Diverticulosis

Diverticulosis is a condition where the large intestine contains bulging pockets of tissue that push out from the intestinal walls. A small bulging pocket that pushes outward from the colon wall is called a diverticulum. When a person has one or more bulging pockets, the condition is called diverticulosis. Diverticulum typically form if an individual has frequent constipation. Some have only a few bulging pockets, while others have 20 or more. Most people have no symptoms and only find out that they have diverticulosis when they have a colonoscopy.

The risks of developing diverticulosis increases with age. It is seen in more than fifty percent of people over the age of 60 in the United States. Diverticulosis is rare in Asia and Africa.

Diverticulosis feels like discomfort, pain, and tenderness in the lower left side of the stomach area. It can also feel like a sharp pain on the lower left side of the stomach.

What is the function of the large Intestine?

The large intestine is a long tube-like structure that is responsible for absorption of water and excretion of solid waste material.

Signs?

Most people with diverticulosis do not have any symptoms. When symptoms occur, the most common symptoms are: mild cramps, and bloating.

Foods that trigger diverticulitis

  • canned or cooked fruits without skin or seeds.
  • canned or cooked vegetables such as green beans, carrots and potatoes (without the skin)
  • eggs, fish and poultry
  • refined white bread
  • fruit and vegetable juice with no pulp
  • low-fiber cereals
  • milk, yogurt and cheese

Diverticulosis vs Diverticulitis

Diverticulosis and diverticulitis are related. Diverticulosis happens when small, bulging pouches (diverticula) develop in your digestive tract. Diverticulitis occurs when one or more of these pouches become inflamed or infected.

What to eat with Diverticulitis during flare up

During an acute attack of diverticulitis, your health care provider may recommend a temporary low-fiber diet.  Baby foods are good until healing is complete. Earth’s Best Baby Food, Once Upon a Farm, and Plum Organics creates organically grown baby foods that are available in most super makets. Once the inflammation clears you’ll be able to slowly switch back to a high-fiber diet. The key to managing diverticulitis and avoiding flair ups is to eat plenty of fiber rich fruits and vegetables and to drink an adequate amount of water. Drinking water aids in keeping the pouchlike areas clean of toxic wastes, preventing inflammation.

How is diverticulosis diagnosed?

Some people have no symptoms of diverticulosis and find out they have it after they have a colonoscopy.

Causes of diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis occurs when there is an infection or inflammation of the bulging sacs. Sometimes inflammation occurs when stool gets caught in the sac. When infection occurs, the person usually experiences fever, pain and tenderness in the abdomen.

Treatments for diverticulitis 

If left untreated, diverticulitis can lead to serious complications that require surgery. Some of the common complications are abscesses around the infected diverticula. If these go through the intestinal wall, you may develop peritonitis, a potentially fatal infection that requires immediate treatment.

If treated properly, diverticulitis will go away. If you have diverticulitis, you doctor will prescribe antibiotics and design a diet that will help prevent it from reoccurring.

Complications of diverticulitis 

Bleeding is the most common complication of diverticulitis. A symptom of bleeding is black stool, or stool that looks like coffee grounds.

Questions to ask your doctor

  • Should I be tested for Diverticulosis?
  • What is the best diet to help with recovery?
  • How can you prevent problems in the future?
  • Do I need to change the foods that I eat
  • What are emergency symptoms?
  • Do I need to return for a checkup?
  • What are the treatment options?
  • Will the prescribed medicine interact with my current meds?