Getting To Know The Condition Known as Diverticulitis

Getting To Know The Condition Known as Diverticulitis

Image courtesy  of cuteimage at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of cuteimage at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Small, bulging pouches (diverticula) inside of the digestive tract is a common occurrence for those who are 40 or older. The condition of having these diverticula’s is called: diverticulosis. When a diverticula becomes inflamed or infection sets in, then the condition changes and is now called: diverticulitis. You can have diverticula forming anywhere in your digestive tract including the esophagus, stomach, small or large intestine. Most often the diverticula’s form in the large intestine. The pouches that form usually do not cause any problem and therefore go unnoticed by the individual.

Getting To Know The Condition Known as Diverticulitis

 

If the individual has just a mild case of diverticulitis it can be treated easily at home with rest, liquids or a low-fiber diet and oral antibiotics. Serious or complicated cases of diverticulitis need to be cared for in the hospital due to the need for intravenous fluids or intravenous antibiotics or even required surgery.

 

Diverticulitis can be mild or it can be severe, even to the point of being fatal.

 

Diverticulitis is preventable. It can also reoccur (happen again) if individuals are not careful with their diet, exercise and stress management.

 

Signs and Symptoms that you may have diverticulitis:

 

If you are suffering from a bout of diverticulitis it will feel as if you have appendicitis because the pain is in your abdomen. The difference is that with appendicitis the pain will be on the lower right side and with diverticulitis the pain is on the lower left side of your abdomen. The pain of diverticulitis is severe and comes on suddenly. The pain may fluctuate in intensity and may also start off mild and increase over several days. There is usually abdominal tenderness when the area is pressed. A fever is usually present. The individual may also suffer from nausea, diarrhea or constipation.

 

These other symptoms are less common to diverticulitis but may also occur:

 

Bleeding from the rectum

Bloating

Difficulty or pain upon urination

Frequent urination

Tenderness in the abdomen when bending over or wearing a belt

Vomiting

Diverticulitis is usually caused when the colon has weak places and pressure in the colon causes a bulge to appear in the weakened colon wall.

 

If the pressure continues or increases in the colon than this can lead to a small tear or perforation to develop in a pouch that has become infected or an inflamed diverticula’s. A localized collection of pus is called an abscess.

 

As we age we are more likely to see these colon changes. Aging is inevitable and little we can do to prevent this from happening but there are other factors in which we can do something about for instance, a diet that is low in fiber contributes to the formation of diverticula’s. We can make sure that we start eating a diet that contains fiber such as whole grains and fruits and vegetables. We can also increase our level of activity and exercise as this helps the colon to function normally.

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