When people have diverticulitis, they will most commonly experience severe abdominal pain or a change in bowel habits. It is a painful and upsetting disturbance in the digestive tract, but it can be treated naturally, provided that the right dietary steps are taken.
There are small bulging pouches that can form in the lining of the digestive system, most often in the colon or large intestine, and these are called diverticula. The formation of these sacs is referred to as diverticulosis, but having diverticula does not indicate diverticulitis. If the diverticula become inflamed, then this is considered diverticulitis.
Symptoms of Diverticulitis:
The most common symptom of diverticulitis is pain in the lower left abdominal region, which is sometimes accompanied by rectal bleeding. This pain will often be sudden and can get worse over the course of a couple days. Other symptoms can include:
- Abdominal pain
- Irregular bowel movements
- Gas or bloating
- Loss of appetite
- Rectal bleeding (usually bright red)
What Causes Diverticulitis?
Doctors aren’t entirely sure what the exact cause of diverticulitis is. Most people believe that the formation of these diverticula can be attributed to a low-fiber diet, which can lead to constipation. The increased pressure in the colon is thought to cause diverticula development. The diverticula eventually tear and can become inflamed or infected. For example, diverticulitis can result from fecal matter becoming lodged in the diverticula. Other causes are listed below.
- Low-fiber diet
- Age (1/3 of Americans over 60 can develop Diverticulitis)
- Lack of aerobic exercise
- Medications (including steroids, opiates, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories)
- Since the Standard American Diet can lead to constipation and other bowel disorders, it may benefit you to go on a liquid diet to rest your bowels and eliminate built-up waste in your digestive tract. Drinking freshly made juices, smoothies, broths, and teas can help boost the immune system and repair the intestinal wall. Try drinking our immune boosting soup by clicking here.
- Ginger tea is one of the best liquids to consume because it is rich in anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe the inflamed or infected diverticula. Additionally, it promotes a healthy digestive system and helps establish healthy bowel movements.
- If you are extremely opposed to an elemental liquid diet, which is recommended for at least 5-7 days, it is important to introduce fiber-rich foods into your diet. You do, however, need to know what fiber to eat. There is insoluble fiber and soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber foods, which can lead to constipation or bulk stools, include whole grains and wheat bran. Soluble fiber foods, including oat bran, flaxseeds, nuts, beans, lentils, barley, and peas, retain water and allow your body to absorb nutrients from the food you digest. Eliminate fast food, dairy products, meat, meat products, salt, refined sugars, and alcohol from your diet to help your body absorb these nutrients.
- It is important to stay hydrated to aid the digestive system. Drinking the recommended eight 8oz glasses of water per day is a great way to maintain hydration. Another healthy measurement is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water. If you way 150lbs and divide that by 2 to get 75, then you should be drinking 75oz of water each day. Additionally, herbal teas, water with lemon juice, mint tea, or dandelion tea may help establish healthy gut flora and regular bowel movements.
- Movement creates movement, which means it is wise for those with diverticulitis to exercise regularly. Aerobic exercise is best because the constant movement can help improve digestion and relieve constipation. It is recommended to exercise for at least 30-40 minutes a day, and the best exercises included walking, bicycling, rebounding, yoga, Tai Chi, and pilates.
- Using a combination of woodworm, black walnut hulls, and cloves is another way to efficiently cleanse the digestive system. Add thyme and burdock to this regimen and you should be able to effectively flush out harmful organisms or bacteria. If finding these items proves difficult, you can participate in our Parasite & Worm Cleanse or the 10-day Colon Cleanser to improve your condition.
- It may be beneficial for you to consume probiotics to help establish healthy gut flora. The healthy bacteria in probiotic foods must be able to stick to your digestive tract in order to benefit your body, so you may not want to eat these foods immediately. It may be more beneficial to eat these foods after consuming a liquid diet for a week. The best probiotic foods to eat include sauerkraut, fermented vegetables, kefir, and kombucha.