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Transcript
Natural Remedies for Treating Diverticulitis
Most studies suggest that the main cause of diverticulitis is a low-fiber diet. Diverticulitis was
first officially recognized in USA in the early 1900s. This was about the same time that
processed foods were being introduced to the American diet. Since processed refined foods Are
usually low in natural fiber, any diet with is primarily made up of processed and refined foods
would appear to be the major reason for the elimination of fiber in the diet of the majority of
individuals who suffer from diverticular disease. The increase in diverticular disease as also
been made worse by the change away from predominantly vegetarian diet to s predominantly
meat-based diets most Americans are currently eating. Therefore, in order to either prevent or
treat diverticular disease, a good nutritional program is essential.
Eat a Diet of Whole Foods
Once symptoms of infection and inflammation are gone, keep them away by eating a natural
diet of unprocessed foods high in plant-based fiber. Avoid fried foods, fast foods, junk foods,
and empty calories. Lean plain poultry and wild-caught fish provide high quality proteins, as do
whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa ( a high protein, quick-cooking grain (available in
health food stores), teff (a small grain used in Mediterranean cooking), and oats. Gluten
containing wheat, barley and rye can exacerbate symptoms in many people. Hidden in many
processed foods, a strict gluten-free diet is not easy but well worth a try for chronic bowel
disease.
A whole foods diet should be high in fresh, raw fruits and vegetables. Eat salads two or more
times a day and continue drinking fresh juices. Papaya contains helpful digestive enzymes. Eat
sweet fruits alone or an hour or two before meals, do not combine them with other foods.
Dietary Fiber
Dietary fiber can best be found in fruits, vegetables, brown rice, legumes and whole grains.
There are two types of fibers. Insoluble fiber which does not break down nor dissolve in water or
other liquids, and soluble fiber which easily dissolves in water. Soluble fiber, once it dissolves
takes on a soft almost jelly-like texture in the intestines. It can be gummy initially but as it
passes through the digestive system is broken down and absorbed to some degree by the
intestinal tract. Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, passes entirely through the digestive tract
virtually unchanged. Both kinds of fiber are essential to assisting stools to stay soft and pass
easily. Both types of fiber play valuable roles in preventing constipation. Fiber helps to regulate
the bowels, as well as aid in the prevention of heart disease and protecting the individual from a
number of other health problems, including cancer of the colon and rectum. Foods that contain
fiber, generally also contain other cancer fighting nutrients, such as vitamin A, Vitamin C,
Vitamin E and selenium.
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Natural Remedies for Treating Diverticulitis
Constipation causes the individual to have to bear down and the more constipated they are the
more they have to generate pressure to expel their stool. This muscles straining not only moves
stool that is too hard, but it also causes increased pressure in the colon. This increased
pressure, contributes to the creation of weak spots that ultimately bulge out from the colon and
form diverticula. Therefore, another major element of preventing diverticular disease is
preventing constipation.
Vitamin-Mineral Formulations for Diverticulitis
- Vitamin B Complex (100 mg 3 times daily) – Aids in proper digestion.
- Essential Fatty Acids (Take as directed on label) – Aids in protecting the cells that line the
wall of the colon.
- L-Glutamine – 500 mg twice daily. Take with water or juice but never with milk) - Maintains
the absorption surfaces of the gut called the villi.
- Vitamin C – Anti-inflammatory and boosts immunity. Take a minimum of 3,000 to 8,000
mg daily in divided doses.
Preventing Inflammation and Infection
Another important area in both preventing and treating diverticular disease is preventing
inflammation and reducing the risk of infection.
Here are something that can help you to do this:
-
Avoiding foods that irritate the bowel or increase inflammation
Natural anti-inflammatory foods and medicines
Probiotics
Implementing necessary dietary and lifestyle change
Foods that should be avoided or eaten only in very small amounts:
-
Foods high in fat and high in sugar
Meats, especially beef, pork, fowl, or seafood
Nuts
Popcorn hulls
Sunflower
Pumpkin
Caraway
Sesame seeds
Stringy foods such as celery
Tomatoes with seeds, be sure that you strain seeds from tomato sauces.
It is best not eat too many eggs nor dairy products; this creates two sets of problems 1) it
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Natural Remedies for Treating Diverticulitis
will result in a diet high in fat and cholesterol which may not be good for your heart and 2) since
dairy is high in calcium and calcium increases constipation any diet which is dairy rich is more
likely going to increase the chance of constipation and therefore undo the good work of the
remainder of the diet, and pushing you more toward a future problem.
- Avoid extremely hot or cold foods and fluids (which cause gas).
Additional Basic Principles to Be Considered
A diet that is to be used to help prevent diverticular disease should include at least 25-35 grams
of total fiber and at least 6 to 8 grams of soluble fiber each day. To attain these amounts of
fiber, you will need to eat lots of raw fruits and vegetables. Raw food fiber is better then fiber
from either cooked, canned, or juiced foods. While raw vegetables are best, in some individuals
too much raw foods can cause intestinal irritation. If this happens then use steamed or cooked
vegetables instead.
Protein combining (eating beans together with brown rice can be helpful in getting needed
protein and fiber.
Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids - Omega-3 fatty acids improve lymphatic function, one of the
body's defense system which carries waste out of the blood stream and promotes healing of
inflamed tissues. Omega -3 fatty acids and oils, have a protective affect on cells lining the wall
of the colon. Western diets are high in Omega-6 fatty acids but low in Omega-3s. The best
sources are cold water fish, flax and hemp oils, chia seeds, walnuts, and evening primrose oil.
Increase Dietary Fiber Slowly - The process of increasing fiber in one’s diet should be gradual
because a sudden increase in fiber consumption can lead to gas, cramping, bloating, even
diarrhea. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stool and an increase in soluble fiber should be
accompanied by an increase in fluid and water to help elimination.
Drink Plenty of Fluids - A high-fiber diet requires lots of liquids. Fiber acts as a sponge in your
large intestine. If you do not already drink enough water or if you are already constipated, drink
at least 8 - 10, 8 0z glasses of water or other liquids each day. Water helps to keep the
pouch-like areas clean of toxic wastes and thus preventing inflammation.
There is an opposing view points regarding whether a low fiber (also known as a low-residue
diet) diet should be recommended when diverticulitis flares up. The goal of any diet would seem
to be to decrease total stool volume within the bowels hence reduce constipation. Many
practitioners believe that the low fiber diet does this and that it also helps to promote the healing
of early infections. It makes sense and as with any treatment the proof is in how it might work
for you.
Acid-Base Balance
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Natural Remedies for Treating Diverticulitis
Many people believe that inflammation is a result of a hyperacidity of the body, blood and
tissues. This may be accessed and adjusted by using a simple, home Litmus paper test.
Changing your acid/alkaline balance so that it is within normal range, around 6.4, will reduce the
amount of inflammation in your body. There are many approaches to lowering body acidity and
changing pH. Besides alkaline water there area number of foods which can help this process:
Alkaline Vegetables
Asparagus, artichokes, beetroot, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery,
chives, courgette, cucumber, garlic, grasses (wheat, straw, barley, dog, kamut etc.), green
beans, kale, lambs lettuce, leeks, lettuce, onion, peas, radish, swede, red cabbage, spinach,
turnip, watercress
Alkaline Fruits
Avocado, grapefruit, lemon, lime, rhubarb, tomato, watermelon (which is neutral)
Alkaline Seeds, Nuts & Grains
Almonds, buckwheat groats, cumin seeds, flax, lentils, most sprouted seed, pumpkin, sesame,
spelt, sunflower
Alkaline Drinks
Almond milk, green drinks, fresh vegetable juices, herbal tea, lemon water (pure water + fresh
lemon or lime), pure water (distilled or ionized), soy milk (non-sweetened), vegetable broth,
Others Alkalinizing Foods
Sprouts (soy, alfalfa, mung bean, wheat, little radish , chickpea, broccoli etc), Bragg liquid
aminos (soy sauce alternative), hummus, tahini
Herbal Used in Treating Diverticulitis
There are many herbs that can help. Here are my favorites.
Peppermint Oil - Peppermint oil is widely used for irritable bowel syndrome and also has a
value treating diverticulitis. Peppermint can relieve spasm of the colon, hence, the abdominal
pain, and reduces formation of gas and hence bloating. While its mechanism of action is not
entirely known it is believed that it blocks the movement of calcium into muscle cells in the
intestines and easing excessive muscle contraction there. Peppermint is considered a
carminative herb, which means that it is used to eliminate excess gas in the intestines.
Peppermint oil is available in many forms, however, it should only be used in enteric-coated
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Natural Remedies for Treating Diverticulitis
capsules otherwise the oil can relax the lower esophageal sphincter and cause heartburn and
gastric reflux. Excessive amounts of Peppermint oil should be avoided as it can cause nausea,
loss of appetite, heart problems, nervous system disorders, and lead to kidney failure and even
death.
Peppermint oil should not be taken internally by children or pregnant or nursing women.
Peppermint oil may interact with the drug cyclosporine (used to prevent organ transplant
rejection and for rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis), so they should not be combined unless
under medical supervision. Occasionally nausea and perianal burning occur as side effects.
Garlic - Garlic aids in digestion and is a natural antibiotic. Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract by
Wakunaga, is a high-quality odorless organic supplement. Take 2 capsules 3 times daily.
Alfalfa. Alfalfa is a natural source of vitamin K and essential minerals that most people with
intestinal disorders are lacking. It also contains chlorophyll, which aids in healing. Take 2,000
mg capsules or tincture daily.
Aloe Vera Juice. Aloe Vera Juice promotes healing of the inflamed areas. Drink ½ cup 3 times
a day.
Flax (Linum usitatissimum). Commission E, the German expert panel that passes on the
safety, effectiveness and dosage of medicinal herbs approves using one to three tablespoons of
crushed flaxseed two or three times a day (with lots of water) to treat diverticulitis.
Psyllium (Plantago ovata). Powdery, high-fiber psyllium seed is the major ingredient in
Metamucil and a few other bulk-forming commercial laxatives. A few tablespoons a day (with
plenty of water) provide a healthy amount of diverticulitis-preventing fiber. Allergies can be a
problem for some people, if allergic symptoms develop after you take it once, don't use it again.
Wheat (Triticum aestivum). Wheat bran contains five times the fiber of whole-wheat bread,
making it the fiber-lover's fiber. Wheat bran can change a low fiber diet to a high fiber diet very
easily. Wheat bran is the safest, cheapest and most physiologically effective method of treating
and preventing constipation and you will want to avoid constipation when you want to either
prevent or treat diverticulitis. Make sure however that you do not over use bran until it creates
gas, abdominal pain of diarrhea.
Slippery elm (Ulmus rubra). Slippery elm bark powder is used by many herbalists to treat
diverticulitis. This fibrous bark contains large quantities of a gentle laxative that soothes the
digestive tract while keeping things moving along. The Food and Drug Administration has
declared slippery elm to be a safe and effective digestive soother. Prepare it like oatmeal,
adding hot milk or water to the powdered bark to make a cereal.
Camomile (Matricaria recutita). Many herbalists suggest sipping camomile tea throughout the
day. This herb is particularly valuable in treating diverticulitis because its anti-inflammatory
action soothes the entire digestive system. You can make a tea with two teaspoons of dried
camomile per cup of boiling water. Steep for five to ten minutes. Do not use chamomile if you
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Natural Remedies for Treating Diverticulitis
are allergic to ragweed.
Prune (Prunus dulcis). Prunes combine lots of fiber and have a sweet, delicious taste. They
have been as a remedy for constipation for many generations. Eat plenty of prunes or drink
prune juice, but stop if and when diarrhea is created.
Wild yam (Dioscorea villosa). Wild yam helps relieve the pain and inflammation of
diverticulitis. Eat yams or use two parts of dried wild yam, one part valerian (for relaxing
digestive tract, a soothing herb), one part black haw (an antispasmodic) and one part
peppermint (anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic). Use 1-2 tablespoons of this mixture brewed
in a quart or so of water as a tea.
Wild Yam helps to maintain a balance of hormones in the body. Yam has a long tradition as a
natural remedy in herbal medicine. It is know for its ability as anti-spasmodic agent which can
be used to sooth intestinal colic. It is also said to aids liver and bowel functioning.
Two other herbs often listed as helpful with diverticulosis are red clover and yarrow.
Diverticulitis Tea
This recipe is recommended by herbalists to help reduce the spasm and pain associated with
diverticulitis. If it does not work call your doctor and get yourself checked out.
Take 2 teaspoons wild yam root, 1 teaspoon cramp bark. 1 quart water and 1 teaspoon each
chamomile flower and peppermint leaf.
Put wild yam and cramp bark in water and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for about
5 minutes. Turn off heat, add chamomile and peppermint, cover and steep for at least 15
minutes. Strain. Drink 2 or 3 cups a day. You can use the same proportions of these herbs to
make a tincture.
Probiotics and Primebiotic – Pre-digested Super Greens, Multi-Bacteria Complex
Probiotics can be found naturally in fermented foods. Kefir, a drink similar to yogurt, is one of
the strongest sources of probiotics. Probiotic supplements can also be purchased in health food
stores. It is important to take small amounts of probiotics frequently throughout the day to
achieve the best results.
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.
If you need more help than acidophilous or over-the-counter probiotics consider Primebiotic.
This is an over-the-counter product that contains high quality, nutrient dense, green superfoods,
pre-digested with 13 synergistic live bacteria. Multi strains of bacteria are far more potent than
merely supplementing with one or two strains of bacteria. This potent mixture of superfoods,
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Natural Remedies for Treating Diverticulitis
cereal grasses, micro-algae and kelp, provide many health benefits. Cereal grasses are high in
chlorophyll, vitamins, protein, minerals, and unique digestive enzymes. Micro-algae contain
significant amounts of lipid, protein, chlorophyll, carotenoid, vitamins, minerals and unique
pigments and Kelp provides all the nutrients from the ocean - nature's most complete nutrient
'store', exposing these wonderful ingredients to the probiotic process enhances their inherent
ability to promote the growth and reproduction of friendly bacteria.
For more information on Primebiotic, click here.
Powdered Barley Grass Juice Powdered Barley Grass Juice is a nutritious, alkaline powder
made from young barley grass juice. Its manufacturers claim that it contains the “most balanced
nutrient profile of all green plant foods,” as well as “a natural balance and abundance of
vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, proteins, active enzymes, and chlorophyll, and
that it is an exceptional superfood.”
Daily consumption of powdered barley grass juice can provide essential nutrients to promote
health and vitality. The manufactures also states, “After taking powdered barley grass juice daily
for as little as one week, many people report an increase in energy, better looking hair, skin,
and nails, and increased regularity - all signs of good nutrition.”
Use Digestive Enzymes
Typically by the time most people reach our 40-years of age, they are beginning to fail to
produce sufficient digestive enzymes to appropriately digest the food they eat. Digestive
enzymes assist in breaking down food, especially seeds, nuts and other foods that could, if not
well digested, lodge in diverticula and lead to diverticulitis.
If you eat a good deal of cooked foods then digestive enzymes may be needed to help maintain
good health. Digestive enzymes are present in raw food, but are often destroyed during
cooking. They can be very helpful in order to digest and absorb food, as this will provide
increase nutrients as well as reduce the risk of constipation. Alternative Therapies For Diverticular Disease
Acupuncture and/or Acupressure
Both acupuncture and acupressure are used to used to relieve pain and rebalance qi. Pressure
on specific points may be helpful in reducing spasm in and around the bowel hence relieving
pain, reducing constipation and eliminating blockages.
Detoxification, Fasting, and Colon Therapy for Diverticular Disease
Fasting can be beneficial when the colon is irritated or inflamed. When you feel an attack or
pain coming on, give yourself a cleansing enema with 2 quarts of luke-warm water mixed with
the juice from a fresh squeezed lemon. This will aid in ridding the colon of undigested food that
has been trapped and will also relieve pain.
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Natural Remedies for Treating Diverticulitis
In general however, colonic therapy is not recommended, with the exception of severe
constipation where it might be of immediate benefit on a rare occasion. Always talk with your
doctor before using colonics, if you suffer from sigmoid diverticulitis.
Herbal Medicines
Commonly used herbs include slippery elm and chamomile. Robert's Formula, a naturopathic
herbal remedy is also often prescribed.
Hydrotherapy
Treatment may include warm sitz baths, cold compresses on the abdomen, and castor oil
packs.
Homeopathy Treatment of Diverticular Disease
Homeopathic medicine can offer relief from the symptoms of diverticulosis by providing highly
diluted doses of a natural substance that would produce the same symptoms if given in full
strength to a healthy person. Before selecting a homeopathic remedy, a qualified homeopath
should be consulted. Homeopathic treatments are best individualized and prescribed by a
professional, commonly used remedies may include:
-
Belladonna
Bryonia alba
Colocynthis
Magnesia phosphorica
For more information About Diverticulosis , click here.
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