Diverticulitis Diet: How to Prevent It Naturally | Chris Kresser
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How to Prevent Diverticulitis Naturally through Diet

by Kelsey Kinney, RD

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Note: The Prescript-Assist supplements discussed in this article are no longer available. Please click here to learn more about a substitute, the Daily Synbiotic from Seed.

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.

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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 Diverticulosis

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 tract 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, omega-6 fatty acids and lactose, 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 an inflamed intestine 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 an inflamed intestine. 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 diverticulitis 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

759 Comments

Join the conversation

  1. Why would I b put on Cipro and Metronidazole? Diagnosed 3 days ago. So much bad info out there – hearing these experiences has helped me immeasureably

    • This article is full of great advice! I have had DD fir about 6 years. VSL #3 really changed my life. I also like a couple products called cleanse more and intestine new. they both contain things referred to in this articel. I have been flare free since i added these things and some other supplements as well as increasing fiber and water intake (drink drink drink) Lialda has also been great for me as a med. i also do oil of oregano if i feel a flare starting and can usually stave off any infections. I recommend keeping a very detailed food diary. Include stress levels and bathroom trips and you will start to see some patterns emerge. Meditation has helped me with the anxiety i was having for fear of having a flare all the time. Read as much as you can and join a fb group for some great support. Thank you to the author for including stress as a trigger and herbs and supplements as a treatment. A lot if docs dont really give you that info. My best piece of advise to you is find a doctor you really like and trust. Good luck!

    • Probably because you had a bad infection and they use these antiobiotics to kill the bacteria that is causing the infection, thus causing the itis in the diverticulitis. No one wants or likes these antiobiotics, they are horrible, but so is an infection that goes untreated, it can cause worse complications. Just be wise, get a better Dr if your not happy with who you have now,
      .

  2. Having read what people have written about their trials with diverticulitis events and how they have incorporated natural products, I am now more comfortable with trying some of the suggestions. My episodes have been more frequent and I have lost many days trying to remedy my event without having to resort (as one person put on the “evil twins”) to antibiotics as they make me sick and feel my life just revolves around the pills. Along with many others, the journey of looking at stress in my life and eliminating foods is on going. For me the stress factor seems to be my challenge.

  3. This page is the best resource I’ve found so far on diverticulitis. Thank you! Had my first – any hopefully only – attack 3 days after Christmas while visiting out of town. Fever, infection and two days in hospital on Cipro and Flagyl. Home now, feeling better and trying to figure out my diet. Have a few questions: 1. how long does it take for the Cipro and Flagyl to leave the body and what should I be doing to recover from the harmful effects of the antibiotics; 2. How long will it take for my colon to return to a non-inflamed state; 3. How do I handle diet while working – if I’m eating out, what foods should I eat; what should I avoid; 4. I am a cyclist and was eating normal things to recover – now what should I be eating after a long ride?

    • I can only help with question #3. My attack in August 2016 was caused by eating popcorn, strawberries & peanuts also sitting for a 5 hour road trip. I have read this entire blog and found it very helpful trying to find any info that will keep me from experiencing another attack. Since August I have slowly added different foods back into my diet. As someone in the earlier blogs suggested if you add too much different food all at once you won’t know what causes you to have pain. Keeping a food journal helped. When I go out to eat, I like a salad bar where I can make my own. I can eat proteins, cooked vegetables without any problems. I avoid ALL seeds. I don’t eat much raw vegetables except lettuce. I peel the skin off apples. If I start having stomach pain I take aloe vera supplements and slippery elm. If it’s a food I’m unsure about I will eat just a little to see if I have a reaction usually takes a day or 2. I drink Kiefer almost daily. Take a walk 3 x’s a week. Hope this helps. God bless!!

      • Thanks Gail! I’m normally a pretty healthy eater and was diagnosed with diverticulosis in October. My GI doc just said eat more fiber and didn’t seem to be particularly worried about inflammation. I experienced my attack after a highly stressful December, not drinking enough water, not exercising, drinking alcohol daily to decompress, eating sugary foods (holidays!) followed by a 6.5 hour drive to Minnesota after Christmas. Interesting your attack happened after an extended drive. Wondering if sitting for long periods contributes?

        • Hi Sandra, yes I think the 5 hour trip did contribute to my attack. Plus we were traveling with our dog so couldn’t stop to eat dinner so I grabbed a bag of peanuts instead. Terrible pain, had to have a CT scan, my Dr. said to exercise 3x’s a week and increase my fiber. I’ve changed my diet avoiding seeds & nuts. I eat smaller portions. If we eat out I bring home half. We have more travel plans coming soon so we’ll see how that goes. God bless!!

          • I started eating less and bringing half my dinners as well. Hope it works. I’ll try some of the other things people have mentioned. Grapefruit seed extract slippery elm etc.

    • Hi Sandra. My situation is identical to yours. First and hopefully only and and avidly against surgery. I have no idea what to consume or not so I barely consume anything. I’m petrified.

  4. Hello everyone. I’ve been reading the posts and see myself in almost all of them. From the foods I eat to the ones I avoid to not have another bout. 5 in the last 3years. Lost count since my first one around 2005 or so. Prior to the last 3 years I went years with a bout then a job change a move to another state etc. and the stress involved,boom. A bout came along.
    I know it had to do with some things I ate during the week. Different then what I had been.
    One of my problems with this is stress. Sometimes I tend to worry and stress about “Am I getting another attack?” It sucks.
    Surgery has been brought up several times. Have any of you considered it or had it? So many questions. So tired of Flagyl and cipro.

    • Hi Stuart, I hD my first attack in 2008, was hospitalized. Job move lots of stress then a job layoff end of 2013. In April 2014 I had a real bad attack, cipro / flagyl, in hospital that June, more cipro flagyl fevers every night, it was an awful year. I never found this site, was too sick to even look. In Sept of 2014 my Gastro did a cholonoscopy but couldn’t complete it I was so inflamed. Said he could have perforated my bowel, I needed to see a Surgeon. I was blessed to get a great one, ended up having a colon resection October 2014 because I also developed a fistula. The flagyl snd cipro is so bad for our bodies but… Since the surgery I have been fine, I am careful in eating certain foods, no raw veggies, or steak etc. I had no choice I was so sick for so long. I wouldn’t recommend surgery but sometimes it’s really the only resort. My Surgeon was a wonderful guy, who came daily to see me, just helped to make the process less stressful. I am now retired, less stress and look back and think why do we allow ourselves to surrender to it, stress is so bad, maybe worse than flagyl. Take care of yourself, be good to yourself, don’t stress and eat as healthy as you can. Make homemade soups in the crockpot, nutritious and easy on the gut. God bless you

    • Oh I do take a daily strong probiotic, use Green Vibrance from the health store and juice when I have the time and am in the mood.
      Most Important, don’t worry don’t stress pray, give it to a God, took me a long time to learn that, life is to short to let jobs kill us, then after 25 yrs they let you go….. so why did I let it get to me. Wasn’t worth it. Slow down. Be happy and ay peace.

  5. I am terrified after reading some of the posts about levaquin. i’m on my second round in 4 weeks, as well as flagyl. are some of you suggesting i can heal this without the antibiotics? I do have a fever and elevated white blood cell count.

  6. I ended up at the ER on November 7 and was diagnosed. 10 days of Levaquin and Flagyl. Today I had a bad flare (4 weeks to the day) and Dr put me back on the same antibiotics. I’m devastated as they wreaked havoc on my body the first time around and caused other things, like thrush and a horrible breakout on my face. I have NO idea what is causing this, other than EXTREME stress at my job.

    • Flagyl & Cipro threw my body out of wack as well with overgrowth of yeast and lower leg tingling & numbness. That was in July and I’m still dealing with those things. As soon as I feel pain in the lower left I go on a liquid diet. On a liquid diet as I type, upping magnesium, drinking kombucha & probiotics as well as taking probiotic in capsule. Daily dose of chlorella. Hopefully this will get me through the flare yet again.

  7. I have suffered from Diviticulitus for several years now, and have been hospitalised twice with a micro perforation. On reading about causes of Diviticuli there is much mention about constipation. But constipation has not been an issue for me, in fact the opposite is common. Is diarrhea has been the issue. Is there an explanation for this?

    • This is a link to a research that found what you (and I) are experiencing – http://www.gastrojournal.org/article/S0016-5085(11)01509-5/abstract . Article is titled “A high-fiber diet does not prevent against asymptomatic diverticulosis” and the Conclusions were: “A high-fiber diet and increased frequency of bowel movements are associated with greater, rather than lower, prevalence of diverticulosis. Hypotheses regarding risk factors for asymptomatic diverticulosis should be reconsidered.” Worth showing to your physician…

  8. I am happy to report I have not been sick since July, I found this forum as it was a Godsend!!! This is whats worked for me:
    Every morning I wake up and take a multi-strain probiotic (its from GNC), slippery elm, Vit D & a multivitamin. The Vit D & multi is just to help with what I dont get from food (im a picky eater) but I have to say if you use anything, get the Slippery Elm! That & the probiotic, I havent felt this good in years! I hope this helps someone. And to everyone that has written, thank you. You guys saved me!

      • I take Natires Way Slippery Elm 400mg. It says on the bottle take 4 capsules 3 times daily, but I only take one a day in the morning with the probiotic & vitamin D. I was in the ER every 3 months with an attack. I’ve been healthy ever since.

        • Hi my name is Katie and I was DX with Diverticulosis last year after a trip to the ER..Then another trip this year right before thanks giving! Another CT and now I have severe extensive diverticulitis!! I have not felt well ever since. What really concerns me is now I have severe lower back pain along with chronic loose stools an my doc states it’s part of getting older! I’m only 56 years old!!! Help!!! I have been on flagyl levoquin and cipro..Know one seems to have a real good handle on this disease and it’s really starting to ruin my life by controlling it. Has anything really worked? I’ve heard about aloeelite and Seravoe? Any thoughts? Or suggestions?

          • Katie, did you eat something to cause an attack?? Since August, I have stopped eating seeds, popcorn, nuts, wheat bread. I have had to alter my cooking so as not to cook with seeds. It seems like they’re in everything. I am 58. I only have one diverticula that gave me sever pain in August ’16. I’ve radically altered my diet. At first, my Dr. put me on a liquid diet consisting of broth, jello, juices w/o, pulp. Then we moved to soft foods. His advice drink more liquids, walk more, avoid certain foods and eat more fiber. For 2 months I kept a food journal. When I would start to get a stomachache I would quit eating and go to a liquid diet and take one slippery elm tablet & two Aloe Vera tablets before bed. Also, I have started intermittent fasting, it’s where you eat your calories in a shorter period of time so you are resting your colon for at least 14 hours a day. My surgeon who did the colonoscopy thought the loose bowels could be from colitis which comes with another list of foods to avoid. I know it’s frustrating but I’ve tried to keep a positive outlook when there’s so many foods we can eat instead of focusing on the ones that we need to avoid. Last fall I ate almost the same thing every day cause I knew it was a “safe” food for me. Hope this helps a little. God bless. Gail

        • Where do you buy slippery elm? I’ve been suffering for over 8 weeks. Ready to try something else. On second batch of flagyl right now and don’t feel any better. Thanks

  9. I am a 68 year old woman and I consider myself to be in pretty good shape, and active. In August 2014 I had my first attack which got treated with Levaquin and Flagyl (I call them the evil twins). Took then for 10 days and was Ok until later October where I ended up in the ER. Took the evil twins again (give me nausea and the most horrible taste in my mouth when consuming liquids) for ten days which ended on November 10th. I am, since yesterday, having discomfort, specially hurts when walking. I’m taking Bentyl for pain. No fever. I want to make this go away without having to resort to the evil twins (Doctor had given me a prescription for both to keep around for emergencies since we love to travel). I just can’t figure out why so soon after a bout it is back. The first time I had it I had eaten a lot of broccoli which was not thoroughly cooked, well guess what I had broccoli with my meal at a Thai restaurant Saturday. I’m heading to Whole Foods tomorrow to buy Aloe Vera juice and grapefruit
    Seed Extract. I made myself chicken broth today and had that.

    • Hi Ana Maria
      It’s so miserable I can sympathise after my diagnosis in April I have had one bout after another and like you close together. One of my attacks was definitely related to kale not being cooked enough, it really does make a difference. Now I am keeping a food diary, I have to be so careful what I eat all the time. My advise if you feel an attack coming on go on a liquid diet for at least 24 48 hours, jelly also seems to help as does herbal tea. Yes definitely grape fruit seed extract but I struggled on Aloe vera as it made me sick. Good luck.

  10. So pleased to have found this website, diagnosed with DV in April, it’s been a really difficult year, so many things I can’t eat, nuts are an absolute no, and every day I seem to have a degree of pain. Four weeks since my last attack resulting in antibiotics. Just bought some Aloe Vera so fingers crossed. Last attack was a direct result in having to sit on a plane then long car journey.

    • Hi tracey.
      I’ve just been diagnosed with diverticulitis too. I’ve been on a course of amoxicillin and was alright for a few days. Now its getting touchy again. I’ve been on the broth thing but haven’t had much luck with that. And tried aloe juice and turmeric licorice root and marshmallow root tea.
      How long has your tummy been sore? I was hoping there would be some reprieve but it doesn’t sound good. Thanks for your comments. About sitting etc. I wondered about that. Ive always been very active and eaten a high fibre diet and been constipated maybe twice in my whole life. So they don’t really know do they? I know vegetarians who have it too. I think stress is a huge factor. Sounds like we should try grapefruit seed extract oil?

      • Hi Dianne

        It’s miserable isn’t it, I came off the last lot of antibiotics which I was on for 14 days, I had a couple of good days now pain again. I have been on the grapefruit seed extract which does help but could not take the aloe Vera it made me really sick. I am now making a chart of absolutely every thing I eat to see what makes things worse. Yes too long sitting in one place really does not help me. I am also unsure if wheat is bad for this condition, some people have said gluten free is better? I do agree about the stress though, I have had a lot of stress in my life and I wonder if this is the cause. Have you tried slippery elm I haven’t but it sounds awful!

        • I have hears positive and very few negatives about aloe vera juice. You said it made you sick can you be more specific as I am trying it and want to know exactly what your symptoms were ..thanks

      • Hi Dianne, Just like you I’ve had maybe 2 days of constipation (in 68 years). After my first ever diverticulitis event, in April, I’ve been mining the internet, and reading extensively. It really is trial and error finding out what works for each one. For me it was major stress that started it off. What helps me is not sitting too long, stretching a lot, lots of home-made fermented food, 1 capsule of Milk Thistle (Jarrow) a day, it’s meant to be for liver, but works well for me. Aloe vera didn’t do too much. Lots of luck on your journey of exploration!

        • GSE 15 drops a day until you feel better . then do 7 or so a day for maintenance .
          Grapefruit Seed Extract.
          It really works well.
          I also drink olive oil every day with my aloe
          Tumeric root is awesome also. I make tea, and I add to my juices everyday .

          • That sounds excellent. I’ve got some GSE stored in the cupboard, just in case, really hope not to have to use it. BTW, I was 15 days in Japan a couple of months ago, and found that all the fermented food they eat – really lots of it, at every meal – was very helpful. Not even a twinge of pain…

  11. I may be different than many, but I’ve noticed that the only time I have a DV attack is when I am forced to sit on my butt all day, due to my job. This last time (last night) I had even run 2 miles in the morning and did an hour of cross training in the early evening. Didn’t matter, as later last night I was hit. My attacks always start feeling like I have a bladder infection, as emptying my bladder actually puts pressure on my lower gut. It progresses to the point that it focuses in the lower gut and I can actually feel the spasms. I don’t know that much about treating the attack itself, since I get on NSAIDs right away and usually an anti-biotin like Cipro, and it’s gone in either two or three days if I lay around and modify my diet (paleo/yogurt), or in one day if I go out and suffer through a moderately long run (4-5 miles). Nothing I’ve tried in the way of supplements or diet change whether or not I get the attacks, they are strictly the result of being sedentary for a day. In fact, I can almost feel it coming on as I sit there. It makes sense, lack of movement decreases motility, allowing digested waste to irritate the diverticuli.

    • Great description. Been doing same for last 10 years with similar results. Every time i get on a flight over 3 hours, it triggers much longer attacks. Only relief so far has been valium or Colorado herbs. Good luck.

  12. Luckily I found this website / blog while I was in the middle of a diver attack. The advice on slippery elm and aloe vera juice was exactly what I needed. I went from a pain level of 8 to a five within a day and now, two days later, I’m a a pain level of 2. Best of all , I avoided antibiotics. Thanks so much.

      • When having an attack I’ve been using slippery elm in powder form, 1-2 teaspoons mix as a paste with cold water, then slowly add more water to make a smooth liquid then drink immediately (as it thickens over time). Repeat this 5-10 minutes before each meal – very effective for bloating and discomfort.

  13. I am in the midst of a bad flare, I was in the ER for the day…they wanted me to take antibiotics (Cipro) but I won’t take any of those – dangerous class of drugs. Plus I am very allergic to almost any meds, including supplements, as I have a salicylate allergy, which includes all the NSAID drugs and most others, as the fillers and binders in pills also have salicylate. I tried explaining this fact to the ER Dr. and it fell on deaf ears. I can’t tolerate the drugs she wanted me to take, so I am suffering in pain without much help. I am taking lactoferrin – which has antibacterial properties, I am hoping to calms down the infection…and something that helped the pain, since I can’t take pain pills either…100% tart cherry juice, which is a natural anti-inflammatory…I hadn’t been able to eat anything so when I drank the cherry juice after coming home from the hospital, it was able to soothe the inflammation – I diluted it 50/50 with water…took about an hour but the relief was wonderful.

    • I saw this post below yours about grapefruit seed extract

      I tried it and it does make you feel better
      i didn’t do it 3 times a day – just once – in your case 3 times couldn’t hurt you – I also read up on the extract – it is very good stuff !!

  14. Hi All,
    Try grapefruit seed extract and you will never have a flare up again. 15 drops diluted in a glass of water 3 times a day when you feel it hitting you and 15 drops everyday for maintenace. Have extensive divers in sigmoid and descending colon confirmed by ct and colonoscopy. Had numerous flares and drs would diagnose me as ibs. Seeds are the culprit in my case. Grapefruit seed extract works within hours if you are starting a crisis. Try it. It works. You have nothing to loose.
    God bless you all,
    Ron

    • Hi ron,Im going to try the grapefruit oil I really hope it works, my last episode was terrible, thank you and have a nice day.

    • What if a person is on statins? Is it dangerous to then use the grapefruit seed extract ?? Specific drug warnings say never to eat grapefruit when on statins!

    • Thankyou Ron My name is Katie and I just found this and posted my story just a bit ago under another comment gosh I really will try the grapefruit seed extract but a question. I drink grapefruit juice alot. Is that good or bad? My story involves being 56 and diverticulosis went to extensive diverticulitis within a year and now is terrible lower back pain with bloating and chronic loose stools! Help!! What’s worse is the doc said maybe your just getting older!!!

  15. Hi guys, I have had diverticulitis 7 times in the past 3 yrs. I smoke, I drink & eat horribly. I finally decided to take this seriously (I’m 36 with 2 young kids) last month & decided to do what the dr said (high fiber) which landed me in the hospital in 1 month for a 3 day visit. I just so happened to stumble upon you guys & figured obviously what the drs tell me to do is NOT working, lets try this approach instead. So no more red bull (sugar) chill with the alcohol, and no carbs, etc. But what happens if I have a bad day, I love food, I love to eat & just thinking that I need a “safe food list” and need to rely on it just makes me sad! I want to follow this, but what do I do if I cheat for one day? How do I fix the mess that goes on in my stomach? I just recently started this so I’m sorry if I sound uneducated, this is all very new to me.

  16. Ketosis and diverticulitis

    Hello I am 36 years old male I a diverticulitis attack in October 2015 and that is when I learned of the ilment, had a colonoscopy and other studies. The doctor agreed I was diverticulitis Hinchey 1 and got treated with antibiotics.

    I am 6ft tall 227 lbs moderately active, play baseball some times catch and do insanity workout on and off.

    My question: I want to try ketosis diet to loose weight and experiment with this life style. Have you guys tried this? and what has been your experience. Would you have any information available to read more about it.

    My wife is a doctor and she is very very very concerned of my desition to try get my body in to ketosis.

    Note, I had not attack or episodes since October 2015 and basically I supplement with psillyum husks regularly and all flows fantastic.

    • Ax…. even docs dont understand the difference between ketosis (man’s natural state of metabolism) and ketoacidosis….. you dont want the later, but usually only type 1 diabetics and type 2s that are insulin-dependent run that risk. Research what a true ketogenic diet is…. it in NOT high protein, it is high fat, moderate protein and low carb. There are many benefits besides the weight loss. Think of the different between 87 octane & 91. Ketones are clean burning & efficient….. people with atypical epilepsy (usually uncontrollable and frequent, unpredictable seizures) often experience a lessening of these. I am listening to Alzheimers/Dementia online summit this week and every expert is pointing to keto diet.
      It has virtually reduced my type 2 diabetes and my triglycerides are lowest in 15 years (mind you, I quit statin drug about the same time as adopted this lifestyle).
      A really big plus is not having an excess of fuel (high blood sugar) that cancer adores. While not necessarily causative, it promotes it as cancer can ONLY metabolize sugar to create ATP. Healthy cells can use either energy source, but prefer ketones. If you think this is urban legend, research how PET scans are used to diagnose & stage cancer.
      On fiber, psyllium is great nonsoluble (bulking) fiber, but consider also using a soluble fible, clear powder that dissolves hot or cold, derived from chicory or jerusalem artichoke. The gut bugs love this stuff….go easy at first (rumble, rumble). Dont use Benefiber…. it is wheat dextrose (so gluten + sugar).

      • Hi Dawn!

        Have you ever heard of exogenous ketones? A single serving will put you into ketosis in 59 minutes biohacking your body to burn ketones for fuel instead of glucose, even with glucose present in the body.

        • Yep! In fact,, the use of coconut (and MCT) oil was discussed multiple times on Alzheimers Awareness Summit and came up as an exogenous ketone. This is heartening to many as if you are on statins, they prevent a ketogenic state, but adding either can help make ketones readily available. Before that Summit, I was dosing a tablespoon in the morning. Now, 3x a day. Thankfully, I am off statins for near 2 years. My HDL is finally above 40! (Low HDL can be way more dangerous than high cholesterol…. it’s all about the ratios).

  17. MY CURE
    I’m 55 and have lived with diverticulitis (DV) all my life. It started once a year or so when I was in my thirties and got as bad as a few times a year in my fifties. Nobody seems to know why DV attacks happen and many claim DV can’t be healed. Well, I healed myself. You can too, here’s how:

    1. DV is a pocket(s) that have developed in your lower intestine. When they get infected, they get inflamed. This results in tremendous pain and sometimes obstruction. You most probably got DV from forcing during bowel movements (BM). As you get older, your connective tissue weakens and the DV gets worse. Why does the DV get infected? Food. yes food. You will have to change your diet to prevent further attacks of DV until you are fully healed (yes you can heal the DV pocket).

    2. If having a DV attack right now, the recommended treatment is a liquid diet. The problem with a liquid diet is you will be constipated when it is over. This may have you force your BMs and make the problem worse for next time. Instead, buy baby food. That’s right, baby food. Buy the Gerber Whole Wheat cereal. This is easily digested and provides light digestible fiber to keep things moving. The more things move, the faster you will be over the DV attack. You can also have the baby food (stage 1) veggies and meat products. Mashed potatoes are also good. Be sure to drink lots of water, but DO NOT do a liquid only diet. You can also take ibuprofen for the pain and inflammation.

    2. What to treat with, during and after an attack:
    i. Oil of Oregano (kills infection/keeps DV from getting infected)
    During an attack have 3 drops in 2oz of water each morning and night
    As maintenance after an attack: have 2 drops in 2 oz of water every morning
    Have three drops in 2 oz immediately before eating out at a restaurant
    ii. Kefir (better tha probiotic – repopulates good flora in intestine). Take both during and after DV attacks
    Have two ounces or more once a day at least three hours after or before taking oil of oregano.
    iii. Psyllium Fiber
    Take 1 tbs in 12 oz of water (well mixed) once a day
    THIS IS TO PREVENT FUTURE OCCURRENCES. DO NOT TAKE DURING A DV ATTACK
    iv. Gelatin (calms intestine, provides collagen to heal)
    Make and ingest at 2-4 ounces of jello during DV attacks.
    For maintenance, drink 1 packet of Knox mixed in with 8 oz of diluted grape juice, 30 minutes before bedtime
    v. Avoid the following:
    Any kind of chopped meat, unless you ground and cooked it yourself. When you go out, have steak (only six surfaces on a piece of steak and all are cooked, so there’s no place for the food to get infected.
    Lettuce and salad (unless you grew and washed it yourself).
    Just a little contamination of any of these foods will find its way to your diverticuli.

    • One other thing. Buy a papaya once a week, cut it into cubes and keep them in the fridge. Eat a cube both before an after meals.

      • My Dr. put me on a 3 day clear liquids diet, (cleansing), then 3 days thicker like yogart, puddings etc., then low fiber, no seeds or nuts. I’m almost finished w/ciproflaxin antibiotics which I work with when they make me sleepy. After 8 days, I finally feel good this afternoon and tonight. I haven’t done first part of diet perfectly after 3rd day but drank aloe juice am’s instinctively and yesterday began yogarts which made sense. I’m happy but deciding to reduce stress and increase exercise to daily 10,000 steps or swim. If I have weight back down (200 lb) under control I know it will make a diff. at age 69. Tks for this whole thing!!!! Best I’ve found so far. Thanks for Papaya idea …I’ll try it.

  18. Hi all, I’m 68 and had my first diverticulitis attack in April. Since then have been cruising the internet intensively. I have to say this is the FIRST site that talks sense! What is weird is that so little is known – in the medical world – about causes and ways of avoiding attacks. Meantime I’ve started daily aloe vera + apple cider vinegar + probiotics, bone broth (kept some frozen and hope this maintains effectiveness) and just bought some bok choy to make kimchi. Looking forward to hearing more about what helps people – there’s nothing like the wisdom of the masses and the kindness of strangers 🙂

      • I began with 1 tablespoon of aloe vera, increasing it to two after a week and no bad reactions, and 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar mixed with a glass of water. Can’t remember where I read these instructions. Anyway, this dosage seems effective.

  19. Also have IBS along with Diverticulosis and have had Diverticulitis. I am hoping that your suggestions will help me. Thanks

    • Same here and doing Keri diet minus the nuts and seeds. Cut out coffee too as it seems to bring on cramping and IBS-D episodes on top of it all. Had colonoscopy last week and the are testing for colitis

      I feel like my gut issues are ruining my life

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