About diverticulitis

What is diverticulitis?

Diverticulosis and diverticulitis facts

  • Most patients with diverticulosis (diverticular disease) have few or no symptoms.
  • Abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea, can occur with diverticulosis, which then may be called diverticular disease.
  • Diverticulosis can be diagnosed with barium X-rays, sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, or CT scan.
  • Treatment of diverticulosis can include high fiber diet, and anti-spasmodic drugs.
  • When diverticulosis is associated with inflammation and infection the condition is called diverticulitis.
  • Complications of diverticulosis and diverticulitis include rectal bleeding, abdominal infections, and colon obstruction.

What is diverticulosis?

The colon (large intestine) is a long tube-like structure that stores and then eliminates waste material left over after digestion of food in the small intestine takes place. Pressure within the colon causes bulging pockets of tissue (sacs) that push out from the colonic walls as a person ages. A small bulging sac pushing outward from the colon wall is called a diverticulum. More than one bulging sac is referred to in the plural as diverticula. Diverticula can occur throughout the colon but are most common near the end of the left colon, referred to as the sigmoid colon, in Western countries. In Asia, the diverticula occur mostly on the right side of the colon. The condition of having these diverticula in the colon is called diverticulosis.

Diverticula are common in the Western world but are rare in areas such as Asia and Africa. Diverticula increase with age. They are uncommon before the age of 40, and are seen in more than 74% of people over the age of 80 years in the U.S. A person with diverticulosis usually has few or no symptoms. The most common symptoms associated with diverticulosis are abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea. In some of these patients the symptoms may be due to the concomitant presence of irritable bowel syndrome or abnormalities in the function of the muscles of the sigmoid colon (diverticular disease); simple diverticula should cause no symptoms. Occasionally, bleeding originates from a diverticulum, and it is referred to as diverticular bleeding.

What are the symptoms for diverticulitis?

Small bulging pouches in the intestine symptom was found in the diverticulitis condition

The signs and symptoms of diverticulitis include:

  • Pain, which may be constant and persist for several days. Pain is usually felt in the lower left side of the abdomen, but may occur on the right, especially in people of Asian descent.
  • Nausea and Vomiting.
  • Fever.
  • Abdominal tenderness.
  • Constipation or, less commonly, Diarrhea.

What are the causes for diverticulitis?

Diverticula usually develop when naturally weak places in your colon give way under pressure. This causes marble-sized pouches to protrude through the colon wall.

Diverticulitis occurs when diverticula tear, resulting in inflammation or infection or both.

What are the treatments for diverticulitis?

Once formed, diverticula are permanent. No treatment has been shown to prevent complications of diverticular disease.

Diet: Diets high in fiber increase stool bulk and prevent constipation, and theoretically may help prevent further diverticula formation or worsening of the diverticular condition. Some doctors recommend avoiding nuts, corn, and seeds, which are thought by some to plug diverticular openings and cause diverticulitis, but there is little evidence to support this recommendation.

Probiotics: Because inflammation has been found at the edges of diverticula, it has been speculated that colonic bacteria may be playing a role in the rupture of diverticula by promoting inflammation. This has led some people to further speculate that changing the bacteria in the colon might reduce inflammation and rupture and to suggest treatment with probiotics; however, there is not enough evidence of a benefit of probiotics yet to recommend treatment with probiotics of patients with diverticular disease.

What are the risk factors for diverticulitis?

Several factors may increase your risk of developing diverticulitis:

  • Aging. The incidence of diverticulitis increases with age.
  • Obesity. Being seriously overweight increases your odds of developing diverticulitis. Morbid obesity may increase your risk of needing more-invasive treatments for diverticulitis.
  • Smoking. People who smoke cigarettes are more likely than nonsmokers to experience diverticulitis.
  • Lack of exercise. Vigorous exercise appears to lower your risk of diverticulitis.
  • Diet high in animal fat and low in fiber, although the role of low fiber alone isn't clear.
  • Certain medications. Several drugs are associated with an increased risk of diverticulitis, including steroids, opiates and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen (Aleve).

Is there a cure/medications for diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis is a condition in which small, bulged pouches occur in the digestive tract that causes inflammation and infection in the intestines. It is a medical condition that results in swelled inflammatory poach on the lining of the digestive system. Moreover, its cure is available either through medication, or surgical depends on the complication of the matter:

The cure or medication for Diverticulitis:

  • Antibiotics: These are enough to cure Diverticulties if it isn’t severe. Amoxicillin and metronidazole are alone enough to heal complicated Divertculties.
  • A liquid diet: A liquid diet should be followed till your bowels are completely cleansed. Once your stomach lining is stable, you can shift slowly from semi-solid to solid food.
  • Intravenous antibiotics: these are inserted directly into a vein so that they can enter the bloodstream immediately and bypass the absorption in the gut. Cephalosporin and clavulanic are recommended intravenous anti-biotics for Diverticulitis.
  • Insertion of the tube inside the intestine to eliminate an abdominal abscess.
  • Surgery: If all the above methods fail to relieve suffering, then surgery is the culmination step to curb the situation. The surgeon either performs primary bowel resection surgery or Bowel resection with colostomy depending on the compilation of the disease.

Small bulging pouches in the intestine, inflation,Infection in the digestive tract
Antibiotics,Liquid diet,Intravenous antibiotics,Surgery
Pain,Nauseous feeling,Vomiting,Fever, Abdominal tenderness,Constipation,Diarrhea

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