Lifewatch: Diverticulitis

Reported by Claire Hosmann - email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

(WECT) - Some popular snack foods may no longer be off limits for patients who suffer from a common gastrointestinal condition.

Researchers looked at more than 47,000 men between the ages of 45 and 75 and concluded "there is no evidence to support consumption of nuts, corn, popcorn, or seeds as a risk factor."

Diverticulitis is a gastrointestinal disease that affects about 1/3 of Americans by the age of 60.

"Diverticulitis affects the large intestine, and it primarily affects the lower part of the large intestine," said Dr. Cynthia Rudert.

Doctors say the lining of the intestine contains small pouches that can bulge outward through weak spots.  When the pouches become inflamed, the condition is called diverticulitis.

"The pain is pretty constant, unrelenting and can be associated with fever and chills," said Dr. Rudert.

Antibiotics are effective for many patients, but surgery may be required in the case of a perforation, or blockage in the intestine.

To help reduce symptoms, doctors suggest eating a heart-healthy, high-fiber diet that for some may now include some popular snack foods.