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Some people follow specific eating patterns to help ease the diverticulitis symptoms, while others use home remedies, such as a low fiber diet, for self-care.
Diverticulitis is an inflammatory condition of the digestive tract. Small pouches called diverticula can form in the large intestine. This condition is diverticulosis. If these pouches become inflamed or infected, the condition becomes known as diverticulitis.
Diverticulitis can be painful and may lead to complications. A person who has the condition will often find that certain foods aggravate their symptoms.
This article looks at seven potential home remedies for diverticulitis, as well as some complications of the condition and when to see a doctor.
- water, coffee, and tea without milk
- strained fruit juices with no pulp, such as white grape or apple juice
- soft drinks or sports drinks
- chicken or beef broth
- ice popsicles with no fruit pulp or pieces
- Jell-O without fruit
It is advised that people should only follow a liquid diet for as long as a doctor recommends. This is to ensure that they do not miss out on essential nutrients.
As the symptoms ease, a doctor will recommend gradually reintroducing solid foods to the diet.
Adopting a low fiber eating plan can also help ease diverticulitis symptoms.
Some low fiber foods include:
- cooked or canned fruits without seeds or skins
- well-cooked vegetables without seeds or skins
- dairy products
- white bread
- white pasta
- white rice
- well-cooked or ground meat
- low fiber cereals
Symptoms will usually improve within around 2–4 days, after which point a person can try gradually adding small amounts of fiber again.
After recovering from a bout of diverticulitis, it may be good for most individuals to increase fiber intake to soften stools and reduce the risk of future flares.
Some food sources of vitamin D include:
- fatty fish, such as tuna, salmon, and mackerel
- beef liver
- some mushrooms, including those grown under UV light
- fortified foods, such as breakfast cereals, plant milks, and margarine
Most people get some of their daily vitamin D allowance through sun exposure. UV light converts compounds in the skin into vitamin D.
The liver and fat cells also store vitamin D for later use when light levels are lower.
Although sunlight helps the body create vitamin D, it is important that people still protect themselves from sun damage by using sunscreen and avoiding UV radiation from tanning beds.
A person can also take vitamin D as a supplement to increase their levels. This may help when light levels are low during the winter months. It may also help people who do not eat many vitamin D-rich foods.
Vitamin D supplements come in two forms: D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D2 may be less potent than D3 at higher doses, according to the
Some people get relief from painful stomach cramps by applying heat. Different types of heat pads that people can try include:
- electric heat pads
- microwaveable heat pads
- hot water bottles
To prevent burns, it is recommended that people set electric devices to a low setting and cover hot water bottles with a towel.
Probiotics contain beneficial species of gut bacteria. In some cases, they can also help with digestive conditions.
One 2016 research review suggests that probiotics may reduce symptoms and recurrence of diverticular disease. However, there is not yet enough evidence to prove that probiotics are an effective treatment for diverticulitis.
People can try a probiotic supplement or fermented foods that contain probiotics. Some fermented foods include:
When trying probiotics or probiotic foods for the first time, it is a good idea to test them out in small amounts. People tolerate different foods and probiotic strains differently.
Sometimes probiotics can also cause side effects, such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
Staying physically active, such as regularly exercising, releases endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain relievers. This might help alleviate pain due to diverticulitis.
Low to medium impact exercise has anti-inflammatory effects, according to one
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults get at least 2.5 hours of moderate intensity physical activity per week.
- brisk walking, at least 2.5 miles per hour
- water aerobics
- cycling, slower than 10 miles per hour
Exercise can also help prevent constipation.
Herbs and spices that have anti-inflammatory or antimicrobial properties may benefit people with diverticulitis.
However, because there is a lack of research on how these work for people with diverticulitis, it is unclear how effective they are for this condition.
Herbal remedies can interact with medications, so it is important that people check with a medical professional before trying a new product.
Garlic can be helpful as an ingredient in meals, but it is high in fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAPs). FODMAPs are carbohydrates that can cause digestive symptoms in some people. For these people, a pure allicin supplement may be easier to tolerate.
Diverticulitis symptoms can come on suddenly and cause pain. Sometimes the condition can cause serious complications, including:
If a person’s symptoms get worse, it is important that they see a doctor. Sometimes the condition requires emergency treatment at a hospital.
Symptoms that may require medical attention include:
- a fever or high temperature
- blood in the feces or bleeding from the anus
- constant or severe abdominal pain
Home remedies for diverticulitis can help people manage their condition. The treatments they use will depend on what works best for them and whether they are taking medications that could cause interactions.
Diet, physical activity, and exposure to sunlight all play a part in relieving the symptoms associated with diverticulitis.
It is recommended that people with diverticulitis get advice from a doctor before trying any new home remedies. If a person has symptoms of any complications, it is important that they get immediate medical attention.
Shop FOR HOME REMEDIES
People can buy many of the home remedies listed above online: