Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis

Your colon, or large intestine, is a very important part of your digestive tract. Diverticulosis is a Diverticulosis refers to blind pouches contain feces 2condition, rather than a disease

Its main job is to eliminate waste products from the body, but it also plays a role in nutrient absorption, reabsorbing body fluids, and is the home to the friendly bacteria that help keep our immune system strong.  Therefore, it is important to keep your colon in good health. The colon is not a hard tube; it is actually made of muscle tissue.  When the diet lacks fiber and adequate nutrients, the stool stays in the colon too long expanding and stretching the colon wall.  Weakened areas develop in the wall and small pouches begin to protrude.  This would be similar to the idea of bulges that form in a tire inner tube when weakness occurs.

Each pouch is called a diverticulum.  Pouches are diverticula.  When you have many of these pouches on the colon wall, it is called diverticulosis.  About half of all Americans age 60 to 80, and almost everyone over age 80, have diverticulosis.  When the pouches become infected or inflamed, the condition is called diverticulitis. This happens in 10 to 25 percent of people with diverticulosis.  Often there are no symptoms of diverticulosis except mild cramps, bloating, and constipation.  All of these signs should warn you that your digestive tract needs attention.  Once the pouches have become inflamed, you may experience tenderness around the left side of the lower abdomen.  If infected, nausea, vomiting, and chills may occur.

Fiber formulas are essential in preventing the buildup of wastes in the bowel pockets as well as helping the body empty the debris that has built up in them:

Ultimate Greenzone (if diagnosed with diverticulosis) – 1 scoop twice daily. This formula provides a wide range of fibers from whole grain sources such as amaranth, brown rice, millet, and flax seed.  It provides green foods that help to alkalize an acidic condition in the body, along with herbs and supplements that cleanse and strengthen the liver and kidneys.  The formula is also high in antioxidants that have a protective effect against colon cancer.  Probiotic fiber is included in the formula because of its ability to help the good bacteria in the colon to grow and populate.  This formula offers so many naturally occurring vitamins, amino acids, phyto-nutrients and minerals that I consider this to be a great plant-based multiple vitamin and mineral supplement.

If you have been diagnosed with diverticulitis, an additional type of fiber drink is recommended.  Since there is inflammation with diverticulitis, a fiber blend containing herbs that soothe and heal the digestive tract is important — Everybody’s Fiber #1336-6.  The herbs in this formula repair the intestinal wall, reduce inflammation, break up gas, and relax muscle spasms in the digestive tract. They also provide a bulk fiber to move waste materials thru the colon, cleaning out the bowel pockets. The Ultimate GreenZone product is excellent for both conditions as it improves the overall health of the individual, is pH balancing for better health, and provides bulk fiber.  It is a good fiber drink to start your day with.  However, in cases of severe inflammation, Everybody’s Fiber might be a better choice for the first month or two of healing.  Then switch to GreenZone for your long-term maintenance program.

Most people who develop diverticulum on the colon wall tend to be constipated. When you start using fiber and have a sluggish colon, you often become more constipated.  If you know you have a tendency to be constipated, I recommend taking a very gentle bowel stimulant and toning formula along with your fiber drink each day.

The formula Bowel Detox # 3020-8 provides nutrients that help to repair and build a healthy colon wall.  Additionally, this formula helps to improve intestinal function.  It has mild laxative properties for those with a sluggish colon.

Another great formula for this situation is Gentle Move #952-9. This formula is particularly helpful for those who tend to have a dryer stool and cramping spasms in the intestinal tract.  Gentle Move features a proprietary blend of magnesium hydroxide and herbs.  Triphala extract is an Ayurvedic combination of dried fruits used as a “health harmonizer.”  Traditionally, triphala is considered a gentle laxative that supports digestive and intestinal health.  Magnesium hydroxide is a natural salt of magnesium, an essential mineral that specifically attracts and retains fluid within the colon.  Gentle Move’sherbal blend also contains yellow dock root, ginger rhizome, marshmallow root and slippery elm bark to aid digestion and provide soothing action to the digestive tract.

Rebalancing the good bacteria in the intestinal tract is important when suffering from digestive or colon problems. A good formula for people with diverticulum is Probiotic Eleven #1510-1.  This formula provides 11 species of friendly bacteria to help replenish the colon.  Restoring good bacteria enhances digestion of minerals, soothes an irritable bowel, helps fight unfriendly bacteria and yeast in the colon, improves immunity, and aids in the elimination of toxins.  I recommend taking 2 capsules twice daily on an empty stomach through one bottle.

Poor diet and poor digestion of food is the major contributing cause to the formation of diverticulitis and diverticulosis. Food Enzymes #1836-9  is a full spectrum enzyme that helps to digest proteins, fats,  and carbohydrates in the stomach.  It contains hydrochloric acid (HCL) to help with protein digestion and destroying yeast and parasites.  This enzyme is best for people over age 30 that are under moderate stress and have symptoms of poor digestion on a somewhat regular basis.  These people usually have low hydrochloric acid output, the most common symptoms being:  bloating, belching, and gas immediately after a meal, a sense of fullness or fatigue after a meal, undigested food in the stools, mild indigestion, and constipation or diarrhea on a regular basisStart with 1 or 2 enzymes per meal.  If symptoms are not aggravated or they improve, try 2 to 3 with larger meals.  Some people initially require 3 to 4 enzymes with their largest meal.  If taking too many, you will feel warmth in your stomach.  Simply cut back on the dose with the next meal.  Eventually, your own output of HCL will improve allowing you to cut back on the amount needed.

A simple test for acid production: Take 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with a meal.  If digestion is improved, you are likely suffering from low production of stomach acid and Food Enzymes will help.  If heartburn is intensified, it is likely you have either reduced mucus production or excessive acid production.

For those who have an irritated stomach lining or hyper acid production, consider using Proactazyme Plus (#1525-0). This is a wide spectrum digestive enzyme from plant sources and does not contain hydrochloric acid which can cause burning. It is a good enzyme to use while you are working on healing the stomach lining and can be used by those who are on any type of antacid medications.

Remember: Improve colon function by drinking 2 quarts of filtered or bottled water daily.  Add fiber foods to your diet by eating more fruits and vegetables, brown rice and oatmeal.  Although whole grains do provide fiber, whole wheat is not recommended for the first couple of months on this program.  Many people do not digest wheat products well which may contribute to gas and bloating.  Wheat-free breads and pastas can be found at any health food store and some grocery stores.

Aside from improving bowel function and helping to keep the pouches clean of debris, fiber helps to absorb excess sugars, thereby helping to maintain proper blood sugar levels.  This is particularly helpful for those with diabetes or hypoglycemia.

Fiber also plays a role in absorbing bad fats that contribute to the formation of colon cancer and helps in the lowering of cholesterol.  There are many sources of fiber: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, ground flaxseed, beans and lentils all contain fiber. With the introduction of processed foods in the early 1900’s, our diets became more and more deficient in fiber.  Meals predominate with white flour bread or pasta is a meal low in fiber.  The lack of fiber makes it very hard for the stool to move along the digestive tract.  It even makes the stool pasty and causes it to stick to the lining of the colon.  This interferes with the absorption of nutrients and creates an environment which is friendly to yeast and parasites.

The lack of fiber slows the transit time of waste and creates constipation.  Because the waste remains in the colon too long, excess water is removed from it, making it even harder to eliminate. Including plenty of fiber in our diets is essential.

Sometimes dry stool is caused by a lack of fatty acids and oils in the diet.  Be sure to include sources of omega 3 oils in your diet.  Omega 3EPA oils also help reduce inflammation which is very important in healing diverticulitis.

In review:

  • Diverticulosis is a condition where pouches form along the colon wall.  It is caused by the weakening of the colon wall due to poor diet, constipation and lack of fiber in the diet.
  • Diverticulitis is a condition where these pouches become inflamed and possibly infected.
  • Poor digestion of food in the stomach contributes to digestive problems in the intestinal tract.  Digestive enzymes help improve poor digestion.
  • Fiber supplements help to improve bowel function and act as a broom to help clean out the diverticulum pouches on the colon wall.
  • Probioitcs should be taken periodically to help restore the balance of good bacteria in the colon.  This will enhance the overall function of the colon.
  • Diet and lifestyle changes are necessary to correct the underlying cause of this condition.

 Herbals:

CLT-X

Intestinal Sooth & Build and/or MSM for the inflammation

Activated Charcoal  and/or  Anti-Gas Formula to deal with the gas

Probiotic Eleven

Aloe Vera Juice to provide natural sodium, the lining of the stomach

Cellular Energy which supports the entire GI tract and aids repair

PDA or Food Enzymes for digestion. Poorly digested food can be very irritating to the bowel

Gradually increase fiber, using Everybody’s Fiber or Psyllium SEEDS (NOT hulls) to prevent the disease from advancing

Small Intestine Detox

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