Diverticulitis is a common digestive disease that occurs when one or more diverticula in your intestines become inflamed or infected. Diverticula are pouches that can form within your bowel wall, usually within your large intestine or colon.
The cause of this condition is not yet known, although some believe that a low fibre diet is the likely culprit. Diverticulitis tends to affect people over the age of 40 years old, and can be especially common in seniors. You may also be more prone to the condition if you are obese, have a significantly low level of exercise, or if you are a smoker.
Common symptoms include:
- abdominal pain, mostly in your lower left quadrant
- worsened pain with movement
- bloating and gas
- diarrhea or constipation
- nausea and potentially vomiting as well
- lack of appetite
Because other digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD's) and stomach ulcers present with similar symptoms, it can be difficult for your doctor to diagnose you with diverticulitis. Usually, blood tests, X-rays and CT scans are used, especially to rule out anything more serious.
If you are suffering from an infected bowel, your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics. Otherwise, you may be prescribed pain killers or have rest recommended. Surgery is an option considered when nothing else seems to be helping, or if you have a bowel obstruction, a fistula (an abnormal connection or passageway between two organs in your body, usually your intestines), or an abscess (a pocket of infection).
In terms of natural remedies, you can help prevent and manage diverticulitis by drinking plenty of water, getting regular exercise such as yoga, and eating a healthy diet that includes high fibre foods. Visiting a nutritional counsellor can not only help you learn to pick the right foods and avoid those that may aggravate your symptoms, but can also help with recommending the right nutritional supplements.
Abdominal massage as part of our Belly Be Well Program, or from a registered massage therapist may provide significant relief. Even the relaxation from a full body massage will have excellent results in terms of helping you relax, which on its own can lessen your symptoms. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (which includes a variety of therapies including herbal prescription) is excellent for relieving you of your symptoms, and can work as a great adjunct to other therapies you may already be trying.
Finally, consider visiting a trained psychotherapist if you feel that there may be some emotional ties to your diverticulitis. Oftentimes we hold unsaid thoughts and feelings in places in our bodies, and when left to fester can manifest themselves in various symptoms of disease.
Contact us for a FREE consultation on how natural therapy can help you prevent and manage your symptoms of constipation.
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