Remedies for diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is a colon disease. It represents the complication of an anatomical defect called diverticulosis, characterized by the formation of several intestinal diverticula.

Diverticula are pockets that form inside the colon. These invaginations (which can also affect other districts of the digestive tract) consist of the recess of the mucosa, of the serosa and sometimes of the muscular habit. The introflection sites are mainly the orifices of passage of the blood vessels.

When diverticula becomes infected / inflamed it is called diverticulitis.

The causes of diverticulosis and diverticulitis are not entirely clear. It is hypothesized that they have a genetic basis emphasized by some behavioral factors (diet and comorbidity).

What to do

  • Prevention: it cannot be adopted for congenital diverticulosis, but it can be effective in the acquired one and in slowing down / preventing the evolution in diverticulitis / diverticular disease (recurrent diverticulitis affecting many diverticula).
  • Recognizing the symptoms: diverticulitis is not an easily recognizable condition. It occurs very frequently in people with irritable bowel syndrome (SCI) and the symptoms of mild diverticulitis can be easily confused:
    • Abdominal discomfort, pain or cramps following a meal.
      • They occur mainly after eating certain foods.
    • Meteorism and flatulence.
    • Diarrhea or constipation.
    • Pain located on the left side.
    • In severe cases:
      • Temperature.
      • More intense pains.
      • Hemorrhagic complications.

NB : Diverticula and diverticulosis are asymptomatic.

  • Contact your doctor or gastroenterologist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment. After an objective examination, they will prescribe analyzes to confirm the suspicion of diverticulitis:
    • Abdominal ultrasound.
    • Computed tomography.
    • Colonoscopy.

NB : Diverticulitis therapy is aimed at reducing the possibility of acute or possibly curing them. However, diverticula cannot be eliminated and remain in the intestine throughout the life of the subject.

  • First of all it is essential to stop smoking, to drink alcohol and to expose yourself to toxic substances (of any kind).
  • It is advisable to treat chewing particularly, to avoid leaving solid pieces indigestible in the colon.
  • The remedies for diverticulitis can be differentiated into:
    • Diet and drug therapy for diverticulosis, prevention of diverticulitis and mild infection.
    • Diet and drug therapy for severe diverticulitis.
    • Surgery for severe diverticulitis and complications (eg diverticular abscess, perforation and peritonitis).

What NOT to do

  • If you are unfamiliar with diverticulosis (congenital or acquired), do not take any preventive measures.
  • Neglect symptoms and do not seek medical attention or gastroenterologist.
  • Follow an incorrect diet.
  • Sedentary lifestyle.
  • Abuse of irritating laxatives.
  • Abuse food / drink or other harmful substances.
  • Do not chew properly.
  • Ignore drug therapy.

What to eat

  • In case of diverticulosis and to prevent diverticulitis, it is advisable to prefer:
    • Foods rich in soluble fiber: vegetables and fruit without peel, hulled legumes, cereals and non-integral pseudocereals, algae.

      NB : A recent study denies the correlation between higher fiber consumption and lower incidence of diverticulitis. Nevertheless, constipation remains the main risk factor in the formation of acquired diverticula.

    • Well-hydrated foods: all fresh ones, possibly raw (especially fruits and vegetables).
    • Foods that are completely chewable or with little solid residue: the entry of organic material into the diverticula may be the reason for bacterial proliferation and infection.
    • Probiotic foods: are those rich in lactobacilli, bifidobacteria and eubacteria, which represent real "reinforcing colonies" for the intestinal bacterial flora. Some examples are: yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, tofu, tempeh, miso, gherkins, sauerkraut.
    • Lean foods: the fat portion of the diet must consist of cold-pressed vegetable oils (for example extra virgin olive oil). Among the meats and fish we recommend: chicken, turkey, veal, pork loin, cod, plaice, sea bass, sea bream etc.
  • In case of severe diverticulitis, it is advisable to prefer:
    • Liquid foods, without any fixed residue.

NB : After surgery, artificial nutrition will follow.

What NOT to Eat

  • In the case of diverticulosis and to prevent diverticulitis, it is advisable to avoid or minimize:
    • Alcohol.
    • Coffee, tea, cocoa, ginseng and energy drinks: all rich in xanthines.
    • Carbonated and / or acid drinks.
    • Non-chewable food or with excessive solid residue: dried fruit (walnuts, almonds, etc.), seeds of sweet fruit (grapes, pomegranate, etc.), totally indigestible vegetable peel (aubergines, tomatoes, etc.).
    • Large portions of milk, especially if not entirely tolerated.
    • Spices and spicy foods: pepper, red pepper, excess of garlic and onion, ginger, horseradish, certain cheeses and cured meats.
    • Excessively fatty foods, especially with poor quality lipids: these are junk foods like snacks, fast food, sweets, etc.

NB : It is not advisable to eliminate fats from the diet because they exert a lubricating effect on the intestine, facilitating evacuation and preventing constipation.

Natural Cures and Remedies

  • Herbalist and supplements:
    • Plants or laxative extracts based on soluble fiber (NOT irritating):
      • Psyllium seeds and extracted fiber.
      • Amorphophallus konjac and glucomannans extracted.
      • Tires: of Guar, of karaya etc.
      • Mucilage: for example agar agar.
    • Probiotic supplements.
    • Supplements of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant molecules: the correlation with diverticulitis is not known, but could contribute to reducing inflammation: omega 3, polyphenolic antioxidants, vitamin antioxidants (A, C, E) and mineral antioxidants (zinc and selenium).

Pharmacological care

  • Prophylactic drug therapy:
    • Non-absorbable antibiotics in the intestine: they act in the colon without entering the circulation.
  • Acute phase drug therapy:
    • Systemic antibiotics:
      • Ciprofloxacin (eg Ciprofloxac, Samper, Ciproxin, Kinox).
      • Metronidazole (eg Metronid, Deflamon, Flagyl).
      • Clindamycin (eg Dalacin-T, Clindamycin BIN, Zindaclin, Dalacin-C).
      • Pharmacological associations such as sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim (eg Bactrim).
    • Probiotics: for example Enterogermina.
    • Non-steroidal analgesics: they are not always recommended because they can induce constipation, delay the onset of symptoms and therapy:
      • Ketorolac (eg Girolac, Rikedol, Benketol, Kevindol).
      • Opioids.

Prevention

  • In the presence of symptoms, seek medical attention for a diagnosis.
  • Follow a balanced diet aimed at prevention (many fibers and probiotics and low fat).
    • If present, prevent and treat constipation.
  • If necessary, observe the prescribed preventive drug therapy.
  • Practicing physical activity.

Medical Treatments

  • Surgery: useful only when diverticulitis does not respond to drug therapy or becomes complicated. It is based on the excision of the affected intestinal area.

Recommended

Levofloxacin
2019
Vitamin loss with food preservation
2019
Peritonsillar abscess
2019