If you haven’t experienced diverticulitis, consider yourself lucky. If you have, you know that diverticular disease is a debilitating condition that’s extremely painful and it can impact your life for an extended period of time. The good news is that your diet can play a major role in preventing it. To get your diet on track and reduce your risk, let’s look at which foods to avoid and which foods to eat with diverticulitis.
What is diverticulitis?
Diverticulitis is an inflammation caused by an infection in your lower intestine. An infection can randomly occur along the lining of your intestine where small pouches can develop. These pouches are called diverticula.
For many people, they may develop diverticula and never known it because they don’t experience any symptoms. For others, an infection can begin if the digestive tract eventually bulges through weak spots in your intestinal lining.
What are the symptoms of diverticulitis?
If an infection occurs, your body will let you know something is wrong with a variety of symptoms such as:
- abdominal pain on the lower left side
When severe symptoms of infection and inflammation occur quickly, it’s referred to as acute diverticulitis. If you’re one of the 200,000 people with diverticulitis who are hospitalized in the United States each year, you may think you’ve got a stomach bug or the flu when symptoms first start. The difference is that symptoms of diverticulitis tend to worsen quickly as does the pain.
If you’re vomiting, it may seem easier to stay home instead of trying to transport yourself to the doctor or ER, but it’s crucial to seek medical assistance. If the infection spreads and forms abscesses, it can lead to a fatal infection.
What causes diverticulitis?
The infection and inflammation in the digestive tract is caused by a tear in the diverticula, but there are other risk factors associated with diverticulitis. If you’re a chronic pain patient who takes pain killers (OTC or prescription strength), it’s important to be aware that some of your medications can cause diverticulitis. Other causes of diverticulitis include: