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Diverticulitis: Know The Signs And Treatment Options

Diverticulitis is referred to as a group of conditions which can affect digestive tract in the body.It can cause serious health complications.

Diverticulitis: Know The Signs And Treatment Options

Diverticulitis can cause inflammation

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Diverticulitis can be hereditary
  2. Lack of Vitamin D can cause diverticulitis
  3. The condition can cause inflammation and infection

Diverticulitis is referred to as a group of conditions which can affect digestive tract in the body. It is known to be one of the most serious kinds of diverticular disease. The condition happens when diverticula (pouches) occur along your digestive tract. Formation of diverticular is the primary component of diverticulitis. Diverticula occur when weak spots in the intestinal wall grow outwards. When these pouches become inflamed or gather bacteria, they causes infections and lead to diverticulitis. Diverticulitis is a condition which can cause serious health complications.


gastritisPhoto Credit: iStock
 

Symptoms of diverticulitis

Symptoms of diverticulitis can range from mild to severe. They either appear suddenly or can occur slowly over a period of few days. Abdominal pain is one of the most common symptoms of diverticulitis. The pain is usually on the lower left side of abdomen. Other symptoms of diverticulitis include nausea, fever, vomiting, increased urge to urinate, constipation and diarrhoea. Bloody stool and bleeding rectum are also common symptom diverticulitis.

Also read: Gastritis: Foods To Eat And Avoid In Case You Have Had Trouble

Risks of developing diverticulitis

Risks of developing diverticulitis increase with age. The older a person gets, the higher the risks of developing diverticulitis. For some people, diverticulitis can become a progressive and long-term problem.

Causes of diverticulitis

There are multiple reasons for a person developing diverticulitis. Experts say that the root cause of the condition is faecal matter blocking opening of diverticula, which leads to inflammation and infection.

Following are the causes of diverticulitis

1. It can be hereditary

A person with a family history of diverticulitis is at higher risk of developing the condition. Studies say that more than 50% of risks of diverticulitis come from genetics.

2. Having a diet low in fibre

People who consume less dietary fibre may be prone to risks of diverticulitis.


fibre


3. Lack of physical activity

Exercising regularly can reduce your risk of developing diverticular disease. People who exercise less are more prone to risks of diverticular disease.
 

exercise

 

4. Obesity

Obesity is another risk factor of diverticulitis. Obesity can increase risk of bleeding and diverticulitis.
 

obesity


5. Smoking

Smokers are at higher risk of developing complicated and symptomatic diverticular disease.
 

smoking


6. Lack of Vitamin D

Lower levels of Vitamin D have been linked to complicated diverticulitis.


7. Some medications

People who take aspirins and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAD) regularly are prone to risks of diverticulitis. Use of steroids and opiates increase risk of perforation, which is serious complication of diverticulitis.

8. Sex

Diverticulitis is more come in men than women among people who are of the age 50 or younger. The condition is more common in women than men among those above 50 years of age.

Also read: But I Thought It Was Indigestion? Steps To Identify A Heart Attack

Diagnosis of Diverticulitis

Several types of tests may be required for the diagnosis of diverticulitis. After asking you about your symptoms and medical history, the doctor carries a physical exam to check if there is any tenderness in your abdomen. A digital rectal exam is also done to check for any kind of bleeding or pain.

The tests done for diagnosis of diverticulitis include blood test, urine test, imaging test, stool test, pelvic exam and pregnancy test are done to check if a person has diverticulitis.

Also read: 6 Best Foods To Save Your Pancreas From Any Damage

Treatment of diverticulitis

Treatment of diverticulitis depends on the severity of the condition. Majority of cases of diverticulitis are uncomplicated. There are no other problems apart from inflammation or an infection from diverticulitis. Uncomplicated diverticulitis can be treated at home by taking lots of rest and drinking lots of fluids to recover from symptoms. Medications along with low-fibre and liquid diet can be helpful in treating diverticulitis.

A liquid diet comprising only clear fluids helps in giving a breather to your digestive system. Once your symptoms show any improvement, your doctor will then suggest you a low-fibre diet during the time you're recovering.

As part of a follow-up treatment, a colonoscopy may be suggested for after around 8 weeks of diverticulitis. The test helps in confirming if there were any underlying problems linked to diverticulitis. 

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information. 



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