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Foods That Would Flare Up Diverticulitis

Foods That Would Flare Up Diverticulitis Foods That Would Flare Up Diverticulitis


Diverticulitis is a condition that affects the large intestine or colon. Sections of the colon can become weak and push out of place forming pockets called diverticula and this can occur with or without causing symptoms. However, if the pouches become inflamed, diverticulitis is diagnosed. While the exact cause is not well understood, diet plays a role in the prevention and treatment of this condition. After diagnosis, a physician can review foods to avoid so that your diverticulitis does not flare up.

Nuts and Seeds

The goal of a diverticulitis diet is to avoid irritating the colon. In many cases increasing the amount of fiber in the diet can help to control diverticulitis symptoms. Fiber keeps the stools soft so less pressure is placed on the walls of the colon. In addition, the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse recommends avoiding nuts, popcorn and seeds as these foods may block the pouches or otherwise irritate the colon. Not all patients have trouble with these foods, so keeping a food and symptom journal can help to identify trigger foods.

Liquids with Pulp or Cream

Patients may also experience a relief from symptoms by avoiding beverages such as fruit juice with pulp and tea and coffee with cream added, reports Instead, go for clear liquid and broths such as water, juices without pulp and if drinking tea or coffee skip the cream and milk. Consuming just clear liquids for a few days gives the colon a rest and allows inflammation to resolve.

Refined Carbohydrates

Getting enough fiber in the diet can help manage symptoms, while a low fiber diet can cause a flare-up. Unless you're having a flare-up, the University of California San Francisco suggests staying away from refined and processed grains such as white rice, white pasta, white breads and others as these foods are low in fiber. Instead go for brown or wild rice, whole grains, beans, apples, bananas, pears, broccoli, carrots, corn and squash. The goal is to get 25 to 35 g of fiber every day.


Along with cutting out trigger foods, it is important to get at least six to eight glasses of water every day, as dehydration can make it harder to have a bowel movement. Patients with diverticulitis need to monitor their bowel movements and watch for constipation or diarrhea to know how much water is needed, says the Cleveland Clinic. Regular exercise can also help to keep symptoms under control as does managing stress and getting adequate sleep.

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