diverticulosis

Diverticulosis is also referred to as Diverticular disease and it cccurs when “diverticula” or small outpocketings are found within the colon of the Large Intestines.

The pockets occur in the mucosa and submucosa.

Rectal bleeding is a sign but it is non-specific to this condition only, as rectal bleeding can be seen in some other Gastrointestinal related diseases.

Therefore, further testing is often required when rectal bleeding is present to rule out other conditions such as: Hemorrhoids and Colon Cancer.

Symptoms:

–  Often no symptoms are present
–  Rectal bleeding
–  Abdominal pain
–  Abdominal cramping
–  Diarrhea
–  Constipation

 

Potential Causes:

–  A weakness in the muscle layer of the colon wall.
–  Increased pressure within colon
–  Colonic spasms

Risk Factors

–  Increased age
–  Constipation disease or conditions
–  Large or little fiber intake
–  Large intake of red meat
–  Connective tissue disorder

 

Location:

Often seen in the sigmoid colon, this portion of the colon has increased pressure

 

Those affected

–  Increase risk or occurrence as age increase
–  Less often found under the age of 40.
–  Over age 40 in U.S – 10% has this condition
–  Commonly found in US, Britain, Australia, Canada
–  Less common in Asia and Africa

 

diverticulosis II

Diagnosis

–  Colonoscopy is essential when symptoms are present
–  X-ray, CT, MRI are helpful

 

Potential Complications

1.)  Diverticulitis – infection in the pockets

2.)  Abscess formation

3.)  Sepsis

4.)  Fistula

5.)  Enterolith

6.)  others

 

Other organs affected due to complications may be:

1.)  Bladder

 

Treatment

Dietary changes

1.)  Increase hydration

2.)  Increase fiber

3.)  Avoid certain foods such as:

.  Nuts
.  Popcorn
.  Sunflower seeds
.  Pumpkin seeds
. Sesame seeds

4.)  Foods that don’t require avoidance

. Tomatoes
. Zucchini
. Strawberries
. Raspberries
. others

5.)  Medications

Ciprofloxacin  (Cipro)
Metronidazole  (Flagyl)
Cephalexin  (Keflex)

6.)  Surgery

–  May be required when complications arise
–  Drainage of area may be required
–  Bowel resection may be required

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