Diverticulitis is the painful condition of digestive tract, which is characterized by extreme abdominal pain. In this condition, small, bulging pouches are formed along the lining of intestinal wall, which is referred to as diverticulosis. When these sacs get infected or inflamed, it gives rise to painful symptoms, called as diverticulitis. Due to aging, the intestinal walls become weakened. When the hard stool passes through the bowels, it increases pressure inside the colon, resulting in the formation of diverticula. Diverticula may be formed anywhere in the digestive tract, including small intestine, esophagus; however, large intestine or colon is the most common site.
Other than aging, dietary habit is another major contributory factor. Consumption of low-fiber diet increases the risk of developing diverticulitis. Some other risk factors are obesity, lack of exercise and smoking. In diverticulosis, no symptoms or very mild symptoms are experienced. When diverticula get infected by the bacteria, it leads to inflammation, causing the symptoms like pain and tenderness in the lower left side of the abdomen, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, flatulence, bloating, changes in bowel movements like diarrhea or constipation and high fever.
In chronic and severe cases of diverticulitis, there may develop certain complications like formation of fistula, abscesses, perforation, infection and peritonitis. In such cases, hospitalization and surgery may be required. Diverticulitis pain may be misdiagnosed with other intestinal conditions like appendicitis, colon cancer, irritable bowel syndrome etc. Hence, correct diagnosis is necessary to give proper treatment. Mild cases can be healed with oral antibiotics; while, in severe cases, hospitalization is recommended for intravenous antibiotics. In the initial stage, diverticulitis can be treated with natural remedies. You can get relief from diverticulitis pain using the ingredients readily available at home.
Pain Relief for Diverticulitis at Home
The major advantages of home remedies are that they are easy-to-follow and give better results without causing any side-effects. You can try some of the effective home remedies to reduce pain caused by diverticulitis. You may apply heating pad to the abdomen to reduce mild pain and cramps. Also try relaxations techniques like slow, deep breathing or meditation, which can help to relieve mild pain.
Once you feel better, you can bring out certain dietary changes to prevent recurrent attacks. Include high-fiber foods in your daily diet. Cereals and whole-grain breads, brown rice, fresh vegetables and fruits should cover a major portion of your diet. Some of the excellent sources of fiber are fruits like pear, avocado, orange and apple, dried fruits like apricots and prunes, vegetables like beans, peas, Brussel’s sprouts, carrots and potatoes as well as nuts like almonds, peanuts and Brazil nuts.
Barley is the grain that is known for its digestive anti-inflammatory properties. It can be added to vegetable soup or stew. Brown rice is easily digestible and it helps to soothe inflammation and spasms in the colon. Another home remedy is the use of garlic. It helps to prevent infection. It can be added into the salad, soup or stew.
In addition, practice healthy bowel habits, which should be maintained at regular timings. Eat at particular time and drink plenty of fluids to prevent constipation. Also, regular exercising is also very important, as it strengthens the digestive system as well as helps to maintain healthy body weight. Stay away from unhealthy habits like smoking.