In the Australia, about 20,000 people are hospitalized for diverticulitis each year. Diverticular disease can be a painful and upsetting disturbance in the digestive tract, and in severe cases, it can lead to hospitalization and surgery due to complications from diverticulitis symptoms. Let’s take a look at the hidden truth behind this disease and the steps you can take to become well.
The risk of developing this increases after the age of 40 if you continue to have a diet high in animal protein, minimal vegetables, fibre with a high consumption of packaged and processed foods. By engaging with healthy dietary changes or what can be known as a “diverticula” diet, you risk minimizes greatly. By reducing your risk of diverticulitis or taking steps to heal and restore a healthy digestive track will also benefit other areas of your health and reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, bowel disease and cognitive health issues as nutritional transport is greatly improved throughout your body.
What is Diverticulitis?
Diverticulitis is the infection or inflammation of pouches that can form in your intestines. These pouches are called diverticula. The pouches generally aren’t harmful. They can show up anywhere in your intestines. If you have them, it’s called diverticulosis. If they become infected or inflamed, you have diverticulitis. Sometimes, diverticulitis can be minor. However, if changes aren’t made with your diet and lifestyle, it can become severe, with massive infection and perforation of the bowel. This is where your doctor will say you have a rupture of the bowel.
Symptoms of Diverticulitis
People can have the pouches and not know it. The diverticula are usually painless and cause few symptoms: Symptoms can begin with Cramping on the left side of your abdomen, that generally goes away once you have passed wind or have had a bowel movement, this can be accompanied with bright red blood in your stool.
Diverticulitis can be acute or chronic. In the acute stages, you may have one or more severe attacks of infection and inflammation. In chronic conditions of diverticulitis, inflammation and infection are apparent. Over time, the inflammation can lead to a bowel obstruction, which may cause constipation, thin stools, diarrhoea, bloating, and stomach pain. If the obstruction continues, abdominal pain and tenderness will increase, and you may feel sick to your stomach or throw up. A conventional misconception often by Doctors, Nutritionists and Gastroenterologists is that diverticulitis is incurable. In fact, your Doctor may well even tell you that your diverticulitis will become worse over time, which isn’t altogether untrue if you don’t make some significant dietary and lifestyle changes. Diverticulitis is an inflammatory disease that is often accompanied by infection. That in many cases if changes aren’t made can lead to severe bulges [diverticula] that will be beginning to rupture through the wall of the colon.
What Causes Diverticulitis?
You may have been told that the cause is unknown. This being quite often as there may be many elements being the base of the cause. Not unlike any other illness or disease.
- High consumption of animal protein, not enough fibre found in foods such as vegetables and fruit.
- Medications including steroids, opioids, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen or naproxen
- Being Overweight
- Lifestyle habits such as excessive drinking of alcohol, cigarette smoking or other forms of social consumption of drugs
- Stress not learning to cope with life stresses. These have a paramount effect on both your nervous and digestive system.
- Soft drink
- Highly processed foods such as ham, bacon, some cheeses and packaged foods. These being high in toxic chemicals that irritate the diverticuli.
- Not enough exercise
- Foods such as cabbage, strawberries, blackberries and corn will aggravate diverticulitis
- Spicy foods
Acidic Environment Causes Inflammation
These underlying causes effect your saliva, bile and digestive enzymes therefore making it difficult to impossible for you to digest even what foods you eat effectively. Diverticulitis and diverticulosis are related to stomach acid. Some other acid related disorders are GERD, heartburn, acid reflux, Crohn’s, colitis, IBD, IBS and celiac disease, to name a few. All these diseases have one thing in common: acid. Acid, in excess, damages the mucosal lining (the colon’s protective armour), which in turn causes inflammation. Inflammation in the colon (our septic tank) leads to infection which leads to attacks and flare-ups. It may also cause the weakening of the colon lining which allows diverticula (pouches) to form. Medical studies agree that these conditions are related to the amount of hydrochloric acid produced.
This is why some of these diseases are even named after their acidic origins, such as heartburn and acid reflux. Diverticulitis is one member of the acidic disease group.
What is Wrong with your Body being too Acidic? If your body is too acidic it cannot perform its functions effectively. A highly acidic body is vulnerable to disease and malfunctioning of organs and digestive processes. It is favourable to improve the function of enzyme and bile digestion as these are preferable methods of digestion. You can do this effectively by including enzyme rich foods into your daily diet. This is safer and more effective, without causing damage or having a negative effect on other organs within your body. A highly acidic body will have damaging to delicate tissues like the esophagus, throat, intestinal cilia stomach valves, and the mucosal lining of the colon.
The digestive tract is designed to tolerate minimal amounts of acid. However as a society consumption of acid forming foods, drinks and also self destructive habits have increased. This having a negative effect on your digestive processes. This being the underlying cause to digestive, bowel, kidney and other related diseases. This over production and intake of acid presents itself in the form of heartburn, acid reflux, and/or colon inflammation and pain. As you become more acidic you may often find that it bubbles up into your throat causing a burning effect, this is also happening within your colon as well. Having a negative effect on your mucosal lining.
Hence the increase in people taking antacids with this in itself having a harmful effect on your body. Acid is the major cause of bloating, causing ulceration , burning of your throat and stomach whilst causing inflammation to your colon. This is something that no antacid or anti-inflammatory medication can or will fix.
What you can do!
- Drink plenty of water.
- Apply a heating pad or hot water bottle.
- Eliminate Soft Drinks, Cakes, Pastries and Red meat
- A squeezed fresh lemon in a glass of water first thing in the morning, has an alkalizing effect on your digestive system
- Eliminate dairy
- Some people have found it beneficial to eliminate yeast and gluten
- Minimize and avoid where necessary taking of over-the counter-medication.
- Gradually increase your fibre by eating oats for breakfast, you can add psyllium and grated apple.
- Drink herbal teas such as chamomile, licorice and peppermint
- Before Bed have a teaspoon of Bi-carb in a glass of water
5 Steps to Begin Healing Diverticulitis
- Improve gut flora with Highly effective probiotic, plus include prebiotic and probiotic foods such as Roasted Almonds, Goat milk kefir, Kombucha, Fermented foods such as Sauerkraut, Natural, Organic Yogurt, blueberries and miso. Just to name a few.
- Change your diet from high acid forming foods such as red meat, pastries, cakes, biscuits, processed meats and meals: Decrease alcohol, Eliminate any soft drink, lollies, chocolates. A diet high in processed sugar is a major cause associated with digestive problems, not to mention diabetes and heart disease. Include a diet high in alkalizing forming foods.
- Give up Smoking and decrease or eliminate taking of medication.
- Change Negative habits to Positive habits. This will help with coping with stress more effectively.
- Positive Friends: have a network of friends who will support you with your healthy life changes. Someone whom you will be accountable for putting these changes into place.
Remember the only way you can not get better is by not putting these steps into place. It will not happen overnight and it will take some definite work and mind changing. But it is worth it, because you are worth it.