Are you in need of diverticulitis home remedies? You may be someday, even if you never expected it. A recent University of Texas study suggests that more than six in 10 of us are at risk of diverticulitis — small pouches that form in the intestinal wall and become inflamed. And while these painful “tummy-aches” used to mainly affect the elderly, they’re now a growing problem for younger women, especially those who are overweight.
What is diverticulitis?
According to the Mayo Clinic, diverticula are small, bulging pouches that can form in the lining of your digestive system. They are found most often in the lower part of the large intestine (colon) and are quite common, especially after age 40. Normally, diverticula do not cause any medical issues, but occasionally one or more of the pouches can become inflamed or infected, a condition is known as diverticulitis (die-vur-tik-yoo-LIE-tis).
Diverticulitis can cause a variety of symptoms, including severe abdominal pain, fever, nausea and a marked change in your bowel habits. While severe or recurring diverticulitis may require surgery, mild diverticulitis can be treated with rest, antibiotics, and/or making changes to your lifestyle. Read on for safe, natural diverticulitis home remedies that can make a big difference in how you feel.
Diverticulitis Home Remedies
Diverticulosis (the condition of having diverticula) can remain undetected for many years, but when a pouch becomes infected, it can cause serious diverticulitis symptoms including abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, constipation, or loose bowel movements and diarrhea. Mild diverticulitis symptoms may be confused with overlapping symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Thankfully, you can avoid diverticulitis — and prevent flare-ups, if you already have it — just by taking a few easy steps.
Calm muscle spasms with aloe vera juice. This nutrient-rich drink improves the function of muscles lining the digestive tract, helping to prevent constipation — a major diverticulitis trigger. Plus, it soothes spasms and cuts cramping in half if your intestines are already inflamed, say UCLA researchers. The study-proven dose: 2 oz. daily (mix it with orange or grape juice if you find aloe bitter).
Tame inflammation with pears and papayas. Both fruits contain enzymes that shut down damaging intestinal inflammation, a key to speeding healing and preventing future flare-ups, say Stanford University doctors. Enjoying a pear or a one-cup serving of papaya daily could send your diverticulitis risk down by as much as 35 percent, their studies show.
Speeding healing with walks. Doing any exercise for roughly 30 minutes daily can cut your risk of diverticulitis 40 percent, say Harvard researchers. When your body is in motion, food moves more quickly and easily through the intestines. Plus, exercise boosts blood flow to the belly, healing damaged tissues.
Upping your fiber with peanuts and popcorn. It’s true. Nuts and popcorn used to be big no-nos for people prone to diverticulitis. But new studies show eating these fiber-rich foods actually improves intestinal function, reducing diverticulitis risk as much as 28 percent, says Lisa L. Strate, M.D., clinical researcher at Seattle’s University of Washington School of Medicine. The study-proven dose: 3 oz. of nuts and three cups of popcorn weekly.
Diverticulitis Natural Cures
Sip marshmallow root tea. The mild-tasting brew is rich in compounds that coat irritated intestinal tissues, says Pamela Taylor, N.D., author of Simple Ways of Healing. Drink three cups daily.
Cook with turmeric and ginger. Both can shut down digestive-tract inflammation within three days, reducing pain and kick-starting healing, say British researchers. Aim for 1/2 tsp. of each daily.