How to Prevent Diverticulitis

How to Prevent Diverticulitis

Each year, diverticulitis hits more and more people. In the most developed countries of Europe and North America, it progresses rapidly. According to statistics, diverticulitis affects almost half population over age 50 and 70 percent of people over 80. Countries that are not affected by diverticulitis are countries of South Asia and Africa. For that reason, medical experts believe that there is a link between modern or western lifestyle and the growth of population suffering from diverticulitis. Namely, the linen of our intestines weakens with aging. Medical experts think that this weakening may form pouches on colon thus developing the condition known as diverticulosis. Diverticulosis is not harmful and it usually exists without any symptoms. People who have diverticulosis do not necessarily develop diverticulitis. Namely, only half of people with diverticulosis develop diverticulitis. And, medical experts are not quite sure why. Unlikely diverticulosis, diverticulitis is a painful and potentially dangerous condition. It requires immediate action. But, many cases of diverticulitis might be prevented. Even though medical experts are not sure what causes this condition, there is much room for prevention. The number one factor that may prevent diverticulitis is diet. Many studies have confirmed the link between disease and lack of fiber. Therefore, a diet rich in soluble and insoluble fiber may help. To find out more about how to prevent diverticulitis, the article “How to Prevent Diverticulitis Naturally” gives us an interesting explanation.

How to Prevent Diverticulitis

While inflammation is well-accepted in the model of acute diverticulitis, more and more research points to the involvement of chronic low grade inflammation in the development of symptomatic diverticulosis. In fact, of 930 patients undergoing surgery for symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease (SUDD), approximately 75% of them had evidence of chronic inflammation in and around the diverticula.[9] It is for this reason that drugs used for treating inflammatory bowel disease like mesalamine are being used to treat diverticular disease with good results as well (but hang tight, we’ll talk about natural ways to prevent diverticulitis, of course!). This is also why chronic use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen have been shown to increase the risk of diverticular complications [10,11], since they are known to increase intestinal inflammation. [12,13]

Fecal calprotectin can be measured to identify intestinal inflammation, and is high in those with symptomatic diverticular disease compared to those with functional digestive disorders like IBS and those with asymptomatic diverticular disease. [14] If you’re wondering whether you may have intestinal inflammation, it’s a great thing to get tested (and you can order a stool test from a specialty lab like Genova Diagnostics which will measure it). It is clear that chronic inflammation is involved in the development of diverticular disease, and that those who wish to prevent attacks should take steps to reduce intestinal inflammation.

As we have seen, it is not that hard to prevent diverticulitis. We may make the action plan and follow step-by-step to decrease the risk of this uncomfortable disease. Diet rich in fiber, probiotics, and prebiotics, together with proper hydration and regular exercising may significantly improve our gut flora and soothe inflammation processes. And, to minimize stress, we may reflect on our lifestyle and change what it is necessary. Doing yoga, practicing meditation, and spend more time in nature help us release stress, that in return decreases inflammation and prevent diverticulitis.

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