Foods That Cause Diverticulitis


Diverticulitis is a disease that first came to light in the United States in the early 1900s. The condition is frequent in developed nations, such as the United States or England, and is often associated with processed food. A low-fiber diet has been demonstrated to worsen and even prompt diverticulitis in adults aged 50 years and older.

Diverticulitis Defined

Diverticulitis is a condition that occurs in adults over age 50 who suffer from inflammation or an infection of the walls of the colon. Small pockets form in the intestine, most often where the muscles are frailest. The infection occurs when stool becomes trapped in the pockets, but it clears up usually with a change in diet and antibiotics.

Effect of a Low-fiber Diet

The consumption of processed foods lowers the intake of fiber. A low-fiber diet can contribute to constipation. Constipation and the associated straining may lead to increased pressure in the colon, thus weakening the colon wall and leading to diverticulitis.

Impact of Nuts and Seeds

The origin of diverticulitis is unknown. However, it is often believed that foods like nuts and certain seeds, such as sesame, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds, can lead to diverticulitis, because these small particles can irritate the wall of the colon. While these foods may cause irritation, there is no scientific proof tiny food particles are the culprit for diverticulitis.

Irritation From Other Foods

Some food high in fiber causes flatulence, which can be an agitator to diverticulitis. Foods such as onions, cabbage, vegetable and fruit skins, peas, beans and coconut may cause flatulence. Non-fibrous food such as soft drinks and beer can also irritate the digestive system.

Spicy Foods

Generally, spicy foods can irritate the digestive system. For those suffering from diverticulitis, Indian, Mexican and Thai cuisine should be avoided. Spicy food can lead to rectal discomfort during a bowel movement. The greater the strain on the intestines, the more chance the walls could weaken, a precursor to diverticulitis.

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