Diverticulitis, the result of the standard American diet, is a condition where balloonlike sacs or pouches form outward from the intestinal walls. The sacs can become inflamed, causing pain and other medical conditions. This condition is virtually nonexistent when a diet of whole foods, fruits, and vegetables is followed. Symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain (usually in the left lower quadrant)
- Excessive gas
- Poor elimination
- Diarrhea and mucus in stools
- Symptoms similar to appendicitis and IBS
- Dark blood in stools
What Causes Diverticulitis?
The primary cause of diverticulitis is poor diet. Over time, lacking a diet in fresh fruits, vegetables, and fiberrich foods can lead to many health problems, including diverticulitis. Other causes include food allergies, reactions to various pharmaceutical drugs, lack of exercise, and ‘leaky gut’ syndrome. A ‘leaky gut’ is a condition where damage to the intestinal lining causes undigested food particles to move through the gastrointestinal tract. An unhealthy diet can be dramatically improved with the inclusion of organic, whole foods, fresh leafy vegetables and foods low in hydrogenated and trans fats.
Many pharmaceutical drugs can cause and irritate gastrointestinal disorders. Some offenders include aspirin, analgesic tablets, cuprimine, Ecotrin, Prokine, and Voltaren, and nearly all antibiotics.
Treatments for Diverticulitis
Improving the diet is the best treatment for diverticulitis, and a diet high in organic, whole foods, and fiber is essential for reversing and preventing the condition. Avoid all commercially processed foods, sugars, and refined carbohydrates. Avoid foods that cause allergies, such as soy, milk and dairy, wheat, and shell fish. Nuts are also difficult for some people. Eat more:
- Easily digestible antioxidant fruits and vegetables
- Freerange organic meats and poultry (or better, cut out meat completely for awhile)
- Fresh green vegetables and green vegetable drinks, fresh juices
- Steamed vegetables
- Olive oil and flax seed oil
- Cooked whole grains
The primary herbal remedy is known as Robert’s Formula, a combination of comfrey, Echinacea, geranium, goldenseal, marshmallow root, poke root, slippery elm, and wild indigo. It is best taken in combination with licorice root tea.
Smoking will worsen your condition, so try to cut down or quit. Likewise, coffee and alcohol are not recommended. Regular exercise can improve circulation and overall bowel function.
Homeopathic remedies include Belladonna, Bryonia, and Colocynthis. Nutritional supplementation includes Bcomplex vitamins and vitamin C, and probiotics such as acidophilus and Bifidobacteria.
You can do an athome hyperthermia treatment to induce sweat and effectively eliminate toxins. This is a good way to reduce the presence of bacteria and viruses as well, as they cannot survive elevated body temperatures.
Traditional Chinese Medicine techniques, including acupuncture, have been helpful in reducing symptoms of diverticulitis.