All About Diverticulitis (Inflamed Pouches In The Colon)

Diverticulitis is a painful condition in which tiny bulging pouches, diverticula, form in the walls of your colon. The formation of these pouches is known as diverticulosis and if these pouches get infected or inflamed, the condition is known as diverticulitis. Your risk of developing diverticulitis grows as you get older. Even if it starts off small, it can be extremely uncomfortable, and it can develop into something much more serious.1

What Causes Diverticulitis?

Doctors are unsure about what causes diverticula, but suspect a low-fiber diet is to blame. Without enough fiber, your colon has to work extra hard to push the stool forward. This may build up immense pressure inside your colon, which can push against weak spots in the colon wall, causing diverticula formation. When these pouches get infected by bacteria and get inflamed, it can lead to diverticula.2

What Are The Symptoms Of Diverticulitis?

Diverticulosis is quite common and almost half of all people over the age of 60 have it. And most of them may not even know they have the condition unless it shows up in a routine colonoscopy because it usually causes no symptoms. Only about 10 to 25 percent of the people with diverticulosis go on to develop diverticulitis as waste tend to accumulate in the pouches over time and lead to the growth of bacteria.

Diverticulitis does have a few symptoms:3

  • Abdominal pain triggered by touch
  • Abdominal cramping on the lower left side
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Belching
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Very thin or liquid-y stools
  • Blood in stool
  • Fatigue

How Is Diverticulitis Diagnosed?

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is advisable that you go and get yourself checked

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by a doctor. Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms in detail and will examine you thoroughly. They may perform a colonoscopy and may perform tests like an X-ray or a CT scan and a blood test like a complete blood count to check whether you have an infection or not. They will make sure you are not suffering from any other condition or disease before diagnosing you with diverticulitis and treating you accordingly.

How Can You Prevent And Treat Diverticulitis Naturally?

There are many natural ingredients you can have to heal your gut and to make it healthy again. Here are some of the foods you should eat.

  • Barley: Barley has anti-inflammatory properties that will reduce the inflammation in your gut.4 You can add it to soups and stews so that your digestive system does not have
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    a hard time digesting it.
  • Brown Rice: Since fiber is important in ensuring a healthy bowel movement, you should try having foods that are rich in fiber. So if you consume white rice on a regular basis, you should switch to brown rice, which is rich in fiber that will help make your bowel movements easier.5
  • Papaya: If your diverticulitis is very uncomfortable, you can have ripe papaya straight out of the fridge to soothe your gut. You can cut it into chunks and have it or blend it and have it as a juice.
  • Garlic: Garlic has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It will help prevent infections in your gut and will relieve diverticulitis. You can chew a clove of garlic 3 times a day, or you can add it to your foods.6
  • Potatoes: Potatoes are not only tasty and nourishing but
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    are also extremely soothing for your gut. Having them can be very comforting when you have digestive woes. You should stick to boiled or baked potatoes when you are suffering from diverticulitis as oil and grease can aggravate your condition.

The Other Treatment Options For Diverticulitis

The treatment you need for diverticulitis depends on the severity of your symptoms.78

  • You may need to consume only liquids for a certain period of time until you start feeling better.
  • Your doctor may also prescribe painkillers to numb the pain and antibiotics to reduce the infection in your gut.
  • You should also try to relax by meditating and breathing slowly so that
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    the pressure on your abdomen is reduced.
  • You may need a surgery if your diverticulitis does not get better with other forms of treatment or if you are suffering from chronic pain, a bowel obstruction, or a fistula.

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