Diverticulosis is characterized by diverticula -- small protruding pouches found on the wall of the colon. Diverticula are caused by chronic constipation. Straining to pass hard stool increases pressure in the colon causing the intestinal lining to bulge outward and form diverticula. High-fiber foods such as ground flax meal are recommended for patients with diverticulosis.
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Diverticulosis and Ground Flax Meal
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases recommends that patients with diverticulosis consume a high-fiber diet because the diet prevents development of diverticulosis. High-fiber foods add bulk to stool and increase the number of bowel movements thereby reducing pressure in the colon caused by hardened stool. Ground flax meal is an example of a high-fiber meal that prevents diverticulosis.
Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis Symptoms
Most patients with diverticulosis do not experience symptoms or discomfort, according to Gicare.com. Some patients may experience lower crampy abdominal pain, excess intestinal gas, bloating and constipation. Some patients with diverticulosis may develop infection and inflammation in the diverticula, a condition called diverticulitis. Patients with diverticulitis experience symptoms such as fever, chills, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, constipation or diarrhea and weight-loss.
Fiber treats and relieves symptoms of diverticulosis, according to Gicare.com. Patients with diverticulosis are usually advised to consume ground flax meals and other high fiber foods to treat and prevent the condition. Doctors may prescribe fiber product such as ground Citrucel and Metamucil to patients who have a problem obtaining fiber from foods. Diverticulitis is treated using antibiotics and pain relievers. Severe cases of diverticulitis requires hospital stay.
Untreated diverticulosis may lead to the inflammation of the diverticula and surrounding regions. Inflammation of the colon may lead to perforation of the colon and leaking of abdominal contents into the peritoneal space leading to peritonitis and the formation of an abscess. Bacteria from the colon may also leak into the bloodstream and cause sepsis.