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Diet for Diverticulitis

Recently diagonosed as having Diverticulites? Diverticulitis can be caused by a diet that is low in fiber.  Fiber is needed in your diet to add bulk to the stool. Your colon has to exert more pressure than normal to move the stool forward. This pressure can cause pouches (diverticula) to form in weak spots along the colon. Diverticulitis is when these pouches become inflamed or infected. 

Always consult your doctor before making any life style changes once you receieve any diagnosis.  This sample diet was issued by my husband's doctor to follow.

Symptoms of diverticulitis depend on the degree of inflammation or infection. Most commonly, diverticulitis causes pain in the lower left part of the abdomen. Other symptoms may include nausea and vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, and chills and fever or other signs of infection

How is diverticulitis diagnosed?

Your health professional will do a medical history and physical examination. Depending on your symptoms, you may have one or more tests to rule out other medical problems that could be causing your symptoms.

You may have a complete blood count (CBC) to find out whether you have an infection, which can occur with diverticulitis, or whether you have too few red blood cells in your blood, possibly because of bleeding in your colon. Other tests that may be done include imaging studies such as computed tomography (CT) scan, barium enema X-ray, abdominal ultrasound, flexible sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy.

May 30, 2011 I started this page when my husband was diagnosed with mild diverticulitis. I developed a bout of stomach pain constantly with everything that I ate, constipaton, bloating, and gas. The pain became so great I finally went to the doctor.  I had the endoscopy and colonoscopy done and I was diagnosed as having Diverticulitis, can be painful. The test itself was not painful.  I was put to sleep and both tests wer done at the same time.  I wish my doctor had given me the pictures so I could share them on my site. You can look up photos of a diveticulitis colon on the internet if you just want to see what it looks like.  I was given a more comprehensive pamphlet which I am expanding this page below.  If you are having a flare up then it is best to follow a low fiber diet until your colon heals then slowly introduce fiber back into your diet. 

Do not do a self diagnoses via the internet.  Go see a doctor and follow their Rx instructions for you.  This is just a reference page to give tips and a diet tool to help anyone out there that is suffering with this disease.

I now have to avoid these foods: All nuts and chunky peanut butter and popcorn  (I love chunky peanut butter, and the smell of fresh poppod popcorn, who can resist!)  I have to avoid corn and tomato seeds.  Rye bread with seeds, Wheatberry bread, sesame, poppy and sunflower seeds. 

Low fiber Foods 

Fruit juice, fruit drinks, pureed fruit, cooked fruit (without skin)

White bread, French bread, farina, cream of wheat or rice, melba toast, saltines, cornflakes, rice krispies, puffed rice, white rice, pasta

Vegetable juice, lettuce, winter squash, tomato sauce, mashed or cooked vegetables, or potato

All dairy products, meat, poultry fish, eggs broth, cream soup.

Amount to consume Daily

Fresh Fruit                       2 or more servings

Breads and cereals            4 or more servings

Vegetables                        2 or more servings

Miscellaneous                  Dairy products

How can I prevent diverticulitis?

Eating a high-fiber diet, drinking plenty of water, and exercising regularly may help prevent the formation of diverticula and attacks of diverticulitis.

High Fiber Menu

Use this menu as a guide to plan healthy eating habits.Breakfast

1 oz. of a high fiber cereal look for FiberOne ® cereal (Or one that has at least 13 grams of fiber/serving)

˝ sliced banana (1 gram fiber)

4 oz. milk  (0 grams)

4 oz. juice  (0 grams)

Lunch

2 slices of whole wheat bread (1 gram of fiber)

l lettuce leaf (1 gram)

2 oz. sliced turkey (0 grams of fiber)

1 medium apple (3 grams of fiber)

Now if you elect to have a salad with romaine lettuce and grilled chicken salad skip the high fat dressing and leave off the cheese.

Dinner

4 oz. fish fillet ( 0 grams of fiber)

1 medium baked potato skin on (1 gram of fiber)

˝ cup cooked peas (2 grams fiber)

1 cup lettuce salad (1 gram of fiber)

1 cup strawberries (3 grams of fiber)

8 oz. milk (0 fiber)

Snacks

1 oz peanuts (3 grams of fiber)

6 oz. carton of yogurt. (0 fiber)

Total grams this day is 36 grams of fiber

If you have not accustom to eating high fiber foods increase your intake slowly. More intestinal gas is normal for those on a high fiber diet this can be reduced if you slowly add fiber to your diet. If you still have a problem contact your health care professional ,your doctor.

Fiber rich foods!

Breads                             grams of fiber

1 medium bran muffin            3

1 slice whole wheat bread      2

1 slice white bread               1

1 slice pumpernickel bread          1

1 slice of rye bread                   1

1 slice of raisin bread                1

4 squares of saltine crackers    0

Cereals & Pasta

1 oz. General Mills Fiber One®         13

1 oz Bran cereal (Check the label on the box for listing on any brand first) possibly 9 grams

1 cup whole wheat pasta                      5

1 oz bran flakes                                 5

1.4 oz of raisin bran cereal                4

1 oz shredded wheat cereal               3

1 oz raisin nut bran                            3

1 oz Total ® cereal                         3

1 oz wheat flakes                            3

1 oz General Mills Cheerios®       3

1 oz Post Grape Nuts®                   2

1 oz oatmeal                                    2

1 cup pasta                                     1

1 oz Kelloggs Corn Flakes®           1

˝ cup cooked brown rice               1

˝ cup cooked white rice                 1

˝ cup egg noodles                          0

Cooked Legumes

˝ cup kidney beans                      9

˝ cup baked beans                        7

˝ cup navy beans                          5

˝ cup pinto beans                        5

˝ cup lentils                                 2

Vegetables

˝ cup cooked frozen peas           4

1 medium baked potato skin on   4

˝ cup cooked broccoli tops          3

˝ cup cooked baby carrots           3

˝ cup cooked corn                        3

˝ medium avocado                        2

˝ cup cooked green beans              2

˝ cup brussels sprouts                     2

˝ cup cooked eggplant                     2

˝ medium cooked sweet potato     2

˝ cup raw cabbage                         2

˝ cup raw bean sprouts                  2

˝ cup raw lettuce                          1

˝ cup sliced raw mushrooms        1

1 medium dill pickle                      1

˝ cup mashed potatoes                 1

10 medium French fried potatoes  1

˝ medium fresh tomato              1

1 stalk raw celery                       1

6 slices raw cucumber                  1

2 rings green pepper                    1

Fruits & Nuts

1/4 cup almonds                         5

3 dried prunes                            4

1 medium apple skin on             3

1 medium banana                        3

˝ cup blackberries                     3

5 dried dates                               3

1 medium nectarine                    3

1 medium peach skin too            3

1/4 cup roasted peanuts              3

1 cup strawberries                       3

1/4 cup cantaloup                        2

10 medium olives                         2

1 medium orange                       2

2 tbsp smooth peanut butter       2

1 medium tangerine                    2

1/4 cup walnut pieces              2

1 medium apricot                     1

10 large cherries                       1

˝ medium grapefruit                 1

˝ cup pineapple                      1

2 tbsp raisins                          1

2 medium plums                     1

˝ cup orange juice              0

There was a study of children reported by one of the local television stations in my area stated that  the children who ate high fiber diets were calmer more alert  and when they spent time with thei entire family it was a more harmonious atmosphere. Adults should eat 20 to 35 grams of fiber per day recommended by The National Cancer Institute.  One theory on how fiber works to prevent cancer; the fiber holds water forming a bulker stools which goes through the digestive track more quickly.  It's believed that fiber Dilutes the concentration of carcinogens so fewer can be absorbed by the body.  Some think Fiber may also possess the ability to bind carcinogens making them unavailable to the body

Including a high fiber in your diet daily, leads to many health benefits to stave off Diverticulitis as well as colon cancer and bladder cancer.  As you look at the sample menu and the list of various foods that has fiber you notice that meat is not included in the list.  The list entails grains, breads, cereals and pasta made from grains, nuts fruits and vegetables. So if meat does not have fiber what should we be eating more of to stay healthy?  Notice on the sample menu there is fish and poultry.    We do need protien but you can get protien from the legumes.  That is a another lesson on nutrition. 

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