Diverticulitis is inflammation of small outpouchings of the large intestine. It leads to more than 165,000 yearly hospital admissions in the US. And each person with the condition has a 15% chance of needing surgery.
But what if there was a natural way to handle diverticulitis?
If this is something you’re looking for, you're at the right place. In this article, we'll discuss:
- What is diverticulitis?
- Whether natural treatments like CBD and supplements can cure diverticulitis?
- How long it takes for diverticulitis to heal?
Want the short answer? CBD can help with diverticulitis.
But it’s not recommended to use it as your only treatment for an acute flare-up.
What Is Diverticulitis?
Diverticulitis is a digestive disease that affects the large intestine. It's characterized by inflammation and infection of small pouches that form in the intestine wall.
Diverticulitis usually affects people over the age of 65, but it can also affect younger people.
When it occurs, patients can experience a range of symptoms, including:
- Abdominal pain
Now, the exact cause behind the condition is unknown. But it's thought to be caused by a combination of factors, including:
- A diet low in fiber
Unfortunately, diverticulitis can lead to a number of complications if not treated in time, including:
- Intestinal blockages
- Rectal bleeding
This is why it's extremely important to seek care for this condition in time.
It's also important to prevent diverticulitis flare-ups as much as possible. So let's discuss how you can do that.
Improve your understanding: Diverticulitis and diverticulosis sound similar. Here is a video that explains the difference between the two.
What Triggers Diverticulitis Flare-ups?
There are a number of things that can trigger a diverticulitis flare-up, including:
- Eating red meat
- Getting an HIV infection
- Being overweight
- Undergoing chemotherapy
- Taking drugs like NSAIDs, opioids, and steroids
As you can see, some of these triggers are out of your control.
But there are a few things you can do to prevent a flare-up, such as:
- Eating a high-fiber diet
- Exercising regularly
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Quitting smoking
- Practicing safe sex
Nonetheless, it can be difficult to prevent diverticulitis flare-ups. And when they do occur, it's important to get treatment as soon as possible.
This is especially true for complicated diverticulitis, which can lead to widespread infection and death.
So we don't recommend using CBD as your only treatment.
Instead, it's a good idea to get mainstream medical therapy for a flare-up. This might include antibiotics, painkillers, and, in some cases, surgery.
Once your condition is under control, you can then think about incorporating CBD into your treatment plan. But always make sure to consult with a medical professional first!
Can CBD Help With Diverticulitis?
Unfortunately, there are no scientific studies that answer this question. This means it's difficult to say for sure whether CBD can help with diverticulitis.
But that doesn't mean it's impossible.
After all, diverticulitis is an inflammatory condition (like gastritis). And there is plenty of evidence to suggest that CBD can help with inflammation.
One example is a study conducted by doctors at Tel Aviv University.
In this study, 11 patients with Crohn's disease — an inflammatory condition of the gut — were given THC-containing cigarettes. 10 weeks later, 5 patients achieved complete remission, which means they no longer had any symptoms of the disease.
Another good example is this study by doctors at Dalhousie University, Canada.
Here, mice with type 1 diabetes were given CBD for 10 weeks. At the end of the study, they had a significant reduction in pancreatic inflammation.
So as you can see, CBD does have the potential to help with inflammatory conditions like diverticulitis. But until there are more studies on humans, we can't say for sure.
How Long Does It Take For Diverticulitis To Heal?
The healing process for diverticulitis can vary from person to person. But in most cases, the condition will improve within a week with rest and home treatment.
If you have a more severe case of diverticulitis, you might need to be hospitalized. In this case, it can take up to several weeks for the condition to improve.
How Do You Calm Inflamed Diverticulitis?
As discussed above, mild cases of diverticulitis can be calmed down with home treatment. You can do this by resting and eating a clear liquid diet.
In more severe cases, you'll need antibiotics for 4-7 days to calm down the inflammation. These may include:
If even that doesn't help, your doctor will probably admit you to the hospital. You'll then need intravenous antibiotics as well as imaging tests to work up the condition.
How can I fix diverticulitis naturally?
Once diverticulitis develops, there is no natural way to fix it. Of course, you can try a clear liquid diet and see if your condition improves. But there's a high chance you'll need antibiotics.
Nonetheless, you can prevent diverticulitis from developing in the first place via natural remedies. All of these are aimed at keeping your gut healthy and include:
- Probiotics: These are live microorganisms that have health benefits when consumed. You can find them in fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi. You can also take them in supplement form.
- Prebiotics: These are non-digestible fiber that serves as food for probiotics. Good sources include bananas, onions, garlic, and leeks.
- Vitamin D: This vitamin is important for gut health and can be found in fatty fish, mushrooms, and eggs. You can also get it from sunlight exposure.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: These are anti-inflammatory and can be found in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines. You can also take them in supplement form.
Imaginal CBD products we recommend for diverticulitis
Once your acute diverticulitis flare-up is treated, you can try CBD supplements to prevent it from returning. Here are our top 2 recommendations:
In addition to containing CBD, these gummies also contain elderberries. Elderberries are known for their immune-boosting properties, so they might keep diverticulitis infections at bay.
These soft gels are designed to have increased bioavailability. This means that your body will be able to absorb more of the CBD, making it more effective.
These gummies also have Curcumin, derived from the superfood turmeric which is packed with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Since diverticulitis is associated with inflammation, they could help.
CBD can be a helpful supplement for those suffering from diverticulitis. It can help reduce inflammation and pain and might even prevent the condition from returning.
However, we don't recommend using CBD as your only treatment for an acute flare-up. That's because diverticulitis can become severe and life-threatening if handled improperly, so it's important to seek proper medical care.
(This article has been written by Dr. Eilaf Meenai, MBBS)