Special Diets To Treat Health Conditions

Special Diets

Bookmark this page for diet advice, sample diet-plans and food menus for a range of specific health conditions, such as heart diseasecandidadiverticular diseasegluten intolerancelactose intoleranceIBSfibromyalgia and others. Although diet is not typically the main cause of these disorders, symptoms may invariably be improved by eating the correct foods and avoiding those food types that aggravate the condition.


Candida is a yeast infestation. The species most often involved is Candida albicans, and the infection is known as candidiasis. The purpose of a candida reduction diet is to eliminate those foods that “feed” the yeast infestation, by rigid adherence to a “restricted foods list.” The duration of the diet is typically determined by the history and severity of the symptoms and overall health.

Diverticular Disease

A low-fiber diet is considered to be the main cause of diverticular problems. First diagnosed in the United States in the early 1900s, and now common throughout developed countries, the emergence of diverticular disease coincided with the introduction of low-fiber processed foods (eg. branless refined flour).

Celiac Disease (Gluten Intolerance)

At present, the only treatment for celiac disease is to follow a gluten-free diet, and eliminate all foods that contain wheat, rye, barley and oats. Most celiac patients have to avoid all traces of gluten, while some celiacs can get away with eating a small amount occasionally. Also, some patients do not have to eliminate oats from their diet. On the other hand, some celiac sufferers have an acute reaction (known as celiac shock) to even the smallest amount of gluten.

Diet And Heart Disease

High blood pressure (hypertension), raised cholesterol and clogged arteries (atherosclerosis) are strongly associated with heart attacks and stroke. Treatment for both conditions involves dietary change, to reduce total fat-intake, saturated fats and trans-fats, as well as sodium intake, and to increase consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. For more information see:

Lactase Deficiency

People who suffer from lactose intolerance are unable to digest lactose, which is the principal sugar in milk and milk products. This digestive incapacity is caused by a lack of the digestive enzyme lactase.There is no “special treatment” for lactose intolerance. The only way to control symptoms is by diet modification.

Irritable Bowel Disease (IBS)

Treatment for IBS is typically conditional upon a patient’s age, general health and medical history, severity of symptoms, tolerance and suitability for medications. Treatment may include diet modification, such as switching to a high fiber diet, the use of fiber supplements, laxatives, and other medications to relieve symptoms.