Diverticular Disease and Diet
Diverticula are small sacs that branch off of the intestine, usually off of the colon. Most people develop them as they age. These protrusions commonly occur at areas where the intestinal wall has weakened.
The presence of diverticula (called diverticulosis) has been linked to a low-fiber diet. If you have diverticula, adding fiber won't make the pockets go away, but it may help prevent development of new pockets.
Diverticulosis does not cause symptoms unless you develop:
Bleeding. The bleeding can be brisk and is usually painless.
Inflammation of one or more sacs, called diverticulitis. Diverticulitis is painful and fever is often present. Pain can occur anywhere in the abdomen; the left lower part of the abdomen is the most common area.
If you have diverticulitis, your doctor will probably recommend antibiotics and a liquid diet. In more severe cases, hospitalization is required. Once the condition clears, you can gradually resume eating a high-fiber diet.