Diverticuli are sacs or outpouchings of the colon wall that have been created by back pressure from constipation and straining at stool. Diverticulitis is inflammation of these distended sacs, in which stagnant feces are trapped. Once the diverticuli have formed, there is no know way to shrink them. Their effects can be nullified, however, by improving colon transit time – which means relieving the constipation, consuming a high fibre diet, drinking large amounts of water, and getting regular exercise, such as walking for 20 minutes per day.
If the above steps are not enough to establish regularity within a few days, an herbal laxative may be needed to gently cleanse and stimulate the colon. Once the acute constipation problem has been relieved, the next step is to maintain regularity through diet.
Constipation disturbs intestinal bacteria, so it is a good idea to help normalize these microflora by taking a supplementary probiotic, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus.
For stubborn, long-standing cases of constipation, more needs to happen. Often the colon becomes sluggish because earlier links in the digestive chain are weak. If the stomach does not produce enough hydrochloric acid, then the gall bladder and pancreas do not get the signals they need to secrete enough bile and digestive enzymes. Bile is a natural laxative. Such weaknesses can be corrected by taking a digestive enzyme supplement that contains both betaine hydrochloride and bile. This type of supplementation is essential for anyone who has had a gall bladder removed.
In spite of all of the above measures, there are still some cases that do not respond until the thyroid gland is supported. A sluggish thyroid makes everything else in the body sluggish, including the colon.
See also the chapter, “It Begins with Digestion”, in NUTRITIONAL SOLUTIONS FOR 88 CONDITIONS (available at Amazon.com)
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