Diverticular disease is the umbrella term for diverticulosis and diverticulitis.
Diverticulosis is the presence of one or more diverticula (small pockets) in the colon (large intestine). It can be asymptomatic or symptomatic. Diverticular disease is defined as symptomatic diverticulosis.
Diverticulitis is the inflammation and / or infection of the diverticula. It can be acute or chronic. It characterizes the acute phase of diverticular disease.
Symptoms of diverticular disease may include abdominal distension, abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and tenesmus (the urge to defecate). Symptoms may be exacerbated by eating and relieved by passing stools or passing gas.
There is no nutritional treatment for asymptomatic diverticulosis. In diverticular disease, the goal of nutritional treatment is to increase stool weight and volume to reduce pressure on the walls of the colon and optimize the intestinal flora. In general, recommendations include adopting a high fiber diet (25 35 g / day), having adequate hydration (1.5 2 L of water / day), physical activity and consume probiotics (L. Casei).).
During the acute phase (diverticulitis), the individual may have a liquid diet or NPO (nil per os or nothing by mouth) to reduce the pressure on the walls of the colon. If needed, treatment may also involve the use of the parenteral (intravenous) route to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance. Then, the diet progresses towards a diet restricted in fiber, then moderate and finally normal, according to the tolerance of each individual.
Long-term nutritional treatment for diverticular disease is eating a diet high in fiber. It is adopted when the acute symptoms disappear and gradually. Indeed, the amount of fiber consumed must be increased gradually in order to avoid potential digestive discomfort. At the start of treatment, it may also be recommended to favor soluble fibers which are softer than insoluble fibers. Soluble fiber is found in certain fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes. A diet rich in fiber helps to optimize the functioning of the intestines and helps reduce recurrence. Finally, it is important to note that the consumption of fruits and pome vegetables, seeds, nuts, corn and popcorn does not increase the risk of diverticulosis, nor of diverticular complications. It is therefore no longer recommended to avoid these foods in cases of diverticular disease.
- Bouthillier, Lise. January 2019. Diseases of the digestive tract. NUT 2047 Clinical nutrition 2. Montreal: University of Montreal.al.
- Schwartz, L., and C. E. Semrad. Diverticular Disease and Diet.” Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, by A. Catharine Ross, Wolters Kluwer / Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2014, pp. 10991101..
- https://www.unlockfood.ca/fr/Articles/Digestion/Digestive-health/Ce-que-vous-devez-savoir-au-sujet-de-la-maladie-di.aspx#:~:text=Si % 20you% 20souffrez% 20de% 20diverticulosis, or% 20infect% C3% A9es% 20par% 20des% 20bact% C3% A9ries
Article written by:
Marie-Noël Marsan, Nutritionist