Diverticulitis is a condition that occurs when the bulging sacs (Diverticula) that are found in the lining of the large intestine, or colon, get acutely infected or inflamed.
However, when the sacs first appear but aren’t yet inflamed or infected, it is called diverticulosis. Diverticulosis and recurring attacks of diverticulitis are the two components of diverticular disease.
Around 50% of people are thought to have diverticulosis by the age of 50, while 70% probably have it by the age of 80.
The cause is uncertain, but risk factors may include;
- Eating a diet that is low in fiber
- Lack of exercise
- Family history of the disease
- Constant use ofnonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Symptoms may include;
- Constant and usually severe pain
- Pain starts below the belly button, and moves to the lower left side of the abdomen
- High temperature or fever
- More frequent urination
- Painful urination
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bleeding form rectum.
Prevention of diverticulitis can be by;
- Maintaining a high-fiber diet
- Proper hydration as it can help pass stools easier and prevent stress on your colon.
- Exercising for at least 30 minutes a day can help stop the development of diverticulitis.
Diagnosis are usually may be made by;
- Blood tests
- CT scan
- lower gastrointestinal series
- Irritable bowel syndrome.
Treatment is often by;
- Use of conservative therapy with bowel rest.
- You may be placed on alow residue diet
- Ifbacterial infection is suspected, antibiotics may be used
- Complications, such asperitonitis, abscess, or fistula may require surgery, either immediately or on an elective basis.
Compiled by: Victoria Haruna, BSc. (Biochem), MPH (Health Promotion and education)
- Bogardus, Sidney T. (2006). “What Do We Know About Diverticular Disease?”. Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology. 40: S108–11. Doi:10.1097/01.mcg.0000212603.28595.5c. PMID 16885691.
- Spirt, Mitchell (2010). “Complicated Intra-abdominal Infections: A Focus on Appendicitis and Diverticulitis”. Postgraduate Medicine. 122 (1): 39–51. Doi:10.3810/pgm.2010.01.2098. PMID 20107288.