Diverticulosis

 What is a diverticulum?

adapted from JAMA

adapted from JAMA

A diverticulum is a pouch that can form through points of weakness in the muscular wall of the colon.

 

What is diverticulosis?

Diverticulosis is the presence of diverticula. It is very common, especially with increasing age. Most people with diverticulosis have no symptoms and will remain symptom free for the rest of their lives. If you do not have symptoms, you do not need treatment.A person with diverticulosis may develop diverticulitis (infection) or bleeding.  If you develop any abdominal pain, fever, or have blood in your stool, please discuss with a doctor and make sure to tell them you have diverticulosis.

 

What can you do?

1.     High fiber, low fat diet and limit red meat: Fiber can help bulk stools and possibly prevent the development of new diverticula, diverticulitis, or diverticular bleeding. Dietary fiber and a vegetarian diet may reduce the incidence of symptomatic diverticular disease by decreasing intestinal inflammation and changing the microbiome.

2.     Exercise: Vigorous physical activity (jogging, running) appears to reduce the risk of diverticulitis and diverticular bleeding.

3.     Weight loss: Obesity is associated with an increase in risk of both diverticulitis and diverticular bleeding. 

4.     Stop smoking: Current smokers are at increased risk for diverticulitis and abscess.

5.     Check your Vitamin D level: Higher levels of vitamin D have been associated with a reduced risk of hospitalization for diverticulitis.

 

Diverticulosis Diet 

General rules

High fiber

Low fat 

Avoid red meat

Drink at least 2 liters of water a day 

 

Example menu

Breakfast

Apple or banana with almond butter and whole grain toast

Fruits including prunes, raisins

Overnight oats or any rolled oat (not instant oats) 

 

Lunch

Salad with lean protein (chicken, tofu)

Whole-wheat pasta with sautéed vegetables (zucchini, squash)

Veggie burger with air-baked sweet potato fries

Lentil soup

 

Dinner

Chili with beans

Quinoa with sautéed vegetables

Baked cod with roasted brussel sprouts and baked potato

Buckwheat noodles with tofu and broccoli 

Salmon with string beans and almonds

 

Snack

Carrots with almond butter

Brown rice cake

Sprouted crackers