Caring For Yourself After Diverticulitis
Once the diagnosis is made of diverticulitis and you have successfully been treated it is time to be sure that you take good care of yourself. This includes making sure that you understand how much fiber you need in your diet and how to adjust the amount of fiber based on symptoms or how you feel. It is important to understand lifestyle changes that may help to prevent another occurrence of diverticulitis from happening such as reducing stress in your life.
The are 3 levels of fiber in diet: high, low and no fiber. Foods that contain fiber are those that are whole grains and those that contain skin such as apples and potatoes as well as other fruits and vegetables.
Fiber isn't the only dietary consideration. You should probably avoid eating seeds or nuts and anything that is spicy if you want to prevent another attack of diverticulitis. Although it has not been proven that avoiding seeds or nuts prevents another attack, many individuals who have had diverticulitis believe this to be true. After healing from diverticulitis is it important to add fiber slowly to your diet. It is also important to drink a lot of water as you increase your fiber intake. Too much fiber too quickly and you could end up bloated, and experiencing abdominal discomfort.
There are plenty of fiber products that allow you to get the fiber you need from sources other than the food you consume. Products that add fiber are Metamucil, Nature’s Way and also Citrucel.
It is vital that you drink lots of water, especially as you increase your fiber intake because fiber absorbs water. If you increase your fiber and do not increase your water intake your stools may become hard, that that would be counterproductive. Water also helps to keep things moving and you just plain feel better when you drink enough water. Most doctors will tell you to drink a minimum of 8 - 8oz glasses of water each day. See your doctor about how much water is recommended when you are increasing your fiber in your diet.
Reducing or avoiding becoming constipated is another way of preventing diverticulitis. One way that individuals become constipated is by ignoring the urge to move their bowels. Sometimes it is plain not convenient especially while at school or work to take a bathroom break. We tend to decide to ignore the urgings for a more convenient time. This leads to constipation, which can lead to diverticulitis. So to prevent diverticulitis, listen to your body and make a point to move your bowels when you get the urge to do so.
Stress can lead to constipation because stress causes the body to not digest food properly. When stressed blood and oxygen are directed away from the digestive system. It is not always easy to avoid stress but there are some simple things you can do to help deal with stress such as:
Exercising, especially doing activity outside helps to get your mind off your worries.
Deep breathing can help to relax muscles and calm stressed out minds.
Identify what is stressing you out and take action to correct the situation or avoid the individual or event that is causing the stress.
Understand that there are some things that can be changed and other things that cannot. Learn to change what you can and to accept those things that you cannot change.