You may (or may not) have noticed that the site had gone a little bit silent over the last month or so, and I apologise for this. Unfortunately I had an unscheduled hospital visit that completely knocked me off my feet, and it’s taken me a few weeks to feel ‘right’ again!
One ‘plus’ that’s come out of all this – I have a new subject to cover on this site…
Diverticulitis (or more specifically – what foods aggravate diverticulitis?).
It’s not a medical condition I was that clued up about before it hit me, but I certainly know a lot about it now. Talk about pain in the gut area – Wow, this condition takes you out BIG time!
Anyway, if you’re reading this article, you’re 99.9% likely to have experienced this stomach condition, so there’s no point me banging on about how painful it is. Let’s just get into the ‘guts’ of the subject matter (pun intended!).
What is Diverticulitis Disease?
Okay, this nasty little blighter is a rather sensitive disease that targets your digestive tract. It is considered a ‘serious’ medical condition that produces pouches in the lining of your intestine.
These pouches are called diverticula and they get inflamed from time to time – this is where the MASS of pain comes into play (and I MEAN pain!).
More often than not, diverticula occur without really causing any sort of pain, infection or inflammation. This less painful version is known as diverticulosis, a less serious condition than diverticulitis.
Diverticulitis is more common in people over 60, which is a bit of a bummer, considering I’m only 44!
Diverticulitis can lead to:
- severe abdominal pain
- bloody bowel movements
- abscess, or an inflamed pocket of tissue
Unfortunately I experienced a handful of these health problems and complications just recently.
Studies show that your diet can effect your diverticulitis, so read on to find out what foods you should be eating with the condition, and what foods you should avoid…
What Foods to Avoid With Diverticulitis
The main root causes of diverticulitis are still pretty much a mystery, so there are no known foods that are thought to ease symptoms of the condition. On top of this, the National Institutes of Health have even come out and said that you don’t need to avoid certain food groups if you have diverticulitis.
However, recent research seems to point to the fact that a diet that limits foods that are high in FODMAPs, can be beneficial for sufferers of diverticulitis. FODMAPs stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols – Foods which are known to make IBS worse.
The following are the more common choices that are put into the FODMAPs category:
- fruits, such as apples, pears, and plums
- dairy foods, such as milk, yogurt, and ice cream
- fermented foods, such as sauerkraut or kimchi
- Brussels sprouts
- onions and garlic
High Fiber With Diverticulitis
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are in the middle of a diverticulitis flare up it’s probably best to avoid anything that’s high fiber!
If however, you are not in the middle of a flare up, high fiber foods may be helpful for people with diverticulosis, and could even keep the lingering shadow of diverticulitis at bay.
During a flare up you will want to avoid the following fiber choices:
- beans and legumes such as navy beans, chickpeas, lentils, and kidney beans
- whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, oats, amaranth, spelt, and bulgur
Fatty & High Sugar Foods – NOPE!
If you’re not eating a lot of fiber, and you’re also stuffing yourself with foods high in sugar and fat, you could well be asking for trouble as far as diverticulitis goes (i.e. getting rid of them from your diet may help prevent diverticulitis or reduce its symptoms).
Here is a list of foods you should consider cutting down:
- red meat
- refined grains
- full-fat dairy
- fried foods
What Foods Aggravate Diverticulitis – Conclusion
A few years back, doctors were still telling Diverticulitis sufferers that they should stay away from nuts, popcorn, and most seeds. At the time, it was thought that these small pieces of food could enter the pockets in your stomach, and cause problems.
However, recent research seems to indicate that there is no evidence linking those foods with increased diverticular issues.
You are also recommended to stay clear of alcohol if you suffer from Diverticulitis…but I’m personally going to decide to ignore this recommendation (each to their own!).
Now it’s over to you – do you have any Diverticulitis issues or information you would like to share with us?
If so, we would love to hear from you.
Please leave your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below.