Diverticulitis and Diverticulosis

Mickey | Health and Wellness | Friday, February 4th, 2011

Diverticulosis is a fairly common condition in western countries.  Of those over 60 years old, 50% of peoplehave diverticulosis.  This happens when the intestestinal walls weaken and pouch out. These pouches are permanent and cannot be reversed.  At times, bacteria can build up in these pouches which leads to an infection.

When an infection occurs, it is called diverticulitis .  While many have diverticulosis and don’t know it because there really are no symptoms, diverticulitis it entirely different. It is extremely painful with fever, bloating and severe abdominal pain.  About 130,000 people each year are hospitalized in the US with diverticulitis.  This can become very serious leading to bowel perforation and death.  It is treatedwith antibiotics, although if infections continue to occur, removal of the infected bowel may become necessary.

Once you have diverticulosis it is a chronic condition.  If you have experienced diverticulitis, you knowyou want to avoid the pain and agony.  So dietary changes will be necessary to avoid a reoccurance.

Increasing fiber will be the major change to make.  Because constipation leads to this condition, you need to increase bulk in the intestines to increase regularity. The diverticulitis foods to avoid are processed foods.  They are low in fiber and nutrition.  Research has shown that diverticulitis and diverticulosis are common in western industrialized countries and quite rare in third world countries, which for the most part
still have alot more roughage in their diets. 

You can increase fiber by eating more fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes. There are also other things you can do.  You can help create a healthy intestinal environment by adding probiotics to your diet.  Probiotics are found in yogurt, sauerkraut, tempeh among other foods. Most fermented foods have probiotics.

Increasing the amount of exercise and drinking more water will also help to create a healthy intestinal environment.

When you make these changes you will soon notice that your bowel movements are more regular, you feel less bloated, you are losing weight and have more energy.  That will help to keep you healthy inside and out and avoid another bout of diverticulitis.

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