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Diverticulitis - Diverticulosis

Diverticulitis is most often preceded by Diverticulosis.

Diverticulosis occurs when individuals develop small pouches in their colon that bulge outward through weak spots, almost like an inner tube that pokes through weak places in a tire. These pouches are called diverticula. It is thought that half of all Americans age 60 to 80, and almost everyone over age 80, have diverticulosis. Diverticulitis occurs when the pouches become infected or inflamed. This happens in 10 to 25 percent of people with diverticulosis.

What causes the infection or inflammation in diverticulitis is uncertain although stool or bacteria caught in the diverticula is suspected. Diverticulitis can develop suddenly and without warning.

Treatment for Diverticulitis.

Treatment for diverticulitis focuses on clearing the infection and reducing inflammation.

Use of

assist in this process. There are lots of delicious recipes to choose from:

Importance of Diet in Diverticulitis

Studies have shown that a balanced diet containing different kinds of fiber can help regulate the bowels, aid in the prevention of heart disease and protect against a number of other health problems such as diverticulosis and diverticulitis.

Raw Fiber from Garden of Life provides an excellent source of fiber, featuring a soothing and nourishing blend of both soluble and insoluble fiber from 100% Raw, organic sprouted seeds, grains and legumes and contains no harsh fibers such as psyllium which can be abrasive to sensitive colons. It can be used for children as well.

Diet also protects against cancer of the colon and rectum. Foods that contain fiber also tend to contain other cancer fighting nutrients, such as vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and selenium.

Many people think they must avoid tiny seeds, grains, lettuce, and other high fiber containing foods for fear that they will lodge in the diverticula and cause inflammation. This has never been proven and in fact microscopic review of surgical specimens show this to not be the case.

Foods that ought to be avoided are:

  • nuts,
  • popcorn hulls,
  • sunflower,
  • pumpkin,
  • caraway,
  • and sesame seeds.

Eat an adequate amount of fiber. You need at least 30 grams of fiber each day. Eat raw fruits and vegetables; they have more fiber than cooked or canned foods, or juice. Drink plenty of fluids - A high-fiber diet requires lots of liquids. Fiber acts as a sponge in your large intestine.

If you don't drink enough, you could become constipated. 8 - 10 8 0z glasses a day is preferred. Liquid help in keeping the pouch-like areas clean of toxic wastes and thus preventing inflammation.

Research, books and tests for Diverticulitis

Leonard Smith, MD gastro-intestinal surgeon in Gainsville, Florida says that most illnesses occurring in any part of the body that is identified by a name ending with the suffix "itis" will likely have increased intestinal Leaky Gut Syndrome (intestinal permeability) as a contributing factor.

Inflammation in the body results in hyperacidity. 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, i.e. 6.4, will reduce the amount of inflammation in your body.

Consider reading Elaine Gottschall's Specific Carbohydrate Diet in Breaking the Vicous Cycle

What are the main causes of Diverticulitis?

The main cause of diverticulitis disease is thought to be a low-fiber diet. Diverticulitis was first found in USA in the early 1900s. It was about the time that processed foods were introduced to the American diet. Many processed foods contain refined, low-fiber flour. Unlike whole-wheat flour, refined flour has no wheat bran.

Fiber is also the part of fruits, vegetables, and grains that the body cannot digest. Some fiber dissolves easily in water (soluble fiber). It takes on a soft, jelly-like texture in the intestines. Some fiber passes almost unchanged through the intestines (insoluble fiber). Both kinds of fiber help make stools soft and easy to pass. Fiber also prevents constipation.

Constipation makes the muscles strain to move stool that is too hard. Constipation is the main cause of increased pressure in the colon. The excess pressure can contribute to creating the weak spots that bulge out in the colon to become diverticula.

Diverticulitis and diverticulosis disease is common in developed or industrialized countries--particularly the United States, England, and Australia--where low-fiber diets are common.

Diverticulitis is rare in countries of Asia and Africa, where people eat high-fiber vegetable diets.

Diverticulitis can lead to bleeding, perforations or tears, or blockages.

What are the main symptoms of Diverticulitis

Diverticulosis/diverticulitis symptoms include:

Other diseases like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and stomach ulcers present with similar symptoms.

The most common symptom of diverticulitis is abdominal pain with tenderness around the left lower abdomen.

If infection is the cause, fever, nausea, vomiting, chills, cramping, and constipation may occur.

The severity of symptoms of diverticulitis depends on the extent of the infection and complications.

How do fistulas occur in Diverticulitis?

When diverticulitis related infection or inflammation spreads outside the colon, the colon's tissue may stick to nearby tissues, causing a fistula. A fistula is an abnormal connection of tissue between two organs or between an organ and the skin. So when damaged tissues come into contact with each other during infection, they sometimes stick together. If they heal that way, a fistula forms. The organs usually involved are the bladder, small intestine, and skin. The most common type of fistula occurs between the bladder and the colon. It affects men more than women. This type of fistula can result in a severe, long-lasting infection of the urinary tract.

See more information on digestive problems