Diverticula are outpouchings that occur in the wall of the colon (and elsewhere) where nourishing blood vessels penetrate and create a potential weak spot in the bowel wall. They tend to develop in the majority of Americans as we age, especially after age 50.
Diverticulosis causes no symptoms but when they get infected or inflamed, it is then called diverticulitis and causes abdominal pain, sometimes fever, and sometimes change in bowel habits.
Recommendations for diverticulosis and diverticulitis:
- Enjoy a high fiber low fat diet.
- Use an additional supplemental fiber product if needed for a daily fiber intake of at least 25 grams.
- Chew food thoroughly before swallowing.
- It is not necessary to avoid certain foods such as corn or nuts, unless you notice that they both you.
- In some patients, using aspirin and anti-inflammatories (NSAID’s) leads to a higher incidence of diverticulitis.