Click here >> The Diverticular Disease Diet Some simple changes — like adding fiber to your diet — can help protect you from diverticular disease. Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH Diverticular disease describes two common diseases of the colon, diverticulosis and diverticulitis. When small pouches form in the colon wall, the condition is called diverticulosis. The pouches, called diverticula, can become inflamed; when this happens, the condition name is diverticulitis. Diverticulitis can be dangerous if left untreated, causing bleeding, blockages, tears, and infection. Diet and Diverticular Disease: Is Low Fiber the Cause? Diet probably has a role in the development of diverticular disease, says Osama Alaradi, MD, a gastroenterologist and senior staff physician at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Mich. Researchers have noticed that a low-fiber diet in particular seems to play a huge role. Countries where they continue to eat high fiber still have lower incidence of disease, Dr.
Vegetarian Diet May Prevent Diverticular Disease
4 In those patients for whom DD creates chronic discomfort and recurrent acute episodes, several strategies are under investigation. Some researchers have seen good results using nonabsorbable mesalamine and related compounds and/or rifaximin. 14-16 Others suggest that there is a role for probiotics, especially nonpathogenic Escherichia coli, because they seem to stabilize the intestinal mucosa and stimulate immune response. A few studies, most small, have documented improvement with probiotics in DD patients. Additional study is needed to support their use. 17-19 Immunocompromised patients (those on corticosteroids or chemotherapy, having autoimmune disease, or organ transplantation patients) are considered unique because they can present with a smoldering, indolent form of DD. Their disease is often complicated, and they are at high risk of perforation, abscess, or infection. Some surgeons advocate early surgery for these patients, whereas others believe a conservative approach is best because the rate of post-surgical complication is elevated. 20,21 Dietary advice flip-flops, depending on the patients progress. During symptomatic periods, clinicians direct patients to select a low-fiber, bland diet until the acute episode or highly symptomatic period has passed.
Diverticular Disease: Diet Makes a Difference
Humes and Joe West of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust in Nottingham, U.K., write that about 71 meat eaters would have to become vegetarians to prevent one diagnosis of diverticular disease. Overall the opportunity for preventing the occurrence of diverticular disease and other conditions, such as colorectal cancer, probably lies in the modification of diet, at either a population or an individual level, they write. Still, far more evidence is needed before dietary recommendations can be made to the general public. Diverticulitis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Fiber Is the Broom That Sweeps the Colon Clean Fiber is the key to preventing diverticular disease, says Richard Desi, MD, a gastroenterologist at the Melissa L. Posner Institute for Digestive Health and Liver Disease at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. You tend to get more fiber with a vegetarian diet , so we think that this may decrease risk, he says. Fiber increases movement through the colon and decreases risk of developing diverticulosis. Rates of this digestive disorder are much higher in the U.K.