The colon has a soft, inner layer and a muscular, outer layer.
A low-fiber diet leads to constipation, and an increase in pressure in the colon. If there are weak spots in the muscles of the colon, the soft inner layer pushes through, forming pouches called diverticula. Age and poor diet conspire to give most North Americans diverticula by the age of 80. The majority of those with diverticulosis have few symptoms, though some experience cramps, bloating or constipation. Generally the only treatment needed is fiber: whole grains, cereals, fruits, vegetables and, if necessary, drinkable fiber supplements.
Inflamed or infected diverticula, called diverticulitis, cause pain or tenderness in the lower left abdomen. Symptoms include fever, chills, cramping, constipation, nausea and vomiting. There is also a danger of perforation. Treatment usually includes antibiotics, a liquid diet and rest. If attacks are severe or frequent, surgery to remove the affected section of the colon may be necessary. So eat your fiber.
Inflamed, perforated diverticulum
Text and illustrations by Kevin T. Boyd
Acupressure for diverticular disease sufferers
Here are lists of acupressure points for Lower Abdomen, Upper Abdomen, Constipation, Cramps, Diarrhea, Gastrointestinal problems, Hernia, Indigestion, Nausea, Rectum and Intestinal ulcers on PointFinder.org.
If this is your first time, please read the instructions. Don’t use acupressure to replace standard emergency procedures or licensed medical treatment. If you are seriously injured or have acute symptoms seek urgent medical treatment.