diverticulitisDiverticulitis is a disease or condition that occurs within the Large Intestines, and it is a worsening or progression of a similar condition called Diverticulosis.

Diverticulosis happens with out-pockets called diverticula in the intestines, also referred to as pouches.

Many people have these out-pockets with and without knowing it, and they typically experience very little symptoms.

However, when one of these pockets changes due to Inflammation or infection it is referred to as Diverticulitis.

What was once painless often becomes quite painful.

 

Symptoms:

Symptoms may last from a few hours to a few weeks.

–  Abdominal pain
–  Abdominal cramping
–  Fever
–  Chills
–  Nausea
–  Vomiting
–  Diarrhea
–  Constipation

 

Causes:

The exact cause is not known but the following are often found in patients with Diverticulitis:

–  Increased colon pressure
–  Lack of fiber
–  Blockage of food particles or other item within the pocket
–  Bacterial infection

 

Diagnosis

–  Blood work:  Leukocytosis or elevated WBC is often seen
–  CT, MRI
–  Abdominal
–  X-ray
–  Colonoscopy – is often done for diagnosis of Diverticulosis but when an infection is present.

 

Treatment

–  Bowel rest:  No oral foods
–  Dietary change for prevention
–  Increase Fiber intake
–  IV fluids
–  Antibiotics
–  Hospital admission (In severe cases)
–  Surgery – necessary in some cases

***  – some argument has been made over the avoidance of nuts and seeds.  This continues to currently be under discussion.

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