health

Diverticular Disease

 “I suffer from diverticular disease. I needed to lose weight, so I joined Weight-Watchers, as well as cutting out on sugar and fat, and all carbonated drinks. I also cut out on caffeine drinks. I now eat loads more fruit and vegetables than I normally did. I also drink more water. My symptoms has cleared up so well that I rarely suffer now.” – DiverticulitisPatient

Many people have diverticular disease and don’t even know it. When the bowel develops weaknesses or little pouches, they cause no problems unless motion gets stuck in the pouches causing inflammation, pain and sometimes bleeding. “Constipation makes the muscles strain to move stool that is too hard. It is the main cause of increased pressure in the colon. This excess pressure might cause the weak spots in the colon to bulge out and become diverticula.” – Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis

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A diverticulum is a pouch that forms on the intestine, like a small cove on a large river. Food and fecal matter get sometimes trapped in it causing inflammation and pain. It can get infected, and it might bleed sometimes.

Most often, the pouches form in the sigmoid colon, which is the lower left part of the colon that connects to the rectum. This area of the colon is subject to the highest amount of pressure because it is the narrowest portion of the large intestine.

Diverticulosis Versus Diverticulitis

Diverticular disease has two distinct phases:

Phase 1: Diverticulosis – This phase means that one diverticulum or many diverticula have formed inside the large intestine. Because it has no symptoms, diverticulosis is discovered only during a routine colonoscopy or radiography exam.

Phase 2: Diverticulitis – This is the phase when one or more diverticula get inflamed.

Did You Know?

60% of people have diverticulosis by age 60, and about 80% of people have them by age 80.

It takes years for diverticular disease to develop.

In cases of diverticulitis, antibiotics usually clear up the infected diverticula within a few days.

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