Diet, Nutrition and Diverticular Disease

7 August, 2017 , , ,

If you suffer from diverticular disease, I’d like to offer some diet recommendations, both for the active stages of the condition (diverticulitis) and the remission (diverticulosis), as well as set straight a few myths that surround this illness.

Diverticular disease is a common illness. Small pockets (diverticula) form on the lining of the large intestine, and can become inflamed or infected. That’s what’s known as diverticulitis (the suffix -itis signifying the presence of inflammation). Periods of diverticulitis can be more or less frequent in those who suffer from diverticular disease.

Fortunately, there is a way to prevent diverticulitis and the formation of new diverticula, as well as prolonging the remission phase. The answer is: by an adapted diet!

Same Recommendations for Everyone?

Nutritional recommendations differ greatly in both diverticulitis and diverticulosis. In fact, they’re the complete opposite. Allow me to explain, in crisis period (diverticulitis), you want to have as little fiber as possible in your diet. This is to enable your digestive system to rest and heal.

Once the inflammation and pain have passed, you need to reintroduce fiber to prevent the return of a new episode of diverticulitis. It’s vital to reintroduce fiber progressively (adding 5 grams of fiber a week, over 3 weeks) in order to avoid constipation. The diverticulitis and diverticulosis meal plans do just that.

Once you’re getting the right amount of fiber in your diet, you can switch to the maintenance phase. That means a diet rich in fiber that will help you prevent both constipation and another episode of diverticulitis.

Where can you find fiber? In fresh fruits and vegetables (there’s no fiber in juice!), whole grain cereals, legumes, tempeh, tofu, nuts and seeds.

The diagram illustrates the steps perfectly:

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Author

Jef L'Ecuyer

Jef L’Ecuyer

Registered Dietitian, RD at SOScuisine.com

Member of the Quebec College of Dietitians (OPDQ) and Dietitians of Canada,Jef graduated from McGill University in December 2014. Recently graduated and passionate about culinary arts, Jef poses a simple, effective and practical look at daily meal planning. With this in mind, she works in conjunction with the mission of SOSCuisine…

Jef L'Ecuyer

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2 Responses to “Diet, Nutrition and Diverticular Disease”

June 22, 2018 at 9:31 pm, Vickie Ware said:

I was diagnosed in Feb 2018 with Diverticulitis, on Antibiotics, developed abcess, in hospital on IV antibiotics,liquid diet then soft food. Developed anxiety/panic attacks and have lost 35 lbs, I now just have Diverticulosis and have no clue how to start eating healthy, every where I search online says diff things and always cost money, I have not yet returned back to work, till after my colonoscopy. So money is tight for me. I just need free advice on what to eat, to avoid a flare up and not lose anymore weight.
Thank you
Vickie Ware

Cinzia Cuneo

June 25, 2018 at 9:55 am, Cinzia Cuneo said:

Hi Vickie, One of the reasons why you may find different advise on different sites is that nutritional science is evolving. It is indeed not easy to go from a low-residue diet (as you need after a flare-up) to a fiber-rich diet (to prevent further problems). Our meal plans are made following the latest evidence-based science, they are easy to follow and are pretty inexpensive.

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