Diverticular diseases are a group of related illnesses that stems from a weakened digestive system.
It starts when a person consumes too much unhealthy diet like fatty fast food or processed ingredients. With a combination of low vitamins consumption needed to create strong tissues. Over many years, the walls of the bowels get very weak and start to form “pockets” or “pouches.” This is the stage of diverticulosis (from the Latin word “diverticulum” which refer to the pouches). There may be one or more pouches which form, mostly in the large intestine. Half-digested food or the waste products of digestion then gets trapped within these pouches; especially if these are the fatty, low-fiber kind which tends to stick to the walls. This slows down digestion and allows bad bacteria to grow quickly. The end-results are infections and inflammation among other complications.
The symptoms that diverticulosis patients experience depends on the stage of the illness. If it is still early on, then first to be noticed is a change in toilet habit. It becomes irregular and there could be difficulty passing out stools. A bloated feeling and some pain in the lower abdomen which starts and stops many times. These may go away after the stool is successfully relieved. Diverticulosis is a long-term disease and may leave patients feeling exhausted and frustrated.
Diverticulitis is the more serious stage of diverticular disease. It has symptoms similar to that of diverticulosis but with the added complications of inflammation. So symptoms like irregular toilet habit and difficulty in passing out stools are part of diverticulitis. Pain is also a symptom common with diverticulosis but in this case, is much more severe. It is present not just in a specific area but could be spread to other parts of the abdomen. And instead of the pain coming and going away, it is continuous with much less relief for patients.
Even if going to the toilet is successful, this pain will remain because of the inflammation. The infection will most likely result in a high fever. The patient will be very tired, weak and nauseous (feel very sick with vomiting). Diarrhea and frequent going to the toilet happens. These symptoms require an urgent trip to the emergency room.
If the diverticulosis sufferer can alter his or her lifestyle in time, then the illness could be managed with the patient having a relatively comfortable quality of life. Lifestyle change includes regular meals of healthy, natural, fiber-rich food supplemented with multivitamins, minerals, and other anti-oxidants. But if the patient continues with business as usual then there is a high chance of diverticulosis getting much worse. Infection and inflammation of the “pouches” lead to diverticulitis.
To provide relief, “Western” medicine usually turns to pharmaceutical drugs. The two main types generally act through the following:
- Strong antibiotics drugs which kill germs and aim to eradicate the infection.
- Drugs which reduce the swelling and inflammation of the affected parts from which the pain comes from.
- Painkilling drugs numb the nerves which detect the pain.
There are numerous drugs under the above categories. These may act through different means, but all have either or both of the desired results.
However, pharma drugs can cause unintentional damage to other organs like the liver and kidneys. These drugs can also upset your stomach and increase the danger of internal bleeding. However, Diverticulitis is a mortal danger. In this condition, the patient can’t be too picky.
In contrast, alternative natural therapy has a different principle. It aims to tackle the root causes. It helps the body to strengthen itself, so it can help to cure the disease. It uses traditional herbs and other natural ingredients like activated charcoal to prevent the disease from getting worse. In the long run, preventing the disease from getting worse will also prevent the pain which comes with it.
Some ingredients can also have a direct effect to reduce inflammation pain. Activated charcoal absorbs harmful microbes and the toxins they produce which can cause inflammation. This reduces the pain. Herbs like turmeric and ginger, when made into teas, can strongly stop inflammation. Purselane and aloe vera, meanwhile, soothes irritated, inflamed areas as well as ulcers. These can be blended and mixed with juices and/or salads.