Diverticulitis is an inflammation or infection of little pockets, called diverticula, which occur along the walls of the intestine. The occurrence of these pockets is a relatively simple phenomenon known as diverticulosis. While the very presence of these pockets is not dangerous and rarely causes any difficulties (most people are not even aware of this condition), diverticulitis is more serious as it may comprise different instances of small abscesses that form in the pockets. Only one abscess is enough to result in a severe infection or intestinal perforation. It is important to distinguish the two conditions as only a number of people suffering from diverticulosis will develop diverticulitis.
Recognizing The Signs and Symptoms of Diverticulitis
The symptoms of diverticulitis can resemble signs of appendicitis, with a slight difference of pain location – in appendicitis, the pain is generally located in the lower-right abdomen, while diverticulitis is prone to causing pain in the lower-left abdomen. The pain can be high, in the form of cramps. The inflammation may lead to bowel obstruction, which is often indicated by constipation, loose stools, diarrhea along with abdominal pain and bloating. If the blockage persists, pain and tenderness in the abdomen will worsen, and you may feel nausea and vomit. If you have a combination of these symptoms, it is important to check your temperature, as even a slight increase in temperature or a slight fever can be a sign of inflammation and you should check it out with a medical professional.
Diverticulitis can be acute or chronic. The acute form is usually expressed through one or more severe seizures which point to infection and inflammation. In chronic diverticulitis, inflammation and infection can be withdrawn, but may never completely disappear. Risk factors include smoking, lack of activity and obesity. A family history of the disease may also play a role. On of the main causes is a diet that does not ensure enough fiber content for the body. The condition also usually affects older people.
Causes and Treatment of Diverticulitis
Aging and heredity are the primary factors for the occurrence of diverticulosis and diverticulitis, but diet also plays and important role. The danger is significantly increased by consumption of refined foods that is deficient in fiber content. If you are often troubled by constipation and have bowel movement issues, abnormal pressure on the bowel wall may initiate the creation of small pockets along the intestinal walls. As these fill with undigested content, they become susceptible to bacterial infections, leading to inflammatory disease – diverticulitis.
Diverticulosis is not serious and can be treated at home, however, if you are diagnosed with diverticulitis, you should seek medical assistance in order to ensure full recovery and life-threatening complications. The medical community treats diverticulitis using a combination of antibiotics and diet modifications, as mild cases are often treated at home, with a lot of rest. The treatment may result in a possible surgery as well. As for any condition, prevention is the best medicine. By eating whole grain bread, oatmeal, cereal with bran, fresh fruits, and vegetables that contain a high percentage of fiber, you are ingesting a wide array of nutritional value that will keep your intestinal flora healthy.