Diverticulitis diet: The 7 foods to avoid if you have diverticulitis

Diverticulitis: Doctor discusses symptoms of the disease

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Diverticulitis can be extremely difficult for many. The condition becomes more common as you age. For many, a healthy diet can have a huge impact on the symptoms of diverticulitis and some find avoiding certain foods reduce or ease their symptoms.

Diverticulitis or diverticular disease are digestive conditions that impact your large intestine (bowel).

Diverticula are small bulges or pockets which can develop in the lining of the intestine as you get older.

Most people with the condition do not have any symptoms and only realise they suffer from the disease after having a scan for another reason.

When there are no symptoms, the condition is called diverticulosis.

There are several symptoms of diverticulitis include:

  • Pain which can be constant and persist for many days
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Fever
  • abdominal tenderness
  • Constipation or less commonly, diarrhoea.

Does diet impact diverticulitis?

When the bulges or pockets become inflamed this is known as diverticulitis.

The condition can cause severe abdominal pain, fever, nausea and a marked change in your bowel habits.

Mild diverticulitis can be treated with rest, changes to your diet and antibiotics.

Severe or recurrent diverticulitis may require surgery.

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What foods should you avoid if you have diverticulitis?

Often those with severe symptoms of diverticulitis will be advised to have a liquid diet including water, fruit juices, broths and ice lollies.

Doctors recommend people avoid hard-to-digest foods as these can get stuck in their digestive system and lead to inflammation.

However, in recent years, evidence against this has been challenged by some experts.

Foods you should avoid include:

  • Whole grains
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fruits and vegetables with skin and seeds
  • Popcorn
  • Beans
  • Red meat
  • Processed foods.

Each individual is different so you should try to monitor which foods impact you and your flare-ups if you have this condition.

Often people find a low FODMAP diet is best for diverticulitis.

Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAPs) are a type of carbohydrate which some believe prevent high pressure in the colon.

Foods high in FODMAPs include certain fruits such as apples, dairy products such as milk, fermented foods such as kimchi, beans, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, onions and garlic.

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