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Diverticulitis and Happy Endings

Diverticulitis and Happy Endings

As an emergency physician for 19 years, I certainly saw my share of patients come in with symptoms of diverticulitis. Severe abdominal pain, cramping, and bloating were among the classic symptoms that pointed toward a diverticulitis diagnosis. Sometimes I could give these patients pain relievers and antibiotics and refer them to their primary physician or a specialist. Other times the condition was so severe the patient had to be admitted to the hospital immediately. Seeing patients in that amount of pain and knowing that diverticulitis is completely avoidable is part of what drove me into general medical practice. I wanted to tell people how to AVOID the pain of diverticulitis. Instead of being an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff picking up the pieces of the wounded, I wanted to be a fence of prevention at the top of the cliff, helping people not to fall off of a "medical cliff" into the suffering of diverticulitis. A lifestyle change would protect them.

Diverticulitis is a dietary-induced illness. It is commonly seen in the Western world in those that eat a fiber-deficient diet based on animal-derived and heavily processed foods. This condition is virtually unknown in parts of the world where population groups eat their traditional, high-fiber diet based on whole, natural plant foods.

The sudden, acute pain of a severe diverticulitis attack has a long, quiet history. When we eat a diet of meat, eggs, dairy products, white bread, white pasta, and plenty of sweets, we are eating way too little fiber. Low-fiber foods have a long transit time through our lower intestine, or colon, which produce more compact stools. As we strain to pass these smaller, drier stools, weak places in the wall of our colon balloon out and form pockets (diverticula). When the pockets become filled with waste products, they become infected resulting in diverticulitis. For more details, check out my article on diverticular disease and my Start-Smart® System.

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Diverticulitis is not always caused by chronic constipation. Ive never had constipation, much less chronic constipation, have always followed a high fiber diet, and I still had the unfortunate experience with this issue. I did, however, have my gallbladder out at the age of 18, after which followed YEARS of chronic urgency issues. I believe the years of the caustic bile running through my ssytem, irritating the lining of my intestine, caused my PAN-diverticula, the chronic inflammation of my digestive system, and in turn the auto immune issues that plague me. Your article implies that diverticulitis is always caused by chronic constipation. This may be the cause for some patients, but certainly not all. I do however agree that the starch smart diet will be the way to heal my digestive system, and look forward to seeing the healing effects once I have transitioned fully.

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Thank you for your comments! You have my sincere sympathies regarding your diverticulitis. I am glad that you follow a high-fiber diet, and are looking forward to the benefits of staying on a Starch-Smart Diet. I wish you the best of health.
Kind Regards,
Dr. Carney

  Comment was last edited about 5 years ago by Brenda Nieves Linda Carney MD
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