Monthly Archives: February 2018

Fructans – ever heard of these?

Fructans are made up of many fructose units (a type of sugar) joined together with a glucose unit on the end fructans are made. Humans are unable to break the bonds between the fructose units as we lack the enzyme needed to do this. The regular human process is for fructans to travel through the bowel undigested and unabsorbed and when in the large bowel the bacteria present ferment them. This process creates some gas/wind and is completely normal but individuals with IBS can have an extra-sensitive gut or a gut that acts differently when some wind is present and bloating and pain may be experienced.

Fructans are found in a range of foods including onion, garlic, leek and wheat-based foods as well as some fruits including watermelon, peaches, bananas and dried apricots.

Diverticular Disease- more common than you think

Why is Diverticular Disease so common??

I have just been reading a recent article examining Diverticular disease. I am surprised to discover that it is one of the most common gastrointestinal diseases in the Western world. Chances are folk in the western world are looking for it a bit more than others but it seems those living in the more developed countries have a higher risk of this condition. Some of the reasons for this include Dietary fibre deficiency, Overweight and obesity, Vitamin D deficiency and often a lower physical activity levels.

If a genetically susceptible individual has a number of these risk factors then the likelihood of diagnosis is considerably elevated.

So what is happening in the bowel with this diagnosis?

With this condition small pouches or Diverticular sacs have formed on the wall of the colon. These sacs generally are not problematic unless matter gets caught in them and inflammation of the lining of the colon occurs. When this happens the result can be pain, diarrhoea and severe cases may need hospitalisation.

 So what should you do if you get a diagnosis of Diverticular disease?

Talk to your specialist, doctor and dietitian about the best treatment for the disease at your particular stage …dietary changes may be required and at times medication and general monitoring of the condition. Minimising straining when using your bowels is essential and strategies to prevent straining may be needed.

Original article:  Diverticular Disease: An Update on Pathogenesis and Management
Mona Rezapour1, Saima Ali2, and Neil Stollman. Gut and Liver, Published online May 12, 2017