In this Health Article:
- What Causes Diverticulitis?
- What Are the Symptoms of Diverticulitis?
- What Are the Diagnosis & Tests for Diverticulitis?
- What Are the Treatments Available for Diverticulitis?
- How Do You Cope Up with Diverticulitis?
- What Are the Ways to Prevent Diverticulitis?
- Medications for Diverticulitis Available at InternationalDrugMart.com
- Self Care
IntroductionDiverticulitis is a digestive disease found in mostly in the large intestine (colon). It is the swelling (inflammation) of an abnormal pouch (diverticulum) in the intestinal wall. The presence of pouches themselves is called diverticulosis. Although diverticulum can form anywhere in your esophagus, stomach and small intestine, it is mostly occurs in your large intestine.
What Causes Diverticulitis?Diverticulum occurs more often in people after the age of 40. Diverticulum develops as a result of high pressure or abnormal pressure distribution in the colon. In Western populations, these pouches are most common in sigmoid or descending colon. In Asian population, pouches are found in the right colon (cecum and ascending colon). Increased pressure in the colon can lead to breakdown of the wall of the diverticulum resulting in infection. Diverticulitis is caused by the inflammation or sometimes a small tear in a diverticulum. If the tear is too large, stool in the colon can spill into the abdominal cavity causing abscess, an infection or inflammation of the abdomen wall (Peritonitis).
What Are the Symptoms of Diverticulitis?Abdominal pain, usually in the left lower abdomen, fever, nausea, constipation or Diverticulitis is some of the symptoms of diverticulitis. Some may feel weight loss or bloating gas, bleeding from your rectum, tenderness in your abdomen when wearing a belt or bending over, difficulty while urinating, and frequent urination.
What Are the Diagnosis & Tests for Diverticulitis?Based on your reports on the symptoms of diverticulitis, the doctor will examine you. He/She may prescribe you for certain tests to see whether you have an infection or don’t have any serious problems. The tests may include blood tests such as complete blood count (CBC), imaging tests such as an X-ray, a CT scan or a colonoscopy. The doctor might prescribe you for an abdominal palpation as well.
What Are the Treatments Available for Diverticulitis?Treatment for diverticulitis depends on how bad your symptoms are and whether you have an infection. You may need to have only liquids at first and then return to solid food when you start feeling better. Your doctor might prescribe antibiotics, if you have an infection. Take them as directed and don’t stop them even if you feel better. For mild cramps and belly pain, you can use heating pad set on low temperatures. If you have severe pain, your doctor might prescribe over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol). Hospitalization is required if you have a more severe attack that puts you at risk of bowel obstruction or peritonitis. Surgery is recommended if you have fistula or recurring diverticulitis whereby the diseased part of your colon is removed. There are two types of surgery.
Primary bowel resection: In this, the surgeon removes the diseased part of your intestine and then reconnects the healthy segments of your colon (anastomosis). This allows you to have normal bowel movements. Depending on the inflammation you have traditional or laparoscopic surgery is prescribed. However, laparoscopic is not the option if you are very overweight or have extensive inflammation.
Bowel resection with colostomy: This surgery is done on people who have so much inflammation in the colon that it’s not possible to rejoin your colon and rectum. During a colostomy, surgeon makes an opening in your abdominal wall. The unaffected part of your colon is then connected to the stoma, and waste passes through the opening into a bag. A colostomy may be temporary or permanent. Once the inflammation has healed, your surgeon may be able to perform a second operation to reconnect your colon and rectum.
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How Do You Cope Up with Diverticulitis?You are not alone. In the United States, more than 50 percent of people older than 60 have diverticulum. Use these tips to cope with diverticulitis.
- Eat regular and nutritious meal containing high fiber
- Watch for changes in your bowel movement (from constipation to Diverticulitis)
- If you are diagnosed of diverticulitis, always follow your doctor’s prescribed treatments.
What Are the Ways to Prevent Diverticulitis?A high-fiber diet may prevent development of diverticulosis. Once formed diverticulum is permanent and no prevention is found against the complication of diverticulosis. However, there are some guidelines which help you manage the condition. Some of them include
- Eat a high fiber diet that is low in fat and red meat.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Exercise regularly.
- Get enough rest and sleep
- If you have history of diverticulitis, try to avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAISDs). This could raise the risk of diverticulitis problems.
- Do not eat indigestible seeds such as popcorn kernels.
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Self CareHere are few simple, effective diverticulitis self-care tips that can reduce diabetes breakouts and control future breakouts.
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetable, like seedless grapes, fresh peaches, carrots and lettuce.
- Avoid straining during bowel movements.
- Establish a normal bowel routine. Try to have a bowel movement at approximately the same time every day.
- Lose weight if you are overweight.
- Avoid alcohol and stop smoking
- Exercise moderately