In this article, I will answer the question “Can you eat pizza with diverticulitis?” and explain the consequences if you do.
Yes, you can eat pizza with diverticulitis. There is no specific recommendation against eating pizza for people who have diverticulitis. However, it is necessary to remember that pizza should be eaten in moderation, in a balanced diet.
In addition, pizza is not a very nutritious food, and it’s high in calories, so it shouldn’t be eaten often.
What is diverticulitis?
Diverticulitis is a disease caused by inflammation and/or infection of the diverticula. Diverticula are small pouches that form in the gastrointestinal tract, mainly in the colon of the large intestine. They are common, and in most cases, no problem occurs. When diverticula are present, it is called diverticulosis.
Because they develop in places in the colon that can sag under pressure, these diverticula can rupture and become inflamed, causing diverticulitis.
People with obesity, who do not exercise, have a diet high in fat and low in fiber, smokers, the elderly and users of some medications are more likely to develop diverticulitis.
What are the symptoms and dangers of diverticulitis?
Diverticulitis can cause:
A lot of abdominal pain, especially on the lower left side, but it can also affect the right side, especially in people of Asian origin. The pain is bothersome and usually persists for days;
- Vomiting and nausea
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Tenderness in the abdomen area.
You should immediately seek medical help if you experience any of these symptoms persistently, especially sudden and persistent abdominal pain.
There are some complications that can be caused by diverticulitis. Abscesses, intestinal blockage, intestinal or other organ fistulas, and perionitis, which occurs when the inflamed pouch ruptures, spilling the contents of the intestine into the abdominal cavity.
How should a person with diverticulitis eat?
There is a specific diet for this disease, the diverticulitis diet. This diet is old and has been studied by doctors for a few years. In the past, it was believed that foods such as popcorn, nuts, some types of vegetables and fruits, acidic foods, among others, made the disease worse.
A study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2008 showed that there is not enough evidence to support this approach.
This diet should be done carefully and under medical advice, so that there is no risk of any nutritional deficiency.
Here is a list of foods that should be consumed with care and, in some cases, even avoided:
- Foods rich in fiber, especially whole grains, seeds such as chia, quinoa, sesame and flaxseed, nuts (Brazil nuts, cashews, peanuts), corn, coconut, peanut butter, dried fruits and those raw with skin, bacon and shrimp.
So, what should a person with diverticulitis eat? Here are some suggestions:
- Soup broth, gelatin, popsicles, apple sauce, white bread and rice and all foods made with white flour, low-fiber cereals, potatoes, well-cooked vegetables without the skin, fruit without the skin, juices without pulp, milk and derivatives, coffee and tea without sweetener.
In addition, the diverticulitis diet has three stages of feeding, with the aim of minimizing symptoms by avoiding eating fiber. As the symptoms subside, the patient can progress through the stage and reintroduce fiber back into their diet.
The stages are: stage 1 – clear liquids, stage 2 – low fiber foods and stage 3 – high fiber foods.
- Stage 1 – clear liquids: Only foods that are light in color are accepted, such as clear broths, fruit juices, jellies, popsicles, teas and water.
- Stage 2 – low-fiber foods: Rice and white bread, potatoes, low-fiber cereals, canned fruit, milk and dairy products, white meats and eggs, fruit juices without pulp.
- Stage 3 – high fiber diet: all whole foods (bread, rice, pasta, wheat), fruits with skin, all vegetables, popcorn, seeds and nuts.
What about pizza and other industrialized foods, they can be included in the diet?
During bouts of diverticulitis, which is when the patient feels most symptoms and a lot of abdominal pain, it is important to avoid foods that can irritate the intestinal wall. This also includes processed and unnatural foods, such as pizza.
But, as explained, if you’re eating under control, have no pain, discomfort, or any symptoms linked to diverticulitis, it’s okay to eat a pizza once in a while. Pizza will not be able to hurt your stomach and make your illness worse, as long as it is consumed in moderation and very carefully.
It is important that people with diverticulitis have frequent medical and nutritional follow-up to monitor their condition and control their diet, avoiding serious risks.
In this article, I answered the question “Can you eat pizza with diverticulitis?” and I gave information about what diverticulitis is, what its symptoms and consequences are, and how a person who has diverticulitis should eat.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions on this subject.