Monday, October 03, 2022

ADVERTISING: Advertorial — Diverticulitis or diverticulosis?

by HOLLY CARLING/Vital Health
| November 24, 2021 1:00 AM

Diverticulosis is a disease that frequently shows up in colonoscopies, and diverticulitis frequently shows up in the emergency room. It seems that most people report having it, but don’t know which. Diverticula found in the colon is caused by weakening of the intestinal wall, causing a little pouch, generally about the size of a marble to push out. This is not necessarily a problem but is an indication of weakening bowel tissues (more on that later). The problem arises when it either tears or becomes infected, either of which would likely result in inflammation. It may also be associated with significant abdominal pain, fever, nausea and constipation (or occasionally diarrhea). This can be very painful and alarming, and if ignored, could result in a rupture causing peritonitis — a serious medical emergency.

The question we should be asking is WHY? Why is the intestinal wall weak? Why does it tear? What causes it to flare?

First the weakness. There are several reasons why the intestinal wall can be weak. The majority of diverticuli is found in the descending colon — the end (not very end) of the colon before fecal material passes. Constipation with its associated bearing-down pressure is one cause. That can be associated with inadequate fiber intake, inadequate water intake to keep the fiber contents moving, and inadequate fat resulting in insufficient amount of bile to move things along (or a missing gallbladder resulting in insufficient bile).

The concurrent problem is a weakening of the tissue itself. Loss of tissue integrity due to inadequate protein, mineral and/or fat in the diet should also be considered. As the body does its daily maintenance and repair of tissues, if there isn’t enough raw materials for the body to use to repair the tissue — well, you can’t make something from nothing! The definition of degeneration is when your tissues are breaking down faster than they are rebuilding. Diverticulosis is an indication of a degenerative process.

What causes it to flare, depends on whether it is a tear or not. Straining or sticky gut contents due to inadequate fiber can contribute to tearing in a weakened tissue state. The most likely issue will be infection. Problematic foods can settle in the little pouches and if they hang out there too long, they can start to decompose and cause an infection. Tiny seeds like on the walls of strawberries, or greens like lettuce can irritate the diverticuli, also causing inflammation. Foods generally recommended to avoid if you have diverticulitis don’t usually cause the disease, rather aggravate it, spring-boarding it from diverticulosis to diverticulitis.

Using acupuncture to correct digestion from the top level (stomach), down, is the best approach I have found. Because acupuncture also reduces pain, swelling and inflammation, it is a great choice. Acupuncture also supports immune function to help minimize infection. However, if you are in serious pain, you need to go to the emergency room first, then we can use acupuncture, nutrition and herbal medicine to correct the problem.

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Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with over four decades of experience. Carling is a “Health Detective.” She looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place.

Carling is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d’Alene clinic. Visit Carling’s website at to learn more about Carling, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles.

Carling can be reached at 208-765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.

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