Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Holistic Treatments for Diverticulitis

Holistic Treatments for Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is the result of inflammation of diverticula, or small pouches that develop along the digestive tract. The conventional medical approach includes following a mostly liquid diet and a course of antibiotics. If symptoms do not resolve, the next step is surgical intervention. The holistic approach is less invasive. It also requires following a special diet and using certain medicinal herbs. Patients should always consult a health care practitioner before trying herbal remedies, especially if they are taking prescription medications.

Dietary Changes

The first step in holistic treatment typically includes dietary modifications. Lack of fiber in the diet can cause chronic constipation and accumulation of excess waste in the colon. Many holistic health practitioners will recommend a brief period of cleansing to remove built-up waste in the digestive tract. A short, two- to three-day, liquid-only diet of water, fresh fruit and vegetable juices, herbal teas and vegetable broths helps to flush out the large intestine.

After the cleansing period, patients eat a high-fiber diet based on whole grains, such as brown rice, oatmeal, whole-grain pasta, cereals and breads. Vegetables should be cooked to make them easier to digest. Avoid raw fruits and vegetables, which can irritate the digestive system. Also, avoid nuts and seeds, which can inflame the diverticula. Experts from the University of Maryland Medical Center recommend 25 to 35 g of fiber per day.

Herbal Supplements

Among the treatment options for diverticular disease listed by the University of Maryland are two herbal supplements, flaxseed and slippery elm. Flaxseed is used to treat diverticulosis and chronic constipation. It is high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, which help to reduce inflammation in the body. Slippery elm is a demulcent herb, meaning it soothes inflamed tissue and promotes healing. According to the Clayton College of Natural Health herb guide, it also helps to absorb gas and relieve cramping. It is used by herbalists to treat a variety of digestive disorders, including colitis and chronic conditions of the colon. Although herbs have been used for centuries in natural and folk medicine, many have not yet received FDA approval, and patients should always check with a doctor before trying herbs for medicinal purposes.

Daily Exercise

In addition to dietary changes, experts from both the University of Maryland and the Mayo Clinic recommend daily exercise to treat and prevent diverticulitis. The goal should be at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each day. This can include jogging, biking, swimming, aerobics or even a brisk walk. Exercise helps to stimulate digestion and prevent constipation. It is also important to drink plenty of water, especially after a vigorous workout, to replenish lost fluids. As a general rule of thumb, people should drink half their body weight in ounces of water each day. For example, a 160-lb. individual would need approximately 80 oz. of water.

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