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Do Vegetarians Have a Lower Risk of Developing Diverticular Disease?

Saturday, July 23, 2011
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Do Vegetarians have a lower risk of Diverticular Disease?Do Vegetarians have a lower risk of Diverticular Disease?
Does a high fiber/ vegetarian diet protect you from getting diverticulitis?

What is Diverticular disease? What is diverticulitis?
Diverticular disease is often referred to as a “disease of the Western civilization” because of it’s high prevalence in countries like the UK and US as compared to other parts of the world.

Diverticula are small, bulging pouches which form anywhere in the digestive system, most commonly in the large intestine.

Symptoms of Diverticulitis - Diverticulitis causes abdominal tenderness and pain, fever, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, bloating, a change in bowel habits and sometimes bleeding from the rectum.

Treatment options - Usually, rest, changes in the diet and antibiotics are modes of treatment, but serious cases of diverticulitis may require surgery.



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User Comments

01 August, 2011 | Tanmay | Reply

Tanmay OMG we have heard Indians have a high number of heart patients, high cholesterol and highest number of diabetes but what about this diverticular disease? first time i am hearing of this. How can we prevent it?

27 July, 2011 | Kranthi | Reply

Kranthi My grandmother is diagnosed as suffering from diverticulosis, is it the same as diverticulitis ?

28 July, 2011 | Poonam | Reply

Poonam Dear Kranthi,
The small pouches which bulge through the lining of the intestine are called diverticula. The condition is known as diverticulosis. When the pouches become inflamed the condition is called diverticulitis.

27 July, 2011 | Pavitra Hegde | Reply

Pavitra Hegde I have 2 questions. If a person is already suffering from diverticulitis and probably even has some rectal bleeding etc
1. will the recommended high fiber diet not be abrasive, causing more pain and bleeding?
2. Can the patient have fried or spicy food?

30 July, 2011 | Vijayalakshmi Iyengar | Reply

Vijayalakshmi Iyengar Dear Pavitra

You are right; when the condition is very severe the patient is on medication and a liquid diet such as fruit juices or broth etc. Gradually the patient is eased onto a regular diet with low fiber foods such as dairy products, eggs, white bread. Fish , meat etc and then onto high fiber foods such as -whole grain cereals, all kinds of beans, nuts, fresh fruits –apples, pears, prunes; veggies like spinach, peas, etc. A minimum of 25-35 of fiber is recommended per day
If there is a problem the doctor may also subscribe pshyllium husk or any other fiber supplement. Plenty of fluids especially water is also recommended to reduce the pressure inside the digestive tract.
Secondly the patient is definitely asked to abstain from both spicy and fried food.
Thank you
Vijayalakshmi Iyengar

27 July, 2011 | Vijayalakshmi Iyengar | Reply

Vijayalakshmi Iyengar There are may people who suffer from chronic constipation and take insoluble fiber like coarse wheat bran or isabgol (psyllium husk) etc. This will definitely help reduce risk of diverticular disease as it speeeds up transit time through the gut, increase stool weight and relieve constipation.
However, it is preferable that the increase in fiber intake be through the consumption of a variety of cereals and vegetables rather than relying on extensive use of bran and other supplements, as it also contributes to many other important nutrients simultaneously.

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