Diverticular disease is surprisingly very common, although most people never have any symptoms. Diverticular are pockets that develop in the colon (large intestine) wall and diverticulosis describes the presence of these pockets. Diverticulitis is when these pockets become inflamed and symptoms such as abdominal pain (usually in the lower left abdomen), diarrhoea, cramps, alteration of bowel habit and rectal bleeding appear. More intense symptoms are associated with serious complications such as perforation, abscess or fistula formation.
For the most part treatment is fairly simple based around a healthy diet which is high in dietary fibre and fluid. Fibre is like a sponge and therefore needs water to be able to move easily through the digestive system, so it is therefore vital, when increasing your fibre intake, to also increase your fluid intake. Aim for 10-12 cups of fluid per day minimum. With water, fibre helps to produce soft, bulky stools which pass quickly through the intestine and will help stop particles from getting caught in the Diverticular.
In diverticulitis it is also wise to avoid foods with small bits, as these may aggravate the Diverticular. Avoid shredded marmalade, peas, sweetcorn, dried fruit or fruit containing small seeds.
The following meal plan is an example plan of a healthy diet which is suitable for people with diverticular disease to help prevent the onset of diverticulitis. Use this to give you an idea of what are healthy nutritious foods to include, but don't forget to vary your food choices and to drink plenty of water through the day. Remember to check with your doctor before following this plan.
As with all the meal plans this is merely a guide and you are encouraged to eat a variety of different meats / fish / alternatives, complex carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables every day, and drink plenty of water. Adapt the plan to suit your own needs and daily routine and vary portions and food choices from day to day.
Plans for people with illness or medical conditions in no way should override advice provided specifically for you by your doctor, clinical dietitian or other clinician. We advise that you seek the advice of a suitably qualified physician before commencing any exercise regime, following any dietary or nutritional regimen or beginning the use of any dietary supplements, legal or otherwise. The information provided on the Website is intended as information only and does not constitute advice. Therefore, it must not be relied on to assist in making or refraining from making a decision, or to assist in deciding on a course of action.