diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is a disorder that affects the colon in a person. Diverticulitis causes pouches like structures on the wall of the colon. It gets very painful when the pouches swell or inflamed. It is common in older people, age 60 – 80.

The pouches formed on the wall of colon can weaken the colon and its efficiency. Many researches show that there is no particular reason for pouch like formation in the walls. There is no specific reason that can be zeroed in as the cause of the diverticulitis.

Symptoms

Many people who are affected by diverticulosis, do not have any symptoms. When diverticulosis causes symptoms in one person, it is called as diverticular disease. When the pouches gets swells, it can cause painful symptoms.

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Cramps
  • Abdominal pain on the left side
  • Bloating
  • Painless bleeding from rectum
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting

When not taken care at the right time, it might lead to the below mentioned complications.

  • Abscess
  • Narrowing of the colon
  • Tear of colon
  • Fistula

 

Causes

Though there are no specific reasons that cause diverticulosis, doctors suggest that obesity, lack of physical activity can be one of the major reasons for diverticulosis. A low-fiber diet is also found to be one the reasons why the colon is strained a lot, which makes the walls to form pouch like structures. Chronic constipation can also be a major cause for diverticulitis.

Diagnosis

When a person has the above mentioned symptoms, doctor will suggest you to get an X-scan done in the abdomen area. Others tests can be

  • Abdominal scan
  • Tomography scan
  • Colonoscopy

 

Treatment

Once a person is diagnosed with diverticulosis, food choices should must be made very carefully. High fiber diet will be very important to avoid constipation. Chronic constipation will cause more pressure on the colon which will lead to diverticulosis. Doctors will also suggest to avoid popcorn, nuts and seeds as a prevention.

Antibiotics and pain reliever will be administered after diagnosis. More fluids and plenty of water will also help to alleviate the symptoms.

Higher consumption of probiotics or ‘good bacteria’, will also help to recover and prevent further recurrence of swelling in the colon. When the symptoms are severe, sometimes surgical procedures will be recommended.

Recommended natural high fiber food

High fiber diet can help you to increase fiber content in your body which reduces constipation. It also helps to reduce cholesterol and blood glucose. High fiber diet will help to have smoother bowel movements and lesser pressure on the intestines and colon.

Too much of fiber can also make the food move through intestines very quickly, which leads to less absorption of minerals and nutrients from the food. It might also cause gas, bloating and sometimes cramps in the abdomen area. Studies show that recommended amount of fiber for people are mentioned below.

  • Men under age 50 require 38 grams of fiber each day
  • Women under age 50 required 25 grams of fiber each day
  • Men above 50 years require 30 grams of fiber each day
  • Women above 50 years require 21 grams each day

 

Lentils

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Lentils are rich in fiber and takes very less time to cook. They can be very stomach filling and comes in all colors and shapes. These pulses can be included in everyday diet for maximum fiber absorption by the body. Sometimes, it can cause gas, so when combined with garlic or ginger, it cannot cause any gas in the abdomen.

They contain zero cholesterol and fat, so it is ideal for obese people also. They are rich in potassium, sodium, protein and dietary fiber.

Broccoli

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Broccoli is a popular vegetable that can be included in many salads and can be sautéed with other ingredients like onion, tomatoes, garlic and bell peppers. They also taste very good with egg, olive oil and almond oil.

Raspberries and black berries

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Berries are one of the yummiest fruits that is not something one should avoid. Raw berries when consumed along with few nuts, can be very fiber rich. It can be included in salads and can be carried anywhere you go.

Avocados

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Avocados, also called as butter fruit, is one of the best fruits which contains plenty of nutrition, fiber and essential fatty acids. It can be diced, sliced, mashed or mixed in a milk shake for taste. This tasteless pulp is very healthy and adds plenty of fiber to your body. The biggest advantage of this fruit is that, it can be mixed with any other fruit or vegetable and consumed.

Flax seed and chia seeds

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Flax seeds and chia seeds are also an excellent source of fiber. Flax seeds can be added on top of any salad or juice or even your regular meal. Chis seeds, when mixed with water, becomes like a gel that can be used to thicken your milkshake or juices.

Vegetables and green leafy veggies are also a high source for fiber. Regular consumption of fiber rich food, along with probiotics can help to prevent diverticulosis.

 

Kripa Sivasubramanian, MBA, earned her Master’s degree in Business. After a long stint in the Technology sector, she took up courses in natural medicine and yoga. Ms. Kripa is certified in Ayurvedic yoga for Dosha. She is also certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.