Overview and SymptomsCauses and RisksNatural RemediesLifestyle RxMessage of Hope

Diverticulitis Lifestyle Rx

The first step in getting better is to become educated about your disorder and to understand your options. If you want to improve your colon health (and your overall health), you will need to gain a better understanding of how the digestive tract works, and begin to address to the root of your issue, not just mask the symptoms. Our unique blend of natural botanicals (herbs) and important homeopathic remedies will give you a quick start to your program of health and rapidly reduce your pain and discomfort. Our natural healing products are designed to reverse your situation and help you on your road to recovery quickly, without just ‘putting a band-aid’ on the problem.

Until you have some healing ‘under your belt’, you will want to try to avoid:

  • Wheat and gluten
  • Caffeine (found in tea, coffee and soda)
  • High Fructose
  • Dairy products
  • Red Meats
  • Carbonated drinks (like soda)
  • Alcohol
  • Fried foods
  • Spicy foods
  • Citrus fruits
  • Artificial sweeteners (things like sorbitol and aspartame – we recommend Stevia)
  • Chocolate
  • Foods high in fat
  • Ibuprofen and aspirin
     

The Importance of Fiber, Water and Exercise

I want you to think for a moment of what diets consisted of before industrialization. There were no fast foods, the grains were whole, and vegetables were fresh and grown without pesticides or genetic manipulation. Before commercial farming became the norm and animals were raised en mass for food and slaughter, our distant forbearers ate berries, fruits, root vegetables, herbs and just about all plants that were not toxic along with the wild animals they could kill or capture. The diet contained 50-100 grams of fiber a day, mostly from plants. Interestingly, one of the best studied prebiotic fibers, inulin, has been found in over 35,000 plants, so there was no shortage of fiber in their diets.

But as time marched on, we congregated into villages and towns and started cooperative farming, growing of grains and other agricultural endeavors such as raising livestock for consumption. Fiber in the diet continually diminished. Worse, in the western world we began to remove the fiber from the grains because it was felt to be useless. As a result, we have soft, delicious white bread, with no fiber and with many of the vitamins and minerals removed. Also around this time we began packaging foods in ways that diminished the basic nutrition of our foods – even adding many substances that, while helpful in adding shelf life and flavor, continued to lessen the values of nutrients. High fructose corn syrup was found to be as sweet as sugar and cheaper, so it found its place in almost everything packaged. Fiber in our diet was forgotten as a needed element in our diets.

Studies have found that eating a diet low in fiber and high in meat is associated with a 3 times increased risk for diverticulitis. In those that consume the largest amount of meat, the risk for right-sided diverticulosis in particular is roughly 25 times that of persons eating the least amount of meat. This is really not surprising, as with all animal products meat contains no fiber. It is also of interest to note that those eating a vegetarian diet have much less occurrence of all Bowel Problems

As of late, there has been much evidence of the benefit to health and longevity associated with the aspects of returning to a basic, normal diet, one that is organic, high fiber and natural, light in animal products and rich in fruits and vegetables.

Fiber is found in plants and normally not digested or absorbed by the body – and there are different types of fibers, soluble and insoluble fibers, both which are found to be low in the typical diet but crucial to a healthy gut.

Soluble Fiber: Soluble fiber is "soluble" in water. When mixed with water it becomes gel-like and swells. Soluble fiber has many benefits, including moderating blood glucose levels and lowering cholesterol. Water soluble fibers are found in watermelon, seeds, beans, apples, oranges, carrots, beets and barley to mention a few. These are critical in preventing diabetes, lowering blood cholesterol levels, obesity, and hypertension (high blood pressure). Additionally, colon beneficial bacteria use soluble fiber as a food source, encouraging a well-balanced environment.

Insoluble Fiber: Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. It passes through the digestive tract pretty much in its original form. Insoluble fiber has many benefits to our digestive health, such as lowering our risk of constipation, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis (and other bowel disorders), as well as cancer. Most of our insoluble fiber comes from the bran layers of cereal grains. On packaging, it is usually labeled cellulose, lignins and hemicelluloses. The average American consumes only 10-17 grams of fiber per day but the recommended amount is 20-38 grams and some say higher.

Ways to increase daily fiber intake:

  • Eat Brown rice instead of white rice
  • Eat Oats (oatmeal, old fashioned)
  • Eat whole grain cereals
  • Eat whole grain pastas
  • Eat organic (when you can), unpeeled VEGETABLES WITH THEIR SKINS ON (lots of Vegies!)
  • Add rice bran or wheat bran (miller’s bran) to your foods
  • Eat beans
  • Get rid of the white stuff in your diet (bread, rice, pasta, sugar, etc.)
  • Consider supplementing with prebiotic fiber from Chicory Root (Inulin) (Healthy Bowel Support).
    Healthy Bowel Support  

Other important things to remember:

  • Don’t forget your water intake (1-2 quarts daily!)
  • Avoid saturated and trans fats
  • Make sure you are getting enough Omega Oils (3,6 & 9’s)
  • Exercise (3 times weekly minimum)!
     

The Power of Chia Seeds – a Great Source of Fiber

Nutrition experts around the globe agree that Chia seeds may be one of the healthiest super foods of the world. These nutritionally-packed seeds come from the desert plant "Salvia hispanica L" which is part of the mint family. Originally cultivated in southern Mexico, it was so valued at one time that it was used as currency. Chia was considered a super food of the Aztec and Mayan cultures where they were known as the "running food". The Chia seeds were consumed for energy and endurance for the life of a warrior, where it is rumored to take as little as 1 tablespoon to sustain a person for 24 hours – but many in the western world remember them as part of a novelty item – the Chia Pet.

Chia seeds are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids (fats that protect against inflammation and heart disease) with more fatty acids than Atlantic salmon. They are among the highest anti-oxidant of any whole food, and have been shown to help keep blood pressure and blood sugar at normal levels. For bowel health, they gently aid in regulating elimination and hydration, unlike harsh laxatives.

Chia seeds are loaded with vitamins, minerals, calcium and protein, and just two tablespoons a day will give you seven grams of fiber and 205 milligrams of calcium, and contain trace amounts of boron which speeds the rate at which the calcium is absorbed and used by the body. Chia seeds contain both soluble and insoluble fiber – both needed for a healthy digestive tract. Insoluble fiber helps clean the intestinal tract and the soluble fiber can act as a prebiotic that helps feed and maintain the crucial good bacteria in your digestive system.

Chia seeds are as versatile as your imagination and can be mixed into your favorite drink, used as a topper to a healthy salad, incorporated in muffins, pancakes or your morning oatmeal.
Chia seeds are beneficial to a diabetic's diet, as they absorb so much water and slowly release energy into the bloodstream keeping blood sugar levels stable. If you leave these seeds in water, they will transform into a gelatinous substance, due to the fact that each tiny seed holds 9 times it s own weight in water and holds on to it, which creates a barrier between carbohydrates and enzymes and slows down the conversion of carbohydrates into sugars.

These miraculous seeds have been shown in double blind studies to decrease blood pressure, lower cholesterol and help with weight loss. One-two tablespoons a day will greatly improve your overall health.

Seeds and Nuts

There has been much debate in the past regarding the safety of eating seeds and nuts by those that have diverticulitis, but 3 new findings show:

  • Those with Diverticulitis that avoid seeds and nuts show no more exacerbation than those that do eat them.
  • Certain seeds have been shown to actually help with Diverticulits
  • They should be eaten with other foods and not processed or coated (like mixed nuts usually are).
     

Diverticulitis Diets

Basically there are three diets you need to know about for Diverticulitis.

  • High Fiber
  • Low Fiber
  • No Fiber
     

The high fiber diet controls the disease by keeping pressure off the bowel and by keeping things moving.

The low fiber diet (low residue diet) takes the fiber basically out of the food to stop it from causing more irritation in an already inflamed condition.

The no fiber diet (liquid diet) is used when things are very inflamed and you are sick or are in pain. You should use care with a liquid diet (fasting) and get medical assistance beforehand. Remember, this is only for short periods of time. It is not natural to eat this way and not healthy, but sometimes temporarily necessary.

When you are not in crisis (pain), you should strive to be on a high fiber diet. A high fiber diet is imperative for the health of the digestive tract and a healthy body. This is how our ancestors ate and why they did not have Diverticulitis. This will also keep us from developing diverticulitis and reduce the reoccurrence or flare-ups once you have developed it.

Sometimes, because of already having developed diverticulitis, it is then necessary for a period of time to eat a Low Fiber Diet (or Low Residue Diet). This is when the colon needs to have a rest. Usually, during this time period, you want your fiber intake to be 10 grams or less. The Low Fiber Diet is recommended only when you are not feeling well or sometimes while on certain medications. This should not be for long periods of time. Remember, a lack of fiber was one of the key reasons why you got sick in the first place. Once you are feeling better, you then need to begin increasing your fiber. During a flare-up and on the occasions your Doctor or Nutritionist advises a No Fiber Diet (fasting), the Divercalm Homeopathic will help with pain reduction and can be used for quicker recovery.

There is some evidence of a correlation between Celiac disease, food allergies and diverticulitis. Those with Diverticulitis (and other Bowel Disease) should consider being tested for Celiac.

The Importance of Exercise

Believe it or not, exercise is not only beneficial for your looks or for heart health. If you want to improve your entire body including the health of your colon, you need to exercise! Regular physical activity helps the bowels to work more efficiently and reduces the pressure in the colon. For optimal overall health, and especially colon health, it is recommended to exercise a minimum of 30 minutes daily. For those just starting their program of colon health recovery, we recommend starting with 3 days a week with a goal of 5 days a week within a month. With everything else you have to do, don’t you deserve 30 minutes of time daily that is just for YOU?

The Importance of Water

Increasing your exercise and fiber intake is crucial, but the medical experts have also found that you must increase the amount of fluids (Water) you drink throughout the day. Fiber works most efficiently when it is able to absorb water. Many feel coffee, tea and sodas in large amounts provide the necessary amount of water daily – we DO NOT recommend that. Remember, our bodies need plain, clean water. Our recommendation is 2 quarts of PURE WATER daily. Water is the mechanism used to soften the bulky waste found in your colon. If you don’t increase your water intake while you’re increasing your fiber consumptions, you could find yourself constipated!