Diverticulitis - Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
What is diverticulitis?
Diverticulitis is a condition in which diverticula are perforated and become infected and inflamed. Diverticula are saclike pea or grape-sized protrusions in the intestinal wall. They typically form if an individual suffers from frequent constipation. Eating a low-fiber diet, as is typical in industrialized countries such as the United States, may contribute to the development of diverticulitis. Without sufficient fiber to soften and add bulk, stools are harder to pass. Greatly increased pressure is required to force small portions of hard, dry stool through the bowel. This rise in pressure can cause pouches to form at weak points in the wall of the colon. Once diverticula develop, they do not go away. The diverticula themselves cause no symptoms. Many people have diverticulosis (the potichlike protrusions) and never develop diverticulitis (the inflamed pouches). However, if tiny cuts in the pouches become infected or inflamed, the result can be severe, causing fever, chills, nausea, and pain.
Diverticulitis can be either acute or chronic. Symptoms include cramping, bloating, tenderness on the left side of the abdomen that is relieved by passing gas or a bowel movement, constipation or diarrhea, nausea, and an almost continual need to eliminate. There may be blood in the stool. Peritonitis, an inflammation of the lining of the abdominal cavity, can develop if a diverticulum ruptures and intestinal contents flow into the abdomen.
Because the walls of the large intestine often weaken as a person ages, this is a condition affecting older rather than younger people. It usually strikes people between the ages of fifty and ninety. It affects millions of Americans, but many people do not even know they have the condition because they either experience no symptoms or accept their symptoms as simple indigestion.
Causes of diverticulitis
Exactly why is not known, but it is known that smoking and stress make symptoms worse. In fact, this is a classic example of a stress-related disorder. Poor eating habits compound the problem. A poor diet, a family history of the disease, gallbladder disease, obesity, and coronary artery disease all increase the chances of developing diverticulitis.
There are several diagnostic tests available to help diagnose diverticulitis. A barium enema is a procedure in which the colon is filled with liquid barium and x-rays are taken to reveal pouches in the colon wall, narrowing of the colon, or other abnormalities. With sigmoidoscopy, a thin, flexible lighted tube is inserted into the rectum to give the physician a closer look at the lower colon. If necessary, tissue samples can be removed for examination. To see into other parts of the colon, a colonoscopy must be performed. This is similar to a sigmoidoscopy, but allows a view of the entire colon.
Here are some herbs which helpful in the treatment of diverticulitis
Diverticulitis diet information
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