit pulp or pieces)
Before the intake of liquid diet, you must consult a doctor because it is deficient in calories and nutrients. Clear Liquid Diet is advised only after specific medical procedures such as colonoscopies and tends to be recommended by doctors only for a few days until the problem resolves.
[ Read: Suffering from Diverticulitis? Remedies to Free Yourself from It ]
Other Food Items
Except for Low-fiber and Clear liquid Diet, you can consume other food items during Diverticulitis, namely:
- Brussels Sprouts
- Onion and Garlic
- Certain Fruits
- fermented foods (includes: kimchi or sauerkraut)
At the beginning of your diet plan, avoid whole-grain foods, fruits, and vegetables. This will help your colon rest. After you are better, you can add more fiber to your diet and avoid certain foods.
These foods provide comfort from irritable bowel movements and help to feel relaxed over time.
However, you must limit the food intake to a quantity beneficial to you. Inadequate or higher doses of the diet may lead to more severe problems that lead to Diverticular bleeding. It brings more complications and may take a long time to heal.
It can be concluded that the Diverticulitis is familiar, yet a challenging disease that has become increasingly prevalent. With the help of a reasonable amount of Diet for Diverticulitis, the symptoms for diseases can reduce to a great extent. Not only a proper and adequate diet, but also an experts’ advice is needed to get rid of it completely. Because every person is unique and requires a specific diet plan to cope up with their situation.
1. What Are the Different Stages of Diverticulitis?
There are four stages for Diverticulitis are:
- Diverticulitis with a Pericolic Abscess.
- Diverticulitis with a Distant Abscess (pelvic or retroperitoneal).
- Purulent Peritonitis.
- Fecal Peritonitis
Where Stage 1 can be considered to identify disease, Stage 2 may examine for non-operative treatment. And, Stage 3 and 4 find for surgical emergencies.
2. Why Is the High Fiber Diet Risky for Diverticulitis?
Every individual is different and subjected to a different condition, stage, symptoms, causes, and effects of Diverticulitis. According to the situation, one must slowly add high-fiber food of 30-35 grams per day. Excess of this may flare up the symptoms or worsen the condition, leading to more pain and an uncomfortable situation.
3. Can Diverticulitis Pain Radiate to Back?
Most patients with diverticulosis do not report pain in the back. The most common symptoms of diverticulitis are abdominal pain and fever.
4. Are Eggs Good for Diverticulitis?
Yes, doctors may advise you to start with low-fiber foods (white bread, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products) before introducing you to high-fiber foods.
5. What Foods Should I Eat If I Have Diverticulitis?
- White rice, white bread, or white pasta, but avoid gluten-containing foods if you’re intolerant.
- Dry, low-fiber cereals.
- Processed fruits such as applesauce or canned peaches.
- Cooked animal proteins such as fish, poultry, or eggs.
- Olive oil or other oils.
6. Can You Eat Salad If You Have Diverticulitis?
Caffeine also interacts with certain antibiotics, increasing the length of time the caffeine remains in the body. So, although you don’t need to stop caffeine altogether while on a diet for diverticulitis, it’s a good idea to avoid taking in too much while your bowel is healing.