4 Steps to Heal Diverticulitis Naturally - DrJockers.com

4 Steps to Heal Diverticulitis Naturally

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4 Steps to Heal Diverticulitis Naturally:

A routine colonoscopy has confirmed that the abdominal complications you have been experiencing is a consequence of diverticulitis. You have been prescribed antibiotics as the recommended conventional treatment for the disease but is this approach in your best interest?

Antibiotic treatment has its own risks and can cause pain within the first few days of treatment in which patients are then usually prescribed narcotics. So what should you do?

Ignoring signs of the failing health of your digestive tract can lead to worsening symptoms, weakened immunity, and the possibility of interventions like unnecessary surgery in the future. Fortunately, there are natural and inexpensive ways you can treat the infection residing in your digestive tract and prevent flare ups from occurring.

What Causes Diverticulitis?

Small, tubular shaped bulging sacs along the gastrointestinal tract increase in prevalence with age affecting 70% of individuals before they reach 80 years old (13). These pouches are called diverticula and usually concentrate along the colon. Inflammation of one diverticulum or several diverticula can be triggered by a hard mass of feces causing bacteria overgrowth and a resulting infection known as diverticulitis. (1)

Various influences contribute to impacted diverticula and infection. One of the greatest factors believed to affect incidence rates is diet. Today our bodies are burdened with managing poor dietary habits in a culture consumed by processed goods, sugar, and trans-fats. Our busy lifestyle has us neglecting the healthy lifestyle choices we should be making.

As a consequence we deny ourselves sufficient time to exercise, lack antioxidant and fiber rich plant based foods in our diet and temporarily mask the stress and pain we feel with anti-inflammatory drugs, laxatives and poor habits like smoking. For these reasons diverticulitis is referred to as a “disease of modern man” (12).

A combination of these poor lifestyle habits causes inflammation of diverticula sacs. As fecal matter hardens and bacteria accumulate, these pouches grow increasing pressure on the intestinal wall leading to worsening symptoms. Abnormal gut flora are also associated with impaired mucus membranes along the intestines and the upregulation of inflammatory cytokines (13).

Symptoms:

Diverticula are rare to cause problems but when they do they cause significant abdominal pain and discomfort. Many people mistake diverticulitis with appendicitis, but diverticulitis typically shows up with pain on the left side of the bowel.  Appendicitis is characterized by pain on the lower right side of the stomach and may be a medical emergency.   Diverticulitis symptoms may include: (13)

  • Nausea
  • Change in bowel habits
  • Fever
  • Flatulence
  • Cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Bowel pain, typically on the left side
  • Red coloring or blood in stool

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1)  Remove Gut Irritating Foods

Common food allergens associated with diverticulitis include gluten, grains, corn, soy, nuts and seeds. These foods, commonly GMO crops, disturb the balance of beneficial bacteria present in the gut leading to gastrointestinal disturbances and a weakened immune response.

Clinically, diverticulitis is comparable in symptoms to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In study these patients have low concentrations of good bacteria, heightened inflammation, and weakened immune systems. By addressing food sensitivities through an elimination diet, the patients’ symptoms significantly improved. (14)

Some patients report experiencing pain in the lower left lower abdomen when consuming foods like seeds and nuts feared to become lodged into a diverticulum (12). However, diverticulitis can be accompanied by other bowel complications like irritable bowel syndrome making the cause of diverticulitis hard to identify.

Learn what food irritants trigger your diverticulitis symptoms by learning these 5 Steps to Following an Elimination Diet. Giving your gut the rest it needs from food irritants can help you heal naturally.

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2)  Gut Soothing Nutrition Plan

Eating foods that have anti-inflammatory properties and support the immune system is one of the best lifestyle changes you can make to heal diverticulitis. These foods are inexpensive, effective and safe.

Bone Broth:

Sip on bone broth as you would drink tea throughout the day or add it to your favorite meals to give your soups and stews a health boost. Bone broth prepared from 100% grass-fed meat bones is loaded with benefits for the digestive tract.

It contains essential nutrients like magnesium, potassium and calcium to stimulate healthy gut function. It is also high in collagen and amino acids glycine, glutamine and proline which inhibit bacterial inflammation by fueling macrophages and lymphocytes to support wound healing. (2, 3)

Coconut Oil:

The medium chain triglyceride, lauric acid, is broken down in the body into an antibacterial compound called monolaurin. Monolaurin can help alleviate concerns with indigestion and constipation by reducing inflammation and inhibiting pathogenic bacteria build up (10, 11).

Apple Cider Vinegar:

Due to its high acetic acid content, apple cider vinegar has potent antimicrobial properties that can reduce the overgrowth of bacteria in the colon and aid in the removal of waste from the body (15). Acetic acid promotes colonic transit by improving alkalinity in the digestive tract and providing immune support by regulating homeostatic factors that limit oxidative stress and inflammation (16). 

Ginger:

This therapeutic plant has been traditionally used for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. You too can use it to help with symptoms of nausea and indigestion you experience during a flare up. Used regularly, ginger contains over 100 different chemical compounds that relax the lining of smooth muscle in the gut and aid in cleansing the digestive tract. (9)

Turmeric:

In individuals with acute diverticulitis, inflammation is believed to be the major cause of symptoms. Treating diverticulitis with anti-inflammatory agents like turmeric is one of the best strategies to find relief from symptoms and heal. Turmeric has been shown to heal inflammation associated with bowel diseases and heal tissue damage along the digestive tract (17).

When anti-inflammatory supplements are taken, individuals with diverticulitis can find complete remission from symptoms (13).

Fermented Foods and Drinks:

Foods like sauerkraut, coconut water kefir, kimchi and pickles are excellent for intestinal health because of the healthy bacteria they contain. These probiotic foods reduce inflammation in the gut and decrease permeability of the intestinal lining that can promote digestive diseases (4).

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3)  Gut Healing Supplements

In diverticulitis, the gut is severely worn down and needs the help of advanced supplementation in order to heal and rebuild.  Clinically, I will use a wide variety of key supplements to help people overcome gut disorders such as diverticulitis.  Here are the most important supplements to use in your healing plan.

Betaine HCL:

Low hydrochloric acid (HCL) in the stomach can give rise to a variety of digestive disturbances that fuel bacteria overgrowth and infection in the intestines (22). As we get older, the production of HCL in the stomach begins to naturally decrease and may be partly to blame for the increase incidence of diverticulitis following age 40.

Supplementing with Betaine HCL during a meal is important to stimulate digestive enzymes so that foods, especially protein compounds, are broken down more easily improving digestive motility and preventing bacterial fermentation.  We use acid prozyme for the Betaine HCL support.

Probiotics:

Abnormal bacterial flora in the gut is associated with slowing colonic transit which increases the risk for stagnation of fecal matter in diverticula. Supplementing with live probiotics can support your immune system in fighting infection.

Taken regularly, probiotics can reduce symptoms associated with diverticulitis including gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. When used in conjunction with anti-inflammatory agents, probiotic treatment resulted the treatment of 100% of individuals in study following 1 year. (13)

Digestive Enzymes:

Individuals with diverticulitis could use any extra help to improve digestive function. Enzymes enhance the ability for food to be metabolized and easily absorbed into the body. To ease digestive disturbances, digestive enzymes help your gut function optimally and can include a multi-complex of enzymes such as protease, amylase and lipase.

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Aloe Vera:

Aloe vera is a potent medicinal plant used for enhancing detoxification pathways, modulating the immune response and stimulating healthy gut function. Aloe vera extract inhibits pathogenic bacteria in the intestines thus encouraging regular bowel movements (19).

Aloe vera regulates pH and can relieve symptoms of both constipation and diarrhea associated with diverticulitis by decreasing inflammation in the gut (18).   The aloe vera I personally use can be found here

DGL (Deglycrrhizinated Licorice Extract):

DGL enhances digestive function by releasing secretin to thicken intestinal mucus. It is an adaptogenic herb that can heal gastric lining by reducing pathogenic bacteria and suppressing inflammatory responses. (23)

L-Glutamine:

Preserve your gut health with the essential amino acid, L-glutamine. The addition of L-glutamine into your diet can repair tissue damage and improve the mucosal lining that is needed to prevent the obstruction of fecal matter in diverticula. L-glutamine can also reduce your food sensitivities by repairing gut problems associated with leaky gut. (20, 21)

Gut Repair Supplement:

Consider supplementing your diet with Gut Repair which combines aloe vera, DGL, and L-glutamine with other essential nutrients identified in improving colon health. The powerful impact of these nutrients will help you minimize the risk of flare ups by optimizing your digestive tract through soothing the intestinal membrane, enhancing gut flora and reducing inflammation.

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4)  Lifestyle Strategies

These lifestyle strategies are critical to prevent diverticulitis from flaring up in the future.  Be sure to put these all into action on a daily basis to keep your bowels healthy and strong.

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Reduce Stress:

The vagus nerve which runs from the brain to the gut is responsible for the secretion of stress and inflammatory hormones like cortisol and histamine into the gut. Therefore, stress directly contributes to the inflammation of the gut and strain on the immune system which can cause flare ups with diverticulitis. (7, 8)

Incorporating physical activity into your life can help alleviate stress emotionally and physically. Exercise decreases the circulating levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body, increases oxygen flow to cells improving circulation and natural detoxification pathways. Studies show that exercise improves regularity and reduces pain. (6)

Fiber Rich Diet:

Eating fiber rich foods promotes regularity by acting as a cleaning agent for the digestive tract. Although harder to digest, raw fibrous foods like celery, carrots and apples contain enzymes that support digestion.

Even beverages like apple and prune juice containing their fibers can help eliminate your reliance from taking laxatives that can cause harm (4, 5). Individuals whom consume a plant based diet have been found to carry fewer toxic agents in the gut microflora than those who primarily eat meat (6).

Optimal Hydration:

Decrease your alcohol and caffeinated beverage intake and swap them with purified water. Both alcohol and caffeine dehydrate the colon and alcohol can increase the accumulation of mucus in the colon contributing to infection.

Drink at least 1 gallon of water a day to super hydrate the digestive tract and add bulk to stool. Water also contributes to a healthy mucus barrier along the intestines for efficient waste elimination.  The more fiber you consume, the more water you must consume as these work together to remove waste material from the body.

Healthy Bathroom Habits:

Avoid straining to go the bathroom which puts more pressure on the intestinal wall. Instead, use the toilet in a squatting position by placing your feet around the toilet or using a stool to lean forward relieving tension off the intestines.

When you do feel the urge to go, don’t hesitate to use the bathroom because holding it in encourages bacteria and toxins to be reabsorbed back into the gut and body.

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Sources for this Article Include:

  1. Mayo Clinic: Diverticulitis Link Here
  2. Deal CL, Moskowitz RW. Nutraceuticals as therapeutic agents in osteoarthritis. The role of glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and collagen hydrolysate. Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 1999 May; 25(2):379-95. PMID: 10356424
  3. Barbul A. Proline precursors to sustain Mammalian collagen synthesis. J Nutr. 2008 Oct; 138(10):2021S-2024S. PMID: 18806118
  4. Bellini M, Gambaccini D, et al. Irritable bowel syndrome: A disease still searching for pathogenesis, diagnosis and therapy. World J Gastroenterol. 2014 July; 20(27):8807-8820. PMCID: 4112881
  5. Schuster BG, Kosar L, and Kamrul R. Constipation in older adults: Stepwise approach to keep things moving. Can Fam Physician. 2015 Feb; 61(2):152-158. PMCID: 4325863
  6. Johannesson, et al. Intervention to increase physical activity in irritable bowel syndrome shows long-term positive effects. World J Gastroenterol. 2015 Jan; 21(2):600-608. DOI: 3748/wjg.v21.i2.600
  7. Corcoran CD, et al. Vagus nerve stimulation in chronic treatment-resistant depression. The British J Psych. 2006 Sep; 189(3)282-283. DOI: 1192/bjp.bp.105.018689
  8. King’s Psychology Network: The Enteric Nervous System: The Brain in the Gut Link Here
  9. Ewnetu Y, Lemma W, and Birhane N. Synergetic Antimicrobial Effects of Mixtures of Ethiopian Honeys and Ginger Powder Extracts on Standard and Resistant Clinical Bacteria Isolates. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2014; 562804. DOI: 1155/2014/562804
  1. Nakatsuji T, Kao MC, Fang JY, Zouboulis CC, Zhang L, Gallo RL, Huang CM. Antimicrobial property of lauric acid against Propionibacterium acnes: its therapeutic potential for inflammatory acne vulgaris. J Invest Dermatol. 2009 Oct; 129(10):2480-8. PMID: 19387482
  2. Barbera R, Peracchi M, Brighenti F, Cesana B, Bianchi PA, Basilisco G. Sensations induced by medium and long chain triglycerides: role of gastric tone and hormones. Gut. 2000 Jan; 46(1):32-6. PMID: 10601051
  1. Welling DR. Medical Treatment of Diverticular Disease.Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery. 2004; 17(3):163-168. PMCID: 2780059
  2. Boynton W, Floch M. New strategies for the management of diverticular disease: insights for the clinician.Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology. 2013; 6(3):205-213. 3625022
  3. Drisko J, et al. Treating irritable bowel syndrome with a food elimination diet followed by food challenge and probiotics. J Am Coll Nutr. 2006 Dec; 25(6): 514-22. PMID: 17229899
  4. Cortesia C, et al. Acetic Acid, the Active Component of Vinegar, Is an Effective Tuberculocidal Disinfectant. 2014 Feb; 5(2): e00013-14 DOI: 1128/mBio.00013-14
  5. Petsiou EI, Mitrou PI, et al. Effect and mechanisms of action of vinegar on glucose metabolism, lipid profile, and body weight. Oxford University Press Journals. 2014 Oct; 651-661. DOI:1111/nure.12125
  6. He Y, et al. Curcumin, inflammation, and chronic diseases: how are they linked? Molecules. 2015 May 20; 20(5):9183-213. PMID: 26007179
  7. Davis K, et al. Randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial of aloe vera for irritable bowel syndrome. Int J Clin Pract. 2006 Sep; 60 (9): 1080-6. PMID: 16749917
  1. Maphosa V, and Masika PJ. In vivo validation of Aloe ferox (Mill). Elephantorrhiza elphantina Bruch. Skeels. And Leonotis leonurus (L) R. BR as potential anthelminthics and antiprotozoals against mixed infections of gastrointestinal nematodes in goats. Parasitol Res. 2012 Jan; 110(1): 103-8. PMID: 21607691
  2. Van Der Hulst RRWJ, et al. Glutamine and the preservation of gut integrity. The Lancet 1993; 341(8857). DOI: 10.1016/0140-6736(93)90939
  3. Huffman FG, and Walgreen ME. L-glutamine supplementation improves nelfinavir-associated diarrhea in HIV-infected individuals. HIV Clin Trials. 2003 Sep; 4(5): 324-9. PMID: 14583848
  4. Tennant SM, et al. Influence of gastric acid on susceptibility to infection with ingested bacterial pathogens. Infect Immun. 2008 Feb; 76(2):639-45. PMID: 18025100
  5. Methlie P, et al. Grapefruit juice and licorice increase cortisol availability in patients with Addison’s disease. EJE 2011 Sep; 165: 761-769. PMID: 21896619

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4 Responses to 4 Steps to Heal Diverticulitis Naturally

  1. Ronnie v December 30, 2016 at 2:38 pm #

    I wish I had known this info in 2001. I had 9 inches of my gut taken out due to diverticulitis. Had troble for years afer the surgery. Doctors never told me about natural cures . The hipocratic oath went out the window in my case.

    • Dr. Jockers December 30, 2016 at 4:43 pm #

      So sorry to hear about this Ronnie! Please pass this article on so others will know what to do!!

  2. peter wright June 20, 2017 at 8:38 am #

    I WAS VERY IMPRESSED WITH YOUR CLEAR ,INFORMATIVE VIOEO ON TREATING DIVERTICULITIS….I AM 74 & HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH DIVERTICULITIS..I AM A UK RETIREE LIVING IN PUERTO VIEJO COSTA RICA…I AM UNABLE TO SOURCE MOST OF YOUR RECOMENDED FOOD SUPLIMENTS HERE…HOWEVER THEIR IS AN ABUNDANCE OF NATURAL ORGANIC FOODS…PLEASE RECOMEND BEST D.I.Y.USE OF NATURAL WHOLE PLANT..VEGITABLE AVAILABLE..REGARDS PETER

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