A Complete Guide to Diverticulitis and Natural Remedies for Diverticulitis
Is your digestive tract tormenting you? There are many reasons why you could be experiencing pain in the GI tract, one of which is diverticulitis. Read on to discover whether you may have a diverticular disease. Below we have compiled the most effective natural remedies for diverticulitis so you can alleviate symptoms without drugs.
What is Diverticulitis?
Our digestive tract is a powerful and intricate system that digests our food, absorbs vital nutrients, and transports waste out of the body to keep us healthy. Over time our GI tract forms diverticula, which are small bulging pouches that protrude from the colon wall. This condition is called diverticulosis.
Diverticula are common and, according to WebMD, develop in 10% of people over the age of 40 and 50% of people over the age of 60. Usually, these pouches develop in the lower intestine, or the sigmoid colon, and are harmless.
There are rarely symptoms of diverticulosis, so as long as you eat a healthy diet, diverticula shouldn’t cause any trouble. But sometimes, those pouches can burst and get inflamed or infected. This condition is called diverticulitis, and it can be extremely painful.
Diverticulitis is characterized by intestinal inflammation and infection of the diverticula. Diverticulitis causes extreme abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, constipation, and sometimes diarrhea. Abdominal pain usually occurs on the lower left side of the abdomen, but research has discovered that Asians can sometimes experience more pain on the lower right side.
The History – Why Do We Develop Diverticula?
Diverticular diseases like diverticulitis and diverticulosis were first recognized in the early 1900s, right around the time the United State began producing processed foods. Refined, low-fiber flour replaced milled, high-fiber flour in the standard American diet.
Today, diverticulosis has become a modern epidemic in countries that rely on animal products, refined foods and hydrogenated oils. In the United States, 35% of Americans under the age of 50 have diverticulosis.
Diverticular diseases are more rare in countries in Asia and Africa that incorporate more fiber-rich vegetables and plant-based proteins in their daily diet. In fact, according to research published in the Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology, less than .5% of people in these countries develop diverticular diseases.
Diverticula develop when there is too much pressure in the colon. Weak spots in the colon collapse under the pressure, leaving diverticula pockets that bulge through the colon wall. When a diverticula tears, it become susceptible to inflammation and infection. This causes diverticulitis.
In fact, according to research published in the journal, Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology, bacterial infections cause between 10-25% of diverticulitis flare ups.
The symptoms of diverticulitis are similar to many other illnesses, so it’s best to see your doctor if you’re having trouble diagnosing your symptoms.
- Abdominal pain and tenderness
- Increased urge to urinate
- (rarely) diarrhea
After the initial infection, a bacteria known as endotoxin is typically left behind, which can re-inflame the intestine causing the discomfort of diverticulitis. Sadly, this is why sufferers of diverticulitis are likely to get the infection a second or even third time.
When to See a Doctor
You should consult a doctor immediately if you are experiencing unexplained, consistent abdominal pain, bleeding in the stool, and constipation or diarrhea.
Risk Factors of Diverticulitis
While many researchers believe genetics and a low-fiber diet are the primary causes of diverticulitis, there are several risk factors that can increase your likelihood of developing diverticulitis. If any of these risk factors apply to you, take necessary precautions to reduce your risk of developing diverticulitis.
- Aging – As we age, we become more susceptible to diverticula. You can learn whether you have diverticula through a colonoscopy.
- Diet low in fiber – Fiber plays a significant role in our gut health and, as a result, our overall health. Fiber helps move food along the digestive tract and is responsible for eliminating waste. Since diverticula form from increased pressure in the colon (i.e. constipation) it makes sense that a low-fiber diet would increase the formation of diverticula and, therefore, diverticulitis.
- Genetics – Genetics is among the most significant risk factors for diverticulitis, with researchers believing that heredity influences 40% of all cases of diverticulitis. Additionally, research conducted in Sweden has shown that your risk more than triples if you have a fraternal twin with diverticulitis.
- Use of certain prescription medications – Steroids, opioids, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen sodium can cause an increased risk of diverticular disease. The risk increases with prolonged use of these drugs.
- Obesity – Not surprisingly, obesity is another risk factor that research suggests increases the occurrence of diverticular bleeding.
- Sedentary Lifestyle – Exercise is a vital part of overall health. When we move, our digestive system has an easier time doing its job.
- Diet high in animal products – Diets high in animal products are also typically low in fiber. It’s important to eat a balanced diet with fiber-rich vegetables to help our body digest animal products more efficiently.
- Smoking – Smoking increases inflammation in the body, which can trigger inflammation in the colon and cause diverticulitis. Research from the Imperial College London suggests this risk factor most applies to smokers who smoke 10 or more cigarettes per day.
Natural Remedies for Diverticulitis
You never know when a flare up is going to strike, making you afraid to be far from a restroom. Perhaps you’re desperately seeking relief so you can just get back to your life.
According to the Mayo Clinic, mild diverticulitis can be cured with “rest, changes in your diet, and antibiotics.” But there’s a catch with antibiotics. Antibiotics are known to disturb the natural and healthy balance of the microbiome, which is a vital part of a healthy GI tract. So how do you relieve symptoms of diverticulitis without harming your good bacteria?
Maybe you’re seeking natural remedies for diverticulitis that don’t involve surgery or drugs that are hard on your body. Diverticulitis treatment without antibiotics is possible. Check out these natural and homeopathic remedies to treat or prevent diverticulitis.
When you have diverticulitis, you need to allow your digestive system to rest so it can heal. Your doctor may recommend a liquid diet, or even a clear liquid diet. A liquid diet would consist of bone broth, water, pulp-free juice, and coffee or tea without dairy products (sorry, no creamer!). You can also eat jello or homemade popsicles, as long as they don’t contain any pulp or pieces of fruit.
Once you receive the OK from your doctor, you can begin adding low-fiber foods back into your diet. In order to let your digestive system rest, you need to eat low-fiber foods that won’t cause too much work for GI tract until the infection heals.
However, not all low-fiber foods are created equal. Try to eat healthy low-fiber foods like cooked or canned fruits and vegetables, eggs and poultry, fish, milk, yogurt, cheese, and white pasta.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains high levels of acetic acid, which have antimicrobial properties and can decrease the build up of bacteria causing the infection. Apple cider vinegar also improves alkalinity and promotes immunity in the digestive tract.
Plants and Herbs
Certain herbal remedies can help to heal diverticulitis and relieve pain. The most common herbs used to heal diverticulitis are anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and antibacterial herbs, including:
- Garlic – Garlic has antimicrobial and antiviral properties that can help prevent diverticulitis from developing. Garlic is also known to improve digestion and relieve constipation.
- Green tea – Green tea has anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties that overall decrease inflammation and the severity of the infection.
- Ginger – Ginger is a widely used herbal remedy that aids in digestion. Ginger is most commonly used to treat symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Turmeric – Turmeric has many remedies related to the digestive system. As an ancient anti-inflammatory remedy, turmeric can be used to increase the secretion of digestive enzymes, relieve pain, and protect the digestive tract
- Aloe Vera – Aloe vera is a soothing plant that has many health benefits, including preventing constipation abdominal pain, and cramping. You can use aloe vera as a natural pain soother for diverticulitis.
- Slippery Elm – Slippery elm is known as a demulcent, which means it protects the inflamed or infected tissues and promotes healing.
- Licorice – Can reduce inflammation in the GI tract. However, if you have high blood pressure, heart failure, or kidney disease, you should not take licorice.
Homeopathic Remedies for Diverticulitis
Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine based on the belief that “like cures like”. This means if you take a small dose of a substance that usually causes ailments in large amounts, it can cure the ailment. Homeopathy is used to treat both acute and chronic conditions, and is widely used around the world. It is best to seek medical advice before adopting new healing methods.
- Belladonna – Belladonna is often used for abdominal pain and cramping. Belladonna is most helpful if you have constipation.
- Bryonna – Bryonna is best used for abdominal pain that gets worse when you move, but can be relieved by applying heat.
- Colocynthis – Colocynthis is best used for sharp abdominal pain and can be used when you feel restless or have diarrhea.
Essential oils for Diverticulitis
While there is no evidence to support that essential oils relieve symptoms of diverticulitis, some essential oils can promote relaxation, reduce stress, and even relieve some pain. Talk to your doctor before experimenting with essential oils.
- Lavender – Lavender has relaxing effects and can improve quality of sleep.
- Lemon or Yuzu – Citrus essential oils are known to soothe stress and anxiety.
- Bergamot – Bergamot has been used medicinally for centuries and is known to relieve tension and anxiety.
- Peppermint – peppermint is known to soothe digestive discomfort like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Chamomile – Chamomille aids better quality sleep
- Ylang Ylang – Ylang Ylang has been shown to relieve anxiety by lowering blood pressure and calming the nervous system.
Purified Bovine Lactoferrin
Purified bovine lactoferrin is the best treatment available for diverticulitis because it has two endotoxin binding sites which grab the bad bacteria and take it out with waste. Removing that harmful bacteria allows the immune system to calm down and the inflammation to subside.
In fact, taking a safe and natural supplement made of the same protein found in a mother’s milk can soothe and protect against the intestinal irritation that causes diverticulitis. Your body produces it naturally. It just may not be producing enough of it to protect you from the pain of diverticulitis.
Luckily, we have a solution that produces the most pure and effective supplement found on the market.
About Purified Bovine Lactoferrin
Acacia Purified Bovine Lactoferrin works with your immune system to provide optimal gut health, which soothes and protects against diverticulitis flare ups. Just taking two capsules a day is usually enough to be symptom free – even for clients like Dianne who suffered with chronic diverticulitis for 10 years before finding our supplement. She discovered this to be the best of prescription and natural remedies for diverticulitis flare ups and prevention.
“Two capsules every day at different times works for me,” Dianne W. said. “10 years after my surgery I am happy to do this to be symptom free.”
Just imagine the joy of being free to take a day-trip or hike pain free, without the fear of being too far from a restroom. Regain your freedom. Take charge of your health with Acacia.™
Why does purified lactoferrin work? What does purified lactoferrin do?
- Improves your health by boosting your immune system: Lactoferrin protects against bacterial infection by preventing the growth of bad bacteria by depriving them of essential nutrients or destroying their cell walls. The lactoferrin found in a mother’s breast milk helps protect the baby against bacterial infections. This makes it one of the most safe natural remedies for diverticulitis.
- Prevents tissue damage related to aging: Lactoferrin is an antioxidant. When consumed, it helps rejuvenate you from the inside-out.
- Regulates the way the body processes iron: Lactoferrin was first identified about 50 years ago as “the iron binding protein.”
- Treats stomach and intestinal ulcers and diarrhea.
- Support healthy intestinal bacteria.
- A safe way to treat diverticulitis: Acacia Bovine Purified Lactoferrin is natural and drug free without side effects. Antibiotics are sometimes used to treat diverticulitis, but it kills healthy bacteria, does not remove the bacterial endotoxin, and acute pain persists weeks after the onset of infection. Acacia Bovine Purified Lactoferrin, on the other hand, is made of the same stuff you’d find in mother’s milk.
- Relieves pain associated with GI tract infection: The pain caused by diverticulitis is caused by infected, inflamed tissue in the large intestine. Bovine lactoferrin has two endotoxin binding sites which grab the bad bacteria and take it out with waste. Removing the endotoxin allows the immune system to calm down and the pain-causing inflammation to subside.
- Reduces recurrence of diverticulitis: After the initial infection, a bacteria known as endotoxin is typically left behind in the small pouches in the lining of the large intestine that bulge outward through weak spots. Those pouches, called diverticulosis, might not cause discomfort or symptoms until the pouches become inflamed, which is diverticulitis. Sadly, with the endotoxin being left behind, sufferers of diverticulitis are likely to get the infection a second or even third time. Purified Lactoferrin binds with endotoxin to removed it, and lessen the chance of re-infection.
What makes Acacia Purified Bovine Lactoferrin different?
The quality of bovine lactoferrin supplements depends on the harvesting and purification process. Globally, the vast majority of bovine lactoferrin production comes from cheese whey, which is otherwise a waste byproduct of the cheese making process. This is the cheapest way to produce “supplement grade” material for which there are no generally accepted quality standards. The process of producing cheese leads to byproduct contamination from mold, yeast and bacteria.
If not harvested and processed immediately, the degraded lactoferrin produces protein fragments and large quantities of endotoxin. This is counterproductive for consumers interested in immune support offered by bovine lactoferrin.
In order for bovine lactoferrin digestive health supplements to be considered “pure,” bacterial endotoxin should be functionally absent in the product. Exposure to bacterial endotoxin can elicit a strong immune response, as well as induce inflammatory responses in the digestive system.
Purified Bovine lactoferrin is harvested and purified from cow’s milk immediately after it is pasteurized and the fat is skimmed. The keyword here is “purified.” In order for bovine lactoferrin to effectively alleviate inflammation and corresponding pain in the digestive tract, the protein must be purified of endotoxin. If it is not purified then both its antimicrobial ability and the ability to remove endotoxin from the gut is severely limited.
At Epiphany Therapeutics, we take special care to process Acacia™ bovine lactoferrin protein so it is as pure as possible. The result of our rigorous processing ensures Acacia™ bovine lactoferrin is virtually free of contamination, containing less than 1 endotoxin unit per milligram of product. Our product is >95% pure, whole protein. This extraordinarily pure profile allows bovine lactoferrin to function in the important ways that nature has intended, and that science has explored. This makes it the safest and most effective of the natural remedies for diverticulitis.
Hear from those who are living free of diverticulitis thanks to Acacia™ bovine lactoferrin protein.
“The results of (Acacia Purified Bovine Lactoferrin are) unbelievable. I know when I do start feeling sore, I take the pills, get back on the regiment and (diverticulitis is) gone in a couple of hours… It really works well for me.”
– Ray C. see video above for full testimonial.