Eat Fiber to Fight Diverticulosis

Tuesday, 26 Feb 2013 10:03 AM

By David Brownstein, M.D.

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Question: I have been diagnosed with diverticulosis and was told to eat a high-fiber diet. Is this the right advice?

Dr. Brownstein's Answer:

Diverticulosis is the formation of tiny pouches in the lining of the colon. These growths are called diverticula. They are weak spots in the bowel wall, and can rupture when the pressure rises too high.

Having diverticulum does not mean you have a disease — it means you have an aging colon. If there are no problems, you need not worry about it. However, you can suffer from infection and other issues due to diverticula. Some may have to be removed through surgery.

Conventional medicine recommends a high-fiber diet to keep stools soft and regular, as it is best to avoid constipation when you have diverticula. There is no question that increased pressure can elevate the risk of rupture of diverticula.

I have no qualms about advising you to eat high-fiber foods. It is best to increase your fiber intake by increasing your consumption of fruits and vegetables. Also, taking vitamin C (2,000 to 5,000 mg per day in a buffered powdered form) and magnesium (200 to 400 mg per day) is a good way to ensure regular, soft bowel movements.

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