Diverticulitis develops from a condition called diverticulosis and is common after age 40. They are small, bulging pouches in your digestive tract about the size of a marble. The can occur in the oesophagus but are most common in the intestines.
If waste matter becomes trapped in these pouches they can become infected or inflamed. This is a very painful condition that often gets worse because it becomes far too difficult for the person to eat anything. The result is a vicious circle with the condition getting worse because the sufferer of diverticulitis is not able to eat without distress.
When digestive distress at this level, there are many ways that a naturopathic doctor can help including acupuncture for pain management and IV therapy to help supply the ailing individual with nourishment that bypasses the digestive system.
Symptoms and Causes of Diverticulitis
A pain in the lower left side of your abdomen usually characterizes diverticulitis. The pain can either come on suddenly or be mild and ache over a period of several days. This is often accompanied by abdominal tenderness, fever, nausea, and constipation or diarrheal
Less common symptoms are vomiting, bloating, bleeding from the rectum and pain while urinating. Some people also feel pain while wearing a belt or bending over.
Diverticula usually develop when naturally weak places in your colon give way under pressure. What causes this is not exactly known but it is believed to be the result of a decrease of strength and elasticity in the bowel wall that comes with aging. This comes from not eating enough fibre in the first place. A lack of exercise can also contribute to this condition that can becomes chronic.
Care and Treatment
Treatment and recovery time depends on the severity of your signs and symptoms.
You may also be advised to temporarily avoid all whole grains, fruits and vegetables so that your colon can rest and heal. Symptoms usually improve in two to four days.
In addition, your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics to help kill the bacteria causing your infection, however you should know that a naturopathic doctor could suggest alternative remedies that may not kill off all of the friendly bacteria in your gut like antibiotics do.
Hospitalization may be required if you have a severe attack that puts you at risk of bowel obstruction or peritonitis. Food matter can get caught in the pouches of the intestine and cause infection.
If you have a fistula or recurring diverticulitis, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the diseased part of your colon employing a technique called primary bowel resection.
To prevent attacks eating more fibre, drinking large amount of fluids, responding immediately to bowel urges and exercising more often is advisable.
Mild cases of diverticulitis can be treated with rest, changes in your diet, herbal remedies, acupuncture and IV vitamin drips.
For more information or to book a consultation about digestive issues or any health issue you may be experiencing, visit the Pinewood Natural Health Centre website that has a list of full services and products at www.pinewood.ca or call our Toronto Office at (416)-656- 8100. We also have an office in Pickering, Ontario at (905)-427-0057. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to answer any question that you have about our holistic health services.