Do you have diverticulitis? What are your symptoms?

Diverticulitis is a common disease which happens often to the elderly when the large intestine wall becomes weak, forming sac-like pouches into the intestines. These pouches are called diverticulum or diverticula if there are many. If these become infected due to faeces trapped in there, it’s called diverticulitis. However diverticulitis not only happens to the elderly depending on the state of your intestines.

Often it shows no symptoms and can be mistaken for a stomach bug or something else. Some of the symptoms can be stomach cramps, constipation, diarrhoea, sore stomach when touched, fever, nausea, bloating and wind which are common symptoms for a whole lot of health issues so it can go unnoticed for some period of time.

However it’s not good to let it go because it can lead to fistulas (one organ having an opening into another), holes in the colon, narrowing in intestines and abscesses.

Diet changes are very important to assist in treating this and if it becomes really bad then a course of antibiotics for the infection or surgery may also be necessary.

If you have diverticulitis then you should avoid peas, popcorn, dried fruit and certain grains. Soup is good to add to the diet as it is easier to digest than many other foods and you are still getting the nutrition. Similarly, foods that are warm are easier to digest than cold food, cold drinks and raw foods.

Assessing how your digestion is working is important. In Chinese medicine warm food and drink is considered much easier on the digestive system so why not give that a try. Ironically Chinese medicine considers its cause is due to too much heat in the body and large intestines.

I cannot emphasise enough the importance of taking digestive enzymes and not laxatives or excess fibre drinks. You do not want to push the bowels. You want to increase your metabolism and digestion. These are two different things and work differently and many people do not take note of this difference. It is very important. Pushing the bowel can lead to all sorts of illnesses in later life.

Remember also if you have ongoing bowel problems for a huge part of your life that this is not going to disappear overnight. Give your system time to develop new habits and give yourself time to make the diet and exercise changes. Don’t throw in the towel just because progress seems slow.

Remember also to look for parasites in the bowel. Many of us have these without realizing it. Your natural therapist will be able to assist you with what to take to clear your bowels of these problems.

The combination of changes in both diet and exercise will often help with the symptoms and remember to drink enough water. Also colonic irrigation is a great way to rid the bowel of the toxins and mucus it has accumulated. However you need to consult a specialist in this area before you think of doing that. Acupuncture can help with changing how the metabolism and digestion works and a supervised detox by a qualified natural therapist will help your bowel and digestion get some semblance of normality. As always it’s important to do research and follow whichever modality works best for you.

Jenetta Haim

Jenetta Haim

Jenetta Haim runs Stressfree Management at 36 Gipps Road, Greystanes, and specialises in assisting your health and lifestyle in all areas by developing programs on either a corporate or personal level to suit your needs. Jenetta has just published a book called Stress-Free Health Management, A Natural Solution for Your Health available from your favourite bookstore or online. For more information and to get in touch, visit her website at Stressfree Management.

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