Scientific American presents House Call Doctor by Quick & Dirty Tips. Scientific American and Quick & Dirty Tips are both Macmillan companies.

I recently ran into a friend who shared his recent battles with recurrent diverticulitis. 

Devin was so distraught over the illness that he had started to limit his food choices significantly - to the point that his quality of life was truly diminished and he had lost quite a bit of weight as a result. 

I truly felt for him and his struggle reminded me of the new research findings on food restrictions that are advised for patients with this potentially serious condition.  Doctors may recommend that sufferers avoid certain foods, like nuts and popcorn, but does this really cause diverticulitis?  Let’s learn more about this medical condition in today’s episode.

What Is Diverticulitis?
Before we understand diverticulitis, it’s important to understand diverticulosis.  Diverticulosis refers to small outpouchings (called “diverticula”) that are found in the inside lining of the colon—you can think of them as tiny pockets that are present in up to 10% of people over age 45. This incidence increases with age to about 80% of people over age 85. 

Continue reading on