A common digestive disease that affects the large intestine, or colon.
It usually affects middle aged and elderly people though can affect any age, particularly with obesity.
Diverticular Disease and Diverticulosis
A normal colon is strong and quite smooth inside. Weak spots can develop anywhere in the wall over time and form pea sized, outward facing pouches called diverticular. These are mostly found in the sigmoid colon, the narrowest part with the highest pressure at the end of the colon in the lower left abdomen. Diverticular disease is when diverticular cause symptoms including cramps, bloating, wind, diarrhoea and constipation, though symptoms are often not felt.
Diverticulitis results when a diverticular becomes inflamed from bacteria or other irritants collecting in the sacs. The infection can produce cramping and abdominal pain particularly in the lower left abdomen and can be serious causing nausea, vomiting, fever, diarrhoea, sharp pains and rectal bleeding. Symptoms may clear and then come back again.
What causes it?
Increased colon pressure and weakness of muscles of the colon, sometimes produced by chronic constipation lead to the formation of diverticular. A diet low in fibre, particularly if lacking fruit and vegetables, and high in red meat and fat is a major cause of diverticular disease.
Symptoms can be similar to IBS. Your doctor or consultant will diagnose diverticulitis using CT scans, barium enemas or colonoscopy.
You may be prescribed anti-spasm medication for severe pain, antibiotics for the infection and bulk forming laxatives. In severe cases, medication may need to be given via a drip in hospital.
Surgery may be required to remove damaged bowel areas or obstructions. Burst diverticula can cause peritonitis, which can be potentially fatal and requires emergency surgery.
Increasing your intake of fibre, particularly from fruit and vegetables will help reduce your chances of getting diverticular disease. The fibre helps form soft bulky stools. Drink enough water to help avoid constipation and avoid constipation causing opiate painkillers. Evidence shows that vigorous exercise like jogging, running, swimming, cycling and rowing also help to reduce the risk.
Natural Preventative Treatment
- Amino acids: cysteine, GABA, glutamic acid, glycine, taurine, tyrosine
- Activated Vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, folic acid
- Minerals: copper, magnesium, zinc
- Other: Probiotics, bifidus and lactobacillus, colon cleansing, FRUIT AND VEGETABLES and dietary advice!
Note that severe and acute cases need medical attention and a very restricted diet, including no roughage.
We are happy to advise you on your health matters.
Aether Bios Clinic
Tel: 01273 309557
Mobile: 07710 227038