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  • Diverticulitis: trouble brewing in the bowels

    Navel AppraisalDiverticulitis is a condition wherein there is inflammation in the bowel. Doctors frequently tell patients not to eat nuts and other “rough” foods, but this admonition has recently been shown to be of little value.

    Michael Picco, MD, writing for Mayo Clinic, states: “In the past, many doctors recommended that people with diverticulosis avoid seeds and nuts, including foods with small seeds, such as tomatoes, cucumbers and strawberries. It was thought that these tiny particles could lodge in the diverticula and cause inflammation (diverticulitis). But there is no scientific evidence that seeds and nuts cause diverticulitis flares. In fact, eating a high-fiber diet — which may include nuts and seeds — may reduce the risk of diverticular disease.”

    But to cover all the bases, Dr Picco tells people to avoid nuts and seeds if they believe this makes their condition worse. It’s confusing and contradicting advice.

    Study shows nuts and seeds and fiber is okay
    The Journal of the American Medical Association reported in 2008 that men who ate nuts, corn, or popcorn frequently were found to have no greater risk for developing diverticulitis or diverticular bleeding than men who rarely ate the foods.Men who ate nuts at least twice a week had a 20% lower risk of diverticulitis than men who ate nuts less than once a month; men who ate popcorn at least twice a week had a 28% lower risk. No association was seen between diverticulitis and eating corn, and no association with diverticular bleeding was seen with any of the foods. Also, no association was seen between the foods and development of uncomplicated diverticulosis.(webmd.com)

    The problem is a weakened bowel wall structure
    The problem is, essentially, that the bowel wall has become weakened and bulges in one or more places, similar to an inner tube that has weak, bulging portions. These portions may produce cavities that store fecal material.

    Vitamin C and A foods needed
    Nutritionally, the best course is to try to eat the nutrients that support the integrity of the bowel wall. The linings of the bowel wall are bolstered by two primary vitamin groups: A and C. So, foods containing these vitamins are helpful. Whenever there is inflammation, as in the case of diverticulitis, foods that help the body move through the inflammatory process are helpful as well.

    Enemas and Colonics
    Next, there are several pioneers of nutrition (including Bernard Jensen) who advocated a series of colonics and/or enemas to flush out the bowels on a regular basis to keep fecal matter from building up in the aforementioned pockets. Certainly, these enemas help with digestion and to detoxify the body.  It is best to have a coach or professional walk you through this process.

    Improving your diet
    Lastly, the diet should be altered to help take the pressure off the bowels and digestive system. Eliminated from the diet should be all wheat and dairy products and nonfoods such as desserts, candy, cola, processed foods and fast foods. Organic vegetables and fruits are required to bring nutrients and roughage to the bowel wall.

    Recommended supplements
    Recommended supplements (found on the nutritionresearchcenter website) include:
    6 CaroC per day
    4 Inflaplex per day
    1 T SuperGreens per day (blended in juice, water or other liquid)

    photo credit: Orin Zebest
    IMPORTANT NOTICE: Statements are made based on independent food science research and have not been evaluated by the FDA. Information contained herein are for educational purposes only and are not to be used for or in place of proper medical diagnosis and care under a qualified physician. Always check with your physician before using any product for contraindications and proper use.

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