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Avoid Certain Foods To Prevent Diverticulitis

Condition Involves Inflamed Bowels

UPDATED: 7:59 am PDT September 13, 2005

A painful condition of the bowel can create small pouches that become inflamed -- but some people have them without problems.

Diverticulitis is the condition in which the small pouches occur, and when they become inflamed, you'll know it, reported WBAL-TV in Baltimore.

Dr. Jonathan Schreiber, a gastroenterologist at Baltimore's Mercy Medical Center, said people who have the condition should avoid certain foods, including seeds or nuts.

"(Some of the) hard things we eat that aren't completely digestible," he said. "When they get to that area (of the digestive system), and get wedged into a little pocket, that leads to infection and diverticulitis."

The symptoms include pain, often accompanied by fever, a change in bowel patterns and, sometimes, rectal bleeding.

"For someone with diverticulitis, blackberries are bad. So are peanuts, all nuts, popcorn -- they all fit in the same category," Schreiber said.

But to avoid getting diverticulitis, Schreiber suggested a high-fiber diet with a lot of fruits, vegetables and whole-grain products.

Treatment includes a change in diet and antibiotics, and if it's severe, diverticulitis could include hospitalization and perhaps surgery.

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