Generally, different food may trigger flare-ups in different people; however, the common foods that may cause exacerbation of diverticulitis flare-ups to include:
- Processed meat
- Red meat
- Fried foods
- Full-fat dairy products
High sugar foods may trigger diverticulitis.
It was once believed that nuts, popcorn, and seeds could enter or block the diverticula and should be avoided in people with diverticulitis. Current studies suggest that these foods are high in fiber and may be beneficial in treating the condition.
What diet should you follow during diverticulitis flare-ups?
During a diverticulitis flare-up, eat a clear liquid diet for a few days, which consists of liquids through which one can read something.
Some of the clear liquids that one can have during flare-ups include:
- Soda pop
- Ginger ale
- Club soda
- Water and mineral water
- Black coffee with no cream or milk
- Sports drinks with electrolytes
- Apple juice
- Tea without milk
- Flavored gelatin
- Clear broth
When one can eat solid foods, opt for low-fiber foods during healing, such as:
- White bread, pasta, and rice
- Well-cooked vegetables without skin
- Fruit without skin or seeds
- Lean meat, chicken, or fish
Once the symptoms improve within 2 to 14 days, add 5 to 15 grams of fiber a day to the diet.
8 causes of diverticulitis
Here are 8 potential causes of diverticulitis:
- Smoking: Nicotine and other chemicals present in cigarettes and tobacco products can damage the lining of the colon, leading to diverticulosis and then, diverticulitis.
- Lack of exercise: Engaging in vigorous physical activity appears to lower the risk of diverticulitis.
- A vigorous activity, such as jogging and running, can reduce the overall risk.
- A study comparing men who exercise regularly and take a high-fiber diet versus men who do not exercise and consume a low-fiber diet was conducted, and the latter group was at increased risk of developing diverticular diseases.
- Being physically active is essential to maintain overall health.
- Obesity: Having a higher waist circumference can increase the chances of developing diverticular diseases.
- Obesity has been associated with diverticulitis and diverticular bleeding. Hence, managing weight is the ultimate solution to prevent diverticular disease.
- Genetics: Having a family history of diverticulitis can increase the chances.
- Drug: Using certain medications, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and steroids.
- Age: People older than 40 years are at a high risk of developing diverticulitis.
- Dehydration: Lack of water can cause the buildup of waste products and bacteria in the colon, leading to diverticulitis.
- Diet: Low dietary fiber and higher fat intake or red meat can increase the diverticulitis flare-up.
- Increasing the dietary fiber or adopting a vegetarian diet may alleviate intestinal inflammation and alter gut microbes, thereby decreasing the symptoms of diverticulitis.
- A cohort study reveals that the risk of diverticulitis significantly increases when people take a low fiber diet along with high fatty foods and red meat.
- A high fiber diet excluding fats and red meats or switching to a vegetarian diet can be essential for reducing the risk of developing diverticulitis.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Cunha JP. What Triggers Diverticulitis? eMedicineHealth. https://www.emedicinehealth.com/what_triggers_diverticulitis/article_em.htm
Pemberton JH. Colonic diverticulosis and diverticular disease: Epidemiology, risk factors, and pathogenesis. UpToDate. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/colonic-diverticulosis-and-diverticular-disease-epidemiology-risk-factors-and-pathogenesis?topicRef=1380&source=see_link
The University of California. Diverticular Disease and Diet. https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/diverticular-disease-and-diet
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Does Drinking Water Help Diverticulitis?Yes, drinking water may help resolve diverticulitis. However, the overall management of diverticulitis depends on the extent of the disease. Only hydration may not help in all cases. It is advised to maintain a liquid diet, such as clear liquids or broths, during the first few days of the diverticulitis attack. This is because constipation is a major cause of diverticulitis.
What Foods Should You Avoid if You Have Diverticulitis?What is diverticulitis? Learn what foods to avoid if you have diverticulitis.
How Can I Get Rid of Diverticulitis Fast?Getting rid of diverticulitis may require a doctor-recommended “diverticulitis diet,” along with certain lifestyle modifications as part of your treatment.
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 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.
What Does a Diverticulitis Attack Feel Like?In many cases, diverticulosis doesn’t cause any troublesome symptoms. The condition may go undiagnosed till a routine colonoscopy is done. In some individuals, however, diverticulitis causes symptoms and may be referred to as a diverticulitis attack or flare-up.
What Triggers Diverticulitis?The exact cause of diverticulitis is unknown.
Which Is Worse: Diverticulitis or Diverticulosis?What’s the difference between diverticulosis and diverticulitis? Learn what these conditions are and how to treat them.