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Keep reading to learn more about the causes, diverticulosis treatment and symptoms of diverticulitis with Healthier Me Today! Diverticulitis is a gastrointestinal disorder involving active inflammation of the diverticula. Diverticula are abnormal protrusions of pouches that jut out from the wall of a hollow organ. In the case of diverticulitis, diverticula are caused because of the protrusion of mucosa and inner bowel wall layers. Bulging in the large intestine wall is a result of a weakened bowel wall. Diverticulitis is usually not seen in the rectum.
What is diverticulitis and its most common symptoms and causes? Most people with diverticula do not get any symptoms, in such cases, the condition is called diverticulosis. When diverticula cause pain in the lower stomach, it is called diverticular disease. These little diverticula become inflamed into diverticulitis, which is when a piece of faeces (faecolith) blocks the opening to the diverticula. This obstruction of the diverticulum lumen leads to replication of the bacteria and increased mucous secretion.
As a result, the intraluminal pressure increases. This rising pressure results in venous congestion, leading to the development of ischemia of the wall and subsequently perforation. The perforation, if it is small, will usually lead to inflammation of the colonic wall surrounding it. Typically, the perforations get sealed by pericolic fat. In cases where the perforations are large, however, this results in the formation of a pericolic abscess. In most severe cases, it causes peritonitis and even death. The sigmoid colon is one of the most common places where diverticulitis is seen to occur.
There are two types of diverticulitis. The more common types of diverticulitis are presented with abdominal pain and bowel symptoms while the less common form of the disease presents itself through bleeding and fistulae.
Diverticulitis affects the distal colon, where 50% of the cases affect the sigmoid colon, 40% affect the descending colon, and 5-10% affect the proximal colon. It becomes more common as people age too. In the US, 30% of adults above the age of 59 and more than 70% of those people above the age of 80 have experienced diverticulitis. About 200,000 people in the US get hospitalized for diverticulitis each year, with 71,000 getting hospitalized for diverticular bleeding.
“How to diagnose diverticulitis”, Diagnosis may involve blood tests, a colonoscopy, or a CT scan. Sometimes a combination of coloscopy and CT scan, called CT colonography, is performed to get the right information about the disease.
Diet: Eating a high-fibre diet helps ease the symptoms of diverticulitis and prevents its development. It is advised that adults eat at least 30gm of fibre — including fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, cereals, and starchy foods. This increase in fibre content should be gradual to avoid probable side effects like bloating. In some cases of diverticulitis, a fluid-only diet is recommended as doctors advise eating a low-fibre diet to rest your digestive system.
Medicine: A doctor might prescribe antibiotics in case of infection. More severe diverticulitis may need hospital diverticulosis treatment, antibiotic injections, and an intravenous drip to keep the body hydrated and nourished.
Surgery: In rare cases, it might be necessary to remove the affected section of the large intestine.
Healthier Me Today is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment, always consult with your healthcare professional. Stay healthy!