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​​​​Hiatus Hernia
​​​​Irritable bowel syndrome
Diverticulitis and Diverticulosis
Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome

Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis

Diverticulosis

​​Diverticulosis
Small pouches in the colon caused by a western diet (low fibre and not enough water) where the muscles have to work hard to push everything through the tract but eventually become weak and lose elasticity.  We call the small pouches 'diverticula' (plural diverticulum).  Diverticula can also develop in the oesophagus, stomach and small intestine but don't normally cause any harm and we don't usually know about it.  Diverticulosis is quite common in the over 40's in western countries.

Diverticulitis
Inflammation and infection of the diverticula causing abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting and chills.

What should my diet be if I have Diverticulosis?
It depends on whether you have a severe case or not.  If it is severe, the colon needs to heal so your doctor would suggest a liquid diet.  If it is a mild case, your doctor would suggest a low fibre (10g per day) diet to also assist in healing the colon.

What should my diet be if I have Diverticulosis but no infection?
You are trying to prevent infection, so you need to be on a high fibre diet (35g per day) to move things through the colon faster.  It is important that you don't increase fibre all at once or you will have severe symptoms.  Increasing fibre slowly (max increase is 5g per day is recommended). It is also important that you exercise daily.

Diverticulitis

What should my diet be if I have diverticulosis?

What should my diet be if I have Diverticulosis but no infection?

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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

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What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

IBS is a long-term condition affecting the digestive system.  Symptoms vary between individuals and include bloating, stomach pains, change in bowel movement and gas.  Some people can also suffer from anxiety and depression.  It is quite common especially with women.  It is imperative that you check your symptoms with your GP as these symptoms can be caused by other illnesses.

What causes IBS?
It is not known what causes IBS but there is evidence that there is a link between IBS and gut inflammation along with gut sensitivity and changes in gut flora.  Stress and sensitivity to certain foods could be a trigger of IBS.

What is the diet for IBS?
Evidence shows that the FODmap diet is the best diet for an IBS flare-up.   The recommended amount of fibre as well as maintaining a healthy gut flora through probiotics is also beneficial.

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

What causes IBS?

What is the diet for IBS?

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Polycystic ovaries syndrome

What is Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome (PCOS)

  • ​​It is an endocrine-metabolic dysfunction. 
  • Multiple cysts develop in the ovaries (hence the 'polycystic ovaries' name).
  • Ovaries do not regularly release eggs.
  • There are high levels of androgens in the body (male hormones).
  • PCOS affects about 5-10% of women of reproductive age.

What is happening in your body?
  • Irregular periods or no periods.
  • Fertility problems.
  • Excessive hair.
  • Thinning of the scalp.
  • Acne.
  • Difficulty controlling weight (30-60% of PCOS sufferers are obese.) Insulin resistance (insulin is the primary hormonal signal for energy to be stored as fat), low levels of CKK (the enzyme in the stomach that controls whether we feel full or not) and depression (PCOS sufferers have a higher risk of depression which could lead to comfort/binge eating).
  • Symptoms can be very individual.
  • Symptoms can change over time.


The exact cause of PCOS is unknown but they think it is related to:
  • Insulin resistance.
  • Abnormal hormone levels.
  • Genetics.

What is the diet for PCOS?
The diet for PCOS relates to insulin resistance so is similar to a diet for diabetes (low GI diet).  Lifestyle changes are also important.

What is happening in your body?

The exact cause of PCOS is unknown but they think it is related to:

What is the diet for PCOS?

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Hiatus Hernia

What is Hiatus Hernia?

  • ​​The diaphragm has several openings through which the abdominal viscera can enter the thorax.  The opening for the oesophagus, the hiatus, is loosely attached to the oesophagus.  In middle age, this attachment weakens and the abdominal pressure may cause the hiatus to herniate (tear).  This is likely to happen as a result of becoming overweight, but may also occur as a consequence of pregnancy, chronic coughing or chronic constipation due to straining. 
  • The major symptoms are pain and discomfort as a result of reflux.  Patients may also complain of the sensation of foods such as doughy bread or fibrous foods like salad, nuts, seeds, sticking in the gullet.
  • Although not well supported by clinical data, diet and lifestyle factors remain important instruments for the overall management of hiatus hernia.

What is the diet for Hiatus Hernia?
Avoid acidic foods that could cause heartburn symptoms:
  • Citrus foods, such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and orange juice, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice and lemonade
  • Chocolate
  • Fatty and fried foods, such as fried chicken and fatty cuts of meat
  • Garlic and onions
  • Spicy food
  • Peppermint and spearmint
  • Tomato-based foods such as spaghetti sauce, pizza, chili, salsa, and tomato juice
  • Coffee, tea (including decaffeinated versions), and alcohol
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Dairy products, such as whole milk, ice cream, and creamed food.
  • Oil and butter

Include low acidic food that shouldn’t cause heartburn symptoms:
  • Bananas and apples
  • Green beans, peas, carrots, and broccoli
  • Grains, like cereals (bran and oatmeal), bread, rice, pasta, and crackers
  • Low-fat or skim milk and low-fat yogurt
  • Fat-free cheeses, cream cheese, and fat-free sour cream
  • Lean meat, chicken, and fish

What is the diet for PCOS?

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