Diverticulitis or Diverticular Disease

DiverticulitisWhat is Diverticular Disease?

Diverticular disease is referred to as a disease of the modern times.

This occurs when the mucous membranes that are lining the colon start to form small finger-like pouches that are called as diverticula.

These pouches then protrude out of the walls of the intestine.

The pouches actually do not cause a problem on the body, however, when these diverticula gets infected or inflamed, then that is when the problem starts to arise.


What Causes Diverticular Disease?

There are several causes of diverticular disease. Some of them are the following:

  • Chronic constipation. This has been pinpointed as the most common cause of diverticular disease. If you have been suffering from chronic constipation for a long time already, then you are surely at risk of suffering from diverticular disease. When you are constipated, your colon muscles tend to work really hard, thereby causing these protrusions and later on, the inflammation.
  • Low fibre diet. A diet that is not rich in fibrous foods would often lead to constipation, which would eventually lead to the development of diverticular disease.
  • Old age. Studies have shown that approximately 30%-40% of people over 60 years old suffer from diverticular disease.


Diagnosis, Signs, and Symptoms of Diverticular Disease

Generally, diverticula is not a problem, but would just become one, the moment that it starts to get inflamed. When there are protrusions in the intestinal lining, you would usually feel some bloating, cramping, and constipation. However, when the diverticula gets inflamed, the following symptoms become evident:

  • Severe pain in the abdominal area
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • High fever
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Shock

Once you exhibit any of these symptoms, medical attention should be sought after.


Remedies, Treatment and Cure for Diverticular Disease

To successfully treat diverticular disease, it would need you to undergo some diet changes. Healthy eating habits must be practiced, and of course a healthy lifestyle is much needed too.


Diet for Diverticular Disease

  • You must at least avoid foods that contain seeds. Some of these foods are tomatoes, strawberries, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and poppy. These foods have the tendency to lodge in the pockets and could cause you severe pain.
  • If you are going to eat fibrous foods, try to avoid those fibres coming from wheat bran or cereals. These fibres are known to have an abrasive effect and could temporarily worsen the condition.
  • Spicy foods must be avoided too. If there are foods that would need some spice, you need to avoid it as well.
  • If you are fond of eating bread and cakes, think twice, because some people find the wheat from cakes, biscuits and white bread intolerable and leads to their being constipated. You could try to avoid these foods for around 2 weeks and see if doing so would help your condition.
  • Reduce your intake of foods that are known to trigger inflammation. Some of these foods are full-fat milk, chocolate, and cheese. These foods are also considered as mucous forming and could worsen constipation.
  • White pastries like bread and cake, as well as pasta must be avoided too. The same goes for burger type foods.
  • Intake of red meat must be reduced since these foods take a long time to pass through the bowels.
  • Yeast-based foods must be avoided too. Some of these are vinegar, soy sauce, and cheese.
  • Sweeteners are also among those that must be avoided, including aspartame, fructose, and sorbitol.
  • Ice cream must be avoided too as it contains carageenan, a milk protein stabilizer that has been found to cause problems to those who suffer from digestive problems.
  • Avoid those beverages that have dehydrating effect. These include coffee, fizzy drinks, and tea.
  • You could try to eat more vegetable soups whenever the bowel is inflamed. You can make soups out of celery, ginger, cabbage, and whey protein. You could also stew some apples, prunes, apricots and papaya.
  • For breakfast, try to eat porridge made from non-dairy light soya, or almond.
  • If the inflammation has been put under control, then you could start introducing a little steamed or grilled fish, then you could gradually increase your intake of high fibre foods.
  • Live low-fat yoghurt that are replete with acidophilus and bifidus could greatly help in maintaining the bacteria levels in the bowel. This would encourage regular bowel movement.
  • Drinking 8 glasses of water every day could help in providing adequate fluid to the bowel.
  • For your salad dressings, use extra virgin unrefined sunflower oils or olive oil.
  • Eating garlic could help too since it ahs antiseptic qualities.

Exercise and Activity

  • Try to make it a point to exercise regularly. Gentle walking and swimming could help in working the stomach muscles and to encourage bowel movements.
  • Leave some time to be able to visit the loo. Relax and do not rush.


Relaxation and Meditation

  • Practice yoga or t’ai chi. This could relieve you from stress, which would eventually improve your digestive functioning.
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