Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis
Diverticulosis is a condition that causes small sacs or pouch-like protrusions to form in the colon. Common after age sixty, it has many complications, including bright red rectal bleeding with clots, constipation, and hard, dry stools.
Diverticulitis is a more serious complication in which pouches become inflamed or infected. Symptoms of diverticulitis include pain in the left lower abdomen, fever, and a sudden change in bowel habits. If you have any of these symptoms, see your physician immediately.
Treatment of diverticulitis typically includes antibiotics, a special diet, and surgery. This chronic condition impairs absorption of nutrients by the intestine, causing malnutrition. For this reason, it's important to consume plenty of nutrients.
Diverticulosis and diverticulitis can be prevented and managed by increasing your consumption of dietary fiber in fresh juices made with vegetables, fruits, and sprouts, as well as psyllium, oat brain, and acidophilus. Avoid stimulant laxatives and irritating foods, including dairy products, spicy foods, sugar, processed foods, red meat, and fried foods. In particular, stay away from nuts and seeds, which can become trapped in the natural folds of the colon and cause inflammation.
Fruits and vegetables rich in beta-carotene, including watercress, spinach, mangos, cantaloupe, apricots, and beet greens, can help heal the mucous membranes lining the intestines. Parsley juice, which is loaded with beta-carotene, is particularly healing.
A lack of vitamin K, found in asparagus, green beans, cruciferous veggies, and spinach, may increase the incidence of intestinal disorders. Pear and apple juice, which are both high in soluble fibers called pectins, also help improve elimination.