Diverticulosis can remain undetected for many years, but when a pouch (diverticulum) becomes infected, it quickly becomes your number one health priority!
Although you may experience episodes of diarrhea during a diverticulitis flare-up, most people with diverticulosis tend toward constipation. As the disease advances, you can also experience alternating episodes of diarrhea and constipation.
Find out the best way to eat during a diverticulitis flare-up; to both flush out any stuck particles and avoid an obstruction. Also learn the number one colonic massage technique to break up any blockages, and much more...
It is thought that mechanical blockage of a diverticulum, possibly by a piece of feces or food particles, leads to infection of the diverticulum. Symptoms of mild diverticulitis may be confused with overlapping symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. (Review article: management of diverticulitis Aliment Pharmacol Ther 26 Suppl 2, 67–76 2007 M. M. SZOJDA, et al)
What Can Help?
Long-term healing of diverticulitis involves a 4-step process:
- Healing inflammation and eliminating infection
- Restoring a beneficial gut flora (good bacteria and reduction/elimination of bad bacteria, fungi, yeast, etc.)
- Restoring intestinal tissue (tone, structure) and mucosal lining
- Normalizing digestion, absorption (throughout the gastrointestinal tract) and defecation
Detailed instructions, explanations and dosages for each of these healing protocols are contained in the book, Listen To Your Gut. For now, let's look at a short-term strategy you can implement right away to bring relief and start you on your pathway to healing.
Resting & Flushing The Colon
For the best treatment and management of diverticular disease, your diet should vary according to your symptoms. During good/calm times, it's best to eat a diet that promotes easy digestion and absorption and tonifies the intestinal wall – for more info on this, be sure and sign up for our complimentary report. But during a flare-up (diverticulitis), it's best to consume a liquid diet to provide a form of bowel rest and flushing of the colon, to prevent a blockage or obstruction from occurring. It is also easiest to heal infection or inflammation whilst on a liquid (but highly nutritious) diet.
Eating During A Diverticulitis Flare
When you are in a diverticulitis flare (the diverticula – pouches – are inflamed or infected) it's ideal if you can immediately consume liquid nutrients only. By ingesting only liquids, you give your body the best chance to flush out the food particles that are stuck in the diverticulae and you also avoid causing an intestinal obstruction through the build-up of stuck food.
There are three forms of liquid nutrition that work very well during diverticulitis:
- Raw vegetable juicing – juice primarily vegetables, with only enough fruit added to make them palatable (or sweeten with stevia instead).
- Raw (unpasteurized) cow or goat milk – from pasture-fed animals only (not barn-raised and grain-fed).
- Absorb Plus elemental shakes
Each of these liquid nutrient sources are best when combined with homemade bone broths (Chicken and Beef Broth). You can derive your nutrients from only one of these sources, or you can mix and match and combine them together.
If you consume raw vegetable juices, buy organic or 'no spray' produce and juice fresh every day (or freeze portions to consume later). Make sure you consume enough juice to provide you with adequate energy each day. Or, combine raw juicing with raw milk or Absorb Plus to add the protein and good fats needed for energy.
You can find a raw milk supplier in your area by going to: www.RealMilk.com - just make sure the animals are pasture-fed only and the farmer tests regularly for pathogens.
Absorb Plus Elemental Nutrition for Diverticulitis
Absorb Plus is probably the easiest way to consume excellent nutrition during a flare. Since it was specifically formulated for people with all forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), it contains many substances targeted to calm inflammation and promote mucosal healing of the intestines, like:
- 1000 mg of L-Glutamine per serving - primary substance used to rebuild the intestinal mucosal cell lining and used for muscle repair and growth
- L-Serine - needed for proper metabolism of fats and fatty acids, aids in production of immunoglobulins and antibodies
- L-Threonine - helps maintain protein balance in the body, aids formation of collagen and elastin
- L-Cystine - aids in skin formation, helps heal burns and wounds, assists in the supply of insulin to the pancreas
- L-Aspartic Acid - increases stamina, protects the liver, aids cell function and RNA/DNA formation
- L-Proline - used in healing cartilage, strengthens joints, tendons and the heart muscle
- L-Tyrosine - aids function of pituitary, adrenal and thyroid glands.
The ion-exchange whey protein in Absorb Plus also creates sustained increases in glutathione (a key antioxidant and antiviral), which creates resistance to a variety of diseases and carcinogens. Other components of whey protein isolate provide the following beneficial actions in the body:
- Alpha-lactalbumin consumption enhances tryptophan and immune function and reduces the stress hormone cortisol
- Tryptophan is used by the brain to manufacture serotonin. This is important because serotonin deficiency plays a role in the development of depression, anxiety, moodiness and insomnia
- Glycomacropeptides stimulate the hormone cholecystokinin, which is responsible for the release of pancreatic enzymes and the healthy contraction of the gallbladder and bowels
- Lactoferrin is an antioxidant that is also a powerful antiviral and antibacterial agent shown to inhibit the growth of E.coli, salmonella and candida in the gut. It also helps ensure the optimal use of iron in the body by binding to iron and preventing oxidation.
Whey protein is also an alkaline food, so it's ideal for counteracting the usually hyper-acidic body pH levels of people with gastro-intestinal problems. If you have heartburn, don't be surprised if it lessens or disappears after using Absorb Plus regularly - especially if you consume 3 or more servings per day.
Since Absorb Plus is 100% natural, most of the vitamins, minerals and trace minerals are natural-source extractions, the whey protein is lactose-free and cold-extracted – so the protein is not denatured, the amino acids are specifically targeted for gut inflammation and the flavors are 100% natural – I think I can safely say that it is the highest quality elemental nutrition shake on the market.
If you've read the story of Absorb Plus, you'll know that I originally formulated Absorb Plus to heal myself of intestinal hemorrhaging. Although I'm healthy now, I continue to use it whenever I'm too tired to cook or I simply don't have time. Many of my readers use it for breakfast every morning, since it's a great way to give themselves a healthy start to the day.
How Much Should I Take?
If you're using Absorb Plus during a flare – or whenever you're under stress, or likely to develop a diverticulitis flare – you should drink the number of shakes you require for your specific caloric needs each day.
Each Absorb Plus shake (blended with 1 tablespoon of cold-pressed flax or Udo's oil) equals roughly 480 calories. Normal people usually require 15 calories per pound of body weight. So if you weigh 100 pounds, you need 1500 calories per day to maintain that weight. So you would consume three Absorb Plus shakes per day.
If you want to use this time to drop a few pounds, then you simply figure out how many calories you need to consume to maintain a weight that is 20 pounds less than your current weight – and consume the number of shakes needed to maintain that weight.
If you are malnourished or underweight, you can use this period of liquid nutrition to gain some muscle (healthy weight). In that case, you would take your ideal weight and multiply it by 20. So if you want to weigh 170 pounds, you need to consume 3400 calories per day; which is seven Absorb Plus shakes per day. If your infection is severe, or if you want to gain weight quickly, add another two shakes per day (so you would consume nine shakes per day).
How Long Should I Use Absorb Plus?
Ideally, it's best to consume only liquid nutrition for entire duration of your flare-up. For some people, this means three days, for others, it means a few weeks. Since your diverticulitis flare-ups will depend on the severity of your disease, your environment (is it healing, or stressful?), other healing strategies or substances you are using, and your foundational level of health – your healing may be a lot faster, or a lot slower than someone else's.
So, it's best to listen to your own body and stay on Absorb Plus shakes for as long as your infection is acute and you are at risk of a blockage. It's also best to alternate your Absorb Plus shakes with bone broths (see Chicken Broth recipe at the end of this report) since the gelatin in the broth is very healing for the gut and the savoury soup provides needed taste variety.
When you're ready to introduce solid foods again, start with pureed foods and soups to gradually ease yourself back into solid foods. You may want to stay on a mix of Absorb Plus shakes and soft foods for an additional week or two, just to be sure you are well over the flare and give your body the best time/space for healing.
For more strategies on how to manage and heal your diverticulitis, sign up for our complimentary report, DIVERTICULITIS RELIEF by Jini Patel Thompson: