Diverticulitis; Causes, Symptoms, Available Treatments

Diverticulitis is a tough word to spell and difficult to pronounce but what you need to know is that it’s a serious illness.

The condition happens when tiny, bulging pouches (called diverticula) form in the colon. If the pouches become inflamed or infected, this is diverticulitis.




Diverticulitis: Symptoms

Symptoms of diverticulitis may be abdominal bloating, pain, and tenderness, typically in the left lower abdomen, plus diarrhea, chills, and a low-grade fever. It can be very painful.


Diverticulitis: Causes

The reason diverticula form in the colon is not completely understood. Doctors think diverticula form when high-pressure areas inside the colon push against weak spots in the colon wall. These diverticula are most common in the lower part of the large intestine (called the sigmoid colon).


Diverticulitis: Bleeding

When a hole develops between a pouch and a blood vessel, bleeding can happen. This can cause a large amount of blood to suddenly appear in your stool. This condition is usually painless and the bleeding usually stops on its own. But in rare cases, bleeding can be severe enough to require a transfusion or surgery. If you have bleeding, contact your doctor right away.


Diverticulitis: Low Fiber Diets Are Bad

A diet low in fiber is linked to diverticulosis. Researchers aren’t sure why. Adding more fiber to the diet can help prevent constipation and may decrease the risk for painful diverticula in the colon.

Fortunately,, you don’t have to look hard to find an abundance of high-fiber foods. Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes (dried beans, peas, and lentils). Make smart food choices, including brown rice and whole wheat pasta in place of the regular version. And add extra veggies to your favorite dishes such as pizza, stews, and spaghetti sauce. The American Dietetic Association recommends getting 20-35 grams of fiber every day.¬†Drinking plenty of water and getting regular exercise may also help.


Diverticulitis: Treatments

A high-fiber diet and fiber supplements are recommended to prevent constipation and stimulate the formation of more diverticula.


Diverticulitis: Drug Treatments

Anti-spasmodic drugs such as Librax, Bentyl, Lomotil, and Levsin are helpful.

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