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Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is a gastrointestinal disease characterized by inflammation of abnormal pouches—diverticula— in the wall of the large intestine. Symptoms may include lower abdominal pain of sudden onset, but the onset may also occur over a few days.

Diverticulitis occurs in the large intestine. Small areas of the intestines disfigure and form a pouch, where food can enter and cause infection, mucosal trauma and acute pain[1].

Diverticulosis is when the disease is asymptomatic and Diverticular disease is when the disease causes some pain in the lower abdomen.

It is commonly related to a low fibre diet and diets high in red meat, fat and refined grains[2]. Smoking and obesity are also associated with diverticulitis. Diets rich is fibre, fruit, vegetables and wholegrains and healthy lifestyles including running and having a healthy weight is associated with a reduced risk.

Genetics can also play a role in the pathogenesis of Diverticular Disease[3].

Diet

The aim here is to include foods which will help to prevent diverticular disease and diverticulitis flare-ups. Eating a range of fruit and vegetables is going to help increase your fibre intake. In addition, include complex carbohydrates such as legumes, pulses and wholegrains as these will also increase your fibre and aid in weight loss (if appropriate for you).

Swap some of your red meat days for fish days and you will reduce inflammation and improve digestion.

Probiotic foods such as sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi and yogurt will populate the digestive system with beneficial bacteria which will support digestive processes. Start off with just small amounts of these foods and slowly build up your portions as they might initially cause some digestive symptoms. Specific probiotic supplements can also be beneficial.

Be mindful when eating small foods such as nuts and seeds as these can become stuck in the pouches and cause some issues. Grind or blend nuts and seeds to help reduce this risk.

Start exercising regularly to support over-all health as well as weight loss.

Supplements

To help with reducing inflammation, consider a good quality fish oil[4], as this has anti-inflammatory effects in the body. Inflammation is one of the contributing factors to developing Diverticular disease, so getting on top of this is important.

Turmeric and Boswellia[5] are two more potent anti-inflammatories which help to restore peace in the digestive tract if there is any inflammation present.

Probiotics may also be supportive to help keep the balance of both the digestive system healthy and the immune system healthy.

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Disclaimer

Please note that the information contained within this website does not and should not replace medical advice, and is not intended to treat or diagnose. We always recommend you consult with your doctor. Our Nutritional Therapy team is highly trained and we offer one to one Nutritional Therapy Consultations, which are designed to be complementary to any medical treatment from a functional medicine approach, as well as offering a preventative & optimal health focus.