Diverticulitis is another of the “civilized diseases.” While 30 percent of Americans suffer from the discomfort of diverticular disease, it is extremely rare in undeveloped nations living on a diet of unrefined foods and not subjected to the SAD (Standard American Diet). It has become increasingly obvious that out low-fiber diet of highly refined foods is the major cause of diverticulitis and colon cancer.
For diverticulitis to occur, the neck of the diverticulum becomes blocked by swelling or doo doo, bringing about bacterial invasion. From this an abscess can form, spasm can occur, resulting in intestinal destruction. This in itself may require surgery. If perforation of the abscess occurs it leads to peritonitis, which is inflammation of the inner walls of the abdomen covering the abdominal organs, and is a severe surgical emergency.
The healing of any of these complications can result in fibrosis and narrowing of the colon, which may require surgery down the road.
So, in diverticulitis, prevention is better and easier than the cure.
When the diverticula become filled with bacteria large amounts of B vitamins are consumed and blood loss may occur, which explains the fact that anemia is so often found in people with diverticular problems.
Clearly, since a lack of fiber is the major cause, the commonly used low-fiber diet is not at all beneficial because lack of fiber in the diet causes chronic poor eliminations and constipation. The constipation then causes an increase in the gas pressure against the colon walls. To add insult to injury, the low-residue, low-fiber diet takes two to three times as long to pass through the colon. This then encourages excessive water absorption and leaves a very concentrated small stool, which is difficult to pass and demands more forceful peristaltic contraction to move it along its way. Then all this excess work puts more pressure on the colon walls, helping to produce little pockets in the diverticula.
But, a high-fiber diet composed of unrefined grains, raw fruits, and vegetables helps prevent diverticular disease and favors proper intestinal action in several ways. On such a diet the stools are two to three times as bulky as those formed on a low-fiber diet. The fiber absorbs water, making a softer stool that is passed easily with less forceful peristaltic contractions. Transit time is also reduced, with an average of 12 to 24 hours as compared to 36 hours or significantly longer on a low-fiber diet.
Contrary to the situation with a low-fiber diet where excess abnormal bacteria produce harmful carcinogenic substances from normal bile acids, cellulose actually encourages friendly bacteria development, which in turn produces several of the B complex vitamins for use by the body. In addition, while a low-fiber diet with its sticky doo doo tends to cake the intestinal membranes, fiber will help clean the walls and stimulate local circulation.
There’s an interesting juxtaposition here concerning diverticular disease – while a low-fiber diet is the major cause of the disease, the initial stages of treatment require adherence to a low-fiber diet. The duration of this is short and only lasts as long as it’s necessary to reduce the localized irritation. Once the inflammatory stage of diverticulitis is under control, then, the gradual introduction of high-fiber foods is absolutely essential to reach maximum results.
So, during any given meal within the healing cycle of the acute stage, the meal should consist of only one type of liquid. In other words, fasting brings about cure. The liquids to choose from are as follows:
Water (the best, but most difficult)
Carrot and lettuce juice
Celery and lettuce juice
Slippery elm tea
Chlorophyll liquid (wheatgrass is best)
Spiulina liquid drinks
Bear in mind that we are talking about fresh juices here, not store bought, pasteurized juices.
This liquid diet (fast) should be continued until all painful symptoms have subsided. At that point semisolids are added slowly and carefully, watching for any adverse reaction. Add papaya, mashed banana, steamed carrots, baked yams, or sweet potatoes.
Once it becomes apparent that these foods are well tolerated, other cooked and pureed foods of higher fiber content can be added, including grated raw foods. Begin with grated apple and raw grated carrot. It still will be necessary to avoid fruit skins and fruit, and fruit and vegetables with small hard seeds such as tomatoes, cucumbers, figs, strawberries, raspberries, guavas, etc.
The next stage includes the addition of grains and proteins. Brown rice or quinoa well cooked and well chewed are the best choice of grains. Tofu is a good protein. Once these are well tolerated the diet can proceed to include all natural unrefined food. Thorough chewing the food until is becomes liquefied in the mouth is absolutely essential in the initial stages of this diet.
The process of weaning toward a high-fiber diet will take 6 to 8 weeks. This diet will then help heal the intestinal walls and prevent further severe attacks of diverticulitis. In long-standing cases the diverticula may remain for years. This can only be known by x-ray. Some cases never go away. But most cases will remain symptom-free despite the presence of the old diverticula as long as a high-fiber diet is rigidly followed and bowel eliminations remain regular.
Basically, the diet change is 90% of the solution. Bran helps add fiber and speeds up normal bowel function. Stick to the high-fiber approach even with up to 10 days of gas or discomfort. The body has to readjust. Also, drinking six to eight large glasses of water is a very useful aid to proper bowel function, especially if bran is employed as well.
Above all, if you suffer from this malady, see a naturopath and NOT an MD. One treats naturally and one treats with synthetics and a knife.
I have been doing a radio show in Honolulu since 1981 called “Health Talk”. To listen to the show please go to www.kwai1080am.com on your computer at 8am Hawaii time. FYI, 8am Hawaii time is 11am on the West coast and 2pm on the East coast. To call in, the number is (808) 524-1080.
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In 2007, I was “forced” to get a masters degree in Nutrition to stop all the doctors from calling in asking what my credentials were. Besides that, they never liked it when I asked them what their credentials were that would enable them to treat an illness without drugs or surgery.
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I am an activist. I am vehemently opposed to GMOs, vaccines, processed foods, MSG, aspartame, fluoridation, and everything else that the “pimps” (big pHarma, Monsanto, and the large food companies), and the “hookers” (the doctors, the government agencies, the Public Health officials, and the mainstream media) thrust upon us, the “tricks”.
At 75, I am in 3 softball leagues, racewalk, do stand-up paddling, hike, swim, do weights and cardio, and teach women’s self-defense classes based upon 20 years of Wing Chun training. I have been a vegetarian since 1975 and a vegan since 1990, have no illnesses and take no meds.
After being vaccinated with the DTP vaccine as a child, I developed asthma, which plagued me until 2008 when I learned about and started taking the organic sulfur crystals. My asthma was reversed in 3 days and has not come back.
So far, 22 cases of autism that we know about have been reversed, as has cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, asthma, osteoarthritis, joint pain, gingivitis, and erectile dysfunction. The sulfur has increased sexual activity, eliminated toxins, heavy metals, radiation, and parasites. It speeds up athletic recovery time, increases blood circulation, reduces inflammation, increases resistance to the “flu”, reduces wrinkles, allergies, PMS, monthly period pain, migraines, nausea, and way more, because the oxygen that the sulfur releases floods and heals the cells in the body.
The sulfur, as proven by the University of Southampton in England, enables the body to produce vitamin B12 and the essential amino acids.
You can find out more about this on my website under Products.
My book, “A Sane Diet For An Insane World”, which has been published, can be viewed and purchased at www.asanediet.com. The book clearly explains why what you eat, for the most part, is designed to keep you in a state of declining health.
I have recently discovered an amazing super food – Zeal – that contains 42 amazing probiotics, anti-oxidents and more, all designed to build and strengthen the immune system. For more info about this please email me.
And now I have come across an amazing bee pollen that is so soft it melts in your mouth. If you read my article, “Be With the Bees”, you can learn how valuable it is.
Hesh Goldstein, MSNutri
“Health Talk” Moderator, K-108 Radio
POB 240783, Honolulu, Hi 96824