What is Diverticular

Diverticulitis is a condition in which diverticuli in the colon rupture. The rupture results in infection in the tissues that surround the colon.

The colon, also known as the large intestine, is a long tube-like edifice that stores and then eliminates waste material. As a person grows older, pressure within the colon causes bulging pockets of tissue (sacs) that are forced out from the colon walls. The bulging sac that is being pushed out of the walls is referred to as diverticulitis. Diverticula can come about throughout the colon but are most common near the end of the left colon, referred to as the sigmoid colon. The condition of having diverticula is called diverticulosis, which presents few or no symptoms. When the diverticulum becomes inflamed and ruptures, the patient has diverticulitis. A person suffering from diverticulitis will have abdominal pain and tenderness, and fever. When bleeding originates from a diverticulum, it is called diverticular bleeding. A patient who suffers the consequences of harboring diverticulosis in the colon is referred to as having diverticular disease.

The western world mostly suffers from Diverticular Disease and the range is extremely profound rather than people living in Asia and Africa. Diverticular disease increases with age. In the United states people over 50 percent of people are seen more to suffer on the said disease by the age of 50. It is uncommon before the age of forty. Whereas most patients with diverticular disease have no or few symptoms, some patients will develop bleeding, infection (diverticulitis), constipation, abdominal cramps, and even colon obstruction.

Diverticulosis can be discovered through frequent routine colonoscopy, or the condition may be detected if symptoms themselves are present. Barium x-rays and abdominal ultrasounds can be also detected the presence of diverticula. Sudden bowel habit changes, including constipation or diarrhea coupled with abdominal cramps and bloating, can be symptoms of diverticulosis. People may experience persistent symptoms or passing blood and dark, almost black, stools should seek medical attention from their doctor. Complications like diverticulitis or other diseases in the colon may be present. Proper diagnosis is necessary to treat the said illness efficiently.

Diverticulitis can be treated with antibiotics and they do respond well and heals the infection gradually. Surgery may be required for patients having severe infection along with high fever and pain, excessive bleeding, or a lack of response to antibiotics. In the more frequent occurrence of diverticulosis, a patient can often go without specific treatment. Though the benefits are not yet proven a diet high in fiber is often doctors advice to help regulate bowel function. Bloating and spasms can be treated with anti-spasmodic drugs.

Treatment of Diverticulitis

"About 10 percent of Americans over the age of 40 have diverticulosis. The condition becomes more common as people age. About half of all people over the age of 60 have diverticulosis."

Diverticulitis Diet

A low-residue diet is recommended during the flare-up periods of diverticulitis to decrease bowel volume so that the infection can heal. An intake of less than 10 grams of fiber per day is generally considered a low residue diverticulitis diet. If you have been on a low-residue diet for an extended period of time, your doctor may recommend a daily multi-vitamin/mineral supplement.