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Your diet directly affects your health in many ways. Here are a few digestive conditions that diet can affect.
Diverticular disease consists of two main conditions: diverticulosis and diverticulitis. Diverticulosis is the presence of small pockets in the lining of the digestive tract, typically in the large intestine or colon. Occasionally, the pockets become inflamed, leading to abdominal pain, fever and changes in bowel habits. When this happens, the condition is known as diverticulitis. The disease is associated with consuming a diet lacking in fiber.
For people who have celiac disease, eating gluten, which is in wheat, barley and rye, results in an immune system response that damages the lining of the small intestine.
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
Collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), these conditions are marked by an inflammation of the digestive tract – ulcerative colitis occurs in the large intestine, while Crohn’s can occur anywhere in the GI tract though is most common in the last part of the small intestine. Because IBD symptoms such as diarrhea can lead to dehydration and the loss of nutrients, eating a well-balanced diet is important. Although foods don’t cause the inflammation itself, they can affect your symptoms. So, if certain foods appear to negatively affect your digestive symptom, avoid them. In addition, during flare-ups, avoiding spicy, fatty and high-fiber foods may be helpful.
This is an inflammation of the esophagus. Patients might experience symptoms such as difficulty swallowing or heartburn. Your doctor likely will test for a food allergy. If a food allergy is causing the inflammation, changing your diet to eliminate the allergen may be the only treatment necessary.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which causes pain, cramping and changes in bowel movements, is a condition that differs from person to person. A doctor may recommend avoiding foods and beverages that stimulate the intestines like caffeine, as well as avoiding large meals and increasing your fiber intake.
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