How To Prevent Diverticulitis And Achieve Bowel Health
There is often confusion surrounding the difference between two conditions known as diverticulosis and diverticulitis.
A lack of dietary fiber, the indigestible component of plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and legumes, can make stool sometimes harder to pass and result in constipation and straining.
The excess pressure can cause certain areas of the colon to become weakened and collapse, and form small pouches (diverticula) protruding through the colon wall.
Having diverticula in the intestines is known as diverticulosis.
Diverticulosis usually causes no or few symptoms; leaving many people unaware that they even have diverticula present. An attack of diverticulitis can develop suddenly and without warning.
These pouches, which are small at first, but become larger gradually; typically develop in the the lower portions of your large intestine just above your rectum. They are often the result of straining during bowel movements over a number of years.
However, when a food particle or piece of waste material lodges in the pouches, it can become inflamed and infected and cause a more serious illness called diverticulitis.
Common signs and symptoms of diverticulitis include:
- Pain that's often sudden, severe and located in the lower left side of the abdomen
- Abdominal pain that may be mild at first and become worse over several days, possibly fluctuating in intensity
- Abdominal tenderness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blood in the stool
The severity of symptoms depend on the extent of the infection and complications.
Diverticulitis can cause blockage in your colon or small intestine caused by scarring. In severe cases of inflammation and infection, abscess and peritonitis may develop.
Common Risk Factors:
- Lack of fibre: Fiber helps to soften stools, allowing solid waste to pass more quickly and easily through the digestive tract. This helps to maintain bowel health and regularity.
Studies have looked at the relationship between high-fiber diets and prevention of many diseases, including colon cancer, coronary heart disease and diabetes.
Diverticulitis is rare in countries where people eat a high-fiber diet, but is common in industrialised nations, where the average diet is high in refined carbohydrates and low in fiber. In fact, diverticular disease emerged after the introduction of steel-rolling mills, which greatly reduced the fiber content of flour and other grains.
- Ageing: with age, the risk of, developing diverticulitis increase possibly due to decrease in strength and elasticity of bowel wall.
- Lack of exercise
The Integrative Medicine Aproach
Diverticulitis is an indication of inflammation and insufficient digestive processes, decreased liver function and inadequate digestive enzymes to properly digest the foods you consume.
The combination of herbs in MediHerb Livton Complex help to stimulates bile flow, aid digestion, support the liver and can help with bowel regularity.
Slippery elm has a soothing action on the digestive system, reducing irritation and inflammation.
Fish oil is a natural anti-inflammatory and aids in protecting the cells that line the wall of the colon.
Colloidal silver is very effective when treating diverticulitis as nature`s antibiotic, effectively kills bacteria, viruses. Additionally, colloidal silver reduces inflammation and repairs injured tissue.
Take a probiotic supplement to encourage the growth of healthy bacteria through the digestive tract and balance the gut flora.
Aloe Vera Juice promotes healing of the inflamed areas.
Nutrition Care Gut Relief is essential for healing the gut, relieving inflammation and maintaining better absorption of nutrients from your food.
A healthy diet is of utmost importance in preventing diverticulitis.
- Eliminate processed, refined carbohydrates, sugars, and junk foods from your diet.
- Focus on diet high in fiber and include raw fruits and vegetables.
- Chew your food thoroughly.
- Drink plenty of water and natural juices. Fiber works by absorbing water and increasing the soft, bulky waste in your colon. But if you don't drink enough liquid to replace what's absorbed, fiber can be constipating.
- Don’t drink large amounts of liquids 20 minutes prior to eating or 30 minutes after eating, as it will dilute the digestive juices and reduce digestive function further.
- Start each day with 1/2 lemon squeezed in small glass of warm water to kick start the liver cleansing.
- Eat more green bitter foods such as rocket, radicchio and endive to promote digestion.
- Include oils in your diet such as avocados, fish, raw olive oil, flaxseed oil, as oil lubricates the walls of the colon making it easier to pass stools and also reduce inflammation in the body.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol as they are common irritants to the digestive tract and have a dehydrating effect.
- Consider doing Emed's Detoxification Program to cleanse the body and promote better digestive processes and bowel function.
- Peppermint, Dandelion and Chamomile teas are great digestive herbs and when taken between meals can help to calm the digestion and ease symptoms of diverticulitis and promote better digestion and liver function.
More Tips For Preventing Diverticulitis
- Exercise regularly to help strengthen and tone the muscles of the abdomen, and promote normal bowel function.
- When you need to use the toilet, don't delay. Delaying bowel movements leads to harder stools that require more force to pass and increased pressure within your colon.
- Foods like nuts and seeds may lodge in the diverticula and cause inflammation. Grind these foods to avoid the problem.
- Establish a regular bowel routine and try to have a bowel movement at approximately the same time.