High fiber diet for diverticular diseases
Fiber is the cell walls of plants. It is found mainly in the outer layers of plants - the parts of plant cells that are not digested in the intestine. It is a special type of carbohydrate that passes through the human digestive system virtually unchanged, without being broken down into nutrients. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for all body functions, especially
brain functions. Cereals, vegetables, fruits, rice, potatoes, legumes, and flour products are major sources of carbohydrates.
There are two main types of fiber, and they have different effects on the body. Insoluble fiber is mainly made up of plant cell walls, and it cannot be dissolved in water. It has a good laxative action. Soluble fiber is made up of polysaccharides (carbohydrates that contain three or more molecules of simple carbohydrates), and it does dissolve in water. It has a beneficial effect on body chemistry, such as lowering blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Fiber has an influence on the digestion process from start to finish. Because foods containing fiber need to be more thoroughly chewed, fiber slows down the eating process and helps contribute to a feeling of being full, which in turn can help prevent obesity from overeating. Fiber makes food more satisfying, probably because the contents of the stomach are bulkier and stay there longer. Fiber slows digestion and absorption so that glucose (sugar) in food enters the bloodstream more slowly, which keeps blood sugar on a more even level. Fiber is broken down in the colon by bacteria (a process called fermentation), and the simple organic acids produced by this breakdown helps to nourish the lining of the colon. These acids also provide fuel for the rest of the body, especially the liver, and may have an important role in metabolism
Good sources of fiber include whole grains (bran has the highest fiber content, about 25 to 45 percent), nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and a dietary supplement of fiber products such as Citrucel or Metamucil. Foods such as nuts, popcorn hulls, and sunflower, pumpkin, caraway, and sesame seeds should be avoided. People differ in the amounts and types of foods they can eat. Decisions about diet should be made based on what works best for each person. Scan food labels for bread and cereal products listing whole grain or whole wheat as the first ingredient. Look for cooked and ready to eat cereals with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. Eat raw fruits and vegetables; they have more fiber than cooked or canned foods, or juice. Dried fruits (especially dried figs) are also good sources of fiber. Increase fiber in meat dishes by adding pinto beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, bran, or oatmeal. Try adding 2-3 tsp. of unprocessed wheat bran to foods such as meatloaf, casseroles, homemade breads, muffins and other baked goods. Dairy foods provide little fiber. Increase fiber by adding fresh fruit, whole grain or bran cereals to yogurt or cottage cheese.
More information on diverticular disease
What is diverticular disease? - Diverticular disease is a condition in which small pouches, called diverticula, develop in the wall of the colon, or large intestine.
What causes diverticular disease? - Diverticular disease essentially results from eating a diet with too little fiber. Fiber is the part of fruits, vegetables, and grains that the body cannot digest.
What are the symptoms of diverticular disease? - The major symptoms of diverticular disease are abdominal pain, diarrhea, cramps, alteration of bowel habit and occasionally, severe rectal bleeding.
How is diverticular disease diagnosed? - A complete diagnostic work-up for diverticular disease including colonoscopy, and radiological examinations are the basic tools for initial investigation.
What are the complications of diverticular disease? - Complications of diverticulosis include bleeding, infection, perforation, abscess fistula formation, and obstruction.
What is the treatment for diverticular disease? - The only treatment for mild diverticulosis is to increase fiber in the diet. For diverticulitis, antibiotics will be prescribed.
High fiber diet for diverticular diseases - Good sources of fiber for diverticular diseases include whole grains, nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and a dietary supplement of fiber products.
What is diverticulitis? - Diverticulitis is a common condition in which abnormal pouches (diverticula) in the wall of the colon become inflamed.
What are the complications of diverticulitis? - Complications of diverticulitis may include a blockage in colon, an abscess or a fistula. Peritonitis is a medical emergency and requires immediate care.
What causes diverticulitis? - Diverticulitis can only occur in people who have diverticulosis. Diverticulosis is more common in people who have a low intake of fiber in their diets.
What're the symtoms of diverticulitis? - Symptoms of diverticulitis are due to the muscle abnormality and consist of pain, often abdominal distension, an irregular bowel habit with pellet-like stools.
How is diverticulitis diagnosed? - Diverticulitis is suspected after a history and physical examination. Diverticulitis is usually diagnosed during an acute attack.
What are the treatments for diverticulitis? - Treatment of diverticulitis depends on the severity of symptoms and whether this is a first attack of diverticulitis.
What's the diverticulitis surgery? - Emergency surgery is necessary for people whose intestine has ruptured; intestinal rupture always results in infection of the abdominal cavity.
What is diverticulosis? - Diverticulosis is a condition in which small outpouchings of the colon wall develop through time. Diverticula may develop anywhere in the large intestine.
What causes diverticulosis? - A low fibre diet can lead to small, hard stools which are difficult to pass. The pouches that develop are called diverticula.
What are the symptoms of diverticulosis? - Diverticulosis do not have any signs or symptoms. Diverticulosis can sometimes cause unexplained painful cramps, diarrhea or other bowel movement disturbances.
What are the complications of diverticulosis? - Diverticulitis can lead to complications such as infections, perforations or tears, blockages, or bleeding.
How is diverticulosis diagnosed? - Diverticulosis is suspected when symptoms such as unexplained painful cramps, diarrhea or other bowel movement disturbances, or rectal bleeding are present.
What is the treatment for diverticulosis? - The goal of treatment for diverticulosis is usually to reduce intestinal spasms, which is best achieved by maintaining a high-fiber diet (which consists of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains) and drinking plenty of fluids.