Diverticulosis is the condition of having out-pouchings, or diverticula, along the walls of the colon. Whereas diverticulosis does not usually cause symptoms, diverticulitis occurs when diverticula become inflamed and infected. The infection starts when an out-pouching becomes blocked by a piece of hard stool. This blockage leads to bacterial overgrowth, followed by inflammation, infection, and abscess formation. At its most severe, diverticulitis can lead to abscess rupture, allowing stool to enter the abdominal cavity, resulting in sepsis, a life-threatening blood infection.(1)
Since the underlying cause of infection is blockage by hard stool, followed by bacterial overgrowth, the key to prevention is to maintain a schedule of regular, soft bowel movements. To accomplish that the best strategy is lots of water, probiotics, fiber rich foods, a good BM routine (i.e. after breakfast daily) and reduce stress.(2) We'll address each of these factors separately.
Water: A good rule of thumb is a daily intake of half your body weight in ounces of water. For example a 150lb person should drink 75 ounces of water daily. That's about 4 1/2 16.9 ounce bottles.
Probiotics: The gut is populated with millions of different types of bacteria that help us digest our food and also feed the lining of intestines. A good balance of beneficial probiotics will prevent infection by harmful bacteria. I recommend Align Probiotic Supplement, which is available at most major drug stores. Take them daily to reduce constipation and boost the immune system. Once you establish a good bowel movement routine, I would back off on supplementing with probiotics daily and only use them when you need extra support. Instead, I recommend "growing your own" probiotics by eating fiber (probiotics eat fiber) and eating fermented foods which are rich in probiotics.
Fiber: Rather than taking a fiber supplement, it is much better to get lots of fiber via nutritious fruits, vegetable and legumes. I recommend a diet that is mostly vegetables, fruit and legumes with fats like olive oild which is rich in Omega 3, 6, 9. Eat less meat. Eat little or no grains. Eat little or no dairy and little or no sugar. This diet provides all the fiber you need plus lots of vitamins, minerals, proteins and essential fatty acids. When choosing foods it is most important to listen to you body. If you eat something and then have bowel irritation or irregularity - take note of what food that might be associated with!
Eat foods that are high in fiber PLUS probiotic like fermented, organic, non-pasteurized foods: apple cider vinegar, pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, tempeh. If you are sure you are not sensitive to dairy you can add kefir and yogurt. You can make your own fresh refrigerator pickles. See below.
Super foods that provide fiber PLUS probiotic PLUS detoxification PLUS antioxidant are fermented crucferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, radish, turnip, bok choy and rutabaga. Crucferous vegetables are rich in glucosinolates which help keep your gut healthy, help with liver detoxification, kill free radicals and prevent cancer with antioxidants.
The body's natural reaction to stress is to move blood flow away from the intestines and toward the muscles. (If you are running from a lion digestion is not your priority.) This is why it's important to relax while eating and digesting. Remember there are many types of stress. We think of stress as mental or emotional, but other types of stress include physical stress such as poor sleep, poor posture or injury; chemical stress such as dehydration and exposure to food additives; and thermal stress such as being over heated or hypothermia. All your stresses add up and go on the same stress pile. So reduce the pile where you can, for example, get enough rest, enough exercise, enough water, avoid food additives and avoid food sensitivities.
Develop Good Bowel Habits:
To prevent diverticulits keep the bowel soft and moving. Make healthy BMs a priority. So at least one BM a day. Create a routine such as after breakfast; sit, relax, breathe. Do not ignore the urge to go. You want to cultivate that reflex. If you have too push hard or can't go use an enema. Enemas are not the first choice but it's better than not going at least daily. See Notes below for enema instructions and other tips to develop good bowel habits.
1.) I do not recommend fiber supplements such as psyllium. Psylium is made from a Eurasian plantain, the seeds are ground and used as a source of fiber and bulk. It is not a natural food for humans. Some people are severely allergic to it. Also if you eat anything daily you are more likely to develop a sensitivity.
2.) I do not recommend coconut oil as many people are sensitive to it, especially those with blood type O.
3.) For other tips see: "Develop Good Bowel Habits" (via the IBS Network)
4.) Enema: Step By Step Tutorial + FAQ'S (YouTube)
5.) Wheat and dairy are the most common food sensitivities. And I emphasize wheat not just gluten.
6.) Some find the Squatty Potty helpful. Raising your legs relaxes the ligament that lifts the lower bowel.
(1) Diverticular disease of the colon. Lancet. 2004 Feb 21;363(9409):631-9.
(2) New strategies for the management of diverticular disease: insights for the clinician. Therap Adv Gastroenterol. 2013 May; 6(3): 205–213.
(3) The cancer chemopreventive actions of phytochemicals derived from glucosinolates. European Journal of Nutrition May 2008, Volume 47, Supplement 2, pp 73–88
(4) Wisconsin Safe Food Preservation Series. B2267 University of Wisconsin-Extension Cooperative Extension
Consumers might think that drugs sold without a prescription are completely safe. This is, unfortunately not true. All drugs carry side effects, some serious, some life-threatening. Let the buyer beware. Educate yourself on the drugs you and your family take. Also...watch this blog for a future article on natural pain relief.
Over-the-Counter Pain Relief Risks and Benefits
Analgesics reduce pain, but do not reduce inflammation. Examples of analgesics include:
Pain relief medications are not a cure, nor do they get to the root cause. Talk to Dr. Kelley about how chiropractic can remove pain at its source. Call 843 321-8119 or schedule online now.
Most people will have periods of anxiety and depression during their lifetime. But for some anxiety/depression can be intense, long-lasting or debilitating. If you have suffered from mental health problems then you understand the frustration with trying to alleviate those symptoms. But did you know that chiropractic care is a non-invasive and natural alternative treatment that has been shown to improve anxiety and depression symptoms?
A chiropractor will give you a thorough examination to find and correct subluxations - joints within the spine which have become stuck out of alignment. A chiropractic adjustment restores movement and alignment to the spine - not unlike aligning your car. The adjustment also restores blood flow and lymph flow which removes toxins and relaxes the muscle and other tissues that surround the joint. This relief of chemical and physical stress is the musculo-skeletal system lowers the overall stress load that the brain must manage. Those who suffer from anxiety or depression may come to realize that physical imbalance and subluxation within the body contribute to their mental stress as well as physical symptoms.
When spinal vertebrae are stuck out of place, it creates pressure on the surrounding nerves and tissues. When a nerve is blocked in the back or neck it can reflexively affect other areas of the body including the stomach, heart, intestines and any other organ. The reflex goes in both directions. Mental stress can cause spinal misalignment, muscle spasm and back tension. (People often hold their stress in their shoulders or low back, right?) The goal of chiropractic is to use this reflexive system to balance the entire body including the brain, adrenals, etc, which manage stress. Chiropractic care can help by addressing the physical stress which contributes to mental stress overload. Chiropractic lowers the overall stress in the body, freeing up a person's energy so they have better concentration, better sleep and more focus.
When approaching a challenge such as anxiety/depression, a multidisciplinary approach can often be beneficial. Chiropractic removes the physical stress that is often easily corrected with a few adjustments, then regular maintenance. Chiropractic treatment can be used in conjunction with therapy and medication.
More people than ever are finding relief for symptoms beyond just back pain at the chiropractor! Patients often say they feel calm and balanced leaving the office. So why not try chiropractic and observe its effects? Do you have better sleep? Better concentration? More energy? Feel lighter mentally?
If you are trying to cope with feelings of anxiety or depression, please schedule an appointment today to see how chiropractic care can help you move forward on your journey to wellness. Questions? Call now to (843) 321-8119 or schedule a Complimentary Consultation appointment online at ChiroKelley.com
"There is more to life than increasing the speed" (Gandhi)
When overwhelmed or exhausted do you feel the to-do list will not accommodate a break? Maybe the to-do list will grow much too long if you take a vacation. Maybe you feel guilty just for wanting/needing a break! Is the guilt compounded by not allocating enough time for your loved-ones or for your own physical/emotional well-being?
Hmmm….Could there be some shame or fear lurking in the background of our frantic busyness? Are we trying to prove that we are Productive? Successful? Secure? Whole? Worthy? A good provider? A good parent? Perhaps we are frantically striving to fulfill a higher purpose?
To begin to create a sane life, you can make small, selective, conscious choices. Such simple acts can slow you down enough to break the compulsive thought cycle and leave your mind free to…have an actual life. Taking just a little time every day refuels your energy tank. Loving yourself a bit will translate into being capable of managing the small and big stresses - with grace. Rest and play are not a waste of time. They are instead an investment in your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Relaxation can boost creativity and creative problem-solving. A recharged heart has enough energy to give attention to a loved one.
Eight Simple Ways to Slow Down
Taking supplements may not be your thing- so what else can you do for nutrients and vitamins? COLD- PRESSED JUICE! Healing comes down to providing the elements the body needs to heal and repair itself naturally. Often chronic diseases can be linked to two areas – toxicity and malnutrition. Many times, regardless of age- we do not supply our bodies with the nutrients required to combat illness. Juice is a concentrated form of abundant nutrition and juicing, is a simple, easy and delicious way to provide your body with healing vitamins, minerals, enzymes, chlorophyll, phytonutrients and lots of micronutrients that are not available in manufactured vitamin pills. As a Chiropractor, many of my patients see me for nutritional guidance concerning the gut and digestion, juicing floods the body with easily absorbed nutrition, which is healthy for everyone but critical for those with illness especially digestive system issues!
Juicing daily or even a few days a week is a wonderful gift to yourself and your health. There are countless micro nutrients in whole foods, yet only a small number are included in vitamin supplements. The best "vitamin supplement" you can get, is fresh, organic juice, alongside a well-balanced organic diet. Juices help to create the strong foundation upon which good health and vitality are built upon. And intense juicing has been successfully used in treating serious illness. I frequently recommend to cancer patient that they investigate intensive juicing therapy as used by The Gerson Institute.
Are you ready to take the next step and get started juicing for your health? Amazon supplies a variety of cold-press fruit and vegetable juice machines. There are many styles, sizes and price ranges. A couple things to remember:
Green Juice Recipe and Preparation from the Gerson Institute
Preparation: Greens should be washed taking care to rinse off sand or soil that is often present at the base of the leaves. Shake off water or put in salad spinner to remove excess moisture. Cut off bottom portion of stems of chard or any other fibrous leaves. Chop up because it is quite stringy and hard to pulp. This avoids raising temperature of pulp and killing enzymes. Using a two-step (grinder/press) juicer, grind and collect pulp in a bowl. When all produce has been ground stir thoroughly, but not so much as to introduce unnecessary air into the pulp.
If you’re using an electric press raise the juice part slowly to avoid having pulp squirt out of cloth and onto the juice person. Using multiple juicing cloths you can prepare the second cloth while the first one is pressing. Also, some people will fold over the squashed cloth/pulp package and press it again to get a little more juice out of the pulp. Wash juicer after every green juice. After pressing, the remaining pulp, conveniently packaged in the juice cloth, can be discarded. The green juice is much more active than the carrot or carrot/apple juices and should be consumed immediately. Dr. Gerson did not recommend storage of the green juice for any length of time before consumption as it deteriorates rapidly.
If you're interested in getting healthy and have questions, please call (843) 321-8119 or schedule online at www.chirokelley.com
Text Neck is a syndrome of over usage and a repetitive stress injuring the neck by holding your head in a forward and downward position for extended periods of time. This kind of excessive tension over long periods of time creates acute and chronic pain deep in the muscles of your neck and across the shoulders. Chronic headaches have also been linked to this condition.
With upright posture, the ears should align with the center of your shoulders. With good posture, the weight of the head is balanced on top of the spine. The average human head weighs approximately 10-12 pounds (think bowling ball). When your head is moved forward by 1 inch away from neutral position, the force pulling on the neck and shoulder muscles increases 6 times - In other words, your traps and other muscles are holding up 60 pounds!
Prolonged and frequent "Text Neck" can lead to inflammation of the neck ligaments, nerve irritation and changes in the natural curves of the spine.
Do I have symptoms of "Text Neck"?
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it would be wise to see a chiropractor to examine your posture and neck alignment. Call today for an appointment, (843) 321-8119