Small, bulging pockets called diverticula can develop in your digestive system’s lining, particularly in the lower portion of your large intestine or colon. When these pouches become infected or inflamed, it creates a condition called diverticulitis.
Symptoms of Diverticulitis
Diverticulitis can be present without any symptoms. However, for those who do experience signs of this condition, the effects can be uncomfortable and painful. Pain, usually experienced in the lower left abdominal area, can be persistent and sharp, lasting for several days. Other symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, fever, cramps, bloating, and constipation.
Flare-ups of diverticulitis take place when diverticula tear, which can be due to different causes, such as pressure in the colon wall or a diet that is lacking in adequate fiber. When your dietary intake is low in fiber, your stools become hard, constipation sets in, and more pressure is necessary in order to move stool through the bowels.
Contact your Atlanta area gastroenterologist or the offices of Digestive Care Physicians if you are experiencing symptoms of diverticulitis. Once a diagnosis has been confirmed, treatment can begin, which can vary from prescribing medications to supplemental fiber products to dietary changes.
A high-fiber diet may be recommended to help relieve symptoms and make stools easier to pass. If your symptoms are severe, your diverticulitis diet may temporarily include just liquids, such as water, fruit juices, broths, gelatins, and ice pops. This will help clear your digestive tract. Low-fiber, gentle foods are next slowly added to your diet.
Diverticulitis Diet: High In Fiber
If you have been on a liquid diet for a few days and have slowly reintroduced low-fiber, solid foods to your system over a period of a week or two, it’s time to consider adding more fiber to your meals on a regular basis. A long-term diet may begin, with high-fiber foods gradually being added to the menu. Some fiber-rich foods that are good to include in a diverticulitis diet are:
- High-fiber bran cereals
- Whole-wheat pasta
- Oat bran muffins
- Whole grain breads
- Cooked beans: kidney, navy, and pinto
- Fresh fruits, such as apples, pears, raspberries, prunes
- Vegetables that can include green peas, collards, potatoes, winter squash
The board certified gastroenterologists at Digestive Care Physicians can expertly diagnose and treat diverticulitis and other digestive-related conditions. We have four convenient locations in Alpharetta, Cumming, Johns Creek, and Lawrenceville, GA. Our offices at Digestive Care Physicians also serve patients from the surrounding areas, such as Roswell, Milton, Duluth, Canton, Suwanee, Sandy Springs, Marietta, and beyond.
This article is not meant to take the place of professional medical advice. If you have concerns about diverticulitis or other questions, please make an appointment by contacting a Digestive Care Physicians office near you.
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