Diverticulosis is a condition in which the large intestines or the colon develop small pouches or sacs. These pouches can be visible or felt from outside wall of the intestines. Each of these pouches are known as Diverticula. If these sacs or the pouches (Diverticula) becomes inflamed or infected it can become painful. Usually inflammation or infection can happen due to food or stool getting stuck in these pouches. This condition is known as Diverticulitis.
Diverticulosis is not a big deal but Diveticulitis is not something which can be taken lightly. Diverticulitis is a very painful condition and it can be accompanied by fever, nausea and constipation. Sometimes it can also cause cramping and bleeding. Usually in such cases you would need to consult your doctor.
Diverticulosis Vs Diverticulitis
The surprising part is Diverticulosis is a very common condition and it is prevalent in more than half the people over the age of sixty years. It means that you most likely know somebody who has Diverticulosis.
Can Fiber Help You Control Diverticulosis?
Fiber plays a very important role in our Colon health. It also helps in avoiding Diverticulitis. So the question you may ask is how Fiber can help. The primary reason behind this condition is, when we eat lot of refined food and less fiber, the Colon and the intestinal walls do not get enough exercise. Gradually they sag out and pouches start forming.
Taking sufficient amount of fiber forces the walls of the intestines or colon to be more active while processing the pushing the fiber forward. Due to this the walls remain tight and healthy.
How Medical Opinion Has Changed in Last Decade
Till a decade back if you had Diverticulosis, Gastroenterologist would have suggested you to avoid fiber. They would also have told you not to take any seeds and nuts which could get stuck in those Diverticula. But over time it was found that these advice caused the condition to worsen instead of improving. The simple reason is fiber is essential for exercising the colon and intestines.
However remember that if you have Diverticulitis condition already, you may need to be hospitalized and fed intravenously so that your gut gets full rest and healed. But for majority of people with Diverticulosis, they should have more fiber than other healthy people so that their guts remain healthy and robust. Studies done by National Institute of Digestive Health have also shown that fiber helps prevent Diverticulitis.
Remember if you continue to have high fiber food while you are younger you can avoid even Diverticulosis. Hence have more fruits and vegetable and have a healthy gut.