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Foods to Avoid with Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is a disease that affects the lower area of the large intestine and the colon. The exact cause for this disease is not known, but it is more common in people over the age of 40. The disease is characterized by small sac like pockets developing in the colon’s lining. These sacs are called diverticula.

There are some people who have these sacs and do not develop any symptoms at all. However, when these diverticula become inflamed or infected, symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, bloating, abdominal pain, bloody stools, and others may occur.

While there is no exact known cause for this disease, there has been research that has shown that development of diverticulitis is linked to a person’s dietary habits. Since diverticulitis is a disease that affects the digestive system, it is easy to see why the foods that you eat can be the cause of it. Since diet is one of the main causes of diverticulitis, it is important to consider the types of foods that you should avoid if you have been diagnosed with the disease.

Here are thirteen of the most common foods that should be avoided in order to help alleviate the symptoms associated with diverticulitis.

1. Red Meat

People who suffer from acute diverticulitis, which can cause short term discomfort or sporadic flares of symptoms, should avoid eating red meat. Red meat is difficult for the body to digest and moves through the bowels slowly. This can further irritate the bowels, which are already inflamed and stressed. In addition, red meat may cause constipation in people who have a lower number of digestive enzymes. Instead of eating red meat, people who suffer from diverticulitis should stick to leaner proteins such as chicken and fish. While eating small amounts of red meat is okay, white meat should be eaten more frequently.

 

2. Fatty Foods

For those who have been diagnosed with diverticulitis, staying away from fatty foods is important.

The main reason for this is because fatty foods may cause constipation. Fatty foods can block the openings in the diverticula, which provokes inflammation and will result in a flare up of diverticulitis symptoms.

Fatty foods should be avoided especially after a flare up as they can slow down the healing process and make the colon more susceptible to inflammation and infection.

Maintaining a low fat diet is recommended for those who have been diagnosed with diverticulitis.

3. Cheeses

When you are diagnosed with diverticulitis it is important to avoid many types of cheeses.

The reason for this is because many types of cheese contain casein. Casein is extremely difficult for the body to digest.

Since diverticulitis affects the digestive tract it is important to avoid difficult to digest foods such as casein. When you eat foods that are hard to digest it can aggravate the symptoms of the disease and may cause severe pain and bloating.

Eating cheese that contains casein can cause other symptoms of the disease to flare up as well.

4. Alcohol

It is unadvisable for people who have been diagnosed with diverticulitis to consume alcohol. Even in individuals who are healthy, alcohol puts a strain on the gastrointestinal tract.

For people who suffer from diverticulitis alcohol can be extremely debilitating. Drinking alcohol tends to elevate the symptoms of diverticulitis, especially bloating and pain. It is also known to increase the number of flare ups an individual has.

Even if a person is following a good diverticulitis diet and taking medication, drinking alcohol can negate these efforts and the disease can take its toll on the digestive tract again and again.

5. Cabbage

If you enjoy eating cabbage, it is a good idea to avoid this vegetable if you have been diagnosed with diverticulitis. Cabbage does contain many great nutrients, but it also is known to cause a person to become gassy, which can be especially painful for diverticulitis patients.

When your body is breaking down cabbage it can cause an inflammation in the intestines. This inflammation of the intestines can be extremely painful for those who suffer from diverticulitis.

The pain that can be caused by this vegetable outweighs the nutrients that it provides and it should be avoided if you suffer from diverticulitis.

 

6. Broccoli

Broccoli is well known for being extremely good for your health because of all of the vital nutrients that it supplies. However, if you are suffering from diverticulitis, broccoli is a vegetable that you will want to avoid eating.

Broccoli is similar to cabbage in that it is hard for the body to digest and can cause a buildup of gas along the digestive tract and may cause bloating.

For some people, this may be good news as you now have a valid excuse for not eating your broccoli at dinner time.

 

7. Brussel Sprouts

Remember all those times as a kid when your mom tried to get you to eat brussel sprouts? If you have been diagnosed with diverticulitis you have a good excuse not to eat this vegetable any longer. Brussel sprouts are a good source of many vital nutrients.

However, for those who suffer from diverticulitis, this vegetable can cause a buildup of gas along the digestive tract and may cause bloating and inflammation.

This can cause an extreme amount of pain for those who suffer from diverticulitis and for this reason it is best to avoid eating brussel sprouts.

 

8. Beans

A high fiber diet is often recommended for those who suffer from gastrointestinal issues such as constipation. However, those who suffer from diverticulitis need to eat fewer beans as these vegetables can cause excessive gas in the intestinal tract.

When gas builds up during the digestive process it can lead to further inflammation of the diverticula. When the diverticula become inflamed it can increase the undesirable side effects of the disease.

However, depending on your particular symptoms, some doctors may encourage a diet that is higher in fiber and it may include eating some types of beans.

 

9. Carbonated Beverages

Fizzy drinks such as sodas should be avoided by people who are diagnosed with diverticulitis.

There are two reasons for avoiding carbonated beverages. First, the bubbles that are consumed from the carbonation can attach to the digestive tract lining, which can become an irritant.

In addition, these types of drinks often will cause bloating, which worsens this symptom in those suffering from it from their diverticulitis.Water is always the best choice to drink, but juices, coffee without cream and tea are good alternatives to carbonated beverages as well.

10. Corn

Corn is a great vegetable that is quite tasty. However, if you are suffering from diverticulitis it is best that you avoid eating corn altogether. Corn can worsen the side effects of the disease.

There are several reasons why corn should be avoided if you suffer from diverticulitis. First, it is full of glucose, which can aggravate symptoms. Second, it is high in fiber, which can also cause digestive issues.

Finally, the shell of the corn is difficult to digest and because of this it can get stuck in the pockets associated with diverticulitis, causing further issues.

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