More and more people are researching Diverticulosis - they do this to educate themselves and potentially avoid health problems caused by prescription and over the counter drugs. Unfortunately, most drugs are synthetic and can cause an array of defects and side-effects.
Diverticulosis is a common condition people develop as they age. More than half of Americans over the age of 60 have diverticulosis, and ten percent of people over 40 years of age develop the condition. Treatment for diverticulitis or diverticulosis involves dietary changes, but severe cases of diverticulitis may need hospital care.
Diverticulosis refers to small, bulging pockets or pouches of the inner lining of the intestine, typically found in the large intestine or colon. These sacs bulge outward through weak spots in the colon. When these pouches become infected or inflamed, the condition is called diverticulitis. Most diverticulosis is found in the sigmoid colon, or the lower section of the large intestine. When an individual has multiple pouches, they are called diverticula.
Some people have no symptoms of diverticulosis. In fact, they may not even know they have the condition until a colonoscopy is performed for another reason. When symptoms are present, individuals complain of bloating, cramping, gas, and tenderness in the lower left side of the abdomen. Fever and chills may be present if diverticula become inflamed or infected, as is the case with diverticulitis. Some people experience nausea, vomiting, or lack of appetite.
Once the pockets of diverticulosis have formed, they are there for life. However, you can reduce the risk of your diverticulosis becoming infected or inflamed (diverticulitis) by making dietary changes. Eating fibrous foods can help to prevent further diverticulitis attacks. Certain foods such as peas, beans, popcorn, corn, strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, dried fruits, and even skin of fruits and vegetables may make your symptoms work. It used to be thought that nuts and seeds could aggravate diverticulosis, but that theory is now being questioned; if you have diverticulitis, ask your doctor about eating seeds and nuts. Because alcohol, coffee, and tea can make constipation more likely, it’s best to avoid or reduce the consumption of these beverages.
Treatment for Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis
If your diverticulosis becomes infected or inflamed, you may need to receive physician or hospital care. Your physician may suggest bed rest, and a heating pad applied to the painful area. Should you have an infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Drinking only fluids for one to three days after an attack will help the infection heal. In cases of a severe attack that includes a risk of peritonitis, bowel instruction, or abscess, you will usually need hospitalization as part of your treatment. In the hospital, you’ll be given intravenous antibiotics. If you developed an abscess, it will need to be drained. Your physician may also recommend surgery to remove a diseased part of your colon, especially when you have an abscess, perforation, fistula, or repeated episodes of diverticulitis.
Diverticulosis is usually a mild condition that responds well to dietary changes, such as increased fiber intake.