Diverticulitis: Causes, symptoms, and treatments

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. hera ’ s our process. diverticulitis occurs when pouches begin to protrude outward from the wall of the colon, becoming infected and inflamed.

however, these pouches can protrude without becoming infected. This is known as diverticulosis, and the pouches are called diverticulum. many individuals have a number of diverticulum but feel no ill effects. however, when a bulge becomes infected, it can be very atrocious. Around 50 percentage of people are thought to have diverticulosis by the old age of 50 years. An estimate 10 to 25 percentage of people with diverticulosis will go on to develop diverticulitis, although this trope is debated, and some believe it may be a humble as 1 percentage. By the old age of 80 years, an estimated 65 percentage of people have diverticulosis. A study found that the incidence of diverticulitis among youthful corpulent adults is growing. A National Institutes of Health ( NIH ) report revealed that the monetary value of digestive diseases is immediately more than $ 141 billion a year in the United States. This MNT Knowledge Center article will look at the causes, symptoms, risk factors, and treatments of diverticulitis and refer conditions. We will besides discuss the diverticulitis diet .


Diverticulitis diverticulosis diagram share on Pinterest The symptoms of diverticulosis and diverticulitis are different. Diverticulosis symptoms The majority of people with diverticulosis will never experience any symptoms. This is called asymptomatic diverticulosis. There may be episodes of pain in the lower abdomen. More specifically, normally in the lower leave side of the abdomen. The pain frequently comes when the individual eats or passes stools. There may be some easing after breaking wind. other symptoms include :

  • changing bowel habits
  • constipation and, less commonly, diarrhea
  • small amounts of blood in stools

Diverticulitis symptoms When diverticulitis becomes inflamed, symptoms include :

  • constant and usually severe pain, usually on the left side of the abdomen although occasionally on the right
  • fever
  • more frequent urination
  • painful urination
  • nausea and vomiting
  • bleeding from the rectum


It is obscure why pouches start to protrude outbound from the colon. however, a miss of dietary fiber is much thought to be the independent cause. Fiber helps to soften stools, and not consuming adequate dietary character leads to hard stools. This may cause more pressure or try on the colon as muscles push the stool down. This press is thought to cause the development of diverticulum. Diverticula occur when faint spots in the outside layer of colon muscle give way and the inner layer squeezes through. Although there is no open clinical evidence proving a link between dietary fiber and diverticulosis, researchers claim that the circumstantial tell is convincing. however, the subject is heatedly debated. In parts of the populace where dietary character inhalation is large, such as in Africa or South Asia, diverticulum disease is reasonably rare. On the other hand, it is quite common in western countries where dietary fiber inhalation is much lower. however, other reports have debunked the associate between increased dietary roughage and diverticulitis prevention, advising that it may actually increase the likelihood of the disease. previously, the consumption of nuts, seeds, and corn was thought to be a cause of diverticulum development, but a learn in 2008 found no yoke .


sometimes, a doctor will recommend that person with diverticulitis goes on a particular diet, to give the digestive system an opportunity to rest. initially, only clear liquids are allowed for a few days. These include :

  • ice chips
  • fruit juice without pulp
  • broth
  • ice pops
  • water
  • gelatin
  • tea and coffee without cream

As symptoms rest, a person with diverticulitis can start to include low-fiber foods, including :

  • canned or cooked fruits and skinned, seedless vegetables
  • low-fiber cereals
  • eggs, poultry, and fish
  • milk, yogurt, and cheese
  • refined white bread
  • pasta, white rice, and noodles

Foods to avoid

Gastrointestinal problems frequently come with a list of foods to avoid. It has been suggested in the past that nuts, popcorn, and seeds can cause symptoms to flare up. however, as the causes of diverticulitis are not known, the National Institutes of Health rede that there are no finical foods to exclude from the diet that will improve diverticulitis symptoms. The high-fat, low-fiber diet that characterizes western eating has been shown to increase the risk of diverticulitis in a late study. It is best, therefore, not to eat loss kernel, fried foods, full-fat dairy, and refined grains. food should be excluded based on individual experience. If you find that a particular type of food aggravates the effects of diverticulitis, avoid it.

Risk factors

It is not in full understand why diverticulitis occurs. Bacteria in the stool may quickly multiply and spread and cause the contagion. It is thought that a diverticulum might become forget, possibly by a patch of stool, which then leads to infection. gamble factors include :

  • age, as older adults have a higher risk than younger individuals.
  • being obese
  • smoking
  • lack of exercise
  • a diet high in animal fats and low in fiber
  • some medications, including steroids, opiates, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen

Some studies have indicated that genetics may be a divisor.


contribution on PinterestA number of techniques may be used to aid diagnosis. Diagnosing diverticular and diverticular-related diseases can be challenge, and there are a act of tests that might be carried out to ensure decline diagnosis. There are respective illnesses and conditions with exchangeable symptoms, such as cranky intestine syndrome ( IBS ), so diagnosis of diverticular disease is not easily. A doctor can rule out other conditions by having some blood tests done. They may besides use the following techniques : Colonoscopy: The doctor has a spirit inside the colon using a thin pipe with a camera at the end called a colonoscope. The colonoscope enters through the rectum. Hours or a day before the operation begins, people are given a laxative to clear their bowels. A local anaesthetic is given before the routine starts. This quiz is not normally done during an acute accent episode of diverticulitis, but done round 6 weeks after resolution to ensure there are no signs of cancer. Barium enema X-ray: A tube is inserted into the rectum, and a barium liquid is squirted into the pipe and up the rectum. Barium is a liquid that shows up in X-rays. When organs that do not normally show up on an x ray are coated with barium, they become visible. The operation is not painful .

Diagnosing diverticulitis

If an individual has a history of diverticular disease, the repair will be able to diagnose diverticulitis by carrying out a physical examen and asking some questions about symptoms and their checkup history. A rake test is useful because if it reveals a gamey issue of white rake cells, it probably means there is an infection. however, many people without a senior high school number of white blood cells may hush have diverticulitis. People who have no history of diverticular disease will need extra tests. other conditions can have exchangeable symptoms, such as a hernia or gallstones. A calculator imaging ( CT ) scan may be used and is frequently the most helpful. A barium enema x ray may besides be useful. If symptoms are hard, the CT scan may tell whether the infection has spread to another part of the body, or whether there is an abscess.


Individuals can frequently self-treat if the case is not besides severe .

Diverticulosis treatment

Most people can self-treat their diverticular disease if it is meek, chiefly with the help of painkillers and by consuming more dietary roughage. Painkillers such as aspirin or ibuprofen should be avoided as they increase the risk of inner bleed, and may besides upset the abdomen. Acetaminophen is recommended for trouble relief from diverticular disease. Acetaminophen is available for buy over the counter or on-line. Eating more dietary fiber, which includes fruits and vegetables, will help resolve the symptoms by softening stool and helping stool patterns become more regular. This may sometimes take a few weeks. Bulk-forming laxatives may help those who have stultification. It is important to drink plenty of fluids with these medications. People who experience heavy or constant rectal bleed should see their sophisticate .

Diverticulitis treatment

partake on PinterestAntibiotics may be used to treat some cases of diverticulitis. Mild cases of diverticulitis can broadly be treated by the individual. however, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics, angstrom well as acetaminophen for the annoyance. It is authoritative to complete the hale run of antibiotics, flush if symptoms get well. Some people may experience sleepiness, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting while they are taking their antibiotics. Antibiotics include ciprofloxacin ( Cipro ), metronidazole ( Flagyl ), cephalexin ( Keflex ) and doxycycline ( Vibramycin ). For those on the contraceptive pill, it is authoritative to remember that antibiotics can interfere with its effectiveness. This effect on the contraceptive pill continues for about 7 days after stopping the antibiotic, so another human body of contraception should overlap with this time. Hospital treatment may be necessary if any of the play along put on :

  • Normal painkillers do not alleviate the pain, or the pain is severe.
  • The individual cannot consume enough liquids to keep hydrated.
  • The person with diverticulitis cannot take oral antibiotics.
  • They have a poor state of health.
  • The doctor suspects complications, often if the immune system is weak.
  • Treatment at home is ineffective after 2 days.

hospital patients are broadly given antibiotics intravenously ( IV ), a well as fluids if they are dehydrated. Surgery People who have at least two diverticulitis episodes may benefit from operation. Studies indicate that such patients are significantly more likely to have far episodes and complications if they do not have surgery. A colon resection removes part of the feign colon and joins the remaining healthy parts in concert. Patients who undergo colon resection will have to introduce solid foods into their system gradually. apart from this, their normal intestine functions will not normally be affected.


Peritonitis: Infection may spread into the lining of the abdomen if one of the infect diverticulum bursts. peritonitis is serious and can sometimes be black. It requires immediate antibiotic treatment. Some cases of peritonitis ask operation. Abscess: This is a pus-filled cavity that requires antibiotics. sometimes, operation is required to get the plutonium out. Fistula: These are abnormal tunnels, or tubes, that connect two parts of the body, such as the intestine to the abdominal rampart or the bladder. A fistulous withers can be formed after infect tissues touch each other and stick together ; when the infection is over, a fistulous withers forms. Often, surgery is needed to get rid of a fistula. Intestinal obstruction: The colon may become partially or wholly block if infection has caused scar. If the colon is blocked wholly, emergency aesculapian intervention is needed. total blockage will lead to peritonitis. If the colon is partially blocked, they will need treatment. however, it is not a pressing as total blockage. Depending on the degree of scar and the extent of blockage, a colon resection may be needed. sometimes, a colostomy may be required. A hole is made on the side of the abdomen, and the colon is redirected through the hole and connected to an external colostomy base. once the colon heals, it is rejoined. In rare cases, the doctors may have to create an inner ileoanal pouch.


People who eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables have a lower risk of developing diverticulitis .

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