Diverticulitis and Diverticulosis
Diverticulosis or diverticular disease and diverticulitis are related digestive conditions that affect the large intestine (colon). Diverticulosis is a condition characterized by balloon-like bulges, sacs or pouches extending outward from the intestinal walls. When these sacs develop inflammation, the condition is known as diverticulitis. Only a small percentage of people with diverticulosis ever go on to develop diverticulitis, however. Both conditions are direct consequences of the standard American diet (SAD) and are virtually non-existent among peoples around the world whose diet consists of whole foods, with a focus on fruits and vegetables, which provide an abundant supply of healthy and necessary fiber.
Diverticulosis is usually not accompanied by any obvious symptoms. However, people with this condition commonly have pieces of fecal matter lodged into the sacs of the colon, where they stagnate and can cause a build-up of toxins. There can sometimes be lower abdominal pain. Symptoms of diverticulitis are much more noticeable, and can range from gripping abdominal pain, excessive gas, sluggish elimination, constipation, diarrhea and mucus in the stools. In certain cases, the pain can be great and mimic that of appendicitis, and is often linked to IBS, irritable bowel syndrome.
The primary cause of both diverticulosis and diverticulitis is a poor diet that is lacking in fresh fruits and vegetables and other fiber-rich foods. Other causes can include food allergies, lack of exercise, “leaky gut” syndrome, and pharmaceutical drugs.
Poor Diet: An unhealthy diet is the primary cause of both conditions. Such a diet is high in commercially processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and foods with additives and unhealthy fats, such as hydrogenated and trans fats. The majority of oils found on the grocery store shelves are chemically extracted or synthetic, and none are actually safe to consume with the exception of extra virgin olive oil, that is best if purchased in dark glass bottles. To find healthy consumable oils, one must shop outside of conventional grocery stores at health food stores, where a wide variety of healthy options can be found. Typical foods found in grocery stores contain an abundance of chemical additives and preservatives, while lacking adequate amounts of fiber. Eating a diet such as this, not only places a great burden on the gastrointestinal tract, it can also result in serious nutritional deficiencies. All of these factors, combined, can lead to excess acidity in the GI tract, indigestion, poor absorption of food nutrients, “leaky gut” syndrome, a buildup of toxins, and autoimmune reactions.
Food Allergies: Food allergies, while often overlooked or misdiagnosed by conventional physicians, are another potential cause of diverticulosis and diverticulitis, as well as many other disease conditions. If you suffer from either of these conditions, it is very important that you be tested for food allergies and sensitivities. Common allergy-causing foods include milk and dairy products, wheat, gluten (a component of wheat products), corn, soy, peanuts and chocolate, but any food has the potential to cause food allergies. Often times, the most aggravating foods are ones that are commonly eaten as staples in ones diet, foods you continue to eat over and over. Note that it is common to crave the very foods you are allergic to. Food allergies alone can and frequently are the very cause of serious digestive stress.
Lack of Exercise: Failure to exercise regularly can result in diminished production of digestive and pancreatic enzymes, as well as hydrochloric acid (HCl), all of which are necessary for healthy gastrointestinal function and which, if lacking, can result in a wide variety of gastrointestinal disorders.
“Leaky Gut” Syndrome: “Leaky gut” syndrome refers to a condition caused by damage to the intestinal lining, specifically the mucosa. As a result of this damage, undigested food particles, as well as various microorganisms that normally remain within the GI tract pass through the intestines into the bloodstream. This, in turn, causes the immune system to overreact, producing antibodies that attack the cells of the intestines. In addition to GI disorders, “leaky gut” syndrome has also been linked to rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.
Pharmaceutical Drugs: The following drugs can all cause and exacerbate various gastrointestinal disorders, including colitis: Accutane, Alka-Seltzer Antacid and Alka-Seltzer Pain Reliever, Anturane, Genuine Bayer Aspirin, Bayer Plus Aspirin, Bayer Regular Strength Enteric Aspirin, Bufferin Analgesic Tablets and Caplets, Ceptaz, Clinoril, Cuprimine, Ecotrin Enteric Coated Aspirin, Feldene, Ilosone, Lamprene, Leukine for IV Infusion, Lopid, Marplan, Meclomen, Novantrone, Paraplatin, Piroxicam, Prokine I.V. Infusion, Retrovir, Rynatuss, Supprelin Injection, Suprax, Ticlid, Tolectin, Toradol IM Injection, Trecator-SC, Trilisate, and Voltaren.
An organic based whole foods diet, high in fiber, is essential for reversing both diverticulosis and diverticulitis, and is also the best way to prevent both conditions developing in the first place. Avoid all commercially processed foods, including sugars of all types, even if they are organic. Avoid all refined carbohydrates, the unhealthy fats mentioned above, coffee and other caffeine containing products, sodas, commercial non herbal teas, alcohol, strong spices, and all milk and dairy products. Soy can be a major allergen, so avoid until you are tested for food allergies. Undergo testing for potential food allergies and sensitivities and avoid those foods to which you test positive. In addition, consider a rotation diet or elimination diet in order to further reduce the likelihood of food allergies. Also avoid food that can easily become lodged in intestinal sacs, such as unblended, processed, or roasted nuts and seeds, as well as fruit with small seeds, such as raspberries. Unless these foods are soaked and blended smooth into sauces, smoothies or spreads, they are aggravating to eat in this situation.
Emphasize a diet rich in organic whole foods, especially plenty of organic, fresh green vegetables and green vegetable drinks. Free-range organic meats and poultry, and wild-caught fish are also recommended. Be sure to drink plenty of pure filtered water throughout the day. Choose organic, raw, virgin coconut butter/oil, which is the preferred oil for cooking and/or baking; and high lignin flax seed oil which can be blended into green juices and smoothies, mixed as salad dressing with olive oil, or drizzled on steamed vegetables or cooked whole grains.
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet—A dietary approach that has been found to be effective in the majority of diverticulosis and diverticulitis cases is called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. It was developed by Elaine Gottschall, M.Sc., and is based on the research of the late Sidney V. Haas, M.D., who discovered that most gastrointestinal disorders are caused by an imbalance of carbohydrates in relationship to the microorganisms that naturally occur in the gastrointestinal tract.
According to Dr. Haas, when this relationship becomes unbalanced, the microorganisms grow uncheck and release toxins, causing malabsorption of food, and especially poor digestion of carbohydrates, a staple of the Western diet. To reverse this trend, Haas, and later, Gottschall developed the strict dietary regimen that comprises the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Based on her work with hundreds of patients with severe gastrointestinal disorders, Gottschall has found that the diet can yield complete results in as little as three weeks, but only if it is unwaveringly adhered to. Her book, listed below in the Quick Action Plan, is highly recommended, as is her web site. What follows is a quick synopsis of the diet, with our own additions, that stress the use of organic foods.
Avoid: All processed, smoked or canned meats, breaded or canned fish, seaweed, processed cheeses, seeds, potatoes, yams, parsnips, chick peas, bean sprouts, soybeans, mung beans, fava beans, as well as all cereal grains in any form, including flour. Avoid milk, and all products commercially made from milk, dried milk solids, buttermilk or acidophilus milk, commercially prepared yogurt, sour cream and ice cream. Do not consume soymilk, instant tea, coffee, coffee substitutes, beer, cornstarch, arrowroot, chocolate, carob, bouillon cubes, instant soup bases, any product made with refined sugar, agar-agar, carrageenan, pectin, ketchup, molasses, corn and maple syrup, any flour made from legumes, and baking powder.
Eat: Fresh or frozen, preferably organic meats, poultry, wild caught fish, organic eggs, organic raw milk and cheeses, homemade yogurt made at low temperatures from raw organic milk, and dry curd cottage cheese. Choose from a wide variety of freshly prepared, preferably organic vegetables. Vegetables and fruits are the main stay of this food plan. Use no canned foods with the exception of salt-free canned red salmon, white albacore tuna or sardines, preferably only on occasion. Daily juicing of fresh green vegetables is an important addition for healing and offers you deep nutritional nourishment. With this and all illness, providing yourself with the most supportive nutritional profile possible is of primary importance.
Abide by this diet for as long as your symptoms persist. Adherance can be challenging, but maintenance is essential to obtain the desired results.
Fasting: A water or vegetable juice fast for one to three days is an excellent way to relieve symptoms, especially during acute diverticulitis attacks.
Useful supplements for both diverticulosis and diverticulitis include B-complex vitamins and vitamin C, as well as probiotics such as acidophilus and Bifidobacteria. Two other highly effective supplements are fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) and soil-based organisms. FOS is an all-natural carbohydrate microorganism that has been shown by researchers to serve as a fertilizing agent that enables Bifidobacteria to thrive in the large intestine, where it helps to protect against harmful bacteria. Digestive enzymes may also prove to be a valuable addition. Working with an alternative practitioner that uses kinesiology or electral dermal screen testing will help determine if you need enzymes; alternatively, you can try some yourself and see if they make a difference in digesting your meals. Try using hydrochloric acid with all protein based meals, which often offers great relief.
Soil-based organisms are beneficial microbes found in soil. Taken as a supplement, they go to work to detoxify the gastrointestinal tract while eliminating fungi, molds, parasites, viruses, and yeasts. They also help to improve the absorption of nutrients and both immune and overall cell function, including the production of RNA and DNA. In addition, they act as natural antioxidants.
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking? Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
We know that when the body is out of balance, energy doesn’t flow, leading blockages and eventually disease. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:
- Go to a Dr Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are:
- Stephen Lewis, founder of the Aim Program. Find out more by clicking here.
- . Find out more by clicking here.
- Consider using Mary Millers Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
- Try Alphabiotics – a stress relieving treatment alphabioticinfo.com/Home.aspx see article section for more information on this.
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has had remarkable results in helping people to overcome eating disorders. Find a local practitioner here or go towww.thetappingsolution.com or www.tftrx.com
- Reiki healing is very powerful and has achieved some astonishing results in getting to the root of problems and disorders and really healing from within. It gives the sufferer the feeling that they have overcome the problem themselves and has therefore been found to be very empowering. Find a local practitioner here
- Learn to love yourself and stop berating yourself. What you say to yourself is what you are or what you become. Watch mindfulness films such as What the Bleep Do We Know www.whatthebleep.com and You Can Heal Your Life www.youcanhealyourlifemovie.com and start using powerful positive affirmations such as “I take loving care of my body” and “I am ready to change” Say the phrase over and over again until you start to believe them. Never underestimate the power of your mind.
- Meditate and allow yourself to be still. This may be really difficult for you at first but stick with it building up your time slowly. Often people create an eating disorder in order to fill a void, to stop them from thinking and feeling, and to give them something to focus on. Try guided meditations to help you to relax and let go of negative programming.
Quick Action Plan for Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis
1. We highly recommend you see an alternative health care practitioner to support you in healing.
2. The SAD diet is a major contributing factor in Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis. A change in diet is essential in order to heal.
3. Change your diet to avoid all commercially processed foods; eat no fast or refined foods or carbohydrates of any kind; and stop eating sugar completely. In addition, omit caffeine, alcohol and synthetic and processed oils from your diet.
4. Begin eating a simple diet with an abundant selection of fresh and preferably organic whole foods. Include vegetables, fruits, green juices and quality sources of protein from wild caught fish, New Zealand lamb, bison, organic free range poultry and meat when available, and organic and preferably raw cheese and yogurt.
5. Consider investing in a quality juicer and making fresh green juices on a regular basis.
6. Undergo testing for food allergies, using NAET, or Electral dermal screening to find out if there are specific foods triggering your bowel problems and eliminate those foods, giving your body a rest from major irritants. If you intuitively suspect you are allergic to a specific food, stop eating it now.
7. Consider purchasing the book Breaking the Vicious Cycle: The Specific Carbohydrate Diet by Dr. Haas, and read through her web site,www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/index.htm
8. Make appropriate changes in your lifestyle. If you smoke, quit immediately. Find motivation to move your body everyday; get on and maintain a regular exercise program.
9. With the support of an alternative doctor, eliminate over the counter medications, especially pain suppressants and prescription and non prescription drugs that might be contributing to your digestive stress.
10. Consider homeopathy and herbal medicine as an alternative solution.
11. Self massage and stress reducing techniques can greatly reduce cramping and pain.
12. Begin a supplement program; using Vitamin C, B complex, probiotics, especially soil based mineral organisms, and digestive enzymes.
Diverticulitis and diet: www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-156886/Diverticulitis.html
Acupuncture for diverticulitis: www.theseanbarkesclinic.co.uk/pages/problems-we-treat/digestive-gastro-intestinal/diverticulitis.html#.UHWTQhWdN0g
Holistic approach to treating diverticulitis: www.naturalnews.com/021334_diverticulitis_digestive_disorders.html
Keeping your colon clean: www.naturalnews.com/033165_colon_cleansing_health.html
Ayurveda home cures: vid99.com/0/video/Constipation—Natural-Ayurvedic-Home-Remedies/uPGoUHdM9sw.html
Diverticulitis diet pan: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClUU8zXRUMU
Disease of old now affecting young: www.naturalnews.com/021060_patients_disease_obese.html
The whole grain scam: www.naturalnews.com/024508_grains_gluten_WHO.html
Further Information (links and books)
Diverticulitis Diet Recipes: 36 Tasty & Easy Recipes to Reduce Your Diverticulitis For Good in 30 Days – Naturally by Ann Williams; Diverticulitis Diet by Joan Gomez; The Diverticulitis Cookbook: Feel Better, by Eating Better: 30 Day Meal Plan and Recipes by Denalee C Bell and Andrea Johnson MA; Diverticulosis Diet Secrets: Beat Your Diverticulosis Naturally in Just Days! by Andrew Wellstone; Diverticulitis Remedy Secrets: 57 Secrets No One Told You About Diverticulitis and How to Reverse it Naturally by Alexander Brown; Diverticulitis: Safe Alternatives Without Drugs Thorsons Natural Health (The Self Help Series) by Arthur White
Digestive enzymes, SuperPowerEnzymes
www.vites.com (323) 667-1894
Nettles tea infusion
www.mountainroseherbs.com (800) 879-3337
www.1-800homeopathy.com (800) 466-3672
B Complex, Living B Vitamins
Vitamin C, Catie’s Organic Vit C Plus
www.energyessentials.com (888) 456-1597
Probiotics, Jarrowdophilus + FOS
www.jarrow.com (310) 204-6936
Soil Based Mineral Organisms (SBOs) Freddy’s Blend
www.livingnutritionals.com (866) 729-3438
Andrea Butje | Aromahead [email protected] – aromatherapy
Carrie Vitt [email protected] – organic food recipes.
David Spector-NSR/USA [email protected] – meditation, stress
judith hoad [email protected] – herbalist.
Kath May [email protected] – reiki, tai chi.
Lillian Bridges [email protected] – Chinese medicine, living naturally.
Monika [email protected] – aromatherapy.
Rakesh [email protected] – Ayurvedic Practitioner.