Diverticulitis occurs when small, bulging pouches (diverticula) in your colon become infected and inflamed — causing severe abdominal pain, nausea, and fever. The treatment of a diverticulitis attack will depend on the severity of the symptoms and whether this is your first attack. Mild cases of diverticulitis are generally treated with a change in diet, antibiotics and rest. Severe cases more than likely will require surgery to remove the diseased portion of your colon.
During an attack of diverticulitis, your doctor may recommend a clear liquid diet or a low-fiber diet. This helps the area of infection to heal.
Foods allowed on a clear-liquid diet include:
- Plain water
- Tea or coffee without cream
- Fruit juices without pulp
- Broth (bouillon or consommé)
- Popsicles without bits of fruit or fruit pulp
Foods allowed on a low-fiber diet include:
- Enriched white bread
- Low-fiber cereals
- White rice or plain pasta, noodles or macaroni
- Fruit juice with little or no pulp
- Most raw, canned or cooked fruits without skins, seeds or membranes
- Tender meat, poultry and fish
- Canned or well-cooked vegetables without seeds, hulls or skins
- Milk, yogurt or cheese without seeds or nuts
- Smooth peanut butter
- Desserts without seeds or nuts
Once your symptoms have improved, often within a few days, you can gradually increase the amount of fiber in your diet. Slowly start by adding about 5 to 10 grams of fiber a day to allow your digestive system to adjust to the higher fiber intake, follow your body’s signs.
To prevent future attacks of diverticulitis:
Follow a high fiber diet A daily intake of at least 25 – 35 grams of fiber daily by including fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, will help soften stools and help them pass more quickly through your colon. This will greatly reduce the pressure in your digestive tract lowering the risk of a diverticulitis attack. If it hard to keep up to this much fiber daily consider a fiber supplement (NOT A LAXATIVE) to keep the fiber intake up.
Water Water Water This is fibers best friend. Fiber works by absorbing water and increasing the soft, bulky waste in your colon, however if you don't drink a sufficient amount of liquid each day to replace what is absorbed, all that great fiber can become a bit more solid and constipation begins.
Exercise A daily exercise program is key, it will help encourage normal bowel function and reduce the pressure inside your colon. Any form of exercise will do from a great walk , swim or ride to lifting weights or aerobic work outs anything will be of great benefit to your colon.
Generally a diverticulitis attack will clear up within a week by use of antibiotics and a liquid or soft diet. (A soft diet includes anything that does not require a lot of chewing: juices, Jell-O, puddings, soup, mashed potatoes, cooked or pureed vegetables, and bananas, will all fit this category.) Once the infection clears up, slowly go back to the suggested high fiber diet gradually as suggested above.
For a complete Diverticulitis Diet Plan go to Diverticulitis Diet.