What is Diverticulitis?


Diverticulitis is the disease that can be formed in the large intestine of the person. This is a common digestive disease and one of the serious digestive diseases that troubles people in many countries particularly in the United States. In fact this medical condition affects 10 percent of the population in the country who are over the age of forty and half of people of age 60 and above has this condition.

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This medical condition is also common for people in Britain, Australia and Canada but less common in Asia and Africa. But what is diverticulitis that makes it a serious condition that requires immediate attention and why is this condition less common for Asians and Africans? This condition develops from diverticulosis and this condition involves the formation of pouches known as diverticula on the outside of the person’s colon. There is diverticulitis if the diverticula on that area have become inflamed.

There are studies and researches that have been published that linked the intake of dietary fibers to the disease. Based on that published researches, if a person’s diet is low in fiber content and high in fat then the person will have a higher risk of developing the condition. Diet plays a crucial role in the development of the disease. A diet with a high intake of meat and red meat and coupled with age also adds to the pressure on the colon and in the process this will lead to the weakening of the colon walls. Diet that is rich in vegetables is a deterrent for this disease.

Most of the time, the person who has this condition will often show minimal or no symptoms at all. But the most common sign of this disease is abdominal pain. And another common sign is the tenderness that can be felt on the lower abdomen of the person. At times, an infection is the reason why this condition develops. When that happens, the observable symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, feeling hot though no fever is registered and constipation. Symptoms may vary from person to person and the variation in symptoms depends largely on the extent of the infection and the complication.

If a person has this disease, immediate attention by doctors is required. At the earliest stage of the disease, the person with the disease is usually treated with conservative medical management which includes bowel rest, the adoption of IV fluid resuscitation and the intake of many antibiotics. If there are recurring attacks of the disease or if complications may arise, then the patient may be required to undergo surgery. Surgery at this stage can be done immediately or on an elective basis. Once the medication has been ended or the surgery has ended, the patient will be placed on a low residue diet. In a low residue diet, the patient’s colon will be given a time to heal. After this stage, the patient will be placed on a high fiber diet. For the simplest forms of diverticulitis, the patient will usually respond to conservative therapy coupled with bowel rest and the intake of antibiotics.