Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is a common condition in which diverticula, or small pouches, form on the side of the large intestine or colon. For most people, diverticulitis does not cause symptoms, but about 25 per cent of people with the condition end up experiencing abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhoea, a condition known as diverticular disease. About one in four of those with diverticular disease will experience an episode of diverticulitis, an infection and inflammation of the diverticula, which causes severe pain and fever, and may lead to infection and death.

Diverticular disease is well-managed by a high-fibre diet, which can control and even resolve the symptoms. By managing diverticular disease, people with the condition are less likely to have episodes of diverticulitis. The National Health Service (NHS) recommends that adults eat from 18 grams to 30 grams of fibre per day. High fibre foods include bran, muesli, porridge, brown bread, wholemeal bread and pasta, brown rice, baked beans, vegetables, and fruits like prunes, pears, and apricots.

According to CORE, people will react differently to different kinds of fibre, so it is important to experiment with what works for you. Some people will respond well to plant fibre, for example, but for others, too much plant fibre will increase symptoms. Additionally, the proper intake of fluids, particularly water, is essential for fibre to work correctly in the body. When adding high-fibre foods to your diet, it is important to remove the processed and pre-prepared foods. These tend to be low in fibre content and mainly wasted calories for people trying to eat a healthy, high-fibre diet.