Intestinal diverticula are small pouches that grow abnormally on the inner wall of the large intestine, which is called diverticulosis. They tend to develop significantly in the colon, and their appearance can trigger other conditions such as Diverticulitis, which occurs when these diverticula become infected and inflamed.
Diverticulosis most frequently affects people over 50 years of age and is very common. The best way to prevent it and avoid the later appearance of Diverticulitis is to maintain a healthy diet rich in fiber. Today at FastlyHealwe explain the causes, symptoms and treatment of Diverticulitis.
Table of Contents
Causes of diverticulitis
Most intestinal diverticula develop from increased internal pressure in the colon. However, it is also considered that diet influences this condition since a lack of fiber in the body causes a delay in intestinal movements, increasing the risk of suffering from diverticulosis.
Constipation, the result of low fiber intake, makes bowel movements more difficult. In the process, and because of the pressure generated by constipated muscles, small pieces of stool can get trapped in the diverticula and cause them to become irritated, causing Diverticulitis. Other factors such as obesity, sedentary lifestyle, anxiety, and stress can contribute to the appearance of this problem.
Symptoms of Diverticulitis
More than 80% of patients with diverticulosis do not suffer any symptoms; Some may occasionally see blood in their stools or on the toilet paper and have intermittent or continuous pain in the lower abdomen, especially on the left side.
On the other hand, Diverticulitis usually does present multiple symptoms. Among them, you can suffer from:
- Sharp and constant abdominal pain or tenderness that radiates even to the back.
- Shaking chills.
- Changes in the functioning of the intestinal transit with diarrhea or constipation.
- Lack of appetite and fatigue.
Treatment of Diverticulitis
The diagnosis of diverticulosis can be made by radiological or endoscopic examinations that allow an analysis of the intestinal area, while Diverticulitis is usually more reliably detected by ultrasound or computed tomography (CT).
Diverticula do not go away with time. Therefore, the goal of treatment is to prevent Diverticulitis from recurring in the future. It is essential to follow a diet rich in fiber that promotes good intestinal function. If the consequences of Diverticulitis are worse, they can be treated with surgery to clean the abdomen after infection or remove the inflamed diverticula.
If you only have diverticulosis, a high-fiber diet may be enough to relieve symptoms. However, once Diverticulitis is diagnosed, the first step will be to take complete rest with a strict diet, good hydration, and administering analgesics and antibiotics intravenously. On the other hand, a nasogastric tube can be the solution to relax the intestine and avoid nausea, vomiting, and abdominal distention.
As we have mentioned previously, following a strict diet will be essential to improve bowel movements; remember that your doctor is the one who must provide you with the appropriate diet according to your condition. Here are some recommendations for your diet:
- Consume up to two cups of dairy a day.
- Avoid dressings and hot sauces.
- You can eat the following raw vegetables: lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini, and onion.
- You should consume melon, watermelon, peach, papaya, nectarine, and plum.
- Avoid caffeine.
- Keep hydrated.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.