Diverticular disease describes two common diseases of the colon, diverticulosis and diverticulitis.
When small pouches form in the colon wall, the condition is called diverticulosis. The pouches, called diverticula, can become inflamed; when this happens, the condition name is diverticulitis. Diverticulitis can be dangerous if left untreated, causing bleeding, blockages, tears, and infection.
Diet and Diverticular Disease: Is Low Fiber the Cause?
“Diet probably has a role in the development of diverticular disease,” says Osama Alaradi, MD, a gastroenterologist and senior staff physician at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Mich. Researchers have noticed that a low-fiber diet in particular seems to play a huge role.
“Countries where they continue to eat high fiber still have lower incidence of disease,” Dr. Alaradi explains. Diverticulosis and diverticulitis are less common in Africa and Asia, and most common in Western nations like the United States, where incidence reaches as high as 40 percent of people over age 60, Alaradi says.
In the United States, diverticular disease was less common at the beginning of the 19th century and has been steadily increasing since the 1960s. “Less exercise, more fast food, and less fiber. The lifestyle has changed,” Alaradi explains. “It’s much less common in vegetarians.” Vegetarian diets tend to be higher in fiber than non-vegetarian diets.
Source: Digestive Health
The Experts Thought: Diverticular disease” is the condition of having diverticula in the colon, which are outpocketings of the colonic mucosa and submucosa through weaknesses of muscle layers in the colon wall. Adding high fiber in diet would help to avoid this disorder and further complications.