Define Diverticulitis – Diverticulosis

How do we define diverticulitis?  What’s the difference between diverticulosis/diverticulitis?  These are questions many of my friends, family and aquaintances have been asking me to investigate.  Although it is not technically listed as an autoimmune disease, it does seem to relate very much in that poor diet plays a large role in the development of diverticulosis which  leads to diverticulitis.  So that’s how we define diverticulitis.  Let’s talk about what you can do if you are diagnosed with it!

 

How Do You Get Diverticulitis?

When you consistently eat a diet that is low in fiber diverticula (pouches that form in weakened areas of the colon) develop.  These pouches develop because fiber helps to bulk up stool which keeps the colon from straining.  A diet without fiber causes the colon to work harder and the walls of the colon weaken.  That’s how these pockets are formed. Once formed, it is very easy for bile to get into them and infection to occur.

 

Symptoms

Symptoms can range anywhere from stomach pain, bloating and gas to nausea, vomiting and diarrhea or constipation and even fever.  You may find that you have no appetite.

 

How To Treat Diverticulitis

When these symptoms occur and you are having an episode of diverticulitis you should immediately go to a liquid, low-fiber diet.  Seems strange, huh?  Low-fiber put you here and, yet, low-fiber will help you out?  Strange, yes, but true.  You should stay on this diet for at least 3-4 days to give your colon a chance to heal.  Sometimes this will be enough.  You should be drinking plenty of water and you can make bone broth for good nourishment.  Stay away from anything with sugar in it.

Foods You Should Definitely Avoid:

Caffeine

Sugar

 

Nuts and Seeds                     Nuthatch_(8245646096)

 

 

popcorn_bucket            Corn and Popcorn

 

 

Red Meat

Fatty Foods

After a few days you can introduce fiber back into your diet very slowly.  Begin with white bread and eggs.  Then add meats and dairy.

You will then want to work back up to eating a high fiber diet.  You should eat a minimum of 25-35 grams of fiber daily.

High Fiber Foods

Whole grains ( Quinoa, pasta, cereal, bran, oats, brown and black and wild rice)

Beans (Black, red, kidney, garbanza, canneloni, etc)

 

Fresh_Fruit_(7422883240)

Fresh fruit (Apples, pears, prunes, berries, raisins)

 

vegetables

Veggies (Squash, Sweet potatoes, peas, spinach)

Fermented foods (Kefir, Kimchi)

Also add yogurt with live, active cultures

Herbs and Supplements

Always check with your health care professional before adding herbs and supplements.

Probiotics can help once you are no longer in an active episode.  You can start with prebiotics such as olive leaf complex or oregano oil and then switch over to probiotics as you continue to improve.

Omega-3 fatty acids such as fish oil supplements.  Check with your health care professional as less should be taken when on blood thinners.

Ground flaxseed is a good source of added fiber.

Blackberry root can be helpful for diarrhea and internal bleeding.

Licorice Root is a good herb to reduce spasms and lower stomach acid levels.  Do not use over long periods of time or if you have high blood pressure, heart failure, kidney disease or hypokalemia.

Slippery elm is demulcent and promotes healing.

I hope I have helped you to define diverticulitis and given you some helpful suggestions for how to deal with it.  Please comment below and let me know your experience with this illness and whether this information was helpful to you.

Blessings,

Debby

 

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10 comments

  1. Rebecca says:

    YOu have an interesting post, something very informative and educational. But I’m still confused between the 2 really. Maybe I should research. But like you said, the key is eating the right food. It’s kind of hard to remember which ones to eat and not to eat and when not to eat them. I have very bad eating habits. I just eat what I like and I never could eat what I don’t like. Vegetables and beans are in my NO list. I really should learn from your post so I will watch for more.

    • Debby Morrow says:

      Thanks for your very interesting comments Rebecca.

      I hope you get it all sorted out, especially if you suffer with diverticulitis!

      Blessings,
      Debby

  2. Gina says:

    Someone in my family suffers from diverticulitis. When he has an episode, he changes his diet to only drinking whole milk while getting a lot of rest. It seems to work really good for him.
    I’ll let him know what you’ve said about herbs and supplements. Maybe he would be interested in giving that stuff a shot.

    • Debby Morrow says:

      Thanks for the comment Gina. If the milk is working for him, that’s great! Some people have problems with dairy when they’re having a flare-up. The main thing is to reduce fiber so as not to irritate things further and the milk would work for that purpose.

      Blessings,

      Debby

  3. Juan says:

    After reading your post and going through your entire website I realize the importance of a well balanced diet. I like how you list the particular foods that are high on fiber. i am definitely going to implement some of your recommendations such as the beans and whole grains.

    Thank you for the information.

    • Debby Morrow says:

      Thanks for your comments Juan. Many of these recommendations are good for health of your heart and others organs and systems in your body so eat up! They’re not just good for people with autoimmune disease. Come back and visit again soon.

      Blessings,

      Debby

  4. Steve says:

    Thanks for the information.

    I was diagnosed with diverticulitis many years ago but is has never really been a bother other than that first week or so when I went to the emergncy roo because of the pain.

    Thanks again for sharing I really like the site and will be back.

    Stephen

    • Debby Morrow says:

      Thanks for your comment Steve. You are very fortunate that the diverticulum healed and you’ve had no further incidents. Most people are not that fortunate! Please do come back often. I’ll be looking forward to hearing from you again.

      Blessings,

      Debby

  5. Conor says:

    I found this article to be very informative. I’ve been preaching it for a long time that eating enough fiber is one of the best things you can do to keep your body strong and healthy for many different reasons. I’m glad you brought up the importance of eating a low fiber diet, though, while your body is trying to heal. I would have never have thought of that as it seems so counter intuitive after lack of fiber caused the original problem in the first place. How common is this condition and what age group does it usually effect?

    • Debby Morrow says:

      Thanks Conor. I don’t know the exact numbers but, I do know that, our bodies give us a good bit of grace where our health is concerned. This usually shows up after middle age but it can show up sooner in those who eat little to no fiber in their diets. Sadly, many do not recognize how many problems can be alleviated by simply correcting our diets. Help me spread the word!

      Blessings,

      Debby

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