*Updated August 2019

Intestinal obstructions can result from a number of different factors:

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 diverticulae and you also avoid causing an intestinal obstruction through the build-up of stuck food.

Additional substances, like wild oregano oil, aloe vera juice, probiotics and MucosaHeal can be used to eliminate the infection and heal inflammation during this time.

Eating During A Diverticulitis Or Stricture Flare-Up

There are three forms of liquid nutrition that work very well during diverticulitis or an acute (narrowed/inflamed) stricture:

1.  Raw vegetable juicing – juice primarily vegetables, with only enough fruit added to make them palatable (or sweeten with stevia instead). Use a juice extractor (not a blender) so the fibre is removed.

2.  Raw (unpasteurized) cow or goat milk – from pasture-fed animals only (not barn-raised and grain-fed). Read more about the raw milk diet and experiment, my raw milk healing protocol, and safety concerns surrounding raw milk.

3.  Absorb Plus elemental shakes

4.  Easily tolerated foods blended into shakes – more details here…

Each of these liquid nutrient sources are best when combined with homemade bone broths (Chicken, Beef, or vegetable broth). You can derive your nutrients from only one of these sources, or you can mix and match and combine them together.

If you consume raw vegetable juices, buy organic or ‘no spray’ produce and juice fresh every day (or freeze portions to consume later). Make sure you consume enough juice to provide you with adequate energy each day. Or, combine raw juicing with raw milk or Absorb Plus to add the protein and good fats needed for energy. Remember to use a juice extractor, so you consume only raw juice, not fibre.

You can find a raw milk supplier in your area by going to: www.RealMilk.com – just make sure the animals are pasture-fed only and the farmer tests regularly for pathogens.

Absorb Plus Elemental Nutrition for Diverticulitis & Stricture Flares

Absorb Plus is probably the easiest way to consume excellent nutrition during a flare. Since it was specifically formulated for people with all forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), it contains many substances targeted to calm inflammation and promote mucosal healing of the intestines, like:

  • 1000 mg of L-Glutamine per serving – primary substance used to rebu48ild the intestinal mucosal cell lining and used for muscle repair and growth
  • L-Serine – needed for proper metabolism of fats and fatty acids, aids in production of immunoglobulins and antibodies
  • L-Threonine – helps maintain protein balance in the body, aids formation of collagen and elastin
  • L-Cystine – aids in skin formation, helps heal burns and wounds, assists in the supply of insulin to the pancreas
  • L-Aspartic Acid – increases stamina, protects the liver, aids cell function and RNA/DNA formation
  • L-Proline – used in healing cartilage, strengthens joints, tendons and the heart muscle
  • L-Tyrosine – aids function of pituitary, adrenal and thyroid glands.

The ion-exchange whey protein in Absorb Plus also creates sustained increases in glutathione (a key antioxidant and antiviral) which creates resistance to a variety of diseases and carcinogens. Other components of whey protein isolate provide the following beneficial actions in the body:

  • Alpha-lactalbumin consumption enhances tryptophan and immune function and reduces the stress hormone cortisol
  • Tryptophan is used by the brain to manufacture serotonin. This is important because serotonin deficiency plays a role in the development of depression, anxiety, moodiness and insomnia
  • Glycomacropeptides stimulate the hormone cholecystokinin, which is responsible for the release of pancreatic enzymes and the healthy contraction of the gallbladder and bowels
  • Lactoferrin is an antioxidant that is also a powerful antiviral and antibacterial agent shown to inhibit the growth of E.coli, salmonella and candida in the gut. It also helps ensure the optimal use of iron in the body by binding to iron and preventing oxidation.

Whey protein is also an alkaline food, so it’s ideal for counteracting the usually hyper-acidic body pH levels of people with gastro-intestinal problems. If you have heartburn, don’t be surprised if it lessens or disappears after using Absorb Plus regularly – especially if you consume 3 or more servings per day.

Since Absorb Plus is 100% natural, most of the vitamins, minerals and trace minerals are natural-source extractions, the maltodextrin and fructose are certified non-GMO, the whey protein is lactose-free and cold-extracted – so the protein is not denatured, the amino acids are specifically targeted for gut inflammation and the flavors are certified organic – I think I can safely say that it is the highest quality elemental nutrition shake on the market.

If you’ve read the story of Absorb Plus, you’ll know that I originally formulated Absorb Plus to heal myself of intestinal hemorrhaging. When I was breastfeeding, I often used it whenever I was too tired to cook or I simply didn’t have time. Many of my readers use it for breakfast every morning, since it’s a great way to give themselves a healthy start to the day.

Of course, it is even healthier if you can drink a protein shake with chia seeds, or a blended raw veggie drink – but remember, we’re talking about intestinal obstruction here!

How Much Should I Take?

If you’re using Absorb Plus during a flare – or whenever you’re under stress, or likely to develop a flare – you should drink the number of shakes you require for your specific caloric needs each day.

Each Absorb Plus shake (blended with 1 tablespoon of cold-pressed flax or Udo’s oil) equals roughly 480 calories. Normal people usually require 15 calories per pound of body weight. So if you weigh 100 pounds, you need 1500 calories per day to maintain that weight. So you would consume three Absorb Plus shakes per day.

If you want to use this time to drop a few pounds, then you simply figure out how many calories you need to consume to maintain a weight that is 20 pounds less than your current weight – and consume the number of shakes needed to maintain that weight.

If you are malnourished or underweight, you can use this period of liquid nutrition to gain some muscle (healthy weight). In that case, you would take your ideal weight and multiply it by 20. So if you want to weigh 170 pounds, you need to consume 3400 calories per day; which is seven Absorb Plus shakes per day. If your infection is severe, or if you want to gain weight quickly, add another two shakes per day (so you would consume nine shakes per day).

How Long Should I Use Absorb Plus?

Ideally, it’s best to consume only liquid nutrition for entire duration of your flare-up. For some people, this means three days, for others, it means a few weeks. Since your diverticulitis or stricture flare-ups will depend on the severity of your disease, your environment (is it healing, or stressful?), other healing strategies or substances you are using, and your foundational level of health – your healing may be a lot faster, or a lot slower than someone else’s.

So, it’s best to listen to your own body and stay on Absorb Plus shakes for as long as your infection is acute and you are at risk of a blockage. It’s also best to alternate your Absorb Plus shakes with bone broths since the gelatin in the broth is very healing for the gut and the savoury soup provides needed taste variety.

How To Introduce Regular Foods Again

When you’re ready to introduce solid foods again, start with pureed foods and soups to gradually ease yourself back into solid foods. You may want to stay on a mix of Absorb Plus shakes and soft foods for an additional week or two, just to be sure you are well over the flare and give your body the best time/space for healing.

Then transition to low residue foods – see my complete diet of Low Residue Foods for all the details on what you should eat, and not eat.

Flushing Intestinal Obstruction With A Liquid Diet

38 thoughts on “Flushing Intestinal Obstruction With A Liquid Diet

  • Where can you purchase absorb plus
    Did a doctor create it
    How much is it
    Can you drink it daily for maintenance
    Do you recommend taking a daily fiber supplement like fibercon or metimusal

    1. Hi Alberta,

      The number of calories can vary widely, depending on how much fat is in the broth. The number would typically be between 5 and 200 calories. If you use meat/bones that have a lot of fat on them and you leave that in the broth, the calories will be on the higher side.

      Kind regards,
      Customer Care

  • I am on day 8 of exclusively drinking Absorb Plus. My pain and cramping are bad as ever. So sick to my stomach. Should I stop drinking it? Or is this just how it starts out?

  • First of all, thanks so much Jini for this wonderful site and all your products. They are of immense help for people dealing with gut issues. I wanted to know your opinion about taking turmeric supplement to reduce inflammation for krohn’s or colitis. Have you tested it? Will really appreciate your input. Thanks.

    1. Hi Inder,

      Jini does not advocate the use of turmeric in her protocols to reduce inflammation but does recommend it for use as a spice in her Listen to Your Gut book (depending on the situation). If you are trying to reduce inflammation, a good place to start is on page 98 of Listen to Your Gut for more ideas.

      Kind regards,
      Customer Care

  • I am prone to this condition. Sometimes it goes for weeks on end, with choking feeling, extreme discomfort, painful to touch areas. But… with liquids and time, I’m still alive. I found the most uncomfortable times are in the a.m., as stool moves through my system and shifts position. I have never before searched for a gut diet such as yours. This is a good friend for me. I will visit your site often and take the advice to heart.

  • Dr. Raymond Blaylock states that Glutamine is a neurotoxin. Can it be taken for inflammatory bowel disorder safely? Perhaps he means long term ingestion. Please give me your take on this issue. Thanks, Gina

    1. Hi Gina,

      We’ve seen no credible research or scientific evidence which would suggest that Glutamine is unsafe. Glutamine is the most abundant of the 20 amino acids found in human blood and is produced naturally by the body. Here’s a link to an informational article about glutamine which cites various sources:


      And here is its entry at the Mayo clinic:


      Also here is some info directly from Jini…

      Here’s another post I did specifically about L-Glutamine that you may find interesting:


      I also urge you to consider the “healing in layers” concept I talk about in this video. I also wrote about it again in this post where people get anxious about maltodextrin feeding Candida albicans:


      Remember that Dr. Blaylock is just one physician, and to do your own research before you make up your mind. One more point about L-Glutamine – as you can see Dr. Carolyn Dean also quotes Dr. Blaylock in her article here:


      But if you notice, she writes that the gatekeeper in the brain that PREVENTS this from happening is adequate magnesium. That’s why we carry the nano-sized magnesium (does not require digestion and does not loosen the bowels) so that people with sensitive GI tracts can also get a high enough daily dose:


      I urge you to contact your doctor if you still have concerns and if you have any additional questions about any of Jini’s products or protocols please don’t hesitate to ask!

      Kind regards,
      Customer Care

    2. If your liver is in bad state or over worked excessive Glutamine can have side effects that affect you mentally. Just keep to a safe dose and you should be ok. Different people different levels. Some days i take 20grams some days nothing. I am quite sensitive so my taste buds point it out to me. When i need it it tastes really nice. When my liver seems burdened the smell of glutamine is really nasty. Hope that helps.

  • Hi Jini, I find ur articles useful. I have lived with crohns for 9 years and still counting. I have severe cramping 24/7. Chronic diarrhoea. Malnourished, underweight. Loss of appetite. Aneamia and many others. I live in Ghana. ,.can’t afford your products, especially the absrb pkus shakes. What are the cheapest alternatives.

  • Hi Jini,

    I have Crohn’s disease, and as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been following the protocols for both Intestinal StrictureHeal and Rectal StrictureHeal, along with the guided meditations and breathing techniques. And soon, I’ll be seeing a medical massage therapist trained in myofascial release to help further the releasing of the scar tissue. So far, I’ve noticed a few pretty significant changes, even though it’s taking longer than I had anticipated. Right now, I’m happy to say that I’m 100% med-free and doing well on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, so I’ve managed to get the underlying inflammation under control! But I’ve decided to go on an elemental liquid diet for awhile to completely reset my gut and allow for more intensive healing to take place. I’ve been dealing with a lot of stress lately from school and a recent job change, and my digestion has been ALL OVER THE PLACE, so I think taking this opportunity to give my body extra rest would be a good idea. After seeing your Youtube video, Raw Nutrient Milkshake, I got a little creative in the kitchen and came up with my own “latte” or “milkshake” of sorts: organic chai tea, healthy fats (homemade ghee and coconut oil), 3-4 pastured eggs for protein (3 yolks + 1 whole egg), raw, unfiltered honey, cinnamon, chipotle and a pinch of salt. I also have homemade chicken broth, beef broth, vegetable broth and lots of water on the menu for my liquid diet. I plan to follow this diet for at least a month or so. I’ve done the elemental liquid diet once before about a year and a half ago with the Absorb Plus shakes, but would like to keep as close to SCD as possible (SCD doesn’t allow maltodextrin or stevia). My question is do you suggest adding in anything else for more nutrition. I’m low on vitamin D (for which I already have a supplement) and vitamin B12, which I’ve been managing with the amount of eggs I eat. I also plan in incorporating about 1/4 cup plain yogurt diluted with water and fermented vegetable juices. Is there anything else I could be adding in? Different fats? An SCD-legal powdered probiotic? Any information is much appreciated! And again, thank you for these protocols, as they’re helping THOUSANDS of people with IBD, myself included! 🙂

    1. Hi Brittanee,

      It’s great to hear that you’re med free and doing well! It sounds like you have it pretty much figured out but here are a couple of links to other blog posts with more shake ideas if you haven’t already seen them:


      If you aren’t taking probiotics already then that would be recommendation #1 to help regulate your digestion. Natren’s dairy powders would be a solid choice if you want them to be legal for SCD; the dairy free powders contain garbanzo bean extract, which is illegal on SCD, but would probably be better if dairy is an issue for you. We wish you all the best and look forward to hearing more about your progress!

      Kind regards,
      Customer Care

  • Wonderful! I’ll definitely look into the shakes when I begin transitioning back to solid food. I do seem to tolerate dairy just fine, so I’ll keep going with the homemade yogurt and other fermented foods, as well as a probiotic supplement. The dairy powders sound like they’d work well for me, too. I’m looking forward to healing even more than I already have! Again, thank you so much!

  • I have used the ABSorb plus before. Now it seems to give me diarrhea as soon as I drink it. I love the ingredients in it, but can’t seem to tolerate it. I really need the vitamins and minerals in it. I have started to do beef,chicken,veg and mushroom broth and I don’t see to have the cramping. Is there a way to take Absorb plus that be easier on my Intestional tract?

    1. Hello Theresa,

      Thank you for the inquiry. Perhaps if the Absorb Plus is giving you diarrhea now and did not before you have something in your gut it is trying to clean out. You may also want to look into using Wild Oil of Oregano and Probiotics to clean that out if you feel that is what is happening. I can give you more information on those if you are interested. However if you think it is something in the Absorb Plus you could try the vegan shake options. Please see these links for more information on them:

      Please let us know if you have anymore questions.

      Kind Regards,
      Customer Care

  • Just wondering. I have been diagnosed with diverticulosis (SUDD) and IBS with much divericular pain, severe cramping with resultant vomiting. I read about Absorb Plus, but I am also diabetic (controled with diet – no meds) and Absorb Plus is not recommended for diabetics. What else is there to use instead that would be “diabetic friendly”. Thank you.

    1. Hello Jack,

      Thank you for your inquiry. The Absorb Plus may not be diabetic friendly, we would recommend consulting your doctor concerning that. There is also the vegan protein options, but you would want to check if you can also have the tapioca maltodextrin we recommend adding in it for the calories. Please let us know if you have any other questions we can help you with.

      Kind Regards,
      Customer Care

  • I have been told that I have some pouches in my colon. I also have diarrhea quite often. I no longer have a gall bladder. Will all this work for me? I am considered diabetic, also.

    1. Hello Jane,

      Thank you for your inquiry. The elemental diet may not be good for diabetics and we recommend checking with your doctor concerning it. You can see more information on this here: https://blog.listentoyourgut.com/i-have-insulin-resistance-can-i-safely-consume-absorb-plus/

      As for Diarrhea we would recommend the suggestions here: http://listentoyourgut.com/symptoms/16/diarrhea.html

      You can also search through the other symptoms and conditions here as well: http://listentoyourgut.com/heal-your-symptoms.html

      Please let us know if you have any other questions.

      Kind Regards,
      Customer Care

  • Hello Jini,
    I was diagnosed with Crohns desease. I am using Pentasa and sometimes Budesonide. Since 6 months having more symptoms like stomack pain and loosing weight. I consulted a doctor and he put Pill Cam to see the small bowel. I got the Pill Cam (capsule camera) stuck in my mid ileum. I am on Prednisone now assuming the stricture/inflammation will subside and the capsule passes out. It did not pass out yet. Consulted another doctor and he tried double balloon endoscopy, but he could not reach to the capsule. The doctor who did the double balloon endoscopy mentioned that it may not be the Crohn’s Disease. But the doctor with whom I took the Pill Cam said it should be the Crohn’s and he is asking me that I need to take Humira for Crohn’s. Humira will also help to get the capsule pass out. I am confused. I have come across your website recently and reading all the very helpful info. Could you please suggest me what is best scenario for my case. OR – is there any natural way such as controlling diet or being on liquid died would help me to get the capsule pass out. Your reply will be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks, RK.

    1. Hello RK,

      That does not sound pleasant. We are not medical professionals, and have not had experience with anyone having this issue before. There is a chance that the liquid diet helping clear you out can help get the pill out. It can also be very beneficial for the Crohn’s. Jini’s protocols encouraging getting off all prescriptions, so you may want to research that more.
      You can read more about her recommendations here: http://listentoyourgut.com/symptoms/14/crohn-s-disease.html

      Also, perhaps some of these relaxing techniques for constipation can help as well: http://listentoyourgut.com/symptoms/34/constipation.html

      We would love to hear how that works out for you to get the capsule out. If you have any other questions please let us know.

      Kind Regards,
      Customer Care

  • Good morning and thank you for all this information. I would like some help with my current condition if u could be so kind as to give me some suggestions.
    Went to the doctors as i was diagnosed with silent reflux. After many blood tests stool tests…they found inflammation and blood in my stool from what I understand it all has to do with
    My stomach and the acid which caused this inflammation and then caused the mild blood in the stool.
    Would u suggest I start juicing and if so what suppliments to include and would u suggest 3 times a day a quarter of a cup aloe Vera.

    Thank you so much for ur time.Waiting to hear from you with anticipation.

    1. Hello Marina,

      Thank you for your inquiry. Please see our recommendations for acid reflux and intestinal bleeding here:

      As you can see in the link for intestinal bleeding we recommend the elemental diet to help in the healing. However, juicing can be helpful as well, it just does not provide all the calories and nutrients that a elemental diet can help in aiding healing. If you do decide to do juicing here are some recipes that you may enjoy:

      The Aloe Vera Juice could be very good for you as well. Please let us know if you have any further questions.

      Kind Regards,
      Customer Care

      1. Thank you for your prompt response, I started juicing today listened to Jini’s advice on calming the GI track first so will do as she says and keep u updated… one question does it have to be only veggies for juicing? If so which are the best…the greens?
        Do I add the quarter aloe Vera after the blend of the juice?
        Bcoz their are different kind of stool bleeding…how do i know which one causes mine? I believe it’s due to the silent reflux which then caused the bacteria and blood in stool…but does this matter at this point? My priority now is to stop the blood In the stool.
        Thank you.

        1. Hello Marina,

          As juicing isn’t something we actually recommend and teach we are unable to recommend if you should use fruits as well as vegetables. You can see the greens and juicing ingredients Jini recommends best in the raw juice link I gave you for her recipe recommendations.
          As for the Aloe Vera, we would recommend to use that twenty minutes before, and two hours after, other foods and drinks for best results.
          We are not medical professionals and unable to comment on how to know what is causing your bleeding. If you are unable to pinpoint it from our online information on it, and are concerned we would recommend contacting your doctor. However, a lot of our treatments are guided to different causes of symptoms and you may be able to find healing without testing more the cause. We wish you the best in your healing.

          Kind Regards,
          Customer Care

  • I no longer have my colon , lost it couple of decades back when I diagonosed with colitis way to late and was near death !!
    Now my small intestine has Crhones but the Absorb Plus diet has helped me bounce back in the past and I am now ready to start on Absorb Plus again .
    Glad I found Absorb Plus way back when .

    Thank you Jini and your team

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