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11 Foods That Make Diverticulitis Worse

Diverticular disease is a digestive disease displayed by the formation of diverticula, or pouches, within the intestinal and colon walls.  These pouches then may push into the weakened walls.  Diverticular disease is the umbrella name from which two conditions diverge, diverticulosis and diverticulitis.  In brief, diverticular disease is partially defined as “clinically significant and symptomatic diverticulosis complicated by diverticulitis….”

Diverticular disease is believed to be caused by a lack of fiber in the diet.  Diverticulitis is the more problematic version, as it brings complications stemming from an already developed diverticulosis disease.  Ironically, once the diverticulitis forms, fiber from specific vegetables can create discomfort of varying degrees.  Particular foods are suggested to be eaten with caution or avoided to prevent more severe symptoms.   Below, we will list 11 foods that can make diverticulitis worse.


Diverticular disease usually starts to manifest itself around age 40-50 and increases in potential severity through age 80 and later.  In the 50 or younger age bracket, men are most likely to show diverticula, whereas women are diagnosed more progressively at 70 years old and beyond.  In addition to lack of fiber, one study of participants with diverticulosis also had a fuller waist circumference and larger body mass than those who didn’t have diverticulosis.

  • Diverticulosis affects as many as 10% of the populace over the age of 40.
  • 33% are aged 50-59.
  • 71% are over the age of 80.

In comparison, diverticulitis (and its various complications) affects 4-15% of those who develop diverticulosis.

  • Men hospitalized for diverticulitis were about 63 years of age on average.
  • In 16% of cases, those admitted to a hospital were under the age of 45.
  • Men are the predominant gender of those hospitalized under the age of 50.
  • Between the ages of 50-70, men and women stand an equal chance of developing diverticulitis.
  • After the age of 70, women are predominantly hospitalized.
  • About 25% of all patients have acute or chronic diverticulitis.

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