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Carafate (Sucralfate)

Diverticulosis is the presence of tiny sacs or pouches in the intestinal wall, most often in the colon. The diverticuli become filled with food wastes and bacteria, but produce no symptoms until they become infected and inflamed (diverticulitis). Once inflamed, severe pain and even perforation may occur.
Long continued use of low-fiber diets is believed to contribute to the development of diverticuli. The swallowing of air together with the gases resulting from the overproduction of bacteria in the intestines leads to increased gas pressure. Diets that are low in fiber cause the colon to contract more tightly; this further increases the gas pressure. The walls of the colon then bulge out to form the diverticulum.
During the acute stage bed rest, antibiotics, and a clear-liquid diet followed by a very low-residue diet are prescribed. Surgery is sometimes indicated.
The second stage in dietary management is a gradual increase in fiber content until a high-fiber intake is achieved. Patients are likely to be fearful of increasing their fiber intake because they may have been told that a low-fiber diet is essential to treatment. They need to understand that a high-fiber intake results in lowering the pressure that builds up in the colon, that fiber increases the bulk of the stool, that there is a shorter time for food wastes and bacterial growth to accumulate, and that elimination is improved. Some persons experience flatulence at first, but this is not cause for discontinuing the diet. The adjustment is more readily made if fiber intake is increased over a period of weeks. For example, the patient might modify his diet only by adding a tablespoon of bran to his breakfast cereal; a few days to a week later he might add a second tablespoon or so on.
Very low-residue diet
This diet is designed to furnish a minimum of fiber and also lead to a minimum of residue in the intestinal tract. The diet allows tender meats, poultry, fish, eggs, white bread, macaroni, noodles, simple desserts, clear soups, tea, and coffee. It omits all fruits, fruit juices, vegetables, and usually milk. Such a diet is obviously lacking in calcium, iron, and vitamins, and should be used for only a few days. A typical menu follows:
Breakfast Luncheon Dinner
Cream of wheat Tomato bouillon Small club steak
Milk for cereal Crackers Baked potato without skin;
Sugar Roast chicken butter
Soft-cooked egg Buttered rice Roll with butter
White toast White bread or roll Whipped raspberry gelatin
Butter Butter or margarine Plain sugar cookies
Coffee White cake with icing Tea with lemon and sugar
Tea with lemon and sugar

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