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Diverticulosis, Definition, Causes, Symptoms, Prevent and Treatment

Tuesday, July 3rd 2012. | Digestive System, Disease

Diverticulosis Definition

Diverticula are small sacs in the intestinal mucosa that pass outside of the intestine through small areas of the intestinal wall and communicate with the interior of the intestine through a duct more or less close.

Diverticula occur most frequently on the left end of the colon, but can occur throughout the colon and small intestine. In addition, diverticula can form at all hollow organs (esophagus is also involved).

The occurrence of multiple diverticula is called diverticulosis. It is common but goes unnoticed because it often remains asymptomatic.

Diverticulitis is an acute inflammation of the diverticula. Untreated, it can lead to intestinal perforation. Consequence: flow of intestinal contents into the abdominal cavity or other organs. In severe cases, there is an accumulation of pus in the abdominal cavity and a generalized infection (septicemia).

Diverticulosis Causes

  • Diet high in fat and low fiber
  • Muscle weakness and weakness of the connective tissue
  • Chronic constipation
  • Age (70 years)
  • Hereditary factors under discussion

Cause inflammation

It is assumed that inflammation in the diverticulum is due to the accumulation of food residue in the diverticula.

Diverticula

Diverticula or Diverticulosis (image by.kmcpa.com)

Diverticulosis Disorders (symptoms)

Generally diverticula remain asymptomatic. In rare subjects are observed:

  • Pain, usually in the lower left abdomen
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea or other changes in the stool
  • Possibly blood loss by hemorrhage

Diverticulosis Disorders (Symptoms)

Generally diverticula remain asymptomatic. In rare subjects are observed:

  • Pain, usually in the lower left abdomen
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea or other changes in the stool
  • Possibly blood loss by hemorrhage

Acute diverticulitis (inflammation) in turn causes the following symptoms:

  • Violent stomach pains, especially in the left hypogastric region
  • Chills, fever
  • Poor general condition
  • The evolution of the disease can lead to peritonitis

Diverticulosis Examinations (diagnosis)

  • History with consideration of symptoms
  • physical examination
  • blood tests
  • scan
  • CT
  • Colonoscopy in rare cases (because of the risk of bowel injury)

Treatment Options

Less serious symptoms of diverticulitis can be treated by adapting the diet, regulation of bowel movements (high-fiber diet, stool softeners). Spasmolytic if necessary. In very rare cases, surgery is necessary.

Diverticulitis (inflammation) may be treated as outpatients in mild cases:

  • Antibiotics
  • Reduction of food intake
  • Stool softeners

Serious crises requiring hospitalization:

  • Antibiotics and artificial nutrition infusion

Surgery is required for severe cases and in cases of suspected perforation, bowel obstruction and recurrent bleeding. Fistula formation (purulent discharge) is also an indication for surgery. In this case, the relevant part of the intestine must be resected.

Goal of surgery

The operation can often be performed laparoscopically. The objective of this intervention is to resect the injured colon, often in the lower left abdomen, and then anastomose the two parts of the colon. In rare cases the installation of an artificial anus is needed.

What to do yourself?

Stimulation of intestinal transit by a change in eating habits :

  • Diet high in fiber and low in fat; preparations of whole grains, wheat bran, fruits, vegetables
  • Two to three liters of fluid a day
  • exercise

Possible Complications

  • Associated with intestinal perforation peritonitis
  • Fistula formation (purulent discharge) at the bladder, vagina and skin.

Preventive Measures

Stimulation of intestinal transit by a change in eating habits :

  • Diet high in fiber and low in fat; preparations of whole grains, wheat bran, fruits, vegetables
  • Two to three liters of fluid a day
  • Exercise
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