❑ The key to controlling this disorder is to consume an adequate amount of fiber and lots of quality water. You need at least 30 grams of fiber each day. You may prefer to supplement your diet with a bulk product and/or a stool softener that contains methylcellulose or psyllium, since these do not promote as much gas formation in the colon as other sources of fiber, especially wheat bran. Diverticulitis Recommendations. Drink at least ten 8-ounce glasses of water daily. Herbal teas, broth, and live juices can account for some of the liquid needed. Liquid aids in keeping the pouchlike areas clean of toxic wastes, preventing inflammation.
❑ Eat a low-carbohydrate diet with high levels of protein from vegetable sources and fish. Do not eat grains, seeds, or nuts, except for well-cooked brown rice. These foods are hard to digest, resulting in bloating and gas. Also eliminate dairy products, red meat, sugar products, fried foods, spices, and processed foods. Make sure to get adequate calcium and vitamin D if you are eliminating dairy.
❑ Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables. These are good sources of vitamin K. Obtaining this vitamin through diet is especially important for people with intestinal disorders.
❑ Eat garlic for its healing and detoxifying properties.
❑ Diverticulitis Recommendations: During an acute attack of diverticulitis, your health care provider may recommend a temporary low-fiber diet. Once the inflammation clears, you may slowly switch back to a high-fiber diet.
❑ When an attack or pain begins, give yourself a cleansing enema using 2 quarts of lukewarm water and the juice of a fresh lemon. This helps to rid the colon of undigested and entrapped foods and to relieve pain. Make sure to first get the approval of your health care professional or your child’s pediatrician.
❑ On the day of an acute attack, take 4 charcoal tablets or capsules with a large glass of water to absorb trapped gas. Charcoal tablets are available at health food stores. Always take charcoal separately from medications and other supplements, and do not take it for prolonged periods, as it absorbs beneficial nutrients as well as gas.
❑ During severe attacks, use liquid vitamin supplements for better assimilation and put all vegetables and fruits through a blender. Eat steamed vegetables only. Diverticulitis Recommendations. Baby foods are good until healing is complete. Earth’s Best produces organically grown baby foods that are available in health food stores and some supermarkets. Add supplemental fiber to the baby food. As healing progresses, gradually add raw fruits and vegetables to the diet. Drink carrot juice, cabbage juice, and “green drinks.” Or take chlorophyll liquid or liquid alfalfa in juice.
❑ To relieve pain, massage the left side of the abdomen. Stand up and do stretching exercises.
❑ Clay tablets are beneficial. Take them as directed on the product label, on an empty stomach, when you get up in the morning.
❑ Check stools daily for blood. If the stool is black, take a portion of it to your physician for an analysis.
❑ Try to have a bowel movement at the same time each day. Take fiber first thing in the morning, before breakfast, to help the bowels move at this time.
Note: Always take supplemental fiber separately from other supplements and medications.
❑ Do not overuse laxatives; they can irritate the colon wall.
❑ Food allergies are often a cause of intestinal disorders. Allergy testing is advised.
❑ One study of 47,000 males on high-fiber diets including hard, fibrous foods such as nuts, popcorn, and corn, did not show an increase in the risk of developing diverticulosis or diverticular complications.
❑ If the diverticula are infected, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Be sure to consume plenty of soured products and some form of nondairy acidophilus if you are taking antibiotics.
❑ Fasting is beneficial.