Diverticulosis



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What Is Diverticulosis

Diverticulosis, which is not the same as Diverticulitis, is a condition that involves small pockets in the wall or lining of the digestive tract.  These pockets, known as diverticula, exist in the inner layer of the digestive tract, pushing through weak spots in the exterior layer.  People with Diverticulosis commonly develop diverticula in the large intestine, but it is possible for people to have them in the colon.  This is a common condition in the United States, affecting 50% of everyone over the age of 60.  It is very uncommon for people in Asia and Africa to develop Diverticulosis. 

Signs Of Diverticulosis

The average person with Diverticulosis doesn't realize that he/she has it, primarily because the symptoms are minimal or non-existent.  While a person may not show any signs, it is possible to experience:

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Cramping
  • Stomach pain
  • Difficulty passing stool
What Causes Diverticulosis

Medical experts mostly attribute the development of Diverticulosis to a low-fiber diet that is devoid of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts & seeds.  The reason for this hypothesis is because the condition is extremely uncommon in other regions of the world, where diets are rich in those aforementioned fiber-rich foods.  Doctors are still unsure of the exact cause, but diet has a lot to do with this condition.  Other risk factors may include:

  • Straining during bowel movements
  • People over age 60
  • Family history of the condition
  • Muscle spasms
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Excess use of anti-inflammatory drugs

Dherbs Approach...adjusting your diet is always key!

Natural Remedies
  • The recommended daily intake (RDI) of fiber for the average adult is 20-35 grams, but most people only consume half or less than that amount.  People with Diverticulosis are encouraged to increase their fiber intake, especially if they experience abdominal pain, constipation, or bloating.  The easiest way to increase fiber intake is by focusing on fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.  Great fiber-rich foods to consume include squash, kidney beans, apples, broccoli, carrots, lima beans, and pears.  These foods can help regulate bowel movements by softening stool to ease its passage.
  • While research is still being conducted, preliminary evidence suggests that probiotics can help fight symptoms of Diverticulosis.  Probiotics work to improve the amount of healthy bacteria in your microbiome, and they help to encourage healthier digestion.  Great sources of probiotics include fermented vegetables, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, and kimchi.
  • Digestive enzymes are produced by the stomach, small intestine, pancreas, and salivary glands, and they work to break down food.  A 2014 study found that digestive enzymes may relieve abdominal pain or other stomach problems.  These enzymes are not the answer to curing Diverticulosis, but they may reduce symptoms.  The best sources of these enzymes are pears, pineapples, and papayas. 
  • Some herbs and spices may be effective at reducing inflammation in the digestive tract.  Garlic contains antiviral and antimicrobial properties, which work to fight infection, decrease constipation, and improve overall digestion.  Chinese and Indian medicine have used turmeric for centuries to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.  Turmeric works to aid the secretion of digestive enzymes, which can aid the break down of food. 
  • Those with Diverticulosis may benefit from trying acupuncture, which is a traditional Chinese practice that may help to relieve constipation.  Needles are strategically inserted at various points on the body with the intention of aligning internal energy and flow.  Acupuncture may also help to relieve pain and stress. 
Things you should eat
  • Papaya
  • Pears
  • Broccoli
  • Apples
  • Kimchi
  • Fermented Vegetables
  • Kombucha
  • Carrots
  • Lima Beans
  • Squash
  • Pineapple
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