WHAT IS DIVERTICULITIS?
As difficult as the name is to pronounce; it is much more difficult to deal with this disease. Diverticulitis is a situation in which the smooth muscles of intestine gets ruptured thereby producing a budding saclike structure. Or if we define in laymen’s language, tiny sacs or pouches develop in the intestinal tracts and hence result in the cause of this disease. Medically, these outgrowths or sacs are termed as Diverticula. They block and clog the colon pathway. However, in certain cases, these bodying structures do not cause any life-threatening problem, but in some cases, it does lead to inflammation and terrible pain in the lower abdomen.
Diverticulitis is one of those ailments which are majorly affected by choices of what to eat and what not to eat. A faulty, less or no diet plan for the intake of vital nutrients causes the colon walls to rupture and germinate diverticula. If we talk about the treatments available to cure this illness, the major part of it is concerned with correcting our regular diet. If you or anyone in your relationship is going through this trouble; then read this article very carefully as we have included everything in this, which you need to know about diverticulitis.
CAUSES OF DIVERTICULITIS
The questions that arise are; what lead to the growth of these pouches? Or what makes the intestinal muscles rupture? There could be a lot of probable causes, but the institutes of medical studies and medical communities are still not certain about the accurate reason. In fact, not all the people who develop diverticula suffer the pain and inflammation. And the reasons for how that is possible are still not clear. However, the most prominent causes as per observations are.
- The walls of the colon get ruptured or torn due to the implication of external stress or pressure.
- It is believed that pain and inflammation are caused because of the growth of bacteria in the sac or diverticula.
- Diverticula is also developed due to unorganized or uncoordinated movements in the colon.
- Improper diet is one of the eminent causes of diverticulitis.
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SYMPTOMS OF DIVERTICULITIS:
Symptoms of diverticulosis are the ways through which our body tells us that it is high time that our body and its diet need to be taken care of. These symptoms play the most crucial role of alarming us of any disease so that we can take some action before it gets into the worst state. Symptoms of diverticulitis last for some hours to a few days, so it becomes easy for a person to acknowledge the problem easily. Moreover, the treatment of this ailment greatly depends on the symptoms highlighted in someone’s body. Here we will share some of the major symptoms, only by recognising them right, you can opt for the best treatment.
- In some cases, it causes fever and shivering of the body..
- It may also cause constipation because of the blockages in the intestinal path way of large intestines because of the sac.
- The person suffering this ailment would start losing its appetite.
- If the bacteria are developed in the sac, it causes pain and muscular contractions. The pain at times could be so much that the person becomes unable to stand.
- Infection in urinary pathway or irritation in bowel and such health issues are also some major symptoms.
TREATMENTS FOR DIVERTICULITIS:
The treatment for diverticulosis depends upon what symptoms the patient shows. Usually, at the initial levels, some antibiotics are given to the person. The course of antibiotics should be completed to get relief in the long run. Besides that, if we consider long-term cures, the major part of it consists of changing the diet routines. As mentioned above diverticulitis is eminently affected by what kind of food do we eat and what all nutrients we intake. In situations where the cases are quite serious, where the victim feels tremendous pain and clogging in the stomach, along with difficulty to intake food even in the liquid form, immediate hospitalization is required, and energy liquids like glucose are injected in the body of the patient. There are minimal cases where surgery is required to deal with the problem. Nevertheless, diet control is the most prominent method to treat diverticulitis and even if you want to avoid any such dangerous upcoming in the future.
We are mentioning some of the important factors, considering which you can manage your diet plans. It would astonishingly cater to the problem and keep you healthy.
DIET CONTROL TO AVOID OR TREAT “DIVERTICULITIS”
1.) Fibrous Diet
Have you ever wondered why doctors and dietitians always advocate the intake of fibrous substances? Let us enlighten you with the reason. Fibre greatly affects the digestion of food and thus puts a great impact on our intestinal health. Studies also state that pure vegetarians or people who include a good amount of dietary fibres in their meal are least prone to such disorders and weaknesses. In case of diverticula, eating whole grain and the fibrous food is not just a cure to treat it but also can prevent you from its occurrence or reoccurrence. For instance, people from Asian and African regions rarely suffer from this disease. The reason behind it is that; their diets possess the right amount of fibres.
Fibre helps in proper digestion of food and thus makes the stool softer which can easily pass through the colon. Due to easy passage of stool from a colon, no pressure or stress is exerted on the intestinal walls and thus prevents the rupture of walls and formation of diverticula. Whereas, low quantity of intake of fibres leads to the hardened stool which thus exerts pressure on the tract walls while passing through the colon. This pressure and stress can cause diverticula to develop. Hence it is very important to include an appropriate amount of fibres in our day to day meal.
Do you think it is difficult to increase the proportion of fibres in your diet? Well, if you are very used to refined food then, it might be a bit difficult. But for the sake of good health; taste needs to be compromised. However, it is not that difficult, because all you need to do is to add 30 grams of more fibre intake in your regular diet on an average basis. This is enough amount to help you combat diverticulitis. Here we will highlight some of the food items that can provide you with an adequate amount of fibres. Check these out:
- Opting food made of whole grains, rather than choosing refined food could be of great help. Whole grain food items are not processed and hence contain more fibrous contents. Just a little difference in choosing what you eat can make a huge change. If we take an exemplar; eating brown bread rather than white bread and brown eggs instead of white eggs can provide you with the required amount of fibres. Well, that’s not tough to do as at all, isn’t it?
- Fruits and vegetables are the most fibrous substances available. Including fruits such as apple, berries and bananas or vegetables like carrots and spinach in your day to day diet can prevent you from the problems. To get the utmost nutrients out of the vegetables do not deep fry them. Boiling and baking are the best options to cook the vegetables as the nutrients remain intact.
- Water is one magical compound that can keep you away from any and every disease or ailment. On an average basis, a person should intake 7 to 8 glasses of water every day as it leads to better digestion. Apart from this, consuming other fluids such as smoothies, vegetable soups and fruit juices will provide you with both ample of fibre contents and water.
- Nuts are also considered to be a good source of fibre. Along with fruits and whole grain substance, different varieties of nuts such as groundnuts or walnuts can supply plenty of fibrous nutrients to your gut. In the same way, intake of legumes can also benefit your digestive system and minimize the problem.
However, it is to be noted that more than the required or in other words, too much consumption of fibres can even adversely harm the digestive system. How? It can cause constipation which is one of the major causes of diverticulitis. At times, it also leads to irregular or rapid movements of the bowel which is again a cause of stress on the colon walls thus causing the formation of the pouches. So, always remember this line – ‘Excess of anything is not good in life, irrespective of whatever it is.
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2.) What Not To Eat.
To balance the diet chart, it is necessary to subtract some items while adding the new ones. So, now that you are aware of what all to add, we will also tell you what to avoid so that you can overcome this disorder. In addition to it, one thing that needs to be taken care of is the fact that, the food items that help in curing the disease; if ingested in excess may become the cause of the same problem. Hence it is necessary to be very peculiar about the quantity of nutrients that you intake. However, the stage of the disease also affects the measure of the quantity.
For example, food items like nuts and whole grain-based products are healthy in the initial stage of the ailment. However, in acute cases, this can even worsen the situation. Besides this, berries should also be strictly ignored to eat to avoid the occurrence of diverticulitis along with strawberries, as it can cause bothersome irritation in the bowel. So we strongly suggest you visit a doctor or dietitian and take their recommendations while preparing your diet plan.
Some more things to avoid if you are suffering from this problem include chillies and hot spicy food. This is because the already inflamed bowel cannot bear any more heat. It will lead to unbearable irritation and also might cause pain and swelling in the colon. Along with chillies, food rich in fats and fried foods should also be debarred from your diet plan. So make sure that you sincerely minimize the intake of fast food items and junk food as they do no good to the body and in fact descent the immunity system along with resulting in many other problems too.
3.) For Recovery:
For recovery and to avoid the occurrence of diverticulitis, it is very important to follow the above-mentioned treatments. However, these treatments have different impacts depending on the stage, the acuteness and symptoms of the problem. Therefore it is suggested to be very calculative before selecting any treatment. Also, to get the treatment, one should only follow the prescription advised by a doctor. Hence, it is a mandatory aspect.
Aside from all the above, we have also noted some essential points for your consideration to help you to choose the best treatment:
- As stated above, excess intake of fibre rich food can also ruin the situation instead of improving it. Also, if you are not at all habitual of consuming more fibre, then it is suggested to you to not to increase the amount of fibre in your diet drastically. Rather in such cases, it is advocated to slowly and gradually increase the ingestion of fibre rich products.
- At times of vigorous inflammation in the colon and irritation in the bowel, we suggest you consume cool liquid diets. Pulp fewer fruit juices are the best diet in situations when your abdomen feels like burning and trouble you extremely. Gradually as the situation turns better than before, you can also include vegetable soups and light food in liquid form to your meal chart.
- Once the patient is out of acute conditions and symptoms seems to be a bit subsided, then the person may switch to consuming canned food such as fibrous cereal(mark a point that since the situation is getting improved so make sure the cereals do not have superfluous fibre content). Also; items like boiled fruits and vegetables and other sources of protein intakes like boiled eggs are advisable to eat.
- Including dairy products in your diet can also be fundamentally helpful. Products like low-fat cheese and yoghurts and a glass of cool milk every day will prove to be an effective solution to reduce the inflammation because of its chilling quotient. But please note the fact that only low-fat dairy products are found suitable to deal with the situation. On the contrary, if dairy products containing high-fat contents are consumed, it may harm the abdomen which might spoil the whole effort of yours.
Though when and how of diverticulitis are extremely unpredictable there are a lot of factors such as lifestyle and health considerations which can lead to diverticulitis or related ailments.
- Cholesterol – Extra body fats and cholesterol can make a person more exposed to the threat of this ailment.
- Age – the chances of being affected by diverticulitis is increased with increasing age.
- Ill habits – If you have a regular habit of smoking and boozing then it may lead to diverticulitis. As both of these factors are injurious to the digestive system.
- Inactive routine – Do you hate waking up early in the morning and going to the gym? If yes, it is high time to carry on an active life ahead. An inactive or sedentary lifestyle is the root of almost all the health diseases nowadays. Similarly, it can make you deal with this painful ailment too. Hence along with ingesting the correct amount of fibres it I also required to burn down the extra calories and making your body active.
- Drugs – There are numerous drugs whose consumption can lead to diverticulitis. For example Steroids and NSAIDs are major drugs whose intake affects the digestive system enormously.
We hope that now you this article has assisted you in the know all the required information about this highly unpredictable and tremendously painful sickness. Nevertheless; being clear about the symptoms and considering the treatments accordingly can help you a lot to overpower diverticulitis. However, we strongly recommend expertise doctor’s prescription to be taken in time to prevent the worst-case scenario. May you be always blessed with a healthy and happy life!
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