Our expert says:
I am sorry to hear that your dear Mom has been diagnosed with diverticulosis. Basically the condition arises when the diverticles (the highly folded parts of the intestine, which form little sack-like pouches), become inflamed. This can happen when hard food particles such as the pips and skins of fruit, and possibly also insoluble dietary fibre (which is found in wholewheat products) are trapped in the little pouches. Consequently the general diet for this condition is low in fibre and seeks to avoid foods that have pips (guavas, berries), hard skins (peel all fruit and cook if necessary) and insoluble dietary fibre (avoid wholewheat products and such legumes as may cause distress, e.g. lentils which could get trapped in the diverticles). Maltabella is porridge made from milled sorghum grain. It has a fine consistency and should not really cause inflammation. It is also possible that your Mom has become sensitised to certain foods because of the diverticulosis. One way of determining which other foods cause distress, is to keep a food diary and note down which foods cause symptoms and then avoid them in future. If this process is not feasible then I would suggest that you consult a clinical dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area) for a specific diet prescription for your Mom. I would also recommend that use of probiotics ("beneficial microorganisms") such as Bifidoflora (buy at health shops or from dietitians), to help to normalise the bacterial flora in your Mom's digestive tract as this may help if she has become sensitised to certain foods because of her condition. The dietitian should also be able to assess which nutrients need to be supplemented in your Mom's diet seeing that she is a lacto-ovo-vegetarian and at present requires many medications (all of which may have gastro-intestinal side-effects).
I hope you can assist your Mom to feel better.
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