Why Is Summer Sometimes Synonymous With Diverticulitis?

31 July, 2020 ,

Summer has finally arrived! Which means more sun, barbecue, hikes, swimming and… subscribers signing up for our Diverticulitis meal plan. What is going on?

It’s true that for several years we have noticed that many of you suffer from diverticulitis in the middle of the summer and choose our Diverticulitis meal plans in order to relieve your symptoms. Several scientific studies have made the same observation: there is indeed a seasonal summer increase in hospital admissions due to diverticulitis.

But what is the explanation behind this?

Unfortunately, although this disease is very common, the causes of diverticulitis are poorly understood. However, seasonal dietary changes may have a role to play.

In effect, the warmth and abundance of nature during the summer months means that we are often inclined to eat more fruits and vegetables, and they are often raw. Of course it is essential to eat fruits and vegetables to ensure good health. However, some of us greatly increase our consumption in the summer and our digestive system can be challenged because it is not used to this. So, what can you do if this is the case? Try to eat balanced meals all year round and vary your meals between raw and cooked vegetables.

You may have also noticed that in the summer, when it’s hot, we tend to slow down and so does our digestive system. In order to help our digestion, it is important to eat enough fiber (whole grain cereals, berries, vegetables…). In addition to avoiding constipation, which can promote the formation of new diverticula, fiber is important for feeding the good bacteria of your intestinal flora. If you are not used to eating a high-fibre diet, increase your consumption gradually. It is important to note that nutritional recommendations for fiber differ greatly in the case of diverticulitis or diverticulosis. So I invite you to read this article.

Another tip: make sure that you are well hydrated! In the summer we sweat a lot in order to keep our bodies at the right temperature, so we have to make up for these fluid losses in another way. In addition, it is essential to be well hydrated when eating a diet high in fiber because if you do not drink enough it can produce the opposite effect of that which was intended. In effect, consuming fiber, while not drinking enough water, can cause constipation. A solution is to drink small amounts of water all throughout the day. Why not try water that has been flavoured with fruits and/or herbs?

Finally, be careful to store your food at the right temperature because in the heat bacteria will grow quickly on food, which often causes gastrointestinal problems.

Whether you are currently suffering from diverticulitis or you want to do all that you can to prevent a recurrence, our Diverticulitis and Diverticulosis meal plan is a great option for you and will ensure you are nourished with a balanced diet that is adapted to your condition.


References

  • Ricciardi, R., Roberts, P. L., Read, T. E., Marcello, P. W., Hall, J. F., Schoetz, D. J., & Foley, E. F. (2011). Cyclical increase in diverticulitis during the summer months. Archives of surgery, 146(3), 319-323.
  • Adler, J. T., Chang, D. C., Chan, A. T., Faiz, O., & Maguire, L. H. (2016). Seasonal variation in diverticulitis: evidence from both hemispheres. Diseases of the colon and rectum, 59(9), 870.
  • Canadian Digestive Health Foundation. Does Hot Weather Affect Digestion? Consulté le 28 juillet 2020.
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Author

Jennifer Morzier

Jennifer Morzier

Jennifer is a Registered Dietitian graduated from the University of Montreal in December 2018 and is a member of the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec (OPDQ). She believes that the quality of our food choices has a direct impact on our health and energy level. Her goal? To help people improve the quality of what they put in their plates, for their better well-being and greater pleasure.

Jennifer Morzier

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