Diverticula are tiny, bulging sacs or pouches that grow on the inner wall of the gut. They are caused by a combination of factors. Diverticulitis is a condition in which these pouches become inflamed or infected, resulting in the formation of pus. The majority of the time, these pouches are found in the large intestine (colon).
People with diverticulosis may experience bloating and cramps in the lower abdomen as a result of their condition. A few times a year, individuals may see blood in their stool or on their toilet paper.
As the disease progresses, the symptoms of diverticulitis grow more severe and frequently begin abruptly. These are a few examples:
- Tenderness, most commonly on the left side of the abdomen
- Gas or bloating
- Fever and chills are both symptoms of a viral infection.
- Vomiting and stomach cramps
- Having no desire to eat and not being hungry
Causes of diverticulitis
When pouches form along your digestive tract, most commonly in your colon, diverticular disease occurs (large intestine). Inflamed and infected pouches (diverticula) can arise when excrement or partly digested food plugs the diverticula’s entrance.
A number of factors can raise the likelihood of getting diverticulitis, such as a family history of diverticulitis, an unhealthy diet, and obesity.
A reputable source of information:
- the function of the immune system
- having a weight problem
- a lack of exercise
- alterations in the microbiota of the digestive tract
- steroid injections and other drugs
Exams and tests
Your health-care professional will conduct an examination of you. It is possible that you will require blood tests to determine whether or not you have an infection.
Other tests that may be performed to aid in the diagnosis of diverticulitis include:
- Computed tomography scan
- Abdominal ultrasound is performed.
- Abdominal X-rays are taken.
Problems of a more serious nature, such as:
- Connections between the colon and other regions of the body that are abnormal (fistula)
- Gastrointestinal tear or rip (perforation)
- The colon has a narrowed area (stricture)
- Pus- or infection-filled pocket (abscess)
- The diverticula bleed.
Diverticulitis Risk factors
Diverticulitis can be brought on for a variety of reasons, including:
- Obesity: You may require more intrusive treatment for diverticulitis if you are obese or very obese.
- Age: As we grow older, our risk of acquiring diverticulitis rises.
- Smoking: People who smoke are more prone to having diverticulitis than people who do not smoke
- Excessive inactivity: Diverticulitis can be exacerbated by inactivity or a lack of physical activity.
- Consuming a diet heavy in animal fat and lacking in fiber
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, as well as steroids.
When to Call a Doctor for Help
If symptoms of diverticulitis appear, contact your healthcare professional.
If you have diverticulitis and the following conditions are present:
- There’s blood in your stools
- A fever of more than 100.4°F (38.6°C) that does not go away.
- Asthma or other respiratory issues
- Intense discomfort in the abdomen or back that worsens or is really severe.
Finding out what causes diverticular illness, such as diverticulitis, is an ongoing process. According to the current state of knowledge, specialists think that a variety of factors are at play. Lifestyle adjustments may be able to reduce some risk factors.
If, for example, Trusted Source were to:
- Try to keep your weight in check.
- consume a diet rich in fiber to increase the size of your bowel movements (however, in acute diverticulitis, you may want to avoid fiber)
- Reduce your intake of saturated fats
- Get enough vitamin D
- do everything you can to stay physically active.
- smoke from cigarettes should be avoided at all costs
- These preventative measures can also contribute to a healthy lifestyle.