WHAT IS DIVERTICULITIS?
Formations called diverticula are key components of diverticulitis. Diverticula are pouches that occur along your digestive tract, most often in your colon (large intestine).
These pouches form when weak spots in the intestinal wall balloon outward. When these pouches become inflamed, or bacteria gather in them and cause an infection, you have diverticulitis.
Diverticulitis often requires treatment because it typically causes symptoms and can lead to serious health complications.
DIVERTICULITIS VS. DIVERTICULOSIS
Diverticula themselves can be harmless. If you have diverticula that aren’t infected or inflamed, you have diverticulosis. This condition typically causes no symptoms and doesn’t need treatment.
If diverticulosis does cause symptoms, it’s called symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease (SUDD). This condition causes symptoms similar to those of irritable bowel syndrome, such as abdominal pain and bloating.
The good news for people with diverticulosis is that only 10 to 20 percent of people with this condition progress to SUDD. And of those, about 4 percent get acute diverticulitis.
In addition, it typically takes about 7 years for this progression to diverticulitis to occur. And of the 4 percent of people with diverticulitis, only 15 percent have complications.
WHO’S AT RISK?
While there are several risk factors for diverticulitis, the key risk factor is age. The older you get, the higher your risk of developing this condition.
Diverticulosis, the precursor to diverticulitis, is very common in older adults, especially those over 60. In people over age 70, 60 percent have diverticulosis, while 75 percent of people 80 years and older have the condition.
However, young people have their own level of risk. A study found that the younger you are when receiving a diagnosis of diverticulosis, the higher your risk is of the condition progressing to diverticulitis.
WHAT CAUSES IT?
The root cause of the condition is fecal matter blocking the opening of diverticula, which leads to inflammation and infection. However, the reasons for that blockage can vary from person to person.
Multiple factors seem to lead to diverticulitis. Researchers’ opinions on these factors have changed over the years. For instance, constipation is no longer considered a risk factor.
SEVERAL RISK FACTORS:
- A low-fiber diet: A lack of dietary fiber has long been suspected as a risk factor, but research has had conflicting results. Nevertheless, it’s still thought by some to be related to the onset of diverticulitis.
- Heredity:Diverticulitis seems to have a hereditary link. A study of siblings and twins proposes that more than 50 percent of potential risk of diverticular disease comes from genetics.
- Obesity:Being obese is a clear risk factor for diverticulitis. Obesity raises the risk of diverticulitis and bleeding.
- Lack of physical exercise:It’s unclear if a sedentary lifestyle is a real risk factor. However, exercise reduces the risk of diverticular disease. People who exercise less than 30 minutes a day appear to have increased risk.
- Smoking: Smoking increases the risk of symptomatic and complicated diverticular disease.
- Certain medications: Regular use of aspirinand other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may raise your risk of diverticulitis. The use of opiates and steroids appears to raise your risk of perforation, a serious complication of diverticulitis.
- Lack of vitamin D:People with complicated diverticulitis may have lower levels of vitamin D in their system than people with uncomplicated diverticulosis.
- Sex:In people age 50 and younger, diverticulitis appears to be slightly more common in men than women. In people older than 50, it seems slightly more common in women.
SYMPTOMS OF DIVERTICULITIS
Unlike diverticulosis, diverticulitis often causes symptoms that range from mild to severe. These symptoms can appear suddenly, or occur slowly over a few days.
Pain in the abdomen is the most common symptom. It typically occurs in the lower left side of the abdomen. The condition most often affects the part of the colon in that area.
The most common symptoms of diverticulitis include:
- abdominal pain
- increased urge to urinate, urinating more often than usual, or burning sensation while urinating
Blood in the stool, as well as bleeding from the rectum, can occur in both diverticulosis and diverticulitis. Research reports up to 17 percent of people with chronic diverticulitis experience bleeding.
NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF DIVERTICULITIS
About 25 percent of people with diverticulitis develop complications during acute episodes. The more complications that occur, the more serious the condition becomes. Symptoms that are more likely to occur with complicated diverticulitis include fever, bleeding from the rectum, blood in the stool, nausea, and vomiting.
POSSIBLE DIVERTICULITIS COMPLICATIONS
The complications caused by diverticulitis can be very serious and even life-threatening. The more common complications are listed below.
Perforation and peritonitis: Diverticulitis typically causes tiny perforations in the diverticula. In severe cases, these ruptures can grow larger and spill the colon’s contents into the peritoneal (abdominal) cavity.
This can lead to peritonitis, which is inflammation and infection within the abdominal cavity. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, and rigid abdominal muscles.
Abscess and phlegmon: An abscess is an infected pocket that’s filled with pus. A phlegmon is an infected area within tissue that’s less defined than an abscess.
Abscesses and phlegmons can form along the wall of the colon. Symptoms can include fever, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
Fistula: A fistula is an abnormal connection between two organs, or between an organ and the skin. A fistula caused by diverticulitis typically connects the colon with the bladder, the vagina, or the small intestine.
Symptoms depend on the type of fistula. Symptoms can include painful urination and abnormal vaginal discharge.
Intestinal obstruction: Obstructions, or blockages, of the colon can occur if a stricture forms. A stricture is a severe narrowing of the colon due to inflammation or scarring. This narrowing can block the passage of stool.
Symptoms can include abdominal pain and bloating, vomiting, and severe constipation.
HOW YOUR DIET AFFECTS DIVERTICULITIS
Diet plays a role in your digestive health, there’s no doubt about that. What role it plays in the prevention and management of diverticulitis, however, is less clear.
In the past, you may have heard about a “diverticulitis diet.” That diet recommended eating certain foods, such as those high in fiber, and avoiding specific foods, such as popcorn, nuts, and seeds.
It was thought that foods high in fiber could benefit digestion and reduce symptoms of diverticulitis, while foods such as nuts and seeds could aggravate those symptoms.
FOR PEOPLE AT RISK OF DIVERTICULITIS
Fiber: The role of fiber in diverticulitis has had conflicting results. A high-fiber diet doesn’t reduce risk for diverticulitis, but others have shown otherwise. It’s also not clear how much fiber is needed to be beneficial.
Diet, which is high in fat and sugar and low in fiber. Compared to a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains a high-fiber diet the Western diet was shown to increase the risk of diverticulitis.
FOR PEOPLE WITH DIVERTICULITIS
As for whether diet affects the symptoms of someone with diverticulitis, the general consensus is that it does. Factors to consider include:
Fiber: While it’s not clear that a high-fiber diet can reduce the risk of diverticulitis, it’s more likely that it can help reduce symptoms of diverticular disease.
Vitamin D: People with complicated diverticulitis who were hospitalized had lower levels of vitamin D than people with uncomplicated diverticulosis.
People who live in areas that get less sun have an increased risk of diverticulitis. Sunlight enables your body to make vitamin D.
Higher levels of vitamin D reduce the risk of diverticular complications. The exact role that vitamin D plays in relation to diverticular disease isn’t clear. It’s suggested that higher levels of vitamin D may decrease inflammation.
Low-FODMAP diet: For people with irritable bowel syndrome, it can be helpful to avoid foods that are high in FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols).
Examples of these foods include dairy foods, certain fruits, fermented foods, onions, and garlic.
So, How Can I.A.& S. Wellness Centre Help Me Solve My Diverticulitis Problem?
The Best And Working Solution Is:
DIVERTICULITIS SOLUTION KITS
3rd Floor, 473, Lagos-Abeokuta Express Way, Old UBA Building Beside NNPC,, U-turn Bus Stop, Abule Egba, Lagos, Nigeria.
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