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What to Eat for Diverticulitis

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Updated February 19, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

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Are you experiencing the challenging symptoms of a diverticulitis attack? Hopefully you have already contacted your doctor (and if you haven't, this is an essential step to ensure an accurate diagnosis and assessment of the seriousness of your condition.) As you probably know, diverticulitis is a condition in which the diverticula, tiny pockets found in the lining of the large intestine, become inflamed and possibly infected. This article will help to guide you regarding what to eat as you cope with the active attack and its aftermath.

While Symptomatic

While your diverticulitis is active, your doctor will most likely recommend that you follow a liquid diet - no solid foods whatsoever - in order to help your colon rest and heal. Stick to the following:

  • Black coffee
  • Broth
  • Fruit juices (apple, pear, grape, cranberry, not orange) - no pulp
  • Popsicles
  • Jello
  • Tea
  • Water

After the Attack

Your doctor will be the one to give you the green light as to when to start to re-introduce solid foods back into your diet. At first, they are likely to recommend that you only eat low-fiber foods. Here are some examples:

Protein: Poultry, eggs, fish, meat

Dairy products:: Milk, yogurt and cheese

Low fiber grains: White bread, white pasta, plain noodles, white rice, low-fiber cereal

Fruits: Canned or cooked only, without any seeds or skin

Vegetables: Canned and cooked only, without any seeds or skin

As you continue to recover, your doctor will recommend that you slowly start to add fiber back into your diet. Work your way up to a high-fiber diet so as to try to prevent further diverticulitis episodes.

Essential Reading from Dr. Bolen, Your IBS Expert:

Sources:

"Diverticular Disease" National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC) Accessed January 29, 2014.

"Diverticulitis Diet" Mayo Clinic Website accessed February 3, 2014.

Humes, D. & Spiller, R. "Review article: the pathogenesis and management of acute colonic diverticulitis" Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics 2014 39:359–370.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this site is for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment rendered by a licensed physician. It is essential that you discuss with your doctor any symptoms or medical problems that you may be experiencing.

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