bodies age, about half of people 60 years or older suffer
from weakened sections of lower digestive tract.
sections appear as bulges (known as diverticula) within the
walls of the colon and this condition is called diverticulosis.
The condition known as diverticulitis is diagnosed
whenever these bulges become inflamed or infected.
symptoms of diverticulosis (which are also common to irritable
bowel syndrome or IBS) include occasional bloating, cramping
become inflamed, diverticulitis symptoms may occur suddenly
and without warning, and typically include pain and tenderness
on the left side of the lower abdomen. If infection is the
cause, other symptoms may present themselves in the form of
fever, chills, severe cramping, vomiting and constipation.
stage, treatment with antibiotics is important since, left
unchecked, diverticulitis may develop into more serious complications
such as intestinal bleeding, tears or perforations. Abscesses
may also form in infected areas that may require surgery.
Although there is no scientific evidence that eating seeds and nuts may cause flare-ups, there is general agreement that a high-fiber diet - and drinking plenty of fluids - may significantly lower risk of diverticulitis.
Bran or whole grain cereals, wheat bran
Whole grain breads, brown rice, whole wheat pasta.
Bananas, apples, peaches, oranges, pears
Beans, peas and lentils
Carrots, asparagus, broccoli, spinach, and plenty of salad greens
the condition was only first recognized in the early 20th
century - when highly processed foods were introduced to the
modern diet - many researchers point to a low-fiber diet and
slow bowel action as the main cause of diverticulitis.
is strengthened by the fact that diverticulitis is almost
unheard of in less-developed nations where whole grains and
vegetables make up most of the daily diet.
Seed, Nut & Diet Debate
remain convinced that the successful treatment of the condition
derives from a lifestyle change - including increased exercise
as well as more fluids and high fiber foods introduced into
the diet each day.
in the recent past, many patients have taken to avoiding seeds
and nuts (while still maintaining a high fiber diet) upon
their doctor's advice with much reported success.
there is still no scientific evidence that small seeds or
particles of nuts lodging in the diverticula may cause diverticulitis,
it may aggravate an existing condition.
avoiding seeds and nuts is best if you think they may be causing
Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis - Here's a helpful fact sheet explaining
causes, treatment and risk factors of both conditions, a table
of recommended fruits, vegetables and high fiber grains to
help ward off attacks, with recommended reading and related
Diverticulitis - Check out his extensive WebMD guide to the
topic with illustrations, facts & information on causes
& treatment, advice on when to call a doctor or seek surgery,
plus tips on diet & home treatment remedies, related links.
Disease - Merck Manual - The online medical encyclopedia
offers a concise explanation of diverticulitis, diverticulosis
and Meckel's diverticulum, including facts on symptoms, diagnostic
procedures & established treatments.
and Diet - Browse a good overview of symptoms and causes with
focus on diverticulitis diet guidelines and high fiber.
is intended as reference and not as medical advice.
All treatment decisions should be made by medical professionals.