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DIVERTICULITIS

Diverticula are small, bulging pouches in the digestive tract. While diverticula can form anywhere, most occur in your large intestine and are many times found in people that experience frequent constipation.

A person may never even know they have diverticula in the intestines because they seldom cause any problems. The condition of having diverticula is called diverticulosis. When diverticula become infected or inflamed, the condition is called diverticulitis.

A pain in lower left side of the abdomen often characterizes diverticulitis. The pain is typically severe and surfaces rather abruptly. However, sometimes a person can experience a mild pain that can worsen over several days and have a fluctuating intensity.

Other typical symptoms include abdominal tenderness, fever, nausea, and constipation or diarrhea.

Less common signs and symptoms of diverticulitis may include:

  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Frequent Urination
  • Difficulty or pain while urinating
  • Rectal Bleeding
  • Tenderness in the abdomen

Certain areas of the colon can become weakened and collapse. This results in marble-sized pouches (diverticula) protruding through the colon wall. These pouches, which are small at first, but become larger gradually; typically develop in the sigmoid and descending colon. These are 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.

Sometimes stool can become lodged in one of the pouches and the result can be infection. Small tears or perforations can also develop in an infected pouch, which can lead to an infection within your abdomen (peritonitis). A person may also develop a collection of pus called an abscess if the infection is limited to an area around the wall of your colon where the diverticula are inflamed.

The best steps you can take in treating diverticulitis have to do with your lifestyle.

High fiber diets have been shown to be protective against diverticular disease. You'll need at least 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day to help prevent problems from diverticulosis.

Studies have also shown physical activity, specifically jogging or running, to protect against symptomatic diverticular disease.

Eat a high fiber diet, which includes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain bread, cereals and bran. Drink plenty of pure water each day as a high fiber diet will not be effective without adequate water consumption.

Avoid foods such as celery and corn as these foods contain indigestible roughage and use bran to prevent constipation.

  • Try not to strain during bowel movements.
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Exercise moderately
  • Drink at least eight glasses of pure water a day.
  • Avoid smoking

Establish a regular bowel routine by spending at least 10 minutes a day trying to have a bowel movement at approximately the same.

Avoid extremely hot or cold foods and fluids (which cause gas).

Aside from lifestyle changes, supplementing with the following can also be helpful:

Acidophilus (Take as directed on label) - Helps support a healthy intestinal tract (gut) and replaces the flora in the small intestine, primarily to improve assimilation.

Super Greens Formula - High in chlorophyll, which is extremely beneficial for this condition. Diverticulosis sufferers seem to do better when chlorella is part of the diet. Chlorella will provide you with all the benefits of magnesium, carotenoids, chlorophyll and much more.

Vitamin B complex (100 mg 3 times daily) - Aids in proper digestion.

Vitamin C - Anti-inflammatory and boosts immunity. I recommend a minimum of 3,000 mg daily in divided doses.

Garlic - Aids in digestion and is a natural antibiotic. I personally use Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract by Wakunaga, which is a high-quality odorless organic supplement. Take 2 capsules 3 times daily.

Alfalfa (2,000 mg in capsules or tincture) - Natural source of vitamin K and essential minerals that most people with intestinal disorders are lacking. Also contains chlorophyll, which aids in healing.

 

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