Acupuncture For Diverticulitis: Does It Work?


Diverticulitis is a condition in which small pouches, called diverticula, form in the lining of the large intestine. Although diverticula often go unnoticed and cause no significant symptoms, when these pouches fill with waste material, they can become inflamed and infected. This leads to diverticulitis, and a host of uncomfortable symptoms including abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, bloating, gas, and fever. If you have these symptoms, you may wonder if acupuncture for diverticulitis is truly effective and how it can help you. 

Acupuncture improves diverticulitis by reducing inflammation of the bowel. While acupuncture should not be used as the sole treatment for diverticulitis, it works well as a supportive measure.

Can acupuncture help diverticulitis patients overcome pain? 

Acupuncture isn’t just for musculoskeletal issues, like trigger finger and frozen shoulder. It also works well for treating a variety of chronic health conditions, including diverticulitis. That’s because acupuncture supports the body’s ability to heal itself by stimulating the immune system

Acupuncture benefits diverticulitis patients because it helps lower inflammation of the bowels. As sterile needles are inserted, this causes an instant increase in circulation to the surrounding tissues. This triggers the immune system, kickstarting the healing process.

The resulting flood of oxygen and blood brings nutrients and other materials that damaged cells need to recover. The sudden increase in circulation also detoxifies the inflamed tissues by clearing cytokines and other pro-inflammatory cells out of the area. 

Good circulation supports healthy tissue development, while simultaneously reducing inflammation. Both of these measures fight the debilitating symptoms of diverticulitis, so you can stop struggling with the bloating, cramps, and discomfort and get back to living life pain-free.

Does acupuncture improve gut health?

Of course, pain isn’t the only symptom that diverticulitis sufferers have to deal with. The nausea, vomiting, gas, and overall poor gut health that accompany this condition can be debilitating, too. Now, we know that acupuncture can help patients overcome diverticulitis pain. But does acupuncture have the power to improve gut health?

Research shows that acupuncture regulates GI motility and modulates the brain-gut axis. Exactly how and why acupuncture is so effective at improving gut health isn’t fully understood yet. But the fact remains, acupuncture can promote healthy gut function, which also plays a big role in improving your diverticulitis symptoms. 

The gut health-boosting effects of acupuncture can further be enhanced with the help of dietary changes. Identifying underlying food intolerances, removing foods your body dislikes, and incorporating more of the nutritious foods your body loves will also support a healthy digestive system. 

Is acupuncture alone enough to treat diverticulitis symptoms?

Acupuncture works with your body to support the proper function of a variety of processes, from digestion to circulation and everything in between. It helps your body keep everything in good working order, and it can help you keep your gastric symptoms in check. But because diverticulitis can lead to serious health issues, acupuncture should not be relied upon as the sole treatment for the condition.

Diverticulitis can lead to infection when the diverticula fill with waste products and become infected. Infected diverticula can also abscess, filling with pus. Other complications of diverticulitis include perforation of the bowel, which often requires surgery. 

Because diverticulitis can lead to significant health challenges, it’s important to utilize a variety of treatments to address the condition. Antibiotics may be required to help eliminate your symptoms. Lifestyle changes, vitamin injections, and dietary therapy are also beneficial.

You should never rely on acupuncture alone to treat your diverticulitis. That said, acupuncture may be an effective pain management strategy for you, one which allows you to reduce your reliance on pain medications, which can be detrimental to gut health

What can you expect during your acupuncture session?

Acupuncture can seem intimidating if you’ve never attended a session before. But it’s actually incredibly relaxing. During your first session, your acupuncturist will ask about your health history to determine the underlying cause of your digestive dysfunction. This allows them to craft a treatment plan that’s just right for you. 

Then, your acupuncture session will begin in earnest. Needles will be inserted into acupuncture points across your body with the aim of restoring balance and supporting the proper function of the digestive system (as well as any other systems that are found to be out of balance). 

The needles will be left in place for a period of 10 to 45 minutes, during which time you will be advised to relax. After that, the needles will be removed, and you can resume your normal activities. Your acupuncturist may advise you to perform certain exercises, like yoga, to enhance the effects of your acupuncture session. 

It’s worth noting that the symptoms of diverticulitis can mimic those of many other conditions, including sciatica, endometriosis, lower back pain, and certain food allergies. Your acupuncturist can help you define your symptoms more clearly by identifying any underlying dysfunction that you may not even be aware that you have.

How often should you get acupuncture for diverticulitis?

There is no universal acupuncture treatment protocol for diverticulitis. Generally speaking, the worse your diverticulitis symptoms, the more often you’ll need treatment. But if your symptoms are mild and episodic, then a few sessions during flare-ups will probably be sufficient to help you manage your symptoms.

Although initial treatment typically calls for frequent sessions, many diverticulitis patients find that their symptoms stabilize after a few weeks of regular acupuncture appointments. Over time, you may find that weekly or biweekly acupuncture sessions are enough to keep your symptoms at bay. 

Your acupuncturist will be able to tell you how long you’ll need to be treated, and which therapies will benefit you the most. 

Can herbal medicine treat diverticulitis?

When treating diverticulitis, it’s best to utilize a variety of alternative therapies. Traditional Chinese medicine can be especially helpful for addressing your uncomfortable symptoms and can make all the difference in our diverticulitis patients. 

After learning more about your health history, we’ll take a look at your tongue to form a diagnosis. This allows us to identify the underlying causes of your digestive issues. The modern lifestyle is full of stressors. Combine that with a poor diet and insufficient sleep, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. 

Once we’ve figured out why you’re dealing with your symptoms, we can finally address them with a customized herbal medicine protocol. Traditional Chinese medicine is powerful stuff. Our patients typically experience a dramatic improvement in their symptoms within the first week of starting their personalized treatment protocol. 

We offer our patients monthly treatment plans, including weekly check-ins to ensure they stay on track and continue making good progress. In tandem with acupuncture, traditional Chinese herbs can help you finally overcome your debilitating diverticulitis symptoms. 

Booking an appointment

Ready to commit to your new wellness journey? At Orlando Alternative Health, we’ll be right there with you every step of the way.

Contact our office today to learn more about our therapies and to find out which conditions we treat besides diverticulitis. We will work with you to create a custom treatment plan designed to help you overcome your symptoms. 
Book your appointment now and discover the amazing benefits of acupuncture for yourself!

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