- Dietary fiber: It was previously believed that a low-fiber diet may cause diverticulitis. Newer studies have revealed that a high-fiber diet with frequent bowel movements can also cause diverticulosis. Because the effect and requirement of fiber in the diet may vary from person to person, one must consult their doctor about how much fiber they need to include in their diet.
- Aging: The risk of diverticulitis increases with age. Recent studies have reported that about 35% of adults aged 50 years or younger have diverticulosis in the United States, whereas about 58% of US adults older than 60 years have diverticulosis.
- Genes: Research suggests that there might be a role of genetics in causing diverticulitis.
- Being overweight or obese
- High-fat diet
- Diet rich in red meat
- Lack of exercise
- Certain drugs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, opioids, and steroids
What is diverticulitis?
Diverticula are small outgrowths (pouches) that develop in the large intestine in some individuals. These pockets or diverticula push out through the weak spots in the intestine. When these pouches get inflamed (swollen), the condition is called diverticulitis. It may be due to an infection or other causes. They are commonly seen in the lower part of the colon (sigmoid colon). Diverticulosis is normally a harmless condition and does not produce any symptoms or require any treatment. In some persons, however, it may get infected and cause health problems. The risk of diverticulitis increases with age. Around 200,000 people are hospitalized for diverticulitis each year in the United States.
Diverticulitis, if left untreated, can lead to many complications:
- Abscess: It is a painful, swollen, infected, and pus-filled area just outside the colon wall. It may cause fever, nausea, vomiting, and severe abdominal pain.
- Bowel obstruction: Diverticulitis may cause partial or complete obstruction of the intestine.
- Perforation: It refers to a small hole or tear in the colon.
- Peritonitis: It is the inflammation or infection of the lining of the abdomen. It presents as fever and severe abdominal pain.
- Fistula: It refers to an abnormal passage between two organs or between an organ and the outside of the body.
What does an attack of diverticulitis feel like?
Diverticulitis can cause the following symptoms:
Are bananas good for diverticulitis?
High-fiber foods such as bananas are good for diverticulitis (unless they are prohibited due to other reasons). Diet should include less of fried or fatty foods and red meat. Other foods that may help in diverticulitis are as follows:
- Fruits including apples, peaches, pears, and tangerines
- Boiled/baked and peeled potatoes
- Vegetable juices
- Soft cooked vegetables such as sweet potatoes, asparagus, beets, turnips, pumpkin, broccoli, artichokes, lima beans, carrots, and squash
- High-fiber cereals such as shredded wheat
- Hot cereals such as oatmeal, farina, and cream of wheat
- Whole-grain breads such as whole wheat or whole rye bread
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top What Triggers Diverticulitis? Related Articles
Can Diverticulitis Go Away on Its Own?Yes, an attack of uncomplicated diverticulitis can go away on its own. However, you must visit your doctor for a thorough evaluation of the episode. Most attacks of uncomplicated diverticulitis are not life-threatening and usually resolve within a week. Complicated diverticulitis needs medical attention because it can cause serious complications.
Diverticulitis SlideshowDiverticulitis (diverticulosis) is a condition in which the diverticulum or diverticula rupture in the colon, causing infection. Medical treatments such as antibiotics and surgery can treat diverticulitis (diverticulosis).
Diverticulitis PictureDiverticula can be seen via barium x-ray (barium enema). See a picture of Diverticulitis and learn more about the health topic.
Diverticulitis (Diverticulosis, Diverticular Disease)Most people with diverticulosis have few if any symptoms at all. When people do experience signs and symptoms of diverticulosis (diverticular disease) they may include abdominal pain, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, constipation, and bloating. Diverticulitis is a condition in which diverticuli in the colon rupture. The rupture results in infection in the tissues that surround the colon. Treatment methods for diverticulitis includes prescription medications, and in some cases, diverticulitis surgery.
What Foods Should You Avoid if You Have Diverticulitis?What is diverticulitis? Learn what foods to avoid if you have diverticulitis.
Is Bright Red Blood in the Stool Serious?The presence of blood in the stool needs to be evaluated by your doctor. In most cases, the bright red blood in stools is not an immediate threat to life. The most common causes are piles, anal polyps, anal fissures and colitis (inflammation of the large bowel).
Is Diverticulitis Contagious?Diverticulitis is an inflammation of the diverticula or diverticulum. Diverticulitis causes are either infectious or noninfectious, however, it is not contagoius. Symptoms of diverticulitis include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, gas, constipation, changes in bowel habits, bloating, constipation, fever, abdominal tenderness, swollen abdomen, fistula formation, and lower left abdominal pain.
What Are the Signs of a Blocked Bowel?What is a blocked bowel, and how do you fix it? Learn the signs, what causes a blockage, how it is diagnosed, and how it is treated.
What Are the Symptoms of a Diverticulitis Flare-Up?Diverticula are small, bulging pouches that form in the lining of the digestive system in some people. They are usually formed in the lower part of the large intestine. The presence of diverticula is known as diverticulosis. They are usually seen in people over the age of 40 and rarely cause issues. When one diverticulum or diverticula becomes inflamed or infected due to the accumulation of waste products and bacteria, the condition is called diverticulitis.
Which Is Worse: Diverticulitis or Diverticulosis?What’s the difference between diverticulosis and diverticulitis? Learn what these conditions are and how to treat them.