Top 3 Ways to Prevent Diverticulitis Attacks

By Nigel Wall, Better Digestion Health Writer

Diverticula are pockets or pouches that form in the large intestine, particularly the descending colon. When there is no infection or inflammation present in the diverticula a person is said to have diverticulosis. Diverticulitis is an infection or inflammation of the diverticula that happens when feces gets trapped in the diverticula. Read on to learn the top three ways to help prevent an attack.

Eat More Fiber
fiber digestion

Fiber is an essential part of a healthy diet. Fiber helps to rid the body of bulk waste that can get caught in the diverticula. Health care professionals
sometimes recommend a gradual increase in fiber for patients with diverticulosis to avoid the abdominal discomfort associated with diverticulitis episodes. They may also suggest a daily fiber supplement in the form of a powder, pill or wafer. Adding more whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies to your plate can really help prevent a painful diverticulitis attack and any other complications.

Lots of Water

Staying hydrated is very important for everyone especially those that suffer from digestive disorders like diverticulosis. This is also true for individuals who consume a lot of high fiber foods. Drinking water with fiber-rich foods helps to pass waste more easily. Soluble fiber like apples, beans, oranges and oatmeal will dissolve in water and make you feel fuller longer. Insoluble fiber like whole grain breads & rice, broccoli and green leafy veggies do not absorb water. These types of fiber are considered natural laxatives that promote regularity. The general idea is to increase water intake as you increase fiber intake. People typically need eight glasses of water each day to prevent constipation from a high fiber diet. A doctor can help you figure out your specific dietary needs.

Exercise Can Help

diverticulitisExercise offers many benefits including digestive health. The truth is that a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to all sorts of health problems including diverticulitis. Cardiovascular or aerobic exercises like walking, jogging, running and cycling are all good ways to keep the bowels moving properly. Incorporating 30 minutes or more of physical activity into your busy daily schedule is easier said than done. Try parking further from your destination and take a brisk walk. If you take public transportation it might be a good idea to get off one stop early and walk the rest of the way. An after dinner walk around the neighborhood is one activity that the whole family can enjoy. If there is a recreation center or gym close by perhaps you might enjoy taking a Zumba, cycling or other fitness class. If public exercise isn’t for you, why not buy a few  workout DVDs?

Some people have diverticulosis and never know it. Still there are others who have a flair up or diverticulitis attack and the pain and discomfort can be excruciating. Follow these simple tips to keep the flair ups at bay. It is also a good idea to discuss your options with a health care provider.

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References

WebMD – http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/tc/diverticulitis-topic-overview

NIH – http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/diverticulosis/

 

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