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Natural Treatments for Diverticulitis

Apr 26, 2020

Dr. Jeremy Hayman, ND

Dr. Jeremy Hayman, ND

NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR

Anti-microbials are the first line therapy for a diverticulitis flare. The bacteria stuck in the diverticula must be destroyed to eliminate the pain in the lower left quadrant of the abdomen. In addition to strong anti-microbials, a low fiber diet must be adopted for the short term until the pain as been addressed and eliminated.

Diverticulitis is a disease of the large intestine consisting of poaches throughout. Sometimes material can enter these poaches and become stuck which results in significant bacterial growth and inflammation inside the poach which leads to strong abdominal pain.

As with any disease, prevention is key. Even once diagnosed with diverticula the goal is prevention of a diverticulitis flare. Prevention is focused on a high fiber diet which provides form and bulk to stool. This decreases the chance of the material entering the poach and being eliminated from the body naturally. Decreasing small nuts and seeds, such as strawberry seeds, can also be helpful as these small seeds have an increased chance of entering these poaches. Optimizing digestion is also very helpful. Taking some digestive aids, such as a broad spectrum digestive enzyme, when eating foods which you do not consume regularly can help ease the stress on the digestive tract.

Diverticulitis is a painful condition which often requires immediate treatment. If you are able to see your GP quickly you may be prescribed a short round of antibiotics. To complement this we often prescribe natural anti-microbial supplements such as garlic and/or berberine in addition to the low fiber diet. Once the acute flare has been resolved, the focus is then moved to healing the lining of the digestive tract, ensuring healthy gut flora post antibiotic use and returning to an adequate fiber diet.

Take home advice is if you suffer with diverticula and have had diverticulitis flares in the past is this:
High soluble fiber nutrition for prevention and low fiber nutrition during an acute flare in addition to anti-microbial supplements and/or antibiotics.

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