Written by: Steve Grierson
It has been said by more than a few scientific researchers (aka the experts) that everyone who lives past the age of 80-90 will most likely experience the painful stab of Diverticulitis symptoms; every single last one of us (even Eddie van Halen or Brock Lesnar (former MMA Superstar)), how about them apples? I bet that before you read that jarring piece of information you probably didn’t feel this problem was that big, well, sorry to say, but, it is that big.
And it’s not getting any better, sorry to be the bearer of this bad news but you have to know the real truth about this gut-wrenching (literally!) disease, so that you are able to make the necessary changes in your life. (Now, having said all of this, statistics are just that, statistics, and we don’t have to succumb to the attitude that contracting this disease is inevitable, heck no.)
However, with the average life span quickly skyrocketing in our modern industrialized nations, with the awful diets that we eat (processed foods and preservatives mainly), with all the nasty chemicals in our environment, with all the stress we carry around, and with all the sedentary jobs that we work, the odds that we will at some point get a disease like Diverticulitis are just realistically…pretty dang high.
To better illustrate the problem and it’s growing grip on our population let’s have a look at some numbers.
Studies have shown that between 1920 and 1960, Diverticulitis cases increased approximately 500%, and the last big study conducted on diverticulitis found that from 1996 to 2006 in the United Kingdom the number of diverticulitis cases DOUBLED – a 200% increase.
So, what’s the deal here? What’s really going on?
Well, the answer is staring us right in the face, it’s really quite simple — something has radically changed with food and drink that we’re putting into our bodies! Don’t believe me? The first huge increase of diverticulitis symptoms was noted right after the introduction of processed foods. Coincidence? Maybe, but it’s interesting to note.
The FDA isn’t saying much regarding these types of gigantic spikes in illness (imagine that), but the numbers just don’t lie.
The changes in our diets are just the beginning though, that’s not the half of it, there have been large increases of pesticide use, dramatic increases in stress levels, and significant decreases in physical activity levels across the board. All of these factors are creating this Diverticulitis explosion and the explosion in many other chronic digestive disorders.
Do any of the following conditions ring a bell — IBS, GERD, Acid Reflux, Ulcers, and so on and so forth? They probably do, chances are you know someone who is suffering right now.
But, this is not the natural state of the world, at least it’s not how the world was prior to around 1900. How can we protect ourselves? Read on.
Diverticulitis is a disease of the large intestine (colon) in which protruding pouches (Diverticula) become inflamed and infected, it is extremely painful and debilitating.
Why do these pouches form in the first place? Well the medical community has a simple answer — too much pressure inside of the colon eventually pushes the folds of our colon outward.
Why would the pressure be too high inside of our colons? The answer that’s usually given is that there isn’t enough fiber to “keep things moving”, so to speak. And, this answer isn’t wrong, but there’s more to the story, add on huge increases amounts of stress, crazy chemicals in our water, use of hordes of unpronounceable pesticides, lack of real minerals in our Franken-crops, and so on.
(As a quick aside, if a person has Diverticula which are not infected then they have Diverticulosis, which is simply the formation of these pouches in our large intestine without the infection; it’s estimated that pretty much all of us have this condition…as least if you live in the industrialized world.)
Ok, so how do you know if you’re suffering from Diverticulitis? Unfortunately the only sure fire method is to go in and have a CT (computed tomography) scan. However, there are a few common symptoms which can alert us to this condition’s presence, the first of which, is pain, sharp pain in the lower abdomen. It’s kind of like having the worst stomach ache in the world.
In addition to this sharp pain, there is often a fever and an elevation in the white blood cell count (Leukocytosis). Furthermore, the afflicted may suffer from nausea and vomiting, and perhaps persistent diarrhea, if not diarrhea then constipation, either way it’s no picnic. This is a serious infection, folks.
And, with any infection, if left untreated it can be fatal. If the colon bursts and the infection gets into the rest of the body (Peritonitus) then death is right around the corner, not a pretty thing to think about.
Quick list of common Diverticulitis symptoms:
- Pain that’s often sudden, severe and located in the lower left side of the abdomen
- Less commonly, abdominal pain that may be mild at first and become worse over several days, possibly fluctuating in intensity
- Change in bowel habits
- Abdominal tenderness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bleeding from your rectum (less common)
If left untreated, Diverticulitis can lead to a number of very serious complications, especially if a portion of the colon wall becomes torn or perforated. If (when) that happens, waste matter leaks from the intestine right into the abdominal cavity. This leads to serious health problems like:
- Abscesses – Infections in the abdomen that become “walled off”
- Peritonitis – An infection of the abdominal cavity that is very painful
- Obstructions – Blockages in the intestine
- Fistulas – A connection between two organs or between an organ and the skin
When an abscess develops, it is often necessary to stick a needle into the area and drain the fluid. Sometimes surgery is necessary to cleanse the abscess and remove the infected portion of the colon. If peritonitis develops, surgery will be needed to clean out the cavity and remove the damaged colon. If left untreated, peritonitis is fatal.
The infection resulting from Diverticulitis can also cause scarring, which can cause part or the entire colon to become obstructed. If the scarring creates only partial obstruction, emergency surgery is not usually needed. However, if the colon becomes completely blocked, emergency surgery is necessary.
The most common form of fistula to develop is a connection between the bladder and the colon. In this case, surgery will also be necessary in order to remove the fistula from the colon.
Treatment for Diverticulitis
Okay now for the good news. Fortunately, there are a couple treatments for this condition, both when having an attack and as preventative measures (hooray).
Treatment for a Diverticulitis attack
Let’s first discuss the treatment of someone who is having a diverticulitis attack and ends up in the ER, they will go through the following: stoppage of all food intake, administration of a fluid IV, and treatment with broad spectrum antibiotics. Oh yes, there’s no messing around when it gets to this stage.
This may be enough to stave off the infection, however, this person is not out of the woods yet as they may require surgery; diverticulitis is often recurring (unless treated properly). It’s like the gift that keeps on giving.
Now, after they send this unfortunate person home to recover they will go on what’s called a low residue diet, which is a fancy name for a low fiber diet. This measure is taken so that colon may heal, the process usually takes a few weeks, and isn’t so bad really.
After all of this has taken place, the doctor will place the person on a high fiber diet to ward off any future diverticulitis attacks (by decreasing colon pressure).The efficacy of this high fiber diet, as well as the right types of fiber to consume, are still being argued over. Be sure you don’t start a high fiber diet until you make sure you can do so safely. You don’t want to make matters worse!
Preventative measures – how to eliminate Diverticulitis symptoms permanently before you have an attack
And this leads us to preventative measures (what we all should be doing right now). In order to prevent the formation of these pouches and their inflammation it’s best that we eat a diet that eliminates the causes of Diverticulitis and Diverticulosis completely. What kind of diet is this? Well some people say it’s a high fiber diet, but shoveling tons of fiber down your throat only helps your body push out the mess you’ve created in your colon, it doesn’t actually eliminate the problem.
It’s a lot like using Drano to clean out the kitchen sink – sure the drain will work again, but only until the next time you dump a load of food down it. Then it’s stopped up again and you’re stuck in a cycle of stopping up the drain and flushing it out, stopping it up and flushing it out. After a while you’d probably end up asking yourself “Wouldn’t it be easier to NOT stop up the drain?”
You can do that by simply following a diet that doesn’t create that mess in your stomach or colon. What kind of diet is that? A bland, no-frills, no taste diet full of restrictions and constant label checking? Or maybe a diet that restricts certain types of nutrients altogether, like the Atkins diet?
No and no! The word diet doesn’t always mean bland tasteless foods or insane restrictions; sometimes it just means watching what you eat and WHEN you eat it. Sound crazy? Maybe at first, but I want to introduce you to a new diet – a diet that doesn’t tell what to eat or how much to eat, simply WHEN to eat. Don’t believe me? Then try me…
The simple truth is this – it’s not necessary to avoid your favorite foods, but it is very important to eat them in the right combinations, or at the right times. If you can do that, you have a real shot at living to a ripe old age with absolutely no colon troubles or diverticulitis problems whatsoever.
Aren’t a few small changes in your life worth that peace of mind?
scroll down and read a few of the testimonials from
FORMER diverticulitis sufferers cured after using the GTNP diet
Would like to thank you once again for your Great Taste No Pain book that helped me so much after having several bad attacks of Diverticulitis. Changing my way of eating was certainly not bad at all after having the last few attacks and now the new way of eating just comes naturally. I had lost 32 lbs.(which was good but not the way I had to do it) because of not being able to eat much of anything like the Doctor had advised and most other foods, as well.
Have held my same weight since that time, too. That is when I found you on your website and have not had an attack since that time which was approximately 3 yrs. ago.
Just want to say a very big thank you to you and your research team for giving me my life back!
I have just had my first bout of Diverticulitis which was confirmed with a colonoscopy. I was hoping for some information from my doctor on how to prevent another bout. She did not have anything to tell me except eat more fiber and that I may never have another bout again. I had already been doing this as the information they gave me after the colonoscopy said the same thing. I still felt terrible; my clothes did not fit comfortably at the waist because I was so bloated. I was lethargic everything was a big effort to do, I had headaches and I could not stay awake, if I sat down I was asleep until I went to bed then I tossed and turned all night and in the morning I felt like I had not had a wink of sleep.
In desperation I turned to the internet to see if anyone else could help, I have never been a big fan of doctors and usually turn to alternative remedies once I know what the problem is, so when I found your website I was very pleased. I tried your Great Taste No Pain Plan. I am always a bit skeptical about buying on the web, and it did sound a bit too good to be true.
I started the plan and followed it exactly, the first day I was amazed to find that when I eat my breakfast I did not feel like I had a rock in my stomach which is how I usually feel. With each meal I did not feel bloated and I had no pain, my burping was much less as was wind the other way, I usually fall asleep when watching TV about 8.30 – 9pm and miss my favorite programs this did not happen on the first day of the plan.
The second day I woke up naturally at about 6.30am feeling refreshed and energized and again had no pain after eating, I had also lost half an inch round my waist because I was not so bloated now, again I did not fall asleep in the evening.
The third day I felt like my old self, the one I had not felt like for what seemed like years, when I got on the scales I had lost 1 kg in weight and another half an inch round my waist, the headaches have gone.
It’s such a simple system and I can still eat the things I like as long as I am careful what I eat them with, when I read the reasoning behind the plan it made perfect sense. I look forward to a happy life free of digestive problems and when I see my doctor again I will certainly let her know the benefits of this plan.
I didn’t realize how bad I felt until I felt better.
Thanks once again Sherry
I just want to thank you so much for helping me, I have just been diagnosed with diverticulitis and was in incredible pain, antibiotics cured the inflammation but I had no idea how to stop another one occurring, the only advice I was given was to eat more fiber, which I did but the aftermath of the colonoscopy was not getting any better in fact it seemed to be getting worse.
In desperation I turned to the internet to do some research and thank god I found your website, I tried your Great Taste Plan and right from the first day things became easier, by the end of the 4 days I had lost 1kg in weight and an 1 inch on my waist because I am no longer bloated and when I eat it doesn’t feel like I have a rock in my stomach, I burp very little now, I have stopped falling asleep at 9pm and sleep most of the night and I wake up naturally at 6am feeling refreshed.
I thought I was eating quite healthily before but now I can still eat the things I like as long as I am careful what I eat with them it’s so simple I feel like a different person, I have so much more energy.
Thank you so much for your hard work and for sharing it with others I will always be grateful.
I just wanted to drop a note and say thanks again, after diverticulitis in November 08 and your great system – I’ve lost 75 lbs. from 224# to 149# and holding – more energy and ran my first 5K ever on 3-13-11 at 47 years old.
Two years ago I was having digestive problems, acid reflux, bloating, etc. plus a sore throat for over 2 months. I was referred to an ENT specialist and put on one of the most popular acid reducing drugs.
Two months later I was experiencing severe abdominal cramping several days, and then began running a fever. After CT scan was diagnosed with diverticulitis, and later was told that I did have a small perforation. 6 weeks of two very strong antibiotics that made my muscles ache brought the infection to a halt, and then my doctor referred me to a surgeon who recommended colon resection surgery to remove 8-12 inches of my colon.
After researching this surgery, and knowing it was irreversible, involved a 10 day stay in the hospital and possible life altering changes. I decided to try and find and alternate way of healing my colon. Looking online I found your program Great Taste No Pain and have been on it ever since. To this date I have had no surgery, and no more episodes of diverticulitis. I take Super Shield and also you Fish Oil every day as well.
Thank you Sherry for your dedication to our health.
On your Great Taste No Pain plan I have had no pain and can’t believe the difference. Last year I was diagnosed with diverticulitis and a hiatus hernia. All my Doctor every say is to eat very small meals often and stay off spicy foods.
My husband and I have always eaten well. We never eat rubbish or takeaways but I have had a lot of pain and always feel nausea most of the time. I have not been on medication for diverticulitis and hernia but have been taking Losec for reflux for quite some time. I am now going to start and cut down the Losec and gradually wean myself of it. We will see what happens.
Thanks for everything and keep up the good work – I am looking forward to working my way through your recipe book.
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