Diverticular, Diverticulosis, and Diverticulitis
The highest rates of the Diverticular disease are seen more in the United States and Europe. But even in these two countries, this disease was unheard of before the 1900s, but by the 1970s it was the most common affliction of the colon. It is extremely painful, can last from a few hours to a week or more, and affects your life with family, friends, work, and doing the things you love, dramatically.
The Diverticular disease has two different phases. The first, Diverticulosis, happens when sac-like pouches forms in the wall of the colon. The second, Diverticulitis, is when these same pouches inflame and cause symptoms such as stomach pain, usually in the lower left side, fever and chills, bloating and gas, diarrhea or constipation, and nausea with occasional vomiting. Diverticulitis happens when bacteria gets trapped in the pouches. This allows bacteria to grow in the pouches that can lead to inflammation or infection.
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is found very common in Diverticulitic patients. This starts to happen when the bacteria in our gut gets out of balance and overgrows. It occurs most often in those eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates, sugar and alcohol.
So what causes the bacterial overgrowth??
In the gut, enzymes main task is to break down the food, while the muscles, nerves and neurotransmitters physically move the food from the stomach, through our digestive tract, and to the small intestine and colon. When a gut is healthy, bacteria passes through to the colon along with the food. If there is damage to the muscles or nerves in the gut however, then leftover bacteria get left in the small intestine and causes infection and inflammation.
As bacteria gets caught in the sac-like pouches in the colon wall, that is when it gets inflamed and becomes Diverticulitis. To help prevent this stage from happening concentrate on your gut health, get the healthy bacteria in balance, keep your immune system strong and get to the root of the problem.
Start healing the gut
80% of your immune system is located in the gut, making it the center of your body’s health. If you don’t have a healthy gut then you can’t keep your immune system up to par. When your immune system is down, the body leaves an open door for infections, autoimmune disease, and most importantly for Diverticulosis patients… inflammation.
Remove the bad – take out of your diet inflammatory foods such as dairy, eggs, grains, sugar, legumes, and gluten.
Bring back the good – for proper digestion, bring back the important ingredients such as digestive enzymes, bile acids, and hydrochloric acid.
Healthy bacteria – your gut is always in critical need of beneficial bacteria to start your whole body on the road to good health.
Restore the gut – to restore your gut lining use L-glutamine (an amino acid). A few other things to heal the gut are drinking collagen or bone broth. Add supplements such as omega-3s, zinc, and herbs like aloe vera and slippery elm. Slippery elm also helps to sooth irritated body tissues and inflammation.
For more information on healing and maintaining a healthy gut visit, Amy Myers on www.amymyersmd.com
Reduce your stress
As strange as it may sound, reducing your stress level is also important to decrease intestinal inflammation. Stress wreaks havoc on the gut. This means taking the time to mediate, do yoga, tai chi, or whatever else you find as an outlet to de-stress your mind and body.
Amy Myers MD: The Autoimmune Solution Pillar 1: Heal Your Gut
Kelsey Marksteiner RD: How to Prevent Diverticulitis Naturally (www.chriskresser.com)
Amy Myers MD: 10 Signs You Have Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)