How to Prevent Diverticulitis Naturally

gut

This is a guest post written by staff nutritionist Kelsey Marksteiner, RD. Click here to read her blog or join her newsletter!

If you’ve ever experienced a diverticulitis attack, I’m sure you’d be the first to say that it’s not a pleasant experience. I bet you’d be willing to do a lot of things to prevent it from happening again! Or maybe you’re someone who has been diagnosed with diverticulosis by your gastroenterologist, but you’re not quite sure what to do to prevent those painful attacks you’ve heard about and you want to learn more. Whatever brought you here, I’m happy to have you. Today I’ll be providing tips on how to prevent diverticulitis attacks naturally.

What is Diverticular Disease?

Diverticular disease is the term used to encompass a spectrum of issues from diverticulosis (the presence of sac-like pouches called diverticula that protrude from the colonic wall) to diverticulitis (the inflammation of these pouches and the accompanying symptoms). Diverticular disease is common in the Western world, with the highest rates seen in the United States and Europe. Even in those countries the disease was almost unheard of in 1900, but by the 1970s it was the most common affliction of the colon.[1]

Diverticular disease has been shown to increase with age – by 80, it is estimated that approximately 70% of individuals have diverticular disease.[2] The highest estimates suggest that approximately 20% of patients with diverticulosis (remember these are the people with the pouches, not the acute inflammation of the pouches) will at some point develop diverticulitis.[3] However, newer and more accurate estimates suggest that this rate is somewhere between 1 and 5%, depending on the strictness of qualifying criteria.[4] This is important to note for those who have been diagnosed with diverticulosis but are currently asymptomatic – according to these newer estimates, it is unlikely that you will develop diverticulitis. However, if you have diverticulosis and want be sure to prevent any problems or you’ve had diverticulitis attacks in the past, continue reading!

Despite the fact that diverticular disease is so common, we know relatively little about it and the common recommendations are based on limited data. If you’ve been diagnosed with diverticulosis, you may have received advice from your gastroenterologist about avoiding nuts and seeds and eating more fiber. However, these recommendations are based on inconclusive research and may not provide much benefit to you. In fact, few studies show any benefit to avoiding nuts and seeds and one study even showed that intake of nuts and popcorn was associated with a decreased risk of diverticulitis and diverticular bleeding.[5] High fiber diets are also often recommended, despite inconclusive evidence.[6] It is evident that recommendations for diverticular disease are due for an update.

Underlying Factors That Contribute to Diverticular Disease

Newer research suggests that the factors underlying diverticular disease are the following [7,8]:

Inflammation

While inflammation is well-accepted in the model of acute diverticulitis, more and more research points to the involvement of chronic low grade inflammation in the development of symptomatic diverticulosis. In fact, of 930 patients undergoing surgery for symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease (SUDD), approximately 75% of them had evidence of chronic inflammation in and around the diverticula.[9] It is for this reason that drugs used for treating inflammatory bowel disease like mesalamine are being used to treat diverticular disease with good results as well (but hang tight, we’ll talk about natural ways to prevent diverticulitis, of course!). This is also why chronic use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen have been shown to increase the risk of diverticular complications [10,11], since they are known to increase intestinal inflammation. [12,13]

Fecal calprotectin can be measured to identify intestinal inflammation, and is high in those with symptomatic diverticular disease compared to those with functional digestive disorders like IBS and those with asymptomatic diverticular disease. [14] If you’re wondering whether you may have intestinal inflammation, it’s a great thing to get tested (and you can order a stool test from a specialty lab like Genova Diagnostics which will measure it). It is clear that chronic inflammation is involved in the development of diverticular disease, and that those who wish to prevent attacks should take steps to reduce intestinal inflammation.

Thankfully, one of the best ways to decrease intestinal inflammation is to eat a paleo diet! By avoiding potentially irritating and inflammatory foods such as grains and omega-6 fatty acids, we can reduce intestinal inflammation and encourage proper gut health. A paleo diet also positively influences gut bacteria, which in turn results in reduced inflammation as well. A paleo diet for diverticular disease should focus on gelatinous cuts of meat, bone broths, well-cooked vegetables, starchy tubers, and fermented foods.

Reducing your stress level is also important for bringing down levels of intestinal inflammation, as stress has been shown to activate inflammation in the intestine. [15] Stress can absolutely wreak havoc on the gut, so it is essential that any program focused on preventing diverticulitis attacks include proper stress management. This means incorporating mind-body activities such as yoga, meditation, tai chi, etc on a regular basis. If you’re someone who’s constantly stressed out and never takes time to take care of your own well-being, it’s unlikely you’ll be successful in preventing diverticulitis attacks even if you implement all the other suggestions outlined in this article. This one is important!

Another way to reduce intestinal inflammation is to supplement with soothing and healing demulcent herbs – deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) has been shown to reduce mucosal damage and inflammation in rodents [16,17] and it is likely that other demulcent herbs such as slippery elm and marshmallow root may have the same effect. Take chewable DGL tablets or mix a spoonful of slippery elm or marshmallow root powder in a small amount of water and drink 1-3 times per day to help soothe and heal intestinal inflammation. Another healing substance for the gut – bone broth – should be liberally consumed for this purpose as well.

Altered intestinal bacteria

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is common in diverticulitic patients. [18] Rifaximin, a non-absorbable antibiotic (meaning it only affects the gut, not the rest of the body), has been shown to effectively treat SIBO [19] and this treatment has also been shown to improve diverticular disease outcomes. [20] Bacterial overgrowth, along with fecal stasis inside the diverticula, can contribute chronic dysbiosis which can lead to low-grade inflammation [21], so improving gut bacterial balance is crucial to reducing intestinal inflammation.

Probiotic supplementation has been shown to be safe and potentially useful in diverticular disease [22] and is likely to be even more beneficial when combined with other therapies. If you’re not already consuming probiotics from your food (in the form of kefir, kombucha, kimchi, etc) then you should consider adding a supplement like VSL #3 or Prescript Assist (though even if you are consuming probiotics, a supplement isn’t a bad idea!). As Chris has mentioned, Prescript Assist tends to be the probiotic of choice for those suffering from constipation so start with that if you tend to err on the side of decreased motility.

Prebiotics are also very useful for correcting dysbiosis, and should be considered by those with diverticular disease. Prebiotics “stimulate selectively the growth and/or activity of intestinal bacteria associated with health and well-being” [23], which is exactly what we want when we’re trying to shift the balance of the microbes back to the good guys. My go-to prebiotic is Pure Encapsulations fructo-oligosaccharide (FOS) powder, but others include GOS and even lactulose. Supplementation with 10g of FOS per day has been shown to increase counts of bifidobacteria. [24] As with all prebiotics, it’s important to start with a very small amount and increase slowly. If you’re sensitive to FODMAPs you’ll want to be particularly careful as prebiotics are also FODMAPs. However, if you tolerate them well I think prebiotics can be a powerhouse when it comes to correcting imbalanced gut flora.

Most importantly, it’s crucial to treat SIBO or dysbiosis. As we’ve discussed, these conditions are very common in those with diverticular disease so it’s worth checking on your gut bacteria to see how they’re doing, using specialty labs such as Genova Diagnostics (and get your calprotectin tested while you’re at it!). It’s best to work with a practitioner who can test and treat you for these conditions.

Abnormal colonic motility

Researchers have found that those suffering from symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease have what they like to call a “spastic colon” in the areas affected by diverticulosis [25]. This is similar to what is found in patients with constipation predominant IBS and in functional constipation.  These same researchers also found that patients with diverticular disease have reduced density of interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC for short – a fun name for the “pacemaker cells” of the intestine) [26]. In studies on animals with a lack of ICC networks, delayed or absent intestinal motility is noted. [27,28] What this means for diverticular patients is that these lack of networks and a spastic colon can cause increased symptoms in terms of constipation and bloating/pain. Though we’re not entirely sure what we can do to directly affect these cells (yet), it’s important to use therapies aimed toward improving motility if this is an issue for you.

Know that correcting SIBO and dysbiosis will go a long way toward improving constipation, so this is a good place to start. Given that our stool is mostly made up of dead bacteria, one can imagine that without proper amounts of good bacteria we’re going to have a tough time bulking the stool. Prebiotics can be particularly useful for constipation given that they selectively increase good bacteria like bifidobacteria. However, if you’re still struggling after correcting dysbiosis, here are some additional recommendations.

First, serotonin is an important player in gut motility. Serotonin concentrations in those with colonic diverticulosis are significantly lower than normal controls and contribute to the type of bowel habit following a test meal. [29] Serotonin transporter (SERT) transcript levels are also lower in those with a history of diverticulitis compared to controls and those with asymptomatic diverticulosis. [30] Inflammation is also known to decrease SERT expression and function [31,32], so following the recommendations to lower intestinal inflammation is of course the first step to improving gut motility. In addition, it is also likely that supplementation with 5-HTP (a precursor to serotonin) may alleviate constipation and increase motility since it will increase serotonin levels. Note: do not take 5-HTP without talking to your doctor first if you are on an SSRI medication.

Second, if you’re currently on a low carbohdyrate paleo diet, you may want to consider increasing your carbohydrate intake. In my experience working with those with constipation on a paleo diet, this is the single most effective diet-based recommendation I’ve seen. If you’re at a loss as to what starches to add in, check out this excellent handout from Balanced Bites. Note: since SIBO is so common for those with diverticulosis, this step may need to wait until that has been treated, and may not be appropriate for some people.

Magnesium supplementation can also be very useful for people with constipation. Given that only about half of US adults consume the RDA for magnesium [33], it’s safe to say that a lot of us probably aren’t getting enough. This is due to the fact that not many foods naturally contain high amounts of magnesium, and even those that do have less due to the depletion of magnesium from our soil. Check out this magnesium soil content map to see how your local area is doing (and think about where most of your food comes from – if you’re not eating local you may not even know what soil your food is being grown in!).

Conclusion

By reducing our intestinal inflammation, balancing our gut bacteria, and improving our intestinal motility it is likely that we can prevent diverticulitis attacks. I’ll leave you with a set of action steps so you remember exactly what to do to improve these underlying factors.

Action Steps to Prevent Diverticulitis Attacks:

  • Eat a paleo diet!
  • Reduce stress
  • Use demulcent herbs such as DGL, slippery elm, and marshmallow root to soothe and heal the intestine
  • Take probiotics like VSL #3 or Prescript Assist
  • Take prebiotics like FOS powder
  • Treat SIBO or dysbiosis
  • Reduce intestinal inflammation to increase SERT functioning, and consider supplementation with 5-HTP
  • If you’re currently on a low carbohdyrate paleo diet, consider adding some starchy tubers to your diet
  • Supplement with magnesium

Now I’d like to hear from you – have you tried any of these tips or do you have additional tips to prevent diverticulitis? Chime in on the comments below!

 

Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 7.10.18 PMThis is a guest post written by Kelsey Marksteiner, RD. Kelsey is a Registered Dietitian with a Bachelors degree in nutrition from NYU, and is currently working on her Master’s in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine. She works in private practice and recommends individualized dietary therapy focusing on biologically appropriate diet principles to aid her clients in losing weight, gaining energy, and pursuing continued health. She is a firm believer that everyone is different, and she tailors her plan for each and every individual. Through her work, she aims to meld the dietary wisdom of traditional cultures with the latest science in integrative and functional medicine to create plans for her clients that work in the modern world. You can learn more about Kelsey on her staff bio page, or by visiting her private practice website. Join her newsletter here!

 

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Comments Join the Conversation

    • prioris says

      Please read my comment below on AMP (Aloe Muciliginous Polysaccharide). This is the stuff you use for more serious cases.

    • Debbie says

      Have multitude of allergies autoimmune disorders and Gastro issues any suggestions?
      Don’t eat red meat can’t eat ant type of fish veggies are off limits due to allergies except for cauliflower mushrooms and cooked carrots cannot eat fruits

      • prioris says

        Many decades ago I was unable to almost eat anything probably due to immune system problems. I was put on a diet of fish, beans, spring water and a some butter and sea salt. I was on it for two years. I decided to see if I could eat regular food again. I found that I could eat almost anything without a problem. I have been eating well ever since.

        Many people react to certain foods and stop eating them and to them, that is a fix for them. I don’t agree with that since something is still broken in the body. They don’t attempt to find a work around by experimenting with supplements etc. They deny themselves what they like to eat.

        I don’t think you have to go as far as I have since there are more options around but it proves that allergies are not forever if you work at it and that the body will heal itself with proper nutrients.

        I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and resolved it with the borax protocol. I later realized that ice cream aggravated it. I found out that when I ate the ice cream with CLA supplement I did not react to it.

        I would go to a site called http://www.earthclinic.com and research there.

  1. Barb says

    Hi Chris and Kelsey,

    I have been diagnosed with diverticulitis by my gastroenterologist. I take prescription Previcid and use Healther’s Tummy Acacia fiber which has pre and probiotics. It has been a life saver when I do have an attack and to prevent attacks. I highly recommend it. I am also slowly incorporating Paleo into my diet. I appreciate this information because I am more motivated to modify my diet based on this article. Many thanks!

  2. Carolyn says

    Have been reading conflicting info on 5-HTP. Paul Jaminet does not recommend and states it could cause bacterial growth. What do you recommend as a time frame for supplementation: full time, day or week-long breaks, limited run?
    Great article!

  3. says

    Hi there. I have suffered from this for many years, but I now don’t get any symptoms at all. I started following a Paleo diet three years ago and it did take the first twelve months before it went away. I avoid wheat and grains and eat low amount of diary foods. I had a bad attack of IBS earlier this year due to high stress levels, but now I am clear.

  4. says

    This is SO GREAT to see in print. I had a horrible attack with a perforation in my ascending colon almost 2 years ago. 5 days in the hospital and barely avoiding the OR changed my life. Immediately after I began to follow a paleo diet trying to find a way to avoid the OR. Many thought I was crazy- my results showed them how wrong they were. I have started a whole blog relating to this issue and my resulting incredible recovery. I am so pleased to see this!!!!

  5. newbie says

    HI Kelsey, good to see more discussing convertional medical diagnoses in the context of more up to date theories of intestiional funtion/dysfuntion.
    I wonder if you would be able to give your opinion on these questions…
    1) when you eat prebiotics/FODMAPS( assuming you are not sensitive) which your good bacteria need to thrive – don’t you simultaneously feed the bad bacteria as well, increasing the likelihood of SIBO or other conditions of dysbiosis?

    2) Why don’t probiotics “set up shop”in, ie colonize, your intestine as other bacteria do (such as the pathogenic ones)? Why are they transients and therefore you require daily intake?

    • says

      Prebiotics selectively feed only good bacteria, not bad bacteria (that’s part of their definition, actually).

      Not entirely sure why probiotics don’t set up shop – I think we need a little more research on that question!! Hopefully someday we’ll find out :)

    • Theo says

      “2) Why don’t probiotics “set up shop”in, ie colonize, your intestine as other bacteria do (such as the pathogenic ones)? Why are they transients and therefore you require daily intake?”

      Transient, but still effective. They support your digestion, immune system, and your residential flora.

      It is a strange mystery, but supplemental probiotics seem to communicate with the residential bacteria and your immune system, and for some reason they make their leave about two weeks after your last dose. Perhaps because we each have a unique gut microbiome (like a fingerprint), only bacteria with a specific genome make themselves at home. The “visitors” (supplements) are allowed to stay for a while, do their thing, and then peacefully exit.

  6. John Richards says

    All the supplementation mentioned here seems to increase intestinal motility, thereby alleviating constipation. What about addressing the needs of those of us who suffer from chronic diarrhea as well as diverticulosis?

    • says

      Hi John, good question. Really the only change I’d make in that case is not supplementing with magnesium since that gets the bowels moving, and you may not need as much carbohydrate. In the study on patients with diverticulitis and their serotonin levels, even those who had diverticular disease with diarrhea vs. constipation had low serotonin levels.

        • Johnnie says

          There is the question I was looking for. I have diverticulosis but not with constipation. With diarrhea for almost 10-12 hours when I have attacks. I am also lactose intolerance. I cant eat popcorn without suffering the next day for hours. I only take multi vitamins, vit C, Vit D 2000 IU, calcium, Livalo (cholesterol med) and an aspirin daily. I am also a vegan so I do eat a lot of vegetables. I have found out that eating an apple a day does stop the diarrhea but then started to get constipated, so I only eat an apple every other day. I just want the pain to stop and be normal again.

  7. Becky says

    I’m not sure it’s really possible to prevent diverticulosis. After two and half years of feeling amazingly well and digestively perfect on paleo, I was hospitalized with diverticulitis, then had a second attack 42 days later. A colonoscopy in 2010, before going paleo, showed no diverticuli, and a colonoscopy after the attacks this summer (2013) showed diverticuli “scattered throughout” the colon. The very way of eating that I thought would save me from digestive health problems seems to have brought this on.

    But was it the diet? Is it genetic? Is it inevitable as we age? Would the diverticuli have formed had I not gone on the paleo diet? I had no constipation, no diarrhea, no nothing … I was digestively robust as I have been throughout my life. Now I am using probiotics, eating far less meat and almost no red meat, having more fruit, sometimes using psyllium fiber, and trying to get back on track digestion-wise after the heavy-duty antibiotics used to treat diverticulitis. I live in fear of it happening again.

    • says

      I too live in fear of another attack. Afraid to take any pills, supplements, etc. Everything I read sounds hopeful and ooops – here comes another attack anyway. Interesting site, interesting comments, but I am at a place now where I am listening closely to my own body. Stress is #1 for me. Magnesium caused severe stomach cramps – 3 days and had to stop. I eat small portions, mostly bread -white, rice, mac and cheese, eggs, only cooked fruits, canned veg’s but no corn or peas; soups. Fish, soft cooked meats.

    • Stephanie says

      @Becky, did you by any chance have a baby during that time? Pregnancy, especially with a larger baby, as well as pushing the baby out can cause diverticuli to form.

    • Valerius says

      I had exactly the same experience. I have been following a paleo diet and exercising regularly and feeling really well, then suddenly developed excrutiating pain for the last 3 weeks which led to several emergency visits to the GP and Hospital. They found diverticula and believe I have diverticulitis and told me it was due to a western diet! All I can think is that the diverticula formed in my bowel before I started eating paleo and something, like a stomach bug, just triggered this off?! But I am guessing, like the doctors! It seems the relief from this condition is to eat all the stuff we have been told over the years to actually avoid – white bread, white rice, limited vegetables! Where is the sense in that! At the moment I have had a liquid diet for 3 days, followed by a low residue diet and will try and introduce food one at a time and see how I go. The pain is more manageable at the moment, but hasnt gone away completely, I am exhausted from the severe pain I have been having for the last 4 weeks and I am petrified it will return! i am also going to try some apple cider vinegar which others seem to recommend. I know doctors rubbish anything remotely homeopathic, but they seem to forget that is where their own medications originated from! They may have more knowledge and control over their medications, but they are also full of other no doubt other chemicals which cause further problems.

      • Becky says

        I have theories. Meat has no fiber and if you have any tendency (known or unknown) to digestive difficulty, meat could be a problem. The week before my attack I ate out a lot as we were having new floors laid. Restaurants often serve lots of meat but few veggies, unlike at home where I usually load up on the veggies. I clearly remember having Osso Bucco and trying to eat up every little bit of onion that came with it, because that was the only veg.

        Secondly, that same week ate a ton of coconut chips and coconut butter, and bread made of coconut flour. Coconut has a LOT of insoluble fiber, which can either move stuff through or stop it up, depending on liquid intake. Insoluble fiber also plays greater host to pathogenic bacteria than soluble fiber does.

        Third, before both attacks I had a higher intake of sweets, and sugar feeds pathogenic bacteria.

        The two rounds of Cipro and Flagyl have done a big number on my digestion and now, one year later, I am still dealing with it.

        My strategy includes collagen (Great Lakes gelatine), carbs (yams, green plantains, green bananas, some rice, oat bran now and then, plenty of fruit) and Vitamin C. The Collagen, Carbs, C approach is from the Perfect Health Diet. Paul Jaminet got diverticulosis on a very low carb diet and theorizes that a healthy intestine needs carbs to feed the bacteria that generate short-chain fatty acids, which keep the bowel mucosa in good shape.

        I have stopped red meat, and of course coconut, except for the oil, and eat smaller meals, and have a pineapple/kale/coconut water/turmeric/ginger smoothie most days. Raw kale, as in salads and smoothies, seems to make the bowel happy.

        I knew someone like you would post sooner or later! Although it would be easy to say that the paleo diet gave us diverticulitis, I still don’t feel inclined to go back to grains, although I contemplate having oatmeal … but haven’t yet.

        I’ve had a few minor attacks, and stop eating for a few days, then start back with applesauce, scrambled eggs, fruit, yogurt … everyone is different but you do listen to your body and some things seem more friendly and calm than others. I keep a list of what I eat and have got a fairly long one now of things that don’t bother me.

        Probiotics are key. Don’t be discouraged; I have felt like giving up but the body is a tremendously adaptive organism. Don’t obsess over stories you read online. Think and believe healing can take place. Quietly observe, as you already are. It does put food, and eating out, into a new place in your life but there are aspects of that that are actually positive.

        Another theory I have, and am trying out, is having a little bit of a lot of things, to keep my gut bacteria variety higher. The gut bacteria adapt to what we are eating, very quickly in fact. Ironically, going without sugar for 2-1/2 years can create a gut microbiome unable to digest it well, so when I indulged in a milkshake before my second attack, I think the pathogenic bacteria had a feeding frenzy on it.

        Just my thoughts and experience.

        • Clifton Moberg says

          I’m wondering if the food appetites we have that linger over the years aren’t a guide? For me, eating beets, butter beans, and taking a Manganese mineral substitute are three things “suggested” that seem okay. At my home I’ve planted fruit trees–all kinds–and I eat the fruit directly from the trees, or if the crop is too big, then I dry the fruit. Apricots, plums, cherries, apples all can grow nicely, although a moth consistently wrecks apples. Bird netting is no option, but a requirement if you want fruit that lasts on the trees until ripe. Forget growing pears, “blight” makes healthy trees problematic. Disease on neighbors’ trees just moves across the fence, to yours. Heirloom lettuce in a garden re-seeds it self for the next season, so that is a benefit as well. As to sweetness, or saltiness: diminish the sugar and salt dramatically and the “need” for it also diminishes to where food tastes good without these additives.

  8. says

    Heya Kelsey, great post. It’s lovely to see you sharing your hard-earn knowledge and showing that there are others who can provide the kind of comprehensive integrative perspective that we all worry only Chris can give us!
    I have used slippery elm many times before during gut woes, but never marshmallow root powder. What a nice idea. I can’t wait to get some.
    Do you have any thoughts on kudzu root powder? In macrobiotics they tend to say it cures all digestive ills…When I have tried it it certainly seemed really soothing and demulcent, but I think it is quite starchy.
    Alison

  9. NevadaSmith says

    I had diverticulosis which was diagnosed following a colonoscopy.

    If I ate popcorn or a lot of peanut butter and other such foods I would pass blood for 10 days.

    I don’t remember taking magnesium at the time but I may have but what I did mainly was eating oatmeal for breakfast five days a week. I was not on any so called “paleo” diet at the time but was avoiding refined flour and sugar which I am still doing.

    After a year of eating oatmeal five days a week, I can now eat anything I want including all the popcorn I want and I have no problems. And although my wife and I did eat a mostly vegan diet for two years [following Dr. Fuhrman's protocol] for the last three years we have been eating low carb and a balanced diet of meat and vegetables and still avoiding refined flours, sugars etc. most of the time.

    I have had no symptoms of diverticulosis for six years now.

  10. Leslie says

    Chris
    Some views on your article regarding Diverticulitis.
    1. There is a danger with slippery elm! I tried it and ended up with a blockage which was only removed by Castor Oil. White chunks came out!
    2. I have also taken DGL for a stomach ulcer, it was very good.
    3. Probiotics have NEVER worked for me! I have spent hundreds of pounds on them to no avail. I believe that this is because all marketed probiotic formulas have only a few strains of bacteria. It is said that we have between 300 and a thousand strains of bacteria . How do we get them back? Also, proponents of probiotic products never consider the Chlorine in water killing the bacteria daily!
    4. FOS powder did nothing for me. What is the use of trying to feed bacteria if chlorine is constantly killing them!
    5. Magnesium is great but supplementation if not recommended for those with weak kidneys. I found that a product with Magnesium Oxide effectively reduced faecal matter to soup and cleared mucoid plaque very effectively when taken following the directions. It works by oxygenating the intestinal pathway.

  11. Leslie says

    I found this article to be really informative and useful. Could you tell me what is “gelatinous meat” is? Does it refer to an animal part that has more gelatin or to certain animals whose meat is more gelatinous? Thanks.

  12. John Richards says

    Regarding chlorine: I installed a carbon filter under my kitchen sink and piped it to a small faucet. All my drinking and cooking water is chlorine-free.

    • Leslie says

      Richard
      I have had a kitchen sink top water filter faucet for some years now but it isn’t enough. Apparently we inhale more chlorine, in the form of gas, when taking a bath of shower than drinking tap water!
      We also absorb chlorine through the skin – so washing up gloves seem necessary.
      I have just ordered a Whole House water filter (although quite expensive) as a means of avoiding chlorine by drinking, inhaling and skin contact – also residue on washed clothing.
      Hope it works!

  13. Brian says

    What form of magnesium do you guys recommend for supplementing… citrate or glycinate? And how the heck do you read the magnesium soil content chart for our areas? The number make no sense and don’t define in layman’s terms.

    Thanks!

  14. Jane says

    Excellent article! I was frustrated with mild diverticulitis on-and-off. Not too much info address this issue. Had an attacked early this year; took antibiotics to calm it down. Thanks for all the info that you provide here. It answered a lot of my questions regarding my colon’s “strange behavior” lately. My mother died of colon cancer 10 years ago; I’m very careful when it comes to “colon health”.

  15. Trina says

    I’ve had two attacks that put me in the hospital – 2 weeks into a low carb paleo challenge and 2 weeks into the GAPs diet. So I wouldn’t assume that these are the best diets for diverticulosis.
    I am now thinking that poor protein digestion is the culprit, something Paul Jaminet has mentioned in other contexts. I find a meal too high in meat triggers attacks. Digestive enzymes are helpful, as well as a diet that has lots of greens and vegetables with the meat, like “Clean”. Probiotics have done nothing, although it does seem probable that the bacterial environment is important. Magnesium in any form, esp oxides, helps tremendously, even compared to other laxatives like x-lax and vit c.

  16. Jessica says

    Could you please direct me to some sources that demonstrate whole grains as having a pro-inflammatory effect on the body? M
    Thanks

    • says

      Refer to a book called Wheat Belly. Just look at Amazon as I can’t recall off hand the name of the author. Or you could google Wheat belly and you,ll find all the information you wish.

    • Ann says

      Another book that should scare us off of all grains, but wheat at least, is “Grain Brain” by Dr. David Perlmutter is another that talks about the inflammatory effects on the body of grains. He also presents his theory of a link between high carbohydrate consumption and Alzheimer’s disease… Scary stuff.

  17. says

    I would like to add that although my diet is basically Paleo, I do not have any grains and very little dairy. However I fervently believe that a lot of the damage was done through bingeing on massive amounts of Wheat products in my younger days. And believe me I do mean massive, hence the little pockets were forced to contain all the bulk. In those days I suffered from constipation. My diet now consists of meat, chicken, fish, eggs, vegetables and berries, and healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil. I never get constipated now and that is they secret. I also stopped having physillium husks as they are inflammatory. I tried Fodmaps but did not make any difference. I have not suffered from pain now for two years, from Diverticutis. Did you know that most people develope Diverticular disease, especially if they eat wheat. It becomes Diverticulitis when it is inflammed. So the secret is in keeping down inflammation.

  18. prioris says

    I got diverticulitis a couple years ago. I first tried Aloe Vera juice. That did not work. I tried Aloe Vera tablets and that did not work. Then I tried AMP (Aloe Muciliginous Polysaccharide) and that worked. It took 6 weeks. AMP is a highly purified and concentrated form of the active component of Aloe Vera. It is essentially a natural antibiotic and has no side effects. Go to aloereviews.com to compare products. Don’t just try the juice and give up on aloe vera.

    • prioris says

      Also AMP heals the pockets. The product is a little expensive but you take less of it as you get better. Some people get better within a couple days or week. The time it takes to heal varies according to the severity of the diverticulitis. If I feel an attack coming on again, it quickly gets doused out within a day or so.

      • Jeannie Ology says

        Prioris on your suggestion I bought the AloeVera AMP. Does this really heal the pockets? I’m going through hell here?

        Thanks for your help.

        • prioris says

          Yes. The symptoms disappear first. The pockets will take longer to heal. They instruct you to take 5 tablets before bed and 4 tablets upon rising. Make sure stomach empty.

          I didn’t see any results about 90 days. I just continued to have the cramping and nausea (especially if i didn’t eat).

          If you have been on antibiotics especially broad spectrum, I would get a good probiotic / prebiotic to move the help against the bad gut bacteria.

          I would also try to not have food in your stomach for 16 hours a day so only eat in within a 8 hour window. Some people actually lose weight this way.

          When you say you are going thru hell, please explain what that means and how long have you been taking AMP so far.

          What I can’t know is if you have any other health problems that need addressing.

            • prioris says

              No. Your thinking about magnesium.

              I will use magnesium glycinate because it is one of the few forms which doesn’t cause diarrhea plus one can take it on empty or non empty stomach. There is another form of calcium / magnesium / d3 which I take with food. stay away from high doses of calcium that many doctors recommend.

      • Sharon says

        I have diverticulitis and 2 weeks ago there was blood after two hours of diarrea and it only bled thereafter when I went to urinate (bled from rectum). Bleeding stopped after 7 hrs (whenever I urinated it bled) What brand AMP (aloe Vera) should I buy. Today is 13 day of liquid diet had diarrea once today but lasted back and forth to toilet for an hour …normally I was going only twice a day … today it was once but lasted an hour. I take only 5 Betaine Hydrocloride pills for the burping … but my son said take about 4 or 5 probiotics twice a day. What are your thoughts or suggestions. Thanks much

        • Sharon says

          Followup: Last night my son who constantly had diarrea last year from taking antibiotics …could not get rid of it until he took BC30 Bacillus Coagulans (Schiff) He said he took five pills twice a day and it eventually stopped the diarrea …so last night I took 2 of the BC30 pills …then this morning I had normal urge for a movement and had three small but mighty deposits in the toilet … the only food I had day before were three small yukon potatoes peeled and boiled in chicken broth then pureed in blender to eat this was my first attempt at solid food on my 13 days of liquid diet … I thank God I took the probiotic BC30 pills for the last 13 days it was always diarrea.

          • Sharon says

            The next day after I took the 2 BC30 Bacillus Coagulans pills (probiotic) (Schiff)I was fine had a little bowel movement but that night I had diarrea (all water) for hour and half … I thought oh no …the night before diarrea for one hour and now tonight hour and half of it … as soon as it started I took 2 BC30 pills … then this morning had reg movement very small since I am barely eating all low fiber and all liquid little bit of food I ate ….SO i decided to increase my intake of pills instead of 2 pills for the day, after 14 hrs since last dosage at 11am I took 2 pills and then this evening I just took two more pills at 8:45pm NO DIARREA…THANK YOU JESUS! So I think you need to increase your dosage to your needs like my son did he took anywhere from 5 to 10 pills a day to get rid of the bacteria from the antibiotics he took. I am so happy no diarrea today first time in two weeks.

            • Sharon says

              The Schiff box reads “Survives 10 x Better Studies reveal that the single strain of probiotic used in “Schiffs Diugestive Advantage”, survies 10 x beter than other probiotics and yogarts to deliver good bacteria where you need it …. I believe it ..this stuff works!!

              • Sharon says

                Sat. June 14th I had a bout again of diarrea for about 1 hr. I felt great all day … so I decided to increase my dosage so next morning I took 3 pills instead of 2 and this worked then again at night 8pm I took 2 more pills No diarrea for the last two days now Yippeee… taking 5 per day BC30 probiotics

                • sharon says

                  Today is Monday June 17 had two normal as can be on a low food intake diet of low fiber movements today. and then after dinner, which I think I over ate one bowl of Chicken noodle soup pureed and a small bowl of reg. soup and half slice white bread …then half hr later I had diarrea every 5 min. for total of 18 min. which is not bad since my other bouts lasted usually a hour up to hour and half. So I am getting better and last two days no diarrea …still taking my pills and they are helping me so much.

    • Debbie says

      Hello,

      I have been looking into Serovera capsules to help relieve diverticulitis. It is pricey, but I am willing to give it a try. Have you heard of it? It is from the aloe plant as you mentioned. Do you recommend a different pro-biotic? Thank you

  19. Ralna Cunningham says

    Homeade kefir is our main source and all of us drink some usually morning and night.

    It seems when it comes to the gut, diversity is better. People with low diversity in their gut microbiota are prone to illness as the microbes are largely responsible for how the immune system functions, as well as making neurotransmittters, fatty acids and enzymes needed by the body for growth and repair.

    Earlier this year we took a probiotic approach to diverticulitis because my husband had a horrible side effect from an antibiotic after he had a diverticulitis attack. He is young and had two extremely crippling attacks of bowel pain, elevated white blood cells. The first time was a few years ago, he went to the ER and no one could figure out what was wrong with him. This year, he collapsed with fever, pain and nausea. The doc immediately suspected diverticulitis. He was prescribed Cipro, an antibiotic in the fluoroquinolone group. The Cipro caused terrible tendonitis pain and weakness all over his body within 12 hours after he took the first dose. He took one dose in the evening, one the next morning then was nearly crippled. He was dealing with the aftereffects of the Cipro for months. Cipro and related drugs chelate out the magnesium in your cells and cause cell death and messed up repair and signaling.

    We decided not to take a different antibiotic but to try a probiotic approach, since his body needed nutrition to recover from the Cipro toxicity. Magnesium and antioxidants were the only thing we could find in the literature to try to reverse the effects. He stayed on liquids for a few days to let the bowel rest, and I went shopping for fermented drinks since they are usually easily assimilated. He loved and craved the kefir from the health food store, the fermented veggie drinks, not so much. Fermented coconut water kefir. Sauerkraut juice. Lots of homemade chicken broth with collagen from the bones.

    We went to a naturopath to try to build up his system after the Cipro. She prescribed Florastor (a yeast that is transient in your gut till your own good bacteria can proliferate) as well as a product called HLC which stands for Human Lactic Commensals (strains isolated from humans that supposedly adhere and persist better than some probiotics). He took that as well as an herbal supplement called BCQ (bromelain, curcumin, boswellia and quercetin) which have some documented anti-inflammatory effects in the gut. He also took a kind of herbal antibiotic capsule that had garlic and something that smelled like poultry seasoning. She explained that if it didn’t work, he would probably need to go on a prescription antibiotic). After all that, plus the best nutrition we could come up with, and supplements including the expensive reduced form of CoQ10 and several intravenous magnesium+vit c “myers cocktail” infusions for his muscle and joint pain, he has fully recovered and has not had any more diverticulitis attacks thus far, and his digestive system is regular. His muscle and joint pain is pretty much resolved as far as we can tell. It was scary, debilitating for a strong guy who has carpentered all his life to be suddenly unable to work and think his knees and Achilles tendons could blow out any minute. He is no longer on any probiotics or herbs for the condition, just some vitamins, fish oil & mag supplements and kefir.

    Kefir has a long history of supporting digestive and immune system health and has a huge diversity of microbes and beneficial yeasts. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0069371

    It is very simple to make at home at room temperature, and if you obtain traditional kefir grains they multiply and you can share. Kefirlady.com is a great source, also Cultures for Health has them. The powdered packets you can buy at the health food store only contain a few strains but can get you started. You can use almond milk or coconut milk if you can’t tolerate dairy. You can also consume the grains, which feel like little rubbery cauliflower florets and contain the polysaccharide kefiran, home to the microbes, also a slippery healing compound.

    I used kefir in the bath and it is amazing for my chronic dry skin and my teenage daughter’s severe eczema, combined with Epsom salt. Go to pubmed and do a search for kefir. Kefir inhibits clostridia, giardia and cholera. Kefir affects immune system signaling. It’s fascinating.

    Kefir may also provide some amount of Vitamin K2 synthesized by the bacteria. Hopefully will always be a staple at our house.

  20. Ralna Cunningham says

    One thing that really helped my husband increase his magnesium levels was Epsom salt baths (magnesium sulfate) and magnesium gel or spray you put directly on the skin, absorbed into the muscles and bloodstream (magnesium chloride). This way you bypass the digestive system to get magnesium into you. This helped a lot with his pain and tightness when he was dealing with Cipro toxicity.

  21. ladyshona says

    I have just returned from a 6 day hospital stay following my first Diverticulitis episode. I received no advice from the hospital so the comments and information here are very helpful. Prior to this I was aware that wheat aggravated my tummy so I had previously eliminated bread from my diet. My consultant stated that it didn’t matter what I eat when trying to prevent it happening again, I instantly felt that was not the case and started to do my own research. Some of the things listed here I have never heard of, it would be helpful if you could recommend good sources. Many thanks, keep up the good work.

  22. Becky says

    “My consultant stated that it didn’t matter what I eat … I instantly felt that was not the case and started to do my own research.”

    Yes!

    I was in the hospital four days, and had plenty of time to lie there (not eating or drinking anything, and receiving gut-bombing antibiotics Cipro and Flagyl) and think about my initial reaction, which was exactly the same as yours, to the physicians (all six of them, including hospitalists and the ER doc) who told me diet was not a factor.

    I had been happily and healthily paleo for two and half years (with some rice and occasional rare treats of small amount of sugar, like ONE GF cookie or about 1/4 cup of coconut ice cream). I’m pretty self controlled, especially as I reaped so many health benefits from being so. Then the diverticulitis attack. And I had a second one 42 days later, with six MORE days of Cipro and Flagyl.

    I have gradually developed a plan very similar to the conclusions in the summary guide provided in Chris’ post. The followup colonoscopy showed a peek into my perfectly beautiful small intestine, so I think I’m okay there. And I had NO diarrhea or constipation before my attacks! The attacks were out of the blue, totally.

    My main changes: Read up on low-carb diets and gut lining and gut bacteria issues, mainly the Jaminet’s book and some of the blogs and practitioners now writing about resistant starch, which feeds good bacteria. Increased my intake of yams and other paleo carbs. Started probiotics (heretofore had not) and using potato starch to take them with, and paid attention to consuming some soluble fiber at the same time as taking the probiotics, for the same reason. Mix up the probiotics occasionally. Found that some probiotics seem to actually disrupt things digestively; pay attention. Chris has some excellent probiotic advice; check the sources and purity.

    No sugar in large amounts, or gluten-free baked goods in any real quantity (suspect GF flours turn to sludge in digestion, being low in fiber), and pay attention to large amounts of seeds. Common denominators in BOTH my attacks were consumption of gluten-free muffins (as a treat!) and a pint of fresh raspberries eaten all at once (it was summer and I could not resist the gorgeous berries, plus they are paleo and laden with health benefits!). I suspect it was a LOT of seeds all at ONE TIME that might have helped set off the attacks. As well, the second attack occurred after consuming a milk shake (as a treat, hadn’t had one in two years), which poured sugar into my digestive system in a big way, probably creating a feasting opportunity for opportunistic bacteria. The first attack was also preceded by ice cream consumption and more eating out than usual, as we were having new floors laid in our house and I wasn’t cooking very often. Eating out does become a bit of a minefield. Opportunistic bacteria live in ice machines, on raw food, in meat and dairy. I try to keep the good bacteria up, and sometimes take extra probiotic after eating out.

    Despite much anti-fiber blather by many paleo “experts,” it is clear that fiber is important for the microbiome, soluble and insoluble fiber alike. You must not allow large, stagnant bowel movements. Things must move along briskly, and what you eat and the gut environment will determine how that goes. I have been using a tablespoon of psyllium seed in water each day for a boost in insoluable fiber, and sometimes throw in some Heather’s Tummy Fiber (soluble acacia fiber). The recent podcast post/transcription by Chris where he interviews a microbiome expert is crucial, CRUCIAL, I say, for we with diverticuli!!! As a result of that podcast, I am planning to start having lentil soups now and then.

    I was also surprised to see on illustrations of diverticuli that the “pouches” actually have pretty small openings on the bowel lining, opening into larger sacs through it. These openings, really just “holes,” can admit small seeds, but apparently the pouches empty and fill regularly as your bowel does (I was told by my gastroenterologist). As I pondered this, and thought of my own case, I realized that I was consuming LARGE amounts of coconut butter, because it was fatty, yummy, and far easier than preparing, say, vegetables or fruits. I think the coconut butter (almost entirely comprised of insoluable fiber in a sludge-like form) could have slipped into my little pouches and hardened up. So I don’t have LARGE quantities of it, or really, ANYTHING, because doing so can be digestively stressful in general, but irritating to diverticuli in particular. In short, one must be sensible and eat sensible amounts of healthy things. A drag, but a fact of life.

    There’s a cool blog by a young woman named Jennifer (chronicclimberchick) who didn’t let serious diverticulitis keep her back. I think she commented above! Hi Jennifer! You are an inspiration! :)

    I also “feel” suspicious of shredded coconut, which I also consumed heavily. It is absolutely unbroken down when you eat it; like celery or artichoke hearts, you can chew it forever and still end up with a wad that is not going to break down anytime soon. A surgeon in the hospital, after I asked him what he found in the pouches when he operated on colons with diverticuli, told me “wads of things like strings, and pieces of meat gristle.” So now I chew very thoroughly and place pieces of gristle and wads of strings attractively on the side of my plate. Ha! Better than another attack! It’s socially best to hide it discretely in a paper napkin, though. :)

    As well, it seemed like the gut lining was something I should focus on for healing. Making it stronger and more smooth and functional could only help. So I am doing a little bit of l-glutamine supplementation and taking a slippery elm lozenge at night, and taking DGL now and then. I am VERY careful not to do too much of anything, however. I learned my lesson there. I have been slowly increasing my magnesium supplementation, especially magnesium malate, but not to the point of introducing diarrhea.

    I could be totally off base in my conclusions, but who else is going to devise a path forward for me? The doctors said to resume normal diet, which probably means SAD. The hospital itself didn’t even stock or serve any yogurt that wasn’t artificially sweetened and artificially colored. A dietician was supposed to come talk to me, but it never happened. I can imagine what he/she would have said, eh?

  23. yannibenji says

    We are all tubes! The inner surface is from the mouth to the anus. We all keep our outer skin clean but rarely consider keeping the inner surface clean.
    This inner surface gets covered in mucoid plaque over the years. If the walls are weak then ‘pockets’ form which get filled with faecal matter. (This prevents our intestines properly absorbing nutrients through the intestinal wall!)
    The only way to clean it out is to take a magnesium product like Oxy-Powder.
    This product aerates the bowl producing a boom in aerobic bacteria. This bacteria eats away the plaque turning it into soup!
    Method: (Warning: not to be done if kidneys are weak!)
    Firstly, get a cheap plastic colander.
    Take 4 capsules before bed with lots of water.
    The next day put the colander in the toilet bowl before discharging a lot of faecal soup!
    Poke contents with a stick to search for any ‘stringy’ lumps.
    Repeat this procedure consecutively until no stringy lumps are found. Usually 4 to 5 days.
    The pain will then be gone.
    This can be done yearly.
    This is what I do and it never fails.
    Regards to all sufferers.

  24. Tj says

    I had at least 4 attacks over the last three years. I plan on creating a plan for my diet and supplementation. I have no problems understanding the language regarding choosing the proper foods for affective eating. I am confused regarding supplements in the following; my symptoms do not include constipation, before, during, after; ever. I also read other article suggesting regular “cleansing products. Can you make a clear suggestion for a probiotic product, a prebiotic product, a vitamin and any cleansing product and schedule. Thanks

  25. Cynthia says

    I’m happy to see more info re:diverticulitis because I’m currently experiencing another flare up and am hesitant to take more antibiotics! Any recommendations on dos & donts during a flare up? I have low abdominal & back discomfort. Currently trying to stay mainly on a liquid diet to give it all a rest! Going to try some of the suggested supplements! I’m having a difficult time identifying the food culprit! I try to exercise a healthy high fiber diet!

    • prioris says

      I know when I cure my diverticulitis, the offending food was not on those list. It was a period I had too much candy for me. I don’t have any restrictions on my diet otherwise. I don’t view those lists on foods to avoid as valid. You ultimately have to track down why your intestine ends up breeding the bacteria. The first step is putting a stop to the diverticulitis. The second step is knowing what things your were eating that led up to it if it happens again.

      No need to ever take prescribed antibiotics again for that health condition again. Just go natural.

      If you want to kick diverticulitis in the a– then just take Aloe Muciliginous Polysaccharide capsules – a natural antibiotic with no side effects and good for your intestine. You can try the cheaper alternatives such as aloe vera juice. Also people have good success with grape fruit seed extract.

      The fact that it is coming back in extended way probably means that you need to address the pockets. That is where food gets caught up. Where food gets lodged, it can cause infection. This could be almost any food. AMP will cure your pockets within your intestine over time. This will do more to minimize any chances of flare up.

      I’ve only had minor flare ups that lasted about 12 hours because a couple AMP capsules quickly stamped out the bacteria that is causing it.

    • Becky says

      Cynthia, there are some good suggestions in the comments. Whatever you do during an attack, keep an eye on your temperature. Elevated temperature may mean there’s an infection and you need medical help.

      When my last attack struck, I was determined to avoid the antibiotics. I took high doses of magnesium citrate powder in water to get things cleaned out. The gastroenterologist told me to drink two of the 10-oz bottles you can buy at the drugstore. They give a colonoscopy-type cleanse.

      I also stopped eating. For four days I only had water, and maybe 8 oz per day of broth, apple juice, and homemade almond milk. I kept taking probiotics, and added crushed garlic to the broth I had, as garlic is a natural antibiotic. The inflammation must go down, the gut must heal. It cannot if you keep eating. After four days of liquid only, I started back in with applesauce, yogurt and scrambled eggs. Slowly built up to soups, then a regular diet.

      Triggers for me are a lot of meat at one time, coconut butter and other sludgy foods, and (I think) very much processed carbohydrate at one time. Or very many raspberries or high-seed foods at one time. I am beginning to see that it really is wise to just not eat too much of ANYTHING at one time.

      • prioris says

        Garlic is a natural antibiotic for some bacteria but it doesn’t address the bacteria that causes the diverticulitis.

        If you still have triggers it means the pockets haven’t healed. If they are not healing within 6 months it means whatever your doing is not working.

        Aloe Vera Juice, Grapefruit Seed extract and AMP capsules is what most people have success with.

        AMP capsules should definitely be used for more serious cases. AMP will heal the gut pockets. Even better, you don’t need a gastroenterologist to cure diverticulitis.

      • Cynthia says

        Thanks prioris & Becky, at least your Dr. made some recommendations!
        All mine does is recommend surgery. Doing better now but felt I needed the antibiotics to help before I started having major issues but still trying the various supplements recommended. Still haven’t tried the AMP only the juice. I also have a hard time staying on a liquid diet for so many days. I feel I have to have something a bit more substantial like homemade chicken soup,mainly the broth. Having a hard time finding some of the supplements locally. Any recommendations for a good online site to purchase?

        • prioris says

          Finding some supplements locally can be very difficult. Plus you may pay a higher price. I get my supplements at Swanson but Vitacost and iHerb are also good. These places don’t sell the AMP.

          For AMP capsules, here are some reviews

          http://aloereviews.com/Reviews.aspx

          I used the Aloe-MP Plus but at the end of the day, it comes down to where you can buy it the most economical price and any attributes you like.

          It took 6 weeks on the capsules for mine to get under control and symptoms disappear. For some people, they can get relief in much shorter time like a couple days or weeks so hardly use up any of the bottle. For others it may take longer than me. It all comes down to how severe the infection is. My infection brewed for 2 to 3 years. Before I got abdominal pain I had nausea which would get worse when I didn’t have food in my stomach.

          They recommend that you go 6 months on the product but I only went three months since the cost was $126 per 270 capsules. I can understand their recommendation because healing those pockets will go a long way to preventing further flare ups. I think you have to play it by ear. I haven’t had any symptomatic problems in at least 15 months but if I ever feel any unusual nausea that mimics the diverticulitis, I will not hesitate to drop down a couple caps to douse it out. I haven’t had to take any in last 15 months. You take 9 capsules every day. If money is no object, I’d get the deal where you can buy 5 or 6 bottles at much lower cost. At some point I intend to buy some more just to make sure my digestive track is completely healed of the pockets just as insurance.

          Another strategy is finding some AMP that comes in 90 capsules to lessen initial cost. Not sure if they still sell it in that size. Maybe you have less severe infection and can get immediate relief quickly.

          As far as surgery, what they don’t really tell people is that the condition can come back. Someone can have 10 inches of their intestine cut out but may need to come back a few years later to have more of it cut out. Post surgery healing is pretty bad also in what you have to go through.

          Surgery is not addressing the problem, It’s like cutting off your hand because it has an infection.

          The antibiotics they give a person for diverticulitis are very toxic to the system and can result in severe health problems themselves. A natural antibiotic like AMP doesn’t have the side effects. This doesn’t mean all antibiotic are bad. There are ones that many people tolerate very well.

          The one key concept about natural cures is that the body can heal itself if given the proper nutrients etc in the right form and way.

          Supplements or home remedies that remove kidney stones has obsoleted surgery but sadly some doctors will still recommend surgery.

  26. Debbie says

    Constipation is my problem; it’s all about that motility business. I don’t have pain – it just won’t move. I currently take a high quality Calcium/Magnesium supplement. If I supplement additional magnesium, how much would make sense? How much total magnesium supplementation should a woman in her fifties be taking? Thanks so much.

    • Bet says

      I take Magnesium Glycinate 400 mgs twice a day. I also take probiotic pearls with bifo in them. Doing these things while also eating a whole food diet, has helped with constipation that I had. I had previously been IBS/D but after eliminating the foods that triggered that, I had awful C. two days after taking the Magnesium, it was much better. To begin you may want to take more and then taper off to a smaller dose when things clear up.

  27. Allison says

    Great read! Just had my first Colonscopy and Endoscopy….whooooo glad that is over! But found out I have Diverticulosis and Hiati Hernia! My mom has diver and so does my sister, so it is inherited! :(

    I heard cabbage juice was excellent for this? Any other juicing you would suggest? I have been juicing cabbage and celery and bananas? What about bananas? Are they good?

    • prioris says

      You say you got “inherited” diverticulitis. Did your family members get this in their child hood and teen years. What ages did they get the condition. Diverticulitis tends to be an age related disease. The hernia will complicate things.

      The most effective remedies are usually either aloe vera (see above comments) and grapefruit seed extract. You need to get the bacteria causing it under control. Once that is done, the pouch will heal.

  28. Laurie says

    I am very happy and relieved to find this information. There is much to learn but finally I see a chance of not having a fourth recurrence of diverticulitis. Imagine! Thank you.

  29. artie says

    Thinking a bout the surgery but histant. ..reading all the post makes me want to try some of the ideas I see here have had 3 attacks in a year on the usual an metronidazole and ciprofloxacin Going for a coloncopy on March 4th went for a ct scam with dye It showed dd mild case But after treatment and liquid diet came back again blood in my stole and the first days blood would just drip out then be ok A few days then spot again on met and cipo now only eating right one meal a day dinner Today ok stoll no pain Should I try some of theses methods or just go for the surgery ????

    • prioris says

      No need for surgery and regular antibiotics if you follow the natural approach.

      The worse that can happen is that none of them will work and you have surgery later. Also remember that even if they do surgery, it doesn’t mean it won’t reoccur so you may need more of your intestine cut out again.

  30. Connie says

    I have had 5 diverticulitis attacks beginning 05/11. Never any fever, blood or vomiting. The last attack after completing cipro/flagyl a catscan was done. I still have inflammation so on both antibiotics again for 10 days. My Dr stated if I have another flareup he is going to refer me to a surgeon. I’m scared & not sure how to prevent flareups.

  31. Andrew says

    Consider using high doses of vitamin C.

    I was diagnosed with diverticulosis several years ago. After suffering with nearly continuous nausea and abdominal pain for over three months, I got checked out in the hospital, where they performed a barium scan and rather matter-of-factly gave me the diagnosis. It took another month or two after that for my symptoms to subside. I credited that to taking an over-the-counter product, Alli-Cinn, by Pharmax, for 30 days, along with yogurt.

    About a month ago, during a two-week trip, I had a new flareup, possibly as a result of the stress of travel, plus change of routine and diet from my usual regimen. After coming home I decided to try something new. I increased my daily intake of vitamin C to about 6,000 mg, taken as two 3,000 mg doses, morning and evening. I used the granular or crystal form, sold in one-pound jars at Trader Joe’s markets, but also available from other sources. A 3,000 mg dose works out to about 1/4 teaspoon of powder, dumped directly on the middle of my tongue and chased with a mouthful of water. Yes, it IS very sour; that’s why I put it in the middle of the tongue, where the sour receptors are absent. On days when the symptoms were particularly acute, I also would crush one 375 mg aspirin tablet and chase it with a glass of water. The results weren’t dramatic, but day by day the symptoms became less over a three-week period and I’m feeling fairly normal again now.

    Since this is a one-off experiment, it doesn’t qualify as a scientific study, but if any other sufferers of diverticulitis or IBS are willing to try it and report results here, it may point to a fairly safe, easy treatment.

    A word of caution is in order when using high doses of vitamin C for the first time. Excessive intake of vitamin C can cause watery, loose stools. This is more likely to happen above 10,000 mg per day. If you should experience such problems, simply reduce the dosage until stools become normal again. I did not have any problems at 6,000 mg per day.

    • Gina says

      I too have suffered with Diver for the past three years. I have been in the hospital twice for severe attacks, and my doctor advised colon surgery. I was experiencing attacks every four weeks, and I knew that I had constant inflammation in the area of the diver pocket that was causing the problem, as it was sore and irritated all the time even when not having a full flare-up. The cipro/flagyl cocktails for ten days each time I had a flare-up were hard for my system to sustain and so I started eating less and less until I was just juicing carrots and celery twice a day. Then, I had to go up to New York with my daughter during flu season, and she advised I take two packets of her Emergen C (1000,mg Vit C per packet) twice a day to avoid getting a cold or the Flu. I liked the stuff so much that I took three packets a day, and sometimes 4 packets, which meant I was taking up to 4,000 mg of vitamin “C” per day. I noticed right away that the constant low grade pain on my left side subsided after about three days, and at first I didn’t connect that the vitamin “C” was the reason. When I got back home I had a large bottle of 1,000 mg per tablet of vitamin “C” from Sams Club (it was only about $10 for 500 tablets) in the bathroom cupboard, so I bought a small mortar and pestle from a cooking store, and proceeded to grind up three tablets into a powder and sprinkle it into a one pint glass of water twice a day (it tastes like weak lemon juice) and have been taking it ever since. I am pain and symptom free and it’s been almost three months without a flare-up or even a grumble on that left side. I am not sure what happens when you take large doses of Vitamin “C” but I do know that I hardly ever took it or ate foods with vitamin “C” in it, so maybe it is used to repair cells and it started to repair the colon, I don’t know. An associate at the health food store told me that it helps repair collagen (I think that’s skin cells) but whatever it does, I’m going to take it until it no longer works. I sometimes only take 3,000 mgs per day, if I forget to take my evening dose, but so far, so good. Just thought I would pass this on for anyone interested.

  32. Bruce Jones says

    Bless you, I hadn’t thought about the effect of chlorine. I have suffered on and off for ten years. Tried many diets but still suffered bouts of pain and bleeding requiring hospitalisation . The only advice I was given was increase fiber, but often that seemed to make things worse. This last year I was living in rural australia and drinking rain water from tanks. I had a year with no symptoms. Then I moved into town and had very chlorinated water, I have been sick for several months and fearful of going back to the doctor who is keen on sending me for surgery. I started on a probiotic and distilled water and am feeling better within days. I intend to start aloe supplement soon. Thank you for this information they obviously don’t teach this in Med school, as I’ve seen three different doctors and been hospitalised twice.

  33. kim says

    I’m 54 and was diagnosed a year ago with the dreaded D. This is my third bout in 1 year. Bad side pain and food goes right through me with cramping. On my second day of cipro/metro once again and just decided to try other routes due to muscle pain and feeling ‘poisoned’.
    I’m going to try aloe, vitamin c, magnesium, a probiotic, sauerkraut juice, fish oil, yams, broth, and lentil soup thank you very much! No ice cream, Advil, celery or artichoke hearts. Thanks to everyone for their comments- I don’t think any of the above will hurt me and they’re all easily accessible so crossing fingers… Good luck to all of us!

  34. Pete says

    At 52 I had my first case of D. Within 3 years of the first episode I had 5 more. During those 3 years I drank A LOT of coffee, all day long, everyday, and even occasionally took caffeine tablets to help me stay awake. (Work related issues was the reason for increasing the caffeine intake) After the 6 occurrence I quit all caffeine intake and started drinking water only. I started drinking 3-5 16oz bottles of water a day. It’s become habit. It’s been 2 years since I quit caffeine and started water and I haven’t had one single episode of D. Luck or cause/effect I don’t know, but if you get D and have a high caffeine intake, I’d suggest you try it.

    • prioris says

      the very first thing people should do is clean up their diet if it is too crappy.

      sometimes that alone can cure diverticulitis because the infection is not severe. that can stop feeding the bad bacteria hence they will die out over time especially with more healthy immune people.

      when the problems becomes too severe, it takes more powerful methods.

      people who have to constantly stay on top of their diverticulitis didn’t really cure it. they just dowsed out the infection enough where it is still present but not symptomatic. instead of addressing the infection directly, they start creating unnecessary and unpleasant diet restrictions.

      moderation alone may resolve it. drinking coffee in more moderate amounts can still keep it at bay so one still can drink some coffee.

      many sites list foods that have nothing to do with the origin of the problem. once you can cure it, you will have a pretty good idea why your getting it if it returns just by tracking your diet.

  35. Tracee says

    WOW – WOW – WOW!!! This is the absolute best article and subsequent comment section regarding diverticulitis! Currently finishing day 4 of another 7-day round of Cipro & Flagyl. I hadn’t considered the larger amounts of protein on my low carb lifestyle causing the problem – I eat nuts, seeds, tons of veggies and quality saturated fats like coconut oil, guacamole…but in the past it has always seemed to be stress induced and/or lack of water causing constipation for me. Thankfully I have found magnesium and have been doing pretty good – But this time I believe it was those new dark chocolate covered frozen strawberries that Dole just came out with. Felt like a healthy treat on recent vacation – but encountered some stress plus strawberries and BOOM.

    I was in my low 30′s when my first attack happened and was hospitalized for 4 days. So tired of the SAD recommendations and the constant issues i seemed to battle in my health. I have searched for the last decade (with some success) for avoiding flare ups and was so frustrated with the lack of up to date info, and on healing it naturally. I have been on a Low Carb lifestyle for the last year and a half dropping 45 pounds – which is great. I am healthier, off all meds and have been doing more a LCHF diet.. however there is more tweaking that needs to be involved and i am learning to listen to my body. These comments have given me some direction and possibilities in my quest.

    As I read these comments I feel so encouraged to find others on similar journeys of reclaiming our health! AND SO MANY great opinions, advice and ideas on moving forward!! SO THANK YOU EVERYONE from Chris Kressser, to Kelsey Marksteiner to everyone who took the time and posted on here!!

    Now I have to find these things mentioned… but do i finish this round of antibiotics?!?!

    • lgordon says

      I have read that just being overweight adds to the level of
      inflammation in our bodies.
      Divers is an inflammatory disease.
      You did yourself a favor with the weight loss.
      I would like to follow in your footsteps.
      by the way I have headed off 2 attacks and avoided
      abx meds by EATING/drinking only liquids or pureed soups made with bone broth. olive leaf extract caps, lauricidin and getting plenty of sleep. prescript assist probiotic, homemade milk kefir….even while working a stressful job in the ER.

        • Claire says

          Doesn’t diverticulitis start with diverticlosis though. Isn’t that a deformity of the bowel/ pockets? That’s what I’m most interested in reversing.

          • prioris says

            It starts with bacteria. The bacteria creates pouches. The food gets stuck in the pouches which aggravates the condition even further. It’s a chain reaction of events.

            diverticulosis
            diverticula
            diverticulitis
            diverticular

            relate to the same disease

            No matter what words you want to use, the bacteria needs to be treated. The only unknown is how severe it is and how much fire power you need to keep the infection doused out so the pouches will heal. It takes time for the pouches to heal.

            • Claire says

              That’s interesting about the bacteria causing the pouches. I am suspecting diverticulum/osis but no internal investigation has been done to verify this but I have been having pains in my lower left side (mild but noticable). It seems to come on more shortly before I empty my bowels. So to me it feels like some sort of irritation in the sigmoid colon.
              Gynacologists have ruled out STD or ovary problems.
              I have done a comprehensive digestive stool analysis and the results are very good, showing good digestion and no pathogens of any kind showed up. Just no growth of one of the beneficial bacteria.

              I don’t really know what else I should do or what tests to try next.
              Any tips would be much appreciated! :-)

              • prioris says

                It is my experience that most medical tests are useless. If you have tests done, you have to be very selective in what test you choose.

                The major symptoms of diverticulitis are nausea and cramps. This is a pretty good indicator for diverticulitis.

                Here is what you do for any body pain.

                Locate as best as you can the location of your pain in your body.

                Find a good anatomy image of the body on the internet and see what organs are in that area. This gives you some idea of what may be involved.

                You say the pain on left side.

                I don’t know your age but if you are over 45 I would try doing various cleanses. Treat it like doing an oil change on the car.

                Below are some of the possible conditions

                Kidney Problems and Lower Left Quadrant Abdominal Pain

                Kidney Infection
                Kidney Stones

                They have many natural products on the market to address this. I used renavive because it addresses infection and dissolves kidney stones. There are other cheaper alternatives but make sure it addresses infection.

                Digestive Problems and Lower Left Quadrant Abdominal Pain

                Crohn’s Disease
                Diverticulitis

                Use AMP for these problems.

                Ulcerative Colitis
                Intestinal Obstruction

                Other Problems and Lower Left Quadrant Abdominal Pain

                Aortic Aneurysm
                Inguinal Hernia

                Common Causes of Severe Lower Left Side Abdominal or Stomach Pain Specific to Women:

                Endometriosis
                Mittelschmerz
                Ovarian Cysts
                Ectopic Pregnancy

                What you want to do is figure out what you don’t have. This will narrow down the list of possibilities.

                Whatever is left, try doing the natural cleanses I suggested.

                If the kidney cleanse doesn’t work, you can cross that off as a possible condition.

                This is how to approach finding and resolving the health problem yourself. You’d be surprised what you can accomplish with your own detective work.

                • Claire says

                  Thanks for that summary. Very helpful. I have been doing detective work. Just so far no results.

                  My lower left sided pain all started about a year ago with a night of nausea and fever. I was better by the next day. Later I developed a few days of liquid diarhea. I thought it was food poisoning. After I recovered from the diarhea, I got the lower left sided pain for the first time in my life. That was the most painful episode. It gradually dissapeared in 3 weeks time. Only to reappear more mildly a few months later. I’ve now had it for 3 months. Not painful this time but worrying. I’ve noticed certain things aggravate it: stool passing the area. Pain comes on more shortly before emptying my bowels.
                  Squashing that area e.g. if I crouch makes me notice the pain more.

                  I don’t think it’s ovarian related- gynae have done various tests/scans and found nothing wrong. No pregancy.

                  I doubt it’s IBD as no inflammatory markers according to the stool test. However my blood crp levels were slightly raised.

                  I doubt it’s obstruction since I’m having almost daily bowel movements.

                  Re. kidney problems, wouldn’t the pain be more round the back?

                  I’m 30. Do you think I should still try a kidney cleanse? There was no urine infection.

                  I’m wondering if I should apply poultices to the area to kill a possible infection, with something anti-bacterial for example.

                  Not really sure what to do next :-S Just trying to be as healthy as I can and hope it won’t get worse.

                • Claire says

                  I forgot to add:
                  My belly seems bloated especially since my last birth over a year ago. I notice if I wear something tight round my waist- elastic of a skirt, it feels tender, this is not how I would normally feel. Otherwise I am naturally very slim. All these problems started after the birth of my last child. I wonder if that has got something to do with it.

              • prioris says

                Your relatively young. Kind of young to have kidney stones but in some people it is a life long chronic problem. I’d assume you don’t have that problem.

                Everything I am reading tells me you have diverticulitis.

                “I’ve noticed certain things aggravate it: stool passing the area.”

                I just remembered that was somewhat like I felt with diverticulitis also.

                Bloating and gas were preliminary signs in me also.

                Anybody with continued gas and bloating should find a way to address that. I used to ignore that thinking that everyone gets that and nothing to get concerned about. An occasional bout can be ignore. Frequent bout should not be ignored.

                I used to have frequent bloating and gas problems but since taking CLA (derived from sunflower), I have no problems. Some people react negatively to that CLA. The ideal CLA is the kind derived from meat, eggs milk etc because that is what they use in studies but they don’t have that on the market.

                You will have to experiment with something to relieve that continuous bloating also.

                You have two problems that need addressing.

                So first address what we assume is diverticulitis with AMP and then experiment with finding a solution to the continuous bloating and gas after diverticulitis heals.

                Being young, AMP may work quickly for you.

                I would be familiar how to do a non commercial solution for kidney stone flush anyway in case you ever need to go in that direction.

                Look for video How to Treat Kidney Stones With Lemon Juice and Olive Oil or similar videos.

                • Claire says

                  Thanks for your advice.
                  I want to try the AMP. s it safe even if by any chance I don’t have diverticulitis?

                  I did take alow vera juice from Pukka brand which is high quality but I had loads of mucus coming out with and in between bowel movements. I got freaked out. The day I stoped the aloe vera, the mucus stopped. Not sure if the mucus is a positive or negative reaction though.

                  I am wondering if it is beneficial to get a formal diagnosis. What would be the most safe way to diagnos it? Perhaps a sygmoidoscopy? It’s much simpler and less risky to an endoscopy.

                  You sau a bacteria causes diverticulitis. I can’t find information on this. Which bacteria is it or could it be various ones? Is there a test that could identify the bacteria?

                  I wonder if an antiparasitic could help with the bacteria e.g. Humaworm.

                  Interesting comments about the Vitamin C. I’ve read that Vit C is underused but powerful weapon against bacteria and viruses. I had holistic dental treatment where the detox protocol is high dose IV Vit C (with other things). If I remember correctly I had 35 g Vit C in each dose. 3 doses spread over 2 days! I noticed a noticable improvement in my pain on those days. The pain almost went but is now mildly here while I take 2g Vit C daily now. I’m now considering increasing the dose.

                • Claire says

                  Sorry for yet another comment.

                  One thing I just don’t understand is why I just developed diverticulitis now in this last year (if that is what I have). I’ve been eating healthier than ever in the last 4 years: WAPF, then GAPS, then adding in some starches/carbs. My digestion definately improved (e.g. indigestion/heartburn went, constipation reduced..)
                  If it truly is a bacteria I’m wondering if I got it through some contaminated food. The day I got ill I had ham from a poorly working fridge. At the time I thought I got food poisining from it. That’s how it all started. Is it possible the bacteria came from the ham?

                • prioris says

                  We can’t be sure you do have diverticulitis.

                  The fact that you do have your symptoms makes it a possibility.

                  I can’t tell you what bacteria is causing diverticulitis but we know it is some type of bacteria because it is causing damage to the colon. It’s simpler to try remedies than figuring out what bacteria.

                  I would try a good anti-parasite cleanse also. Again, it’s easier to do that then go for a test to see if you got parasites.

                  I would stay away from doing vitamin C stuff. You have a microbe. There is always possibility that vitamin C could help in some way but then one could say that about niacin or a hundred different things.

                  I would stay away from the advice that says you need some humongous amount of fiber. That study is flawed.

                  They can do a colonoscopy or whatever but that should be done later when you hit a brick wall in trying to remedy and diagnose it.

                  Also understand that many health conditions can’t be diagnosed by a doctor but only guessed at. You should use them as an adjunct to your own detective work.

                  How does one know if one has a fungal problem. By taking an anti-fungal agent that greatly improves the symptoms. It’s easier to try the remedies than diagnose the fungal infections. Tests don’t catch everything or every fungal type.

                  Aloe Vera juice has toxins in it so possible you could be reacting to them. I couldn’t drink aloe vera juice without it making me sicker.

                  What you say about your eating habits being more healthy, this could make a case that you don’t have diverticulitis.

                  At this point, it’s about trying to come at the problem from different directions and see if you get results. This helps narrow down the list of possibilities.

                  Last resort, get the perspective from more than one doctor.

  36. says

    Hello all, What a wonderful wealth of information. I just found out that my husband has some pockets protrusions of diverticulitis. He actually has no digestive problems as a result of his diet, never has. Occasionally he has gotten cramps but I would give him Colloidal Silver and that would take care of it.

    He is on a Peg Tube as he is recovering from non Hodgekins Lymphoma in his throat. The tube food called Jevity and Boost are horrible and made him very sick which he has been taken off them and is now on Perative which is gluten free, suppose to be good for lactose intolerance, yet still has milk and soy, canola and every un-pronounceable ingredient you can think of.

    This does agree with him at least, better than the other stuff. But I can’t help but believe that it is a bunch of dead food chemically changed and lots of additives.

    I decided as long as he has to be on the tube, I would strain homemade soup, veggies, coconut milk, almond milk, beets, anything to to get something real into him. I also use Coconut oil and Palm Oil.

    I am also supplementing with Iodine and use the Colloidal Silver to prevent any bad bacteria.

    I know I have to get him a good bacteria product and I will definitely try the above suggestions.

    Has anyone had any experience with something like this?

    They say that if he gets off the tube and tries to eat, he will probably aspirate and eventually get pneumonia but I am hoping the Colloidal silver and Iodine will prevent bad bacteria taking hold in his lungs.

    He either has to risk eating, which I’m not sure at this point if he ever will be able to swallow well enough again, or live on a tube for the rest of his life. Or have his throat operated on to remove his voice box and have to use a mechanism to speak, which will allow him to eat without fear of pneumonia.

    I can make him shakes with herbs and such but I don’t want to see him on a tube, don’t want his voice box taken out, don’t want him to catch pneumonia.

    I am at the point that the lesser of all the evils would be to have the tube taken out, feed him as healthy as I can, supplement him, use the Colloidal silver and Iodine and hope for the best.

    Is there anyone out there who has ever experienced anything like this and what did you do? Does anyone feel that Colloidal Silver can actually prevent pneumonia since it has been known to help people overcome MRSA and many other bacterial infections.

    I know Colloidal silver helps the digestive system and was wondering if anyone ever used it to help with their diverticulitis.

    I myself have had a JPouch surgery and Colloidal Silver has helped me a lot but I have to take a lot of other stuff because for the most part, I lose my nutrients almost as fast as I take something.

    For those contemplating surgery, think twice and then think a million times again. Surgery is horrible and if I knew what I know today, I would have never had it done.

    Thanks,
    Carol

  37. LyndaG says

    I believe that any food that is inflammatory to you is a trigger.
    my worst divers attack was after a blackberry smoothie.
    seeds are insoluble fiber and create inflammation with the overfermentation. I don’t think seeds or anything else getting stuck in pockets is the problem.
    Im intolerant to eggs and blueberries and so those are proinflammatory for ME. Of course sugar and too much coffee could cause a problem.
    My flares arise from an extra large meal of any kind or sugar.
    constipation is my first clue that Im beginning a flare. The antibiotics were a problem for me. Or anyone . I wont take them unless I am going to die.
    I have dodged 3 flares by immediately going on a liquid diet.
    Bone broth-water kefir-
    olive leaf capsules
    lauricidin
    black seed oil
    probiotics.
    i utilize an 8 hr eating window and during the fast phase
    I allow a little cream in 1 cp. coffee, coconut oil, and or broth.
    my regular diet is low fiber-modified paleo.
    white rice, meat , fish, homemade milk kefir.
    sauerkraut also homemade.
    small amount of non fibrous fruit, cooked vegetables…
    my biggest issue is constipation.
    I use a tsp of magcitrate vit c combo first thing in the morn.
    but the biggest turnaround for it came when I added the soil based probiotic that this article mentioned.
    prescript assist.
    Im thinking of adding a T or two of aloe without carageenan to the regimen.
    I try a little bit of everything because I NEVER want the unexpected full on attack ever again!

  38. GrandmaD says

    Thank you all! What a wealth of information is on this site. I just returned home after 5 days in the hospital as a result of my first (and hopefully only) bout of diverticulitis. It was as has been noted, horrible. I’ve been told to follow up with the surgical group as a possibility of needing surgery in the future. My dilemma is that I have also recently been diagnosed with Gastroparesis. Consequently I had severe pain in both my upper GI tract as well as the intestines during the attack. I’m certainly going to incorporate some of the information provided here to improve my digestive health, and stay away from surgery. All hints/suggestions will be appreciated to treating both conditions.

  39. Judy Raitt says

    4 sets of antibiotics since January so now I will try a Nutritionist.
    Diarrhea is a big problem-any suggestions? I am taking
    Florastor.

    • prioris says

      my suggestion is – read my comments

      broad spectrum antibiotics do a lot of damage to the gut’s flora because it is killing of a broad range of flora. this is what likely causes fungal infections to develop in the body. this is what to avoid. Just a couple days on them wrecks my gut. Diarrhea will result in these.

      my experience is that narrow spectrum antibiotics are far less damaging to the flora. i experimented with antibiotics like penicillin, minocycline, amoxicin etc on long term for something and never had severe gut flora problems. this doesn’t mean that they won’t effect some flora. i noticed i would develop shingles outbreak more as time went by.

    • Jennyct says

      I had a bout in 2010. Did anitibiotics, but mistakenly exercised after day 7. This brought a whole lot of pain on. After a second CT scan, they decided it was “scar tissue” or ‘irritable” pain. I was given Levsin for IBS and it took away that pain within a day or two. I started using soluble fiber (Benefiber) and wearing more comfortable clothing to keep the pressure off my tummy.

      Fast forward to this week in 2014. I tried to go paleo and dissed my wheat based fiber supplement. I also increased my raspberry consumption (seeds?) and wore smaller clothing as I was losing a few pounds. I was exercising more and feeling better except for some stomach irritation from vitamin C.

      So now I have a flare up and I am supposed to travel within a few days. I DO NOT want nasty antibiotics that give me fatigue, stomach pain, and rapid heartbeat! Did I mention the first time I got a flare up, I was traveling also! gee.

      The main point of all this is that everyone seems to have different triggers. I will NOT wear tight clothing again, nor will I stop taking my fiber supplement. I will also be very careful about overexercising.

      :(

      • prioris says

        First the infection comes then the pockets come then the aggravation caused by seeds getting stuck in the pockets worsens it. People erroneously still cling to the notion that the seeds caused it. Irritation from Vitamin C would be another indication that you had infection.

        You never healed your pocket sacs. You still had the infection but were non symptomatic. I can tell people many times and they refuse to listen so they are in a life long fire fighting mode. They focus themselves on symptomatic relief and not healing. If the pockets got healed, the seeds wouldn’t have a place to drop into. They’d be more resistant.

  40. Darrell says

    I am now in a bout with divaticulitis and need help to get better quick!!!! Going on vacation in 4 days and want to be well for my family to enjoy Disney!!!
    Any quick fix remedies you can suggest would be appreciated!!!!

  41. monika says

    I am current on my 4th day of ciprofloxacin and metronidazole. This is my second bought of diver. My first was about nine months ago. The side effects of the drugs are almost worse than the original symptoms. The days before my most recent attach I was feeling on top of the world. I am a cyclist and had just completed a very intense ride all leading up to training for my first race that was supposed to happen in a week. Now all is on hold. The drugs make me feel so sick and all I do is sleep. I NEVER want to go through this again. My diet is very healthy…. for 3 years I follow Dr. Furmann (eat to live) they have cured my chronic migraines but now this any suggestions.

    • prioris says

      Use a natural antibiotic – Aloe Mucilaginous Polysaccharide capsules. No side effects either. Read my posts above.

      I would discontinue those antibiotics especially if their wreaking havoc on your system.

      Probably your gut flora are being wiped out. Recovering from their effect may take sometime.

  42. jeanne b. murray says

    i just did he 4 day stay in hospital with diver and now home with cpro and flagl.`~I AM CELIAC AND HAVE BEEN ON A GLUTN FREE DIET AND I AM WONDRING IF THIS COULD BE THE CULPRIT AS THE PRIOR COMMENT SAID AVOUT IT BEING SOGGY I WOULD USE MUFFINS ANF GLUTEN FREE BREAD. ANYONE ELSE KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING/ ABOUT/

  43. Tracee says

    I’m waiting to order the AMP but wondering Has Anyone found they can do well with a low carb (or keto) lifestyle and keep diverticulitis at bay??? Thx

  44. Sylvia Deye says

    Great info – sadly I had to figure a lot of items out the hard way before seeing this artical. Im 46 and have had a number of attacks over the past 4 years. I would like to add for females – avoid large meals – size of your fist rule. Pay extra attention of what you eat especially avoid high iron food (red meats) before menstrual cycle. The menstral cycle slows down the digestive process. Lastly avoid large consumptions of rice in one sitting (binding foods).

    Minimizing Stress as noted above is crucial. Drink lots of water and try seltzer water during stressful times.

    • Tracee says

      Wow Sylvia very helpful and timely for me to read your comment- I’m almost 44 and have seen an increase in bouts…. But trying to look at the way I’m doing everything to minimize incidences. Your comment about red meat before cycles is so timely – I have had red meat the last 2 days and about to start and totally experiencing slowing of digestion and constipation & uncomfortabality. Thx for info!

    • Sylvia says

      Forgot to include…
      Always eat salad after meal not before. Salad is a scrubber and is easy for intestines to push through which helps push certain foods down with less stress on digestive system.

      I mentioned earlir, no more than a fist size meal – also no less. Not eating or not enough food is harder for intestines to push and can cause irritation and flair up. So watch your summer diet program.

  45. Claire says

    People might be interested to read through Paul Jaminet’s blog. He has some comments on diverticulosis/itis. I think he believes he got it from being too low carb and not enough Vitamin C in his diet. This is his blog: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/

  46. kim csongor says

    Very appreciative of thoughts on what causes and what helps D. I too feel like my recent bout started with an episode of food poisoning- within half an hour horrible cramping which turned into such digestive and bowel issues and lower left side pain- 2 rounds of cipro and flagyl and 2 months later still have left lower left side pain if I eat too much. Digestive enzymes do seem to help. After reading Cipro horror stories (and relating) I will probably try amp if there is a next time!

  47. kim says

    I suffered an abscess about 12 years ago and had surgery with a big open hole in my stomach for months as the doctor wanted it healed from the outside in. Then I had a small part of my colon removed in another surgery. since th e n I’ve been ok. Had occasional bouts but would rest ea t less etc to heal. Now I’m scared because I think my original surgery site is leaking its very slight but it is smelly so I’m sure it is leaking now. Will these suggestions help or do I h ave to have antibiotics

    • prioris says

      I can’t give any opinion on the immediate medical urgency of a “leak” due to previous surgery.

      You mentioned you had bouts later. This is why surgery doesn’t address the root cause. That means that the infection came back. I would bring out heavy artillery and use AMP. This has decent chance of healing your digestive tract including the leaks.

  48. Lisa says

    I was diagnosed with diverticulitis for the first time in February. My doctor put me on Cipro – Flagyl for 14 days. Never really felt 100% but just had another bout and am on the antibiotics again. I am using Probiotics twice a day and have found a huge improvement in tolerating the antibiotics. My question is: my doctor recommends 2 Citrucel caplets a day for fiber – she actually wants me to go to 4 a day. I feel that half of my discomfort comes from the caplets – does anyone stop taking them if they have a flare up?

  49. Dave says

    What impact does alcohol intake have on the development of Diver and the subsequent treatment. (ie using AMP and Healther’s Tummy Acacia ).
    I like to enjoy a couple of beers every evening.

    • prioris says

      Since one doesn’t know what foods in your case is behind the diverticulitis, no real answer can be given.

      On the AMP regimen, the normal course is to take 5 tablets before bed on preferably empty stomach and 4 tablets upon rising where the stomach is empty. I think this is the key since you don’t want anything competing with the AMP – something feeding the bad bacteria – while your trying to douse out the fire and heal the pouches. If it weren’t for the pouches, stamping out the problem would be much quicker.

      In my personal experience, before the pain / cramps came, the symptom of nausea was always present. I felt it more on an empty stomach. When I feel nausea, I view it as a precursor event and assume bacteria is brewing. I would intervene with AMP and be looking at my diet for clues to what is causing it.

      Just make sure you go to bed on empty stomach should be good enough. Avoiding foods that aggravate the pouches while you heal also makes sense. I’d be more concerned about too much carbonation so use moderation.

      My personal opinion, I think the beer would be ok as long as it doesn’t worsen your symptoms. In the end, you have to kind of listen to your own body and interpret what it is telling you.

      I’ll add one more thing that may not be related to diverticulitis but may be important to the health of your digestive tract. There is a lot of people developing sensitivity to wheat and gluten due to transgenic wheat. They have also increases the amount of gluten in the wheat also.

      We hear about Celiac disease but there is a Non Celiac disease we need to be aware of. Mercola’s nutrition recommendation has looking out for wheat sensitivity number one on his list.

      Anybody having digestive difficulties should consider experimenting with wheat free or gluten free diet. It may take up to two years to heal the damage.

      Autism has been related to vaccines and processed foods. The government created a binary weapon.

      Here are a few snippets about transgenic wheat

      In a 2009 study “Increased Prevalence and Mortality in Undiagnosed Celiac Disease” published in the Gastroenterology journal, researchers concluded, “The prevalence of undiagnosed CD seems to have increased dramatically in the United States during the past 50 years.” Research once suggested that one in 5,000 Americans had Celiac Disease; in the past decade, now it’s grown to a staggering one in 133. One in 133.org figures suggest upwards of three million Americans suffer from Celiac and another 18 million from non-Celiac gluten sensitivity. (It’s also worth noting that autism rates have skyrocketed in that same time as well.)

      In 2002, Monsanto provided its own safety evaluation to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that its genetically modified (GM) glyphosate-tolerant wheat is safe and as nutritious as conventional wheat. The FDA, in turn, accepted this conclusion, using the apparently logic that billion-dollar companies out to make big bucks on their own science experiments that claim their products are safe because they said so is somehow a perfectly legitimate way to determine true product safety. The United States and Columbia are the only two countries that allow Monsanto’s transgenic wheat.

      • prioris says

        Clarification

        Wheat is technically not GMO but it is altered on a genetic level e.g. chemical mutagenesis (mutation). There has been no safety testing.

        Here are snippets

        Dr. Davis tackles the “Wheat is not GMO” issue head on, saying that he believes the methods used to create modern wheat are “worse than genetic-modification”

        One of the parts of wheat altered by all the “hybridization” is called wheat germ agglutinin. It’s a lectin protein that functions as the defense system for the plant to battle mold, fungus, and insects, much like our immune system battles viruses and bacteria for us.

        The “new” wheat lectin now wreaks havoc on the digestive system of lab animals (when administered by itself) and in humans, it “disables the normal discriminatory capacity of the human intestinal tract that helps it determine what should remain in the intestine and what should be allowed entry into the bloodstream,” causing many forms of digestive distress including heartburn, acid reflux, and IBS.

    • prioris says

      Someone mentioned to me that a lot of beer is made with artificial ingredients. One of the reasons micro brewery’s do good business, They said it is regulated by the ATF. Not FDA. So make sure you drink beer with quality ingredients. In europe, they highly regulate beer so it can’t be tainted with artificial ingredients.

      I don’t pay attention to what is happening with beer since I don’t drink it much. The best beer I ever tasted was home made. I tend to drink Dos Aqui and Heineckens.

  50. Kathy from Maine says

    Excellent site! Thanks to everyone for their comments. I’m back today from 4 days in the hospital. Spiked a very high fever, and, well, you know the rest of the story.

    I had to share what one nurse told me while I was “incarcerated.” She has diverticulosis, and has had several bad flare-ups. She had one piece of advice. She said that when you start feeling an episode come on where you’re bloated and gassy and feel like you simply need to pass gas, DON’T.

    She said to get to a bathroom fast, because, “That ain’t gas running down your leg, and that stool you’re sitting on ain’t made of wood!”

    Just had to share.

    • prioris says

      I don’t know exactly what you mean by don’t “pass” it.

      Gas was a constant problem for a decade or more before I developed nausea. What I would do is bend forward while sitting and let the gas pass out of my mouth. Sort of like squeezing on a balloon. It expelled the gas.

      I had digestive problems early in my life. What I did was do a 7 to 10 day fast and it resolved the many digestive problem for many decades.

      There was a point in my life I became sick eating almost any food. What I did was go on a diet consisting of spring water, fish, beans, salt, butter and dates for two years. I was able to eat regular food after that.

      • Kathy from Maine says

        “Don’t pass the gas” = “Don’t fart”

        Hey, priori, while I have your attention, I was wondering if you could help with some questions I have.

        1. How long should I be on bowel rest, eating only very soft foods like scrambled eggs and cream-based soups? I was discharged from the hospital on Monday.

        2. On the news this morning there was a segment on food and drug interactions. They said never have dairy (milk, yogurt, eggs … how are eggs like milk and yogurt?) when you’re taking antibiotics. I tend to doubt that, but will look into it today. So much misinformation from the media these days. Why wouldn’t I want to have yogurt and kefir?

        3. For the past month or two I have been taking both a prebiotic and a probiotic, switching between several different brands to get a variety. I’ve been taking usually 4 capsules total. Is that too much? Not enough?

        I’m also looking into all the advice provided by Kelsey, you, and the others here. So much to think about, though. I certainly can’t do everything that has been advised, and it’s hard to choose.

        • prioris says

          I had that thought in my mind … lol

          What is the reason for the bowel rest. Was it because you were on antibiotics while in hospital. I think it is reasonable advice to go with soft foods. I think you slowly introduce the non soft foods and see how you do.

          I can understand not taking dairy or food at same time as the antibiotic. The food may interfere with the efficacy of the antibiotic. You should be able to take the food after the antibiotic is absorbed into your system.

          I usually take antibiotics on empty stomach and always with bromelaine. I wait about 45 minutes before I eat. Bromelaine helps destroys the biofilm on bacteria thereby preventing the resistance problem caused by the biofilm. It also makes the antibiotic more effective. I will only use narrow spectrum antibiotics unless it is life or death situation.

          I don’t think how much biotics is the important question but which strain of bacteria. A little bacteria should go a long way. of course, the quality of the product is a factor also.

          I think probiotic and prebiotics are hit or miss thing. Your digestive system has probably thousand kinds of bacteria. We really don’t know what bacteria are missing. Supplements only have relatively few of those bacteria. New strains will come on the market but still a pittance. This could effect things directly by replacing the missing good bacteria or indirectly by allowing the missing bacteria to propagate.

          When you get down to it – your essentially experimenting. Doctor may be able to diagnose some problems but not all. Digestive tract issues are a very murky area to cure. They can be a real battle for people to figure out. As we age, there is wear and tear on the system so the problems and things to fix can accumulate. I try to keep them at bay. I think you have to come at it from many directions. It can be hard but – experiment, experiment, experiment.

  51. Jodi says

    I have read this thread twice trying to take in the details – so much info. I am in my second attack (very quick re-occurrence, making me wonder if the first ever really ended.) I have a couple of comments/questions:

    1. my first attack was deemed stage 1/mild (no perforation, etc – CT scan diagnosis) and I was treated with the cipro/flagyl cocktail. Those made me feel odd – not terrible, but not right. I was on liquids only for a few days, then started introducing egg and soft foods (lots of avocado too) before going back to my regular diet. GI guy told me that I should eat anything – the data on limiting intake of nuts, seeds, etc was inconclusive and to not worry about it. In reading – I definitely eat a very high insoluble fibre diet – kale, spinach, peas, green beans, celery, onions, bell pepper. I eat these raw most days, rarely cooked and in salad format. I drink tons of water (70-80 oz per day) too. Chris Kesser opines that is like “rubbing a wire brush over an open wound”. I had no idea. In retrospect – right idea, bad timing? I should have laid way off the insoluble stuff for many WEEKS (not days) to allow healing and inflammation to subside (?). I also did not know until reading this to use supplements to try and re-establish good gut bacteria. I am going out at lunch today to get some probiotics. I need to find or hear about meal planning for weeks to soothe and allow the gut to heal.

    2. I felt the faintest twinge at 2AM Tuesday of this week while rolling over – I knew it was flaring again. Got to my primary care and they agreed – back on the antibiotic yuck. I feel worse this time – dizzy and sort of just out of it. Is it risky to stop taking this stuff now? Will I create resistance and end up worse off? I have follow up at 3 today (primary care) and am very confused after reading all of this – on how to proceed. No fever, and this is even milder than the first bout – but I am as panicked about the cipro and flagyl as I am about colon health now. :( I also haven’t eaten since Tuesday so the feeling awful part could also be from that.

    I really appreciate everyone sharing and offering input. I do have another GI specialist appointment (new doc, referred by a friend that is a doctor) but not til June 26th. My primary said they really need to do a colonoscopy to see what’s going on in there – but in order to schedule that the inflammation needs to be gone to lessen the risk.

  52. Jodi says

    :). I did! I got those three things today and am starting them!

    My primary care (same practice but my own doc) today told me to stop the antibx. Because I have NO signs of infection the antibx are doing more harm than good. No fever. No vomiting etc.

    So…. Went to whole foods. Got good probiotic and Aloe Juice, grape seed extract and some kefir with probiotics too. We are trying this for a few days. She had some recent study data that showed antibiotics making no difference for uncomplicated diver. If I get sick or spike fever on weekend she said *only* take Cipro not both. Hopeful I take neither!! Big thing is rest and very small amounts of food and only bland and soft. Basically eat like a toddler.

  53. says

    Wondering why you specifically suggest VSL #3 – just wondering if I’ve missed some studies in my search. It seems like a few strains have been tried with fairly similar degrees of effectiveness and most aren’t as pricey.

  54. Marianne says

    my husband was just diagnosed with diverticulitis with possible colitis..he has had extreme pain and is on antibiotics and pain pill (as needed) i have started him on a bland diet for the past several days. do i start adding fiber to his diet slowly to avoid the pain?

  55. Marianne says

    i have heard of the paleo diet..where can is the best place to get information on this type of diet. it seems to have worked for many of you

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