Strictures or scar tissue that has built up to the point where the intestine is extremely narrowed, or a spasming length of intestine, or a volvulus (twist/kink in the intestine), or a diverticulitis flare-up. It is thought that mechanical blockage of a diverticulum, possibly by a piece of feces or food particles, leads to infection of the diverticulum. (Review article: management of diverticulitis Aliment Pharmacol Ther 26 Suppl 2, 67–76 2007 M. M. SZOJDA, et al)
What Can Help?
Long-term healing of diverticulitis and recurring strictures involves a 4-step process:
1. Healing inflammation and eliminating infection
2. Restoring a beneficial gut flora (good bacteria and reduction/elimination of bad bacteria, fungi, yeast, etc.) throughout the GI tract
3. Restoring intestinal tissue (tone, structure) and mucosal lining
4. Normalizing digestion, absorption (throughout the gastrointestinal tract) and defecation
Detailed instructions, explanations and dosages for each of these healing protocols are contained in my book, Listen To Your Gut. We also have an experimental protocol for dissolving scar tissue that you many want to try. For now, let’s look at a short-term strategy you can implement right away to bring relief and start you on your pathway to healing.
Note: In the case of strictures, if the scarring is severe, you also need to go a step further and implement strategies to directly soften the scar tissue; like craniosacral/visceral manipulation therapy, hot castor oil packs and DMSO.
To learn more about DMSO, take a look at my DMSO Protocol For Anal Stenosis or Rectal Strictures, watch my video with Dane Johnson regarding DMSO-based Protocols for Intestinal & Rectal Scar Tissue, and my blog post containing information about DMSO and safety cautions.
Resting & Flushing The Colon
For the best treatment and management of diverticular or obstructive GI disease, your diet should vary according to your symptoms. During good/calm times, it’s best to eat a diet that promotes easy digestion and absorption and tonifies the intestinal wall. But during a flare-up (diverticulitis or acute stricture), it’s best to consume a liquid, pre-digested diet to provide a form of bowel rest and flushing of the colon, to help prevent a blockage or obstruction from occurring. It is also easiest to heal infection or inflammation whilst on a liquid (but highly nutritious) diet.
When you are in a diverticulitis flare (the diverticula – pouches – are inflamed or infected) it’s ideal if you can immediately consume liquid nutrients only. By ingesting only liquids, you give your body the best chance to flush out the food particles that are stuck in the diverticula