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Diverticulosis isn’t anything to mess with
and it really can cause a lot of pain.
Diverticulosis is described as the presence
of small, saclike swellings in the wall of the
colon. Diverticulae may be present without
any symptoms. Diverticulitis is the infection
of these small pouches. It is not contagious
or cancerous.
The left side of the colon is the part that is
most likely to be affected.
Some of the symptoms are as follows:
Mild cramping or tenderness in the left side
of the stomach that is usually relieved by the
passing of gas or having a bowel movement.
Occasional bright red blood in the stool,
non-infected diverticulae sometimes bleed.
Occasional constipation.
No symptoms, usually.
Diverticulitis symptoms:
Intermittent cramping, abdominal pain that
becomes constant. Pain may be disabling from the onset, or may not disabling for several days.
Fever, nausea, and tenderness over the affected area of the colon.
The cause is unknown, but the tendency is inherited.
It is thought that the highly refined, low-residue diet that is common in the U.S. may contribute to the formation of diverticulae. Pressure builds up inside the sigmoid colon as a result lining eventually pushes through to form the small pouches.
Risk increases with:
Improper diet that lacks fiber.
Family history of diverticulosis.
Coronary-artery or gallbladder disease.
Being over-weight.
This can not be prevented, but your risk can be reduced by eating a diet high in fiber, maintaining good cardiovascular fitness.
Diverticulitis can be found by doing a
barium enema and then a Sigmoidoscopy.
Possible complications:
If diverticulitea become infected, they may
bleed profusely or erode through the intestinal wall and cause peritonitis. Both are surgical emergencies. Diverticulitis is curable with antibiotics. Occasionally surgery is needed.
How to Treat it:
Try to have a bowel movement at about the same time each day. DON’T STRAIN!!!!
Check your stool daily for bleeding, if it is
black, remove it and take it to your doctor for lab testing for blood.
To relieve the mild pain or cramping, apply moist heat to the stomach.
Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or bulk-producing laxatives. If you are unable to eat a high-fiber diet.
DON’T TAKE LAXATIVES unless prescribed.
If you have a fever or severe pain, stay in
bed. Resume normal activity as soon as symptoms improve.
Eat a well-balanced diet that is high in fiber,
low in salt and low in fat.
As always, call your doctor if you have any of the following:
Fever, severe pain continues despite treatment, blood appears in the stool,or vomiting or stomach swelling.
*** Sigmoidoscopy is a method of
examining the rectum and lower part of
colon with an optical instrument with a
lighted tip.