Diverticular diseases affect about 50% of individuals older than 60, and between 10% and 25% of these develop complications from conditions such as diverticulitis. There has been a huge increase in the number of cases of diverticulitis in the past century. Although the severity of this condition varies from person to person, many of its symptoms can be quite painful. Want to learn more about this medical problem and how it can be treated? So keep reading.

What is diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis is associated with the formation of diverticulum, which are sac-shaped formations that occur throughout your digestive tract. Diverticulum most often occurs in the colon, that is, in the large intestine.

These sacs are the result of weak spots in the intestinal walls that tend to blow outward. The bags (diverticulum) can become inflamed or infected by bacteria, which can cause diverticulitis.

Diverticulum is harmless unless inflamed or infected. If you have developed an infected or non-inflamed diverticula, this condition is known as diverticulosis.

What is the difference between diverticulitis and diverticulosis?

Diverticulitis :

  • It is associated with the formation of sacs called diverticula that become inflamed or infected.
  • There is a risk of recurrence.
  • It can become chronic in some people.
  • The risk of developing it increases with age.
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Diverticulosis:

  • Diverticulosis is associated with the formation of infected or non-inflamed sacs called diverticula.
  • It usually does not cause any symptoms, and if it does indeed cause symptoms, it is termed symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease.
  • In rare cases, diverticulosis can lead to the development of diverticulitis.
  • The risk of developing diverticulosis increases with age.

Diverticulitis causes and risk factors

The main reason for this situation is the obstruction of the opened diverticulum. This blockage is often triggered by a buildup of fecal matter that leads to inflammation and subsequent infections.

Other factors associated with an increased risk of diverticulitis include:

  • a diet low in fiber
  • Genetic predisposition
  • a sedentary lifestyle
  • Obesity and overweight
  • To smoke
  • Regular use of certain nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Gender (in people aged 50 and younger, this condition is more common in men, more common in women over 50)
  • advancing age

Symptoms of diverticulitis

Common symptoms associated with diverticulitis include:

  • Abdominal pain typically occurring in the lower left side
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fire
  • increased urinary frequency
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • blood in stool

Because the above symptoms are similar to those of many other health conditions, your doctor may need to perform one or more of the following tests to diagnose your condition.

Diagnosis of diverticulitis

For diagnosis, your doctor may ask questions about your symptoms, medical history, and medications you use.

General diagnostic tests may include:

  • A physical exam to check for abdominal tenderness
  • A digital rectal exam to look for symptoms of pain, bleeding, mass, or other problems

Other diagnostic tests that may need to be done include:

  • Blood tests to look for other medical conditions such as inflammation, anemia, and kidney or liver problems
  • imaging tests, such as an abdominal ultrasound or computed tomography scan
  • urine test to look for different types of infections
  • Stool testing to check for gastrointestinal infections
  • Pelvic examination to rule out gynecological problems
  • pregnancy test to rule out pregnancy in women
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Once your condition is diagnosed, your doctor may recommend treatments depending on the severity of the symptoms.

Diverticulitis treatment

Treatment options for this condition may include:

  • clear liquid diet
  • low fiber diet
  • Medicines, including antibiotics such as metronidazole, ciprofloxacin, or amoxicillin
  • Regular medical follow-up to check if your symptoms are improving
  • Surgery for severe cases

The symptoms triggered by this condition can often be managed at home in the early stages. However, in rare cases, it can lead to complications and those who suffer acutely may need to be admitted to a hospital for treatment.

Diverticulitis diet and nutrition

The diverticulitis diet is something your doctor may recommend as part of a short-term treatment plan for acute diverticulitis. Nutritional therapy for diverticulitis is a temporary measure to give your digestive system a chance to rest. It is recommended to eat a small amount until the bleeding and diarrhea subside.

Diet details

Your diet begins with only clear liquids for a few days. Examples of what is allowed on the clear liquid diet include:

  • Meat Water
  • Fruit juices without pulp, such as apple juice
  • ice chips
  • Ice cubes without fruit or fruit pulp
  • His
  • Tea or coffee without cream

As you begin to feel better, your doctor will recommend gradually adding low-fiber foods to your diet. Examples of low fiber foods include:

  • Skinless or seedless canned or cooked fruit
  • Canned or cooked vegetables (without skin), such as green beans, carrots, and potatoes
  • Eggs, fish and poultry
  • Refined white bread
  • Fruit and vegetable juice without pulp
  • low fiber cereals
  • Milk, yogurt and cheese
  • White rice, pasta and noodles

Conclusion

You should feel better within two or three days of starting the diet and antibiotics. If you haven’t started to feel better by then, you should consult your doctor. You should also consult your doctor in cases such as high fever and persistent abdominal pain. These may indicate a complication that requires hospitalization.

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Risks

Nutritional therapy has very few risks. However, going on a clear liquid diet for longer than a few days can lead to weakness and other complications as your body doesn’t provide enough of the nutrients it needs. Therefore, your doctor will want you to return to a normal diet containing fiber foods as soon as you can tolerate them.

prevent diverticulitis

To avoid this situation, you can do the following:

  • Exercise regularly: Exercise supports normal bowel function and reduces pressure in your colon. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes most days.
  • Eat more fiber: A high-fiber diet reduces the risk. Fiber-rich foods like fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains soften waste material and help it pass through your colon faster. Eating seeds and nuts is not associated with the development of this condition.
  • Drink plenty of fluids: Fiber works by absorbing water and increasing the soft, bulky waste in your colon. But if you don’t drink enough fluids to replace what is absorbed, you may become constipated.
  • Avoid smoking: Smoking is associated with an increased risk of this condition.

Frequently asked Questions

What are the symptoms of diverticulitis?

Common symptoms of this condition include abdominal pain, nausea, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation.

Does diverticulitis turn into cancer?

This does not cause cancer. This condition usually produces localized abdominal pain, tenderness to touch, and fever. A person with this problem may also experience nausea, vomiting, chills, or constipation.

What happens if diverticulitis is not treated?

Untreated diverticulitis can lead to serious complications that require surgery. Abscesses, pus deposits from the infection may form around the infected diverticulum. If these pass through the intestinal wall, you can get peritonitis. This infection can be fatal.

How long does diverticulitis surgery take?

How long the surgery takes for this condition varies depending on the type of surgical procedure preferred. Your doctor will inform you about this.

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