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(mesenteric lipodystrophy, mesenteric panniculitis, retractile mesenteritis

Sclerosing mesenteritis is a disease characterised by degeneration (necrosis), inflammation and scarring (fibrosis) of fatty (adipose) tissue of the mesentery and also goes under the following synonyms, mesenteric lipodystrophy, mesenteric panniculitis, retractile mesenteritis. The mesentery is a fold of tissue of the peritoneum that supports and attaches the intestines to the wall of the abdomen. The peritoneum is the membrane that lines the abdominal cavity and covers the abdominal organs. It is the small bowel mesentery that is usually affected by sclerosing mesenteritis.

Symptoms of sclerosing mesenteritis

  • Abdominal pain

  • Bloating

  • Constipation and diarrhoea

  • Fatigue

  • Fever

  • Loss of appetite

  • Nausea/vomiting

  • Night sweats

Symptoms can vary greatly from one person to another and some people do not develop any symptoms at all (asymptomatic). The exact cause of sclerosing mesenteritis is, as yet, unknown and, currently, the conventional treatment is to prescribe steroids and the person's diet is not examined at all. Although the steroids will dampen down the immune system and stop it attacking cells in the body, the result of taking steroids can cause other health issues such stomach irritation, water retention (oedema), weight gain, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, sodium retention and impaired absorption of vitamin D, calcium, potassium and magnesium which affects levels of vitamin B2, vitamin C and zinc. Steroids can also cause recurring attacks of herpes and other infections due to the lowering of the immune systems capabilities.


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Avoid ingesting the following which add to the acidity and sluggishness of the stomach: alcohol, coffee and other caffeine beverages, sugar, hot spices and meat and dairy products.

Food intolerances

Sclerosing mesenteritis has been linked to a lack of blood flow (ischemia) to the mesentery region, the use of certain drugs, infection and trauma to the affected region and diverticulitis. It is also thought, by some, to be an autoimmune disease and this may be due to intolerances to certain components in food. When the stomach cannot tolerate components such as gluten, lactose, leptins or thiols etc., it can cause irritation which can lead to a 'leaky gut'. When this occurs, undigested protein molecules can escape into the bloodstream. The immune system then attacks these foreign invaders but, because they can be similar to actual proteins in the body, it will also attack the body's own proteins. This can occur anywhere in the body and may, in some cases, be the tissues of the small bowel mesentery. The result is inflammation and, if left untreated, may well lead to the fibrosis that occurs with this disease.

It may well help the person with this disease to try eliminating foods that contain these common allergens (see Food Allergies) but the damage that has already been done needs treatment also.

Correcting the intestinal flora balance

There are more than 36 different species of bacteria that reside in the colon. More than 20 species of bacteria grow in the stool of meat-eaters and all of them produce highly toxic waste products. One is salmonella, which is often found in the meat and eggs of poultry, and can produce a seriously debilitating illness which is usually called "food poisoning". Another is E. Coli which is actually beneficial in normal small amounts, but unhealthy when allowed to overpopulate in the colon.

The colon is a place where water is removed from whatever is left from digesting the food, and the rest is moved along towards the anus for expulsion. More minerals are absorbed into the bloodstream in the colon too such as magnesium and calcium.

The health of colon cells, which turn over rapidly, is largely dependent upon the bacteria in the colon which in turn is dependent upon the food ingested for these bacteria. A sedentary lifestyle, a poor diet of excess sugar and refined foods, intolerance to certain components in foods, medications and even antibacterial mouthwashes and unnatural toothpastes, can all upset the balance of the intestinal flora and lead to inflammation and intestinal overgrowths of yeast and pathogenic bacteria which then crowds out the beneficial bacteria that reside in the guts.

When the intestinal flora is imbalanced it can cause a number of health issues due to the malabsorption and manufacture of various vital nutrients and then this, like a domino effect, will lead to more health issues.

Processes that intestinal bacteria are responsible for

  • Constructing vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B7 (biotin) and vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin). The beneficial bacteria in the colon can produce at least half of the estimated requirement of 100 mg per day of vitamin K. Vitamin B12 is manufactured in the colon by bacteria but because it is below the ileum where B12 is absorbed into the blood stream this B12 is only used by the bacteria themselves or excreted.

  • Crowding out the pathogenic bacteria that cause disease, such as Salmonella infections.

  • Lowering the levels of toxins and toxicity from nitrites added to processed foods.

  • Producing enzymes which enable digestion of various types of food.

  • Manufacturing natural antibiotics which help control or destroy the harmful bacteria

  • Manufacture short-chain fatty acids, most are absorbed into the bloodstream, but some are used to feed the cells of the colon.

  • Protecting the intestinal mucosa tissues from harmful fungus or yeast infestation - mainly by crowding out the yeast and fungus organisms and preventing them from adhering to the tissue where they could grow and spread.

Prebiotic and probiotic foods are essential to keeping the intestinal flora in check.


Prebiotic foods, containing carbohydrates such as inulin, encourages a healthy intestinal environment to benefit probiotic intestinal flora. Prebiotic is a fairly recently coined name to refer to food components that support the growth of certain kinds of bacteria in the colon (large intestine).

Oligosaccharides, resistant starch and fermentable fibre feeds these bacteria who have an important influence on the rest of the body.

The human digestive system has a hard time breaking down many of these carbohydrates. Almost 90% escapes digestion in the small intestine and reaches the colon where it performs a different function: that of a prebiotic. The bacteria that feed on fermentable carbohydrate produce many beneficial substances, including short-chain fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin K2 and certain B vitamins. They also promote further absorption of some minerals that have escaped the small intestine, including calcium and magnesium and vitamin K2 is vital for the use of vitamin D in the body. 

Prebiotic foods that feed the existing beneficial bacteria

  • Agave

  • Apples

  • Artichokes (globe)

  • Asparagus

  • Banana

  • Beans

  • Bran

  • Broccoli

  • Burdock root

  • Cabbage

  • Cauliflower

  • Chicory root

  • Cocoa (raw)

  • Coconut flesh

  • Dandelion root

  • Elecampane,

  • Garlic

  • Kale

  • Leeks

  • Lentils

  • Mugwort

  • Oats

  • Onions

  • Parsnips

  • Peas

  • Radish

  • Rampion

  • Salsify

  • Turnip

  • Swede

  • Sweet potato#

  • Whole grains

  • Yam

  • Yacon root


Probiotic foods contain beneficial bacteria and come from the fermentation process that the food has been allowed to undergo. During and after any treatment with antibiotics, it is advisable to include more probiotic foods in the daily diet to replenish the friendly bacteria that are wiped out by antibiotics. It is advisable to consume probiotics at least an hour before other foods to enable enough beneficial bacteria to survive and pass through the strong stomach acids.

Probiotic foods that contain beneficial bacteria

NOTE: Although yoghurt also contains these bacteria, dairy products are not recommended for those with sclerosing mesenteritis.

The importance of soluble and insoluble fibre

The western diet is often lacking in enough fibre to keep the digestive and excretory system healthy. Refined and processed foods are often stripped of their fibre content which often resides in the skins and outer husks which are removed. Too much protein can putrefy in the intestines without ample fibre ingestion and lead to inflammation and many people consume vast amounts of protein from meat and dairy produce and very little vegetables and fruit.

Soluble fibre

Soluble fibres attract water and form a gel, which slows down digestion by delaying the emptying of the stomach and creating a full feeling. Gums and pectin (found in the skins of fruits and vengetables) are the best type of fibre for the fermentation processes in the colon.

Natural sources of soluble fibre

Insoluble fibre

Insoluble fibre has a laxative effect and adds bulk to the diet, helping prevent constipation. These fibres do not dissolve in water, so they pass through the gastrointestinal tract relatively intact and speed up the passage of food and waste through the intestines. Insoluble fibre is not available for much fermentation, but it is still important in the colon. Not only does it provide bulk in the stool, its tendency to speed transition along means that the fermentation will take place all along the length of the colon, including the near the end. Without insoluble fibre, most of the fermentation would take place in the top part of the colon, so only the colon cells there would get any benefit.

Natural sources of insoluble fibre

Women should consume at least 25g of fibre per day, while men should consume 30 to 38 g per day. Eat more vegetables and whole fruits instead of juice and add whole grains, pulses and legumes to meals, for baking and for breakfast.

Highest natural sources of fibre

  • 3oz (85g) of cooked split peas 16 g

  • 3oz (85g) of cooked lentils 15 g

  • 3oz (85g) of black beans 15 g

  • 3oz (85g) of millet contains 15 g

  • 3oz (85g) of lima beans contains 13.2 g

  • 1 medium (globe) artichoke 10.1 g

  • 4oz (113g) of green peas 9 g

  • 4oz (113g) of raspberries 8 g

  • 3oz (85g) of cooked pearl barley 6 g

  • 4oz (113g) of broccoli 5 g

  • 1 medium sized pear with skin 5.5 g

  • 1oz (4.5g) of bran flakes 5.3 g

  • 1 medium sized apple with skin 4.4 g

  • 1 oz psyllium husks contains 4.3 g

  • 3oz (85g) cooked oatmeal  4 g

  • 3oz (85g) of cooked brown rice 3.5 g (vs. 1 g in white rice)

  • 1 medium banana 3.1 g

  • 1 orange 3 g

Natural foods that can help to rectify bowel issues

Aloe vera and slippery elm contain components that can help the lining of the intestines repair itself. Aloe vera should be taken in low doses and gradually build-up as it can have a laxative effect.

Baobab fruit powder is an excellent source of soluble fibre and can be taken daily with a large glass of water.

Coconut in all forms (flesh, cold-pressed oil and water) has many health benefits. The water can replace lost electrolytes due to dehydration and the flesh is rich in fibre and inulin. Cooking with cold-pressed coconut oil provides many health benefits and it has a high heat threshold.psyllium

Gentian root contains triterpens and xanthones which presents an anti-inflammatory action direct on the mucous of the stomach

Marshmallow is a useful herb for the treatment of diarrhoea and indigestion; along with chronic diseases that cause these symptoms such as Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and gastroesophageal reflux disease. Its anti-inflammatory properties are also useful for treating enteritis, hiatus hernias, colitis, peptic ulcers, mouth ulcers and sclerosing mesenteritis.

Pineapple (fresh only) is an excellent fruit to consume as it can help to rehydrate the body and contains enzymes that help with digestion. Consume some after each meal.

Psyllium husks are a powerful aid to the digestive and excretory systems. Take one teaspoon per day with a large tumbler of water. They must be taken with a large amount of water as they soak up fluids and help with the passage of the stool. If insufficient water is drunk at the same time they can cause an obstruction.

Try a juicing regimen: Carrot and apple juice in the mornings, carrot and celery in the evenings and a combination of carrot, beetroot and cucumber through out the day.

Nutrients required when sclerosing mesenteritis is present

Because some nutrients, such as the B complex of vitamins and minerals, may not be absorbed well in a person with sclerosing mesenteritis it is important that extra foods that provide them are included in the diet. Important minerals are often lost during fever, diarrhoea and night sweats. Today's intense farming techniques also strip the soils of important minerals. The best sources are those that are organic and come from the sea like algae and seaweed.

Glutamine and glutamic acid

Glutamine is an amino acid that helps to rejuvenate the gut wall lining. The body requires both glutamine and glutamic acid to function correctly and therefore, consuming unprocessed foods rich in these amino acids, can be beneficial.

Natural sources of glutamine

Beetroot, cabbage, chlorella, kombu, legumes, oily fish, parsley, propolis, seaweed and spinach.

Natural sources of glutamic acid

Apples, apricots, brewer's yeast, kombu, legumes, oily fish, seaweed, spirulina and torula yeast.


Glycine can help to increase production of the protective mucous in the intestines as well as cleanse the system.

Natural sources of glycine

Omega-3 fatty acids

The western diet is often far to high in the omega-6 fatty acids which are inflammatory and too low in omega-3 fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory. Foods contain both these fatty acids but only hemp seeds contain the correct ratio of omega-6 which is 4:1 of omega-3. A way to rectify this is to consume foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids which will also hlp th gut to repair itself.

Highest sources of omega-3 fatty acids in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Krill oil 36000 mg

  • Flaxseed oil 22813 mg

  • Chia seeds 17552 mg

  • Walnuts 9079 mg

  • Caviar (fish eggs) 6789 mg

  • Cloves (ground) 4279 mg

  • Oregano (dried) 4180 mg

  • Marjoram (dried) 3230 mg

  • Tarragon (dried) 2955 mg

  • Mackerel 2670 mg

  • Herring 2365 mg

  • Salmon (wild) 2018 mg

  • Basil (dried) 1509 mg

  • Sardines 1480 mg

  • Anchovies 1478 mg

  • Soya beans 1433 mg

  • Trout 1068 mg

  • Pecans, sea bass 986 mg

  • Pine nuts 787 mg

  • Bell peppers (green) 770 mg

  • Oysters 740 mg

  • Radish seeds sprouted 722 mg

  • Purslane 400 mg

  • Basil (fresh leaves) 316 mg

  • Kidney beans 194 mg

  • Wakame seaweed 188 mg

  • Alfalfa sprouts 175 mg

  • Brussel sprouts 173 mg

  • Rocket 170 mg

  • Cauliflower 167 mg

  • Spinach 138 mg

  • Broccoli 129 mg

  • Raspberries 126 mg

  • Lettuce 113 mg

  • Blueberries 94 mg

  • Summer squash 82 mg

  • Strawberries 65 mg

  • Eggs 74 mg

  • Chinese cabbage (pak choy) 55 mg


Important nutrients that can help the gut repair itself are vitamins A, C and E.

Vitamin A

Two forms of vitamin A are available in the human diet: preformed vitamin A (retinol and its esterified form, retinyl ester) which can be gaind from fish and shellfish and provitamin A carotenoids. By far the most important pro-vitamin A carotenoid is beta-carotene; other pro-vitamin A carotenoids are alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. The body converts these plant pigments into vitamin A.

Highest sources of pro-formed vitamin A per 100 grams

  • Sweet potato 19218 UI

  • Carrots 17033  UI

  • Pumpkin 15563  UI

  • Kale 14704  UI

  • Dried apricots 12669  UI

  • Butternut squash 11155  UI

  • Dried mint 10579  UI

  • Cos or romaine lettuce 8710  UI

  • Parsley 8424  UI

  • Cress 6917  UI

  • Watercress 3191  UI

  • Broccoli 2622  UI

  • Butter 2499  UI

  • Peas 2100  UI

  • Apricots 1926  UI

  • Tofu 1913  UI

  • Carrot juice 1912  UI

  • Passion fruit 1272  UI

  • Courgettes 1117  UI

  • Tomatoes 833  UI

NOTE: One IU is the biological equivalent of 0.3 μg or 0.3 micrograms.

Vitamin C

Highest sources of vitamin C in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Acerola cherries 1677.6 mg

  • Camu camu berries 532 mg

  • Rosehips 426 mg

  • Green chillies 242.5 mg

  • Guavas 228.3 mg

  • Yellow bell peppers 183.5 mg

  • Black currants 181 mg

  • Thyme 160.01 mg

  • Red chillies 143.7 mg

  • Drumstick pods 141 mg

  • Kale 120 mg

  • Jalapeno peppers 118.6 mg

  • Kiwi fruit 105.4 mg

  • Sun dried tomatoes 102 mg

  • Broccoli 89 mg

  • Brussel sprouts 85 mg

  • Cloves, saffron 81 mg

  • Mustard greens 70 mg

  • Cress 69 mg

  • Persimmons fruit 66 mg

  • Swede 62 mg

  • Basil 61 mg

  • Rosemary 61 mg

  • Strawberries 58 mg

  • Chives 58 mg

  • Oranges 53.2 mg

  • Lemons 53 mg

  • Pineapple 48 mg

  • Cauliflower 48 mg

  • Kumquats 43.9 mg

  • Watercress 43 mg

  • Wasabi root 41.9 mg

  • Kidney bean sprouts 38.7 mg

  • Melon 36.7 mg

  • Elderberries 36 mg

  • Breadfruit 29 mg

  • Coriander 27 mg

Vitamin E.

Highest sources of vitamin E in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Wheat germ 149.4 mg

  • Hemp seeds 55 mg

  • Hazelnut oil 47 mg

  • Almond oil 39 mg

  • Sunflower seeds 38.3 mg

  • Rice bran oil 32 mg

  • Grape seed oil 29 mg

  • Almonds 26.2 mg

  • Oregano 18.3 mg

  • Hazelnuts 17 mg

  • Flaxseed oil 17 mg

  • Peanut oil 16 mg

  • Hazelnuts 15.3 mg

  • Corn oil 15 mg

  • Olive oil 14 mg

  • Soya bean oil 12 mg

  • Pine nuts 9.3 mg

  • Cloves (ground) 9 mg

  • Peanuts 8 mg

  • Celery flakes (dried) 6 mg

  • Spirulina 5 mg

  • Dried apricots 4.3 mg

  • Bell peppers (red), eel, olives and salmon 4 mg

  • Jalapeno peppers 3.6 mg

  • Anchovies 3.3 mg

  • Broccoli, chicken, chilli peppers (sun-dried), cod, crayfish, dandelion greens, egg yolk, pecan nuts, spinach, tomatoes (tinned or pureed) turkey and turnip greens 3 mg

  • Avocado, bilberries, blue berries, butter, chicory greens, cinnamon (ground), crab, halibut, herring (pickled), mackerel, marjoram, mustard greens, pistachio nuts, poppy seeds, sardines, sesame seeds, Swiss chard, trout, tuna, turnips and walnuts 2 mg

  • Fish roe 1.9 mg

  • Asparagus, kiwi fruit and parsnips 1.5 mg

  • Black berries 1.2 mg

  • Chlorella 1.1 mg


Zinc can also help the gut to repair itself and is often excessively expelled through drinking alcohol or sweating.

Highest sources of zinc in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Oysters 78.6 mg

  • Chlorella 71 mg

  • Wheat germ 16.7 mg

  • Pumpkin and squash seeds 10.3 mg

  • Sesame and watermelon seeds 10.2 mg

  • Bamboo shoots, endives and gourds 9 mg

  • Chervil (herb) 8.8 mg

  • Alfalfa seeds (sprouted), amaranth leaves, Crimini mushrooms, Irish moss and tea 8 mg

  • Crab 7.6 mg

  • Lobster 7.3 mg

  • Agave, basil, broccoli, buffalo, elk, emu, oats, ostrich, spinach and turkey 7 mg

  • Cocoa powder 6.8 mg

  • Cashew nuts 5.8 mg

  • Asparagus, laver seaweed, mushrooms, parsley and rice bran 5.7 mg

  • Cashew nuts 5.6 mg

  • Jute (herb), lemon grass, mung beans, Portobello mushrooms, radishes and shiitake mushrooms 5 mg

  • Agar seaweed, butterbur, cauliflower, chicory, Chinese cabbage, chives, coriander, green beans, lentils, lettuce, okra, rocket, spring onions, summer squash, Swiss chard, tomatoes and wasabi (yellow) 3.4 mg

  • Peanuts 3.3 mg

  • Anchovies 2.4 mg

  • Cabbage, cucumber, jalapeno peppers, , kidney beans, navy beans, spirulina and turnip greens 2 mg

  • Mussels 1.6 mg

  • Arrowroot, artichokes (globe), beetroot, bell peppers, black eyed peas, borage, broad beans, Brussel sprouts, butter beans, cabbage, carrots, celery, courgettes, dandelion greens, garlic, horseradish, kale, kelp, mustard greens, peas, pinto beans, potatoes, pumpkin, turnips, Swede, sweet potato, tomatoes (red),  wakame (seaweed), watercress and winged beans 1.2 mg

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"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC


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