Diverticulosis & Diverticulitis: Symptoms, Treatments, Prevention

Diverticulosis & Diverticulitis: Symptoms, Treatments, Prevention

Diverticulitis is the disease or infection of pouches that are formed in your intestines. These pouches are called diverticula.

The pouches usually aren’t harmful. They can show up anyplace in your intestines. These pouches in the intestines are called diverticulosis. Once there grow infected there are known as diverticulitis.

In some cases diverticulitis is minor. It will grow severe when it is an infection or rupture.

The Symptoms of Diverticulitis

Mostly you may have pouches with no symptoms. The diverticula are normally painless but you might see the following symptoms:

  • Cramping on the left side of your abdomen that will go away after you pass gas or have a bowel movement
  • Bloody stool
  • Nausea
  • Chills or fever
  • Bloating
  • Constipation, thin stools, or diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding

Types of Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis can be acute or chronic.

Acute Diverticulitis

In acute diverticulitis, you may have one or more critical attacks of infection and inflammation.

Chronic Diverticulitis

In chronic diverticulitis, pain and infection may cure initially but never clear up totally. The infection can begin with bowel obstruction, cause constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and belly pain. Over time obstruction advances, causing abdominal pain and tenderness.

Diverticulitis Causes

Your genes may be responsible for diverticulitis. The pouches on your intestines get painful or infected when they rip or become obstructed by faeces.

Excessive bad bacteria than good ones in your stomach might also cause it.

Your possibilities of obtaining diverticulitis increase with age. It’s more common in people over 40. Other risk factors include:

  • Being overweight
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • No Exercise
  • Consuming lots of fat and red meat 
  • Less fiber intake
  • Taking certain kinds of drugs. 

Complications of Diverticulitis

If you don’t treat it, diverticulitis can lead to severe complications that need surgery:

  • Abscesses: units of pus from the infection, that form around the infected diverticula. If these pass into the intestinal wall, you could get peritonitis. This infection can be dangerous which requires treatment immediately.
  • Perforation or tear: in the intestinal wall can begin to abscesses and disease due to the waste leaking into the abdominal.
  • Scarring: can begin compression or blockage of the intestine.
  • Fistulas: can occur if an infected diverticulum reaches a nearby organ and makes an association. This usually occurs among the large intestine and the bladder but in case it can develop between the large intestine and the skin or the vagina. It can start a kidney infection. 
  • Stricture: which occurs when the colon narrows in the injured area.

How Is Diverticulitis Diagnosed?

A doctor may request one or more tests, like:

  • Blood, urine, and stool tests 
  • CT scans 
  • A liver enzyme test

How Is Diverticulitis Treated?

For mild diverticulitis, a doctor will recommend rest and a liquid diet known as diverticulitis diet to heal your intestines. Foods that are gentle to your digestive system like water, broth, low-fiber foods. Also, prescribe antibiotics and pain reliever like acetaminophen to treat the infection.

In more severe cases, you have to stay in the hospital for care and treatment like antibiotics that are intravenous (injected into your veins). To treat abdominal abscesses, a doctor will require to drain them. For ruptured intestine or peritonitis, surgery is necessary.