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The term "diverticulitis" means that one or more pouches, or bubbles, have occurred in the wall of the colon (or large intestine).  You may have these pouches and not know it -- until they cause pain.  The pain indicates that these bubbles have collected waste for an amount of time and have become infected, causing a sharp or chronic ache.  They are most often found on the left, in the area of the sigmoid colon. A person may also be bloated and have constant gas, either loose bowel or constipation, sometimes nausea, and sometimes fever and/or chills.  This problem is historically more common in women than men.
 
How does this happen?  The walls of the intestine have become weak from a history of constipation with low fiber diets high in refined carbohydrates.  In Acupuncture we say that there is a chronic deficiency in energy and vital fluids (Qi, Yin & Yang) usually due to a processed foods diet and too few fresh fruits and vegetables and ancient grains.  In your Acupuncture appointment, you will be assessed as to which deficiency you have and what foods may help the situation.  Until you feel better you may want to avoid beans, peas, course grains, small seeds and nuts, popcorn, dried fruits.  Eat warm, soft foods and warm liquids such as thin soups.  Bone broth soup is an excellent healer, as is Kefir.  Kefir is specifically excellent for healing the intestines.  It is made from milk and in the fermentation process eats lactose, so that there is little or no issue for those who have problems with dairy products.
 
Your Acupuncture Physician may also prescribe an herbal formula to help heal quicker and decrease the pain of the diverticuli, such a Bai Shao/Gan Cao combination. 
 
The Acupuncture treatment itself:
 
*  Increases blood flow to the bowel 
*  Lowers bacterial counts
*  Strengthens mucosa of the intestines which strengthens the muscle walls of the intestine and expedites bowel healing
*  Increases stool transit to avoid inflammation
 
Some of the acupuncture points used in treatment include LI 7 for intestinal inflammation and LI11 for abdominal pain and diarrhea.  LI4, Ren 6 and ST36 may also be included.  Others may be added according to the findings of the treatment principles of acupuncture.
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