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.
Preview the "Ask the Doc!" Trailer
Your Questions Answered: In Dr. Carney's Starch-Smart® System seminars, written questions from participants are collected beforehand, protecting their privacy. In this informative video presentation, Dr. Carney shares the answer to many of those frequently asked questions - with complex scientific evidence made easy to understand. Learn the answers to what you've always wanted to ask, and so much more!