Helpful hints, tools and foods for those of you new to diverticulitis

I wanted to take a moment and touch on the things that have been aforementioned that have been very helpful to my body while I went through my first diverticulitis episode. I will hope to never have one again, like I am sure most of you that have this do. So I am using food and natural resources to be an ally rather than an enemy.

The first item I want to talk about that has worked wonders for me is an herbal tea. I have seen this on the shelves before at Giant Eagle and at Vitamin World, and laughed at the name. But recently a friend of mine recommended it for my diverticulitis issues when I was have  4 1/2 days of constipation and it really eased my pain and helped me move things along in a gentle way. Take a look….

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Please note that I bought the chamomile version. This brand, organic Smooth Move, has other flavors such as peppermint. I don’t recommend the other types of flavors only because not only does the tea itself work to get things “moving”, the chamomile is gentle on your whole system and helps reduce inflammation. And if you are like me and had trouble sleeping, this is a perfect night time tea. It is naturally caffeine free and the chamomile is also a sleep aid. Follow the directions and be sure to let it steep for 10 minutes and then squeeze out the tea bag to obtain the maximum potential.

Next, let’s see what I have in the medicine cabinet.

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DGL LICORICE- Remember me mentioning in my first post that I started to take DGL Licorice, Probiotics and prebiotics with fiber on a daily basis? Well, here they are. DGL Licorice can be found at Vitamin World, drug stores, and places like Wal Mart for a very reasonable price. This is in the $5-$7 range and is well worth it when you realize all the benefits that come from this little chewable tablet. This tablet tastes like black licorice and you do need to chew it, Be aware of that before you make the purchase. Here are some links to read up on DGL Licorice:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/julie-chen-md/dgl-supplements_b_2976260.html

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/REM00024/Licorice-Dr-Weils-Herbal-Remedies.html

Chew 2 tablets 20 minutes before a meal and at bed time and help heal your digestive tract naturally. Licorice is used for various digestive system complaints including stomach ulcers, heartburn, colic, and ongoing inflammation of the lining of the stomach (chronic gastritis). Some people use licorice for sore throat, bronchitis, cough, and infections caused by bacteria or viruses.
Licorice is also used for osteoarthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), liver disorders, malaria, tuberculosis, food poisoning, and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)

How does it work?

The chemicals contained in licorice are thought to decrease swelling, thin mucus secretions, decrease cough, and increase the chemicals in our body that heal ulcers.

.[http://www.nlm.nih.gov/]

Before I had diverticulitis I also suffered from acid refulx and IBS, so I was no stranger to the benefits of this DGL Licorice. As with any herbal medication- DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!! Make sure that it will not interact with any medication you are currently taking. And make sure to start off with small doses, building up to the full or an extension of the full dosage recommended to avoid allergies.

PROBIOTICS- The Probiotics you see pictured are a generic form that I bought at my local grocery store. According to Dr. Oz, Probiotics are live microorganisms (in most cases, bacteria) that are similar to the beneficial microorganisms naturally found in the human gut. These “good bacteria” are used to prevent and alleviate many different conditions, but particularly those that affect the gastrointestinal tract.

I take 1 daily and pair it with Greek yogurt with live and active cultures [it will say it right on the side of the yogurt container]. If you don’t like Greek, try Activia or Yopliat. Other non dairy methods of getting good bacteria are able to be obtained by eating fermented foods such as sauerkraut, miso, brewers yeast, or micro alge.

PREBIOTICS AND FIBER- Prebiotics go hand in hand with probiotics and work together as a team. I take the gummy fiber as pictured above that is also a prebiotic. This brand tastes good in addition to being a great resource. Some prebiotic foods include: bananas, whole grains, honey, garlic and onions. If you can get 2 servings of these types of foods in addition to the probiotics it will make a world of difference!

You can also take over the counter fiber supplements such as Metamucil if you prefer to opt out of the gummies.

Aside from the world wide web, I have turned to my library of resources at home. Here are the books that I have gotten my information from [pictured below]. I will also give you a few additional tips that these books gave me that come in handy when you want to take care of yourself at home.

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From top to bottom here are what these books recommend:

Oil of Oregano*- 2 drops under the tongue twice daily. Or, 5 drops diluted in juice or water.

Oil of Rosemary-  5 drops diluted in juice or water.

Alfalfa, angelica, anise, bee pollen/ honey*, burdock, capsicum, chamomile*, dandelion*, garlic*, ginger*, goldenseal*, horsetail, licorice*, marshmallow*, parsley*, peppermint*, sage*, sasparilla, saw palmetto*, spearmint*, wintergreen.

Flax, Psyillium*, Wheat [wheat bran], Slippery Elm*, Prune*, Wild Yam

Alternative treatments/ choices: Acupuncture, aromatherapy*, Chinese herbs, Herbal therapies*, Homeopathy, Massage, Reflexology*, Relaxation*, Changes in nutrition and diet*, using a heating pad or hot water bottle to help move bowels*.

I have starred all the above items I have used as a supplement, tea, in the kitchen, or as an alternate. I hope this was informative and helpful!

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