Specific Health Concerns >> Diverticulitis
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In this video, Dr. Huntoon discusses the most common health condition we have in our country...Dysbiosis within the Microbiome, Leaky Gut Syndrome and what causes it.
Most Doctor's Offices will never mention it because it is the foundational reason for all our health concerns. And if the truth gets out about how it is created, that will lead to many angry people.
If you have this issue (AND YOU DO) it is important to work with a practitioner who can help you unwind it for the least amount of money and the least amount of difficulty. We can help you.
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Diverticulitis - Overview
What is Diverticulitis?
Diverticulosis happens when pouches (diverticula) form in the wall of the colon. If these pouches get inflamed or infected, it is called diverticulitis. Diverticulitis can be very painful.
What causes Diverticulitis?
Medical Doctors aren't sure what causes diverticula in the colon (diverticulosis). But they think that a low-fiber diet may play a role. Without fiber to add bulk to the stool, the colon has to work harder than normal to push the stool forward. The pressure from this may cause pouches to form in weak spots along the colon.
Doctors aren't sure what causes diverticulitis. Bacteria grow in the pouches, and this can lead to inflammation or infection.
What are the Symptoms?
Symptoms of diverticulitis may last from a few hours to a week or more. Symptoms include:
How is Diverticulitis Diagnosed?
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and will examine you. He or she may do tests to see if you have an infection or to make sure that you don't have other problems. Tests may include:
How is it Treated?
The treatment you need depends on how bad your symptoms are. You may need to have only liquids at first, and then return to solid food when you start feeling better. Your doctor will give you medicines for pain and antibiotics. Take the antibiotics as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better.
For mild cramps and belly pain:
You may need surgery only if diverticulitis doesn't get better with other treatment, or if you have problems such as long-lasting (chronic) pain, a bowel obstruction, a fistula, or a pocket of infection (abscess).
How can you Prevent Diverticulitis?
You may be able to prevent diverticulitis if you drink plenty of water, get regular exercise, and eat a high-fiber diet. A high-fiber diet includes whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables.
Please continue reading below for more answers
Diverticulitis - Cause
Medical Doctors aren't sure what causes diverticulitis.
Unfriendly bacteria overgrow in the pouches (diverticula), and this can lead to inflammation or infection. Medical Doctors think that pressure may lead to a small perforation or tear in the wall of the intestine. Peritonitis, an infection of the lining of the abdominal wall, may develop if infection spills into the abdominal (peritoneal) cavity.
The reason diverticula form in the wall of the large intestine (colon) is not completely understood.
Doctors think diverticula form when high pressure inside the colon pushes against weak spots in the colon wall. Uncoordinated movements of the colon can also contribute to the development of diverticula.
Normally, a diet with adequate fiber (also called roughage) produces stool that is bulky and can move easily through the colon. If a diet is low in fiber, the colon must exert more pressure than usual to move small, hard stool. A low-fiber diet also can increase the time stool remains in the bowel. This adds to the high pressure. Pouches may form when the high pressure pushes against weak spots in the colon where blood vessels pass through the muscle layer of the bowel wall to supply blood to the inner wall.
It is not known why some people who have these diverticula (a condition called diverticulosis) develop diverticulitis and others do not.
Diverticulitis - Symptoms
Symptoms of diverticulitis may last from a few hours to several days. These symptoms may include:
Complications also can cause symptoms. If an abnormal opening (fistula) develops between the colon and the vagina or the colon and the urethra, you may pass air or stool from the vagina or the urethra.
Other conditions, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or a urinary tract infection, may cause symptoms similar to diverticulitis.
Diverticulitis - What Happens
Diverticulitis occurs when pouches (diverticula) that have developed in the wall of the large intestine (colon) become inflamed or infected. It is not clearly understood why 20 out of 100 people who have these pouches-a condition called diverticulosis-develop diverticulitis and the others do not.
In Western countries (North America and Europe), diverticulitis usually affects the left side of the colon (sigmoid colon).
Mild attacks of diverticulitis, with few symptoms or signs of infection or inflammation, sometimes heal without treatment. In most cases, a doctor recommends oral antibiotics to resolve an infection and a clear liquid diet to rest the bowel until inflammation goes away.
When infection and symptoms are severe, diverticulitis is treated in the hospital. Treatment includes antibiotics given in a vein (intravenous, or IV) and resting the bowel with IV fluids. If severe diverticulitis is not treated, complications such as an abscess or fistula may develop. Surgery often is needed to treat complications.
It is common to have lower abdominal pain after recovering from an attack of diverticulitis. But this pain is not always a return of diverticulitis. Less than half of people ever have a second diverticulitis attack. Of those who do have another attack, about half have the second attack within 1 year of their first one.
What Increases Your Risks?
You may be more likely to develop Diverticulitis if you:
Diverticulitis - When To Call a Doctor
Call or other emergency services immediately if the person has been bleeding from the anus and has signs of shock, which could mean that a diverticular pouch is bleeding (diverticular bleeding). Signs of shock include passing out, or feeling very dizzy, weak, or less alert.
Call your doctor immediately if you have pain in the abdomen that is in one spot (as opposed to general pain in the abdomen), especially if you also have:
Call your doctor immediately if you have:
Call your doctor if you:
Call your doctor if you are treating mild diverticulitis at home and:
It is not uncommon to have bloating, gas pressure, or mild abdominal (belly) pain. These can be caused by eating certain foods or by stress. Home treatment usually will take care of these symptoms. If home treatment does not help or if the symptoms become worse, see your doctor.
Who to see
Health professionals who can diagnose and prescribe treatment for diverticulitis include:
If further tests are needed, if your symptoms do not respond to treatment, or if you may need surgery, your doctor may refer you to a:
Consider Dr. Huntoon's Advice below.
Diverticulitis - Exams and Tests
Your doctor will take a history and do a physical exam if diverticulitis is suspected. Depending on your symptoms, you may have one or more tests to rule out other medical problems that could be causing your symptoms. The extent of testing will depend on how bad your symptoms are and how long they have lasted.
These tests may be done any time you see your doctor about abdominal pain or other symptoms.
Tests done as needed
Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may want to do one or more of these tests.
Diverticulitis - Medical Treatment Overview
You may have a brief (acute) bout of diverticulitis that goes away after treatment with antibiotics and a liquid diet. But in some cases the condition occurs off and on (intermittently) over the long term (chronic). Treatment is the same in both cases, unless complications occur.
Treatment for diverticulitis depends on how bad your symptoms are. If the pain is mild, you are able to drink liquids, and you have no signs of complications, treatment may include:
If the pain is severe, you are not able to drink liquids, or you have complications of diverticulitis, a hospital stay is needed.
Treatment will include:
Treatment may also include:
Most cases of promptly treated diverticulitis will improve in 2 to 3 days. If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better.
Treatment after recovery from an attack of diverticulitis is aimed at preventing another attack. Treatment may include:
Diverticulitis - Prevention
Diverticulitis - Home Treatment
Home treatment may help you control symptoms of diverticulitis or reduce the chance of having additional attacks of diverticulitis.
To reduce abdominal pain caused by mild diverticulitis:
When you are feeling better, you can do some things to help prevent another attack. You may want to:
Do not use laxatives or enemas unless your doctor prescribes them. If you use laxatives too often, you can become dependent on them for bowel movements. If you are having a sudden (acute) attack of diverticulitis, laxatives or enemas can make the pain worse.
Diverticulitis - Medications
Medicines to stop infection and to control symptoms often are used to treat attacks of diverticulitis.
What to think about
Medicines are not used to prevent future attacks of diverticulitis. Prevention depends on increasing the amount of fiber in your diet and practicing healthy bowel habits.
Diverticulitis - Surgery
Surgery for diverticulitis involves removing the diseased part of the colon. You may decide to have surgery for diverticulitis if you have:
Surgery for diverticulitis, in which the infected part of the colon is removed, may be required if you have complications, including:
Overall, fewer than 6 out of 100 people who have diverticulitis need surgery.
Surgical treatment involves removing the diseased part of the large intestine (partial colectomy) and reconnecting the remaining parts. Depending on the severity and nature of the symptoms, more than one surgery may be needed to correct the problem. When multiple surgeries are needed, the person usually has a colostomy during the time between surgeries. A colostomy is a surgical procedure in which the upper part of the intestine is sewn to an opening made in the skin of the abdomen. Stool passes out of the body at this opening and into a disposable bag. Usually the colostomy is removed at a later time and the intestine is reconnected.
Surgical treatment of diverticulitis, called bowel resection, involves the removal of the diseased part of the large intestine.
What to think about
People who have mild, brief attacks and who are willing to try long-term dietary changes may be able to avoid surgery. See the Prevention section of this topic for more information on diet.
If you have multiple attacks of diverticulitis, surgery may be appropriate.
Diverticulitis - Other Places To Get Help
American College of Gastroenterology
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (U.S.)
Diverticulitis - References
ALL of these recommendations are to manage the condition through treatment and nothing is done to remedy the problem. Consider what Dr. Huntoon has to say below.
Dr. Huntoon has spent 30 plus years understanding the importance of all disease, what causes sickness to begin and what it takes to be and stay healthy. It is his passion and he can and will help you understand how to restore balance to your digestive system and your overall health. Please appreciate that any time you are exposed to antibiotics (70 percent of them are put into our food supply), you will disrupt your microbiome. Also of importance is understanding the stress, over-the-counter medicines, prescription medicines, alcohol, refines and processed sugar, additives, preservatives, plastics etc., will contribute to having problems with your microbiome, thus leading to other digestive concerns, like Diverticulitis.
Remember, the top foods to remove that cause leaky gut are sugar, grains, conventional meat, conventional dairy and GMO foods. The top toxic exposures to eliminate are municipal tap water, pesticides, NSAIDS and antibiotics — but remember to always consult with your physician if he or she has prescribed these for you. Ask questions and see if they are aware of the possible side-effects of their recommending these for your care. Most times they are not.
Finding a practitioner, like Dr. Huntoon, who can walk you through the different steps necessary to restore your microbiome becomes paramount. Below are 3 main things you should be aware of and practice if you choose to be healthy.
How Else Can You Establish a Strong Microbiome?
1. Avoid Antibiotics as Much as Possible
Antibiotics have been commonly prescribed for over 80 years now, but the problem is that they eliminate good bacteria in addition to cleaning the body of dangerous “germs,” which means they can lower immune function and raise the risk for infections, allergies and diseases. While antibiotics can save lives when they’re truly needed, they’re often over-prescribed and their consequences are misunderstood.
Over time, dangerous bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics, making serious infections harder to fight. Before taking antibiotics or giving them to your children, talk to your doctor about alternative options and the unintended consequences to our microbiomes that can result from taking antibiotics too often and when they aren’t needed.
2. Lower Stress and Exercise More
Stress hinders immune function because your body diverts energy away from fighting off infections and places it on primary concerns that keep your alive — which is one reason why chronic stress can kill your quality of life. When your body thinks it’s facing an immediate danger, you become more susceptible to infections and experience more severe symptoms while also developing higher levels of inflammation.
Stress causes immune compounds known as cytokines to contribute to the inflammatory response that damages healthy cells. Exercise is a natural stress reliever that can help lower inflammation, balance hormones and strengthen the immune system.
3. Add Supplements
Begin with the source of good bacteria within your digestive system. This requires a high quality probiotic and should be kept in your refrigerator when being stored. If the bottle says it does not need to be refrigerated, you are probably wasting your money. Next, you will need some type of supplement to get rid of the excess amounts of Yeast/Candidia that create the leaky gut syndrome. This will help to restore balance to the microbiome and return the body back to health. Other supplements that may be helpful, especially if they are gotten from whole food sources are Co-enzyme Q10, carotenoids, omega-3 fish oil, selenium and antioxidants (vitamins C, D and E). These can help keep free radical damage from disturbing micrbiota gut health.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact Dr. Huntoon directly at 845-561-2225. He looks forward to serving you.
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Dr. Richard A. Huntoon
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