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Diverticulitis is a disease found in the colon and develops from a condition known as diverticulosis, according to Medline Plus 1. Diverticulosis involves the formation of pouches known as diverticula on the outside of the colon. Diverticulitis results if one of these diverticula becomes infected and inflamed 1. Patients with diverticulitis experience fever, nausea and severe abdominal pain 1. Diverticulitis diet gives the colon time to recover from inflammation 1.
Clear Liquid Diet
During an active diverticulitis attack, patients are often advised by the doctor to stick to a clear liquid diet for two or three days, according to MayoClinic.com 1. Clear liquid diet prevents further inflammation of the colon. Examples of clear liquid foods include:
- fruit juice without pulp
- clear soda
- plain gelatin
- tea or coffee without cream
- ice pops without bits of fruits or fruit pulp
Continuing clear liquid diet for more than three days can lead to extreme weakness. Patients should transition to a low-fiber diet after three days on clear liquid diet.
- During an active diverticulitis attack, patients are often advised by the doctor to stick to a clear liquid diet for two or three days, according to MayoClinic.com 1.
Colonoscopy Symptoms of a Perforated Colon
Patients should slowly introduce a low-fiber diet as they recover from diverticulitis, according to MayoClinic.com 1. Low-fiber foods include:
- fruit juice with little or no pulp
- enriched white bread
- canned fruits
- desserts without seeds or nuts
- low-fiber cereals
- yogurt or cheese without seeds or nuts
- smooth peanut butter
- tender meat
- white rice
- plain pasta
- well-cooked vegetables without seeds or skins
After the acute infection has improved, eating high-fiber foods and using bulk additives such as psyllium may help reduce the risk of diverticulitis, according to MayoClinic.com 1. High fiber should slowly be increased to avoid excessive gas. Patients should ensure that they drink plenty of liquids while on a high-fiber diet. Fiber works by absorbing water and increasing soft and bulky stool in the colon. Patients who fail to drink plenty of fluids may develop constipation.
- After the acute infection has improved, eating high-fiber foods and using bulk additives such as psyllium may help reduce the risk of diverticulitis, according to MayoClinic.com 1.
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Low-Fiber Diet for Diverticulitis
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Diverticulitis & Colonoscopy
What Foods Can I Eat on a Low-Fiber Diet?
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Bowel Complications of Chemotherapy
- Medline Plus: Diverticulitis
- Mayo Clinic: Diverticulitits Diet
- Barroso AO, Quigley EM. Diverticula and Diverticulitis: Time for a Reappraisal. Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). 2015;11(10):680-688.
- Weizman AV, Nguyen GC. Diverticular disease: epidemiology and management. Can J Gastroenterol. 2011;25(7):385-389. doi:10.1155/2011/795241
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Diverticular Disease.
- Cao Y, Strate LL, Keeley BR, et al. Meat intake and risk of diverticulitis among men. Gut. 2018;67(3):466-472. doi:10.1136/gutjnl-2016-313082
- Hollink N, Dzabic M, Wolmer N, Boström L, Rahbar A. High prevalence of an active human cytomegalovirus infection in patients with colonic diverticulitis. J Clin Virol. 2007;40(2):116-119. doi:10.1016/j.jcv.2007.07.008
- Strate LL, Liu YL, Aldoori WH, Giovannucci EL. Physical activity decreases diverticular complications. Am J Gastroenterol. 2009;104(5):1221-1230. doi:10.1038/ajg.2009.121
- Destigter KK, Keating DP. Imaging Update: Acute Colonic Diverticulitis. Clin Colon Rectal Surg. 2009;22(3):147-155. doi:10.1055/s-0029-1236158
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Treatment for Diverticular Disease. 2016.
- Rezapour M, Ali S, Stollman N. Diverticular Disease: An Update on Pathogenesis and Management. Gut Liver. 2018;12(2):125-132. doi:10.5009/gnl16552
- Cao Y, Strate LL, Keeley BR, et al. "Meat intake and risk of diverticulitis among men." Gut. 2018;67:466-472. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2016-313082.
- Hollink N, Dzabic M, Wolmer N, Boström L, Rahbar A. "High prevalence of an active human cytomegalovirus infection in patients with colonic diverticulitis.” J Clin Virol. 2007;40:116-119.
- Strate LL, Keeley BR, Cao Y, et al. Western dietary pattern increases, and prudent dietary pattern decreases, risk of incident diverticulitis in a prospective cohort study. Gastroenterology. 2017;152:1023–1030. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2016.12.038.
Esther Kinuthia is a registered nurse with extensive experience in health and wellness. She holds a B.S. in nursing, B.A in psychology and has worked for more than ten years in the health-care field. She enjoys writing articles on a variety of topics for the Internet. Her work has been published in various websites.