Diverticular disease is relatively common, but it can be beneficial to get treatment from a colorectal expert to help manage your symptoms. At ACE Clinic, we can help you take steps to achieve relief and live a healthy and active lifestyle.
Diverticula is the name for an outpouching of the wall of the colon.
- Diverticulosis: This form of diverticular disease comes with no complications or symptoms. It merely means the presence of diverticula in the colon wall.
- Diverticulitis: This form of diverticular disease happens when diverticula become inflamed or infected. It can cause noticeable, severe symptoms and complications like abscess formation, bleeding, colonic stricture, or fistula formation.
Diverticulosis is very common, with rates increasing drastically as you age.
Diverticulosis causes no symptoms and doesn’t usually require intervention. However, diverticulitis can cause noticeable and severe symptoms like abdominal cramping, bloating and fever. It’s important to work with a colorectal surgeon because symptoms of diverticulitis are similar to many other gastrointestinal conditions.
It’s thought that diverticular disease is caused by high pressure in the colon, which causes the walls to bulge outward. High pressure or strain on the colon can be caused by not eating enough fiber. It’s not well understood what causes diverticulitis, or infected diverticula.
Certain risk factors can make it more likely that you develop diverticular disease. These include age, eating a low-fiber diet or a lot of fat and red meat.
What are the symptoms of diverticular disease?
The symptoms of diverticular disease can include constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and bloating
What is the main cause of diverticulitis?
Diverticulitis usually occurs when the diverticula tears, becomes inflamed, and in some cases, becomes infected. The diverticula are small, bulging pouches that form in the lining of the digestive system. When those pouches tear or become infected, it can lead to diverticulitis.
What foods trigger diverticulitis?
There are actually no foods that trigger diverticulitis. In the past, it was thought that nuts, seeds, and popcorn could trigger diverticulitis by lodging themselves into the diverticula but there is no evidence for that.
Can diverticulosis go away?
Diverticulosis is usually not symptomatic. However, if you develop diverticulitis, it can cause pain, fever or other complications. Uncomplicated diverticulitis usually resolves with a course of antibiotics and bowel rest. Repeated attacks of uncomplicated diverticulitis may require surgery. Complicated diverticulitis usually requires surgery to address abscess formation or fistula.
What is the best treatment for diverticulitis?
For uncomplicated diverticulitis, treatment can consist of antibiotics and a liquid diet for a few days. For complicated diverticulitis, intravenous antibiotics are usually necessary. If abscess or fistula is present then it will likely require surgery.
Can you prevent diverticulitis?
Diverticulitis can be prevented by eating plenty of fiber, drinking water, and exercising regularly.
What are the risk factors for diverticulitis?
Some of the risk factors for diverticulitis include age, obesity, smoking, lack of exercise, a low fiber diet, and certain medications.
Does alcohol affect diverticulitis?
Drinking alcohol has been shown to increase the risk of diverticulitis and diverticular bleeding.
Diverticulosis typically doesn’t need treatment. Diverticulitis is usually associated with symptoms and diagnosed through a process that might include a colonoscopy or CT scan. For mild diverticulitis, your colorectal expert may treat it with a course of antibiotics.
In more severe diverticulitis, your colorectal expert may recommend surgery. This is typically performed in cases of abscess formation, perforation, fistula, colonic stricture, or recurrent disease.
Surgery is very effective in treating chronic or complicated diverticulitis. Working with a colorectal surgeon and living a healthy lifestyle always helps patients recover well after surgery.
Diverticular disease is very treatable with the help of an experienced colorectal expert. To meet with our team and learn more, we invite you to contact our office by calling or filling out our online contact form.
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Please do not hesitate to call us at 602-844-5157 or fill out our online form if you have a question, or would like to schedule an appointment.