Though it was rare before the 20th century, the diverticular diseases are now one of the most common health conditions in the western part of the world. A diverticular disease is actually a group of condition that mainly impedes or affects the digestive tract. One of the most serious types of the diverticular disease is the diverticulitis. This condition is discomforting and may cause a lot of trouble to the sufferer. Hence, it is right and just to know the different causes, symptoms, as well as the treatments for diverticulitis. Not just for the betterment of the condition, but also for the betterment of the overall health.
Diverticulitis: What is this condition?
Diverticulitis is a disastrous digestive illness, which develops in the small or large intestine. It occurs when one of the diverticula on the bowel wall gets inflamed. The formations called diverticula are the main components of diverticulitis. The diverticula are the pouches, which occur beside the digestive tract, most frequently in the colon or the large intestine. This is even though the main cause of the condition is not known.
It is often thought that the diverticular formation occurs because of the straining during the bowel movements that put the pressure on the walls of the intestines. This is what causes the inflammation as well as the irritation that in turn lead to the formation of the pouches. However, if one of the pouches becomes inflamed, diverticulosis or the state of having the pouches will turn to diverticulitis.
Diverticulitis usually requires treatment for the reason that it usually causes symptoms and may lead to some serious health conditions. What’s the good thing about this condition is that only 4 percent get acute diverticulitis, and it only affects about 10 to 20 percent of the people has the tendency to progress into symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular illness. This is a condition that causes some similar symptoms to the irritable bowel syndrome, just like bloating and abdominal pain.
Additionally, it usually takes approximately 7 years for the progression of the condition to occur. Furthermore, in every 4 percent of the patients who have diverticulitis, only about 15 percent have the complications.
Symptoms of Diverticulitis
Always remember that the symptoms of diverticulosis and the diverticulitis are different.
Majority of the people who have this condition has the tendency to not experience any symptoms. However, there may be some episodes of pain in the lower abdomen. More precisely, normally on the lowermost side of the abdomen. Here are some other symptoms of diverticulosis:
- Small amounts of blood in the stools
- Diarrhea and constipation
- Changing bowel habits
When the diverticula get inflamed, the symptoms may be:
- Bleeding in the rectum
- Vomiting and nausea
- Painful urination
- More frequent urination
- Usually and constant severe pain, commonly on the left side of the abdomen even though it is occasionally on the right
Causes of Diverticulitis
The development of the pouches is actually unknown. However, the lack of dietary fiber is more often to be the main cause of it. We know that dietary fiber is beneficial in softening the stools, and not being able to consume enough of it may lead to hard stools. This may lead to more strain or pressure on the colon as the muscle pushes the stool down. In particular, this pressure is what causes the formation or development of diverticula.
Diverticula happen when the weak spots in the colon muscle’s outside layer give way while the inner layer squeezes all through. Even though there is no clear evidence that proves the link between the condition and dietary fiber, research claims that the incidental evidence is quite convincing. However, this particular topic is debated hotly by many.
Risk Factors of Diverticulitis
It is not clear why the condition occurs. But regardless of that, here are some of the factors that may increase the risk of diverticulitis:
- Various medications, including NSAIDs, opiates, and steroids
- Diet that is low in dietary fiber but high in animal fat
- Lack of exercise
Treatments for Diverticulitis
Mild cases of this condition may generally be treatable even just by an individual. However, there may be a prescription that will be given to you by your doctor. And it will be one of the most amazing treatments for diverticulitis –the antibiotics. Remember, it is important that you will be able to complete the whole course of the antibiotics, even when the symptoms get better already. There are some people who may experience some drowsiness, vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea when taking the medication.
Furthermore, hospital treatments for diverticulitis may be important if any of these apply:
- Treatments at home is already ineffective after a day or two
- Doctor suspects some complications
- There is a poor state of health
- Not capable of taking any oral antibiotics
- Not capable of consuming enough liquids to be able to keep hydrated
- The normal painkiller medications cannot alleviate the pain