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PUBLIC PAGE
Jul 14 3:15pm

Preventing diverticulitis attacks

By Joey Keillor, @joeykeillor

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If you’re age 60 or older, there’s a 60 percent or greater chance that you have diverticular disease (diverticulosis). This means that small pouches (diverticula) have developed along the walls of your large intestine (colon).

For most people, diverticula never cause a problem. You may only learn of the disease as a result of a colon exam done for another reason. However, up to about 15 percent of those with diverticula experience a painful attack caused by inflammation or infection of a diverticular pouch (diverticulitis). A similar percentage of people may experience nonpainful rectal bleeding.

It’s generally felt that lifestyle improvements can reduce the risk of a first or a recurrent diverticulitis attack. Steps include:

  • Gradually adopting a high-fiber diet — In one study, a high-fiber diet resulted in about a 40 percent decreased risk of diverticulitis attacks compared with a low-fiber diet. It’s recommended that men older than 50 get 30 grams of fiber daily and women older than 50 get 21 grams of fiber daily. This can be done by eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, beans and legumes. Seeds, nuts or popcorn can also add fiber — and importantly, there’s no evidence that these increase diverticulitis risk, as was once commonly believed. A fiber supplement such as methylcellulose (Citrucel, others) or psyllium (Metamucil) may also be used to boost your fiber intake.
  • Exercising regularly — Vigorous exercise such as jogging or running appears to reduce the risk of diverticulitis.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight — In one study, obesity was associated with about a 50 percent increased risk of diverticulitis attacks, particularly in those who carry more of that extra weight in the abdominal area.

Digestive issues are common, and you can learn from others who are dealing with the same digestive health questions that you have at the Digestive Health group.

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Thank you for this

COMMENT

Mayo online was my go-to for more information ff my 1st miserable diverticulitis diagnosis this past October. After following my pcp's prescribed protocol, I had another lesser episode because I'd reintroduced some raw veggies too soon into my diet. I charted my daily meals for weeks and was very slow after the second bout to reintroduce new foods back into my diet.

Thanks for this Mayo newsletter article. It is an inexpressible comfort to have access to Mayo online and Connect for trusted health information and a place to share with others who are walking a similar path. Would like to add that by gradually adding more fiber and starting a walking program, I've not had another bout of diverticulitis. Yay!

COMMENT
@fiesty76

Mayo online was my go-to for more information ff my 1st miserable diverticulitis diagnosis this past October. After following my pcp's prescribed protocol, I had another lesser episode because I'd reintroduced some raw veggies too soon into my diet. I charted my daily meals for weeks and was very slow after the second bout to reintroduce new foods back into my diet.

Thanks for this Mayo newsletter article. It is an inexpressible comfort to have access to Mayo online and Connect for trusted health information and a place to share with others who are walking a similar path. Would like to add that by gradually adding more fiber and starting a walking program, I've not had another bout of diverticulitis. Yay!

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Lovely to hear, fiesty76! I've had pretty much the same experience, with a nasty first-time attack of diverticulitis three years ago, with hospitalization and – equally nasty – antibiotics. Changing diet really helped, and I also make bone broth and consume it regularly. Apparently the collagen helps to soothe the intestines. Never had another attack, fingers crossed for all sufferers!

COMMENT

I have been diagnosed by 3 different doctors over my lifetime (77) of Gastritis, Diverticulitis and most recently_IBS. Each one has different diets. The IBS was diagnosed by phone by my Gastro. doctor. In the meantime, I discontinued my Letrozole (per Oncoligist) 5 yrs. out from Mastectomy. My gut is awful right now. My Onco. put me on a soft diet. That means very little fiber. Suggestions?

Liked by fiesty76

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