Diverticulitis:- Sign and Symptom, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Cure, Complication and Home Remedy of Diverticulitis
The intestine possesses several pouches or sac- like structures along its course called diverticulae. When undigested waste matter stagnates in one or several such diverticula, the mucosal lining of the colon suffers inflammation and presents symptoms of acute and chronic diverticulitis.
Diverticula are small, bulging pouches that develop in the wall of the large intestine (colon). Usually they are most numerous in the sigmoid colon. Many people develop diverticula (a condition called diverticulosis), especially after age 50, and in most individuals they cause no problem. However when diverticula become infected or inflamed (a condition called diverticulitis), they can cause pain, fever and nausea. Diverticulitis ranges from mild pain to life-threatening infection.
Only 15 to 20 percent of people who have diverticulosis develop diverticulitis. The major factors associated with diverticulitis include advancing age and lack of dietary fiber. In many cases people can help prevent this disease simply by including more high-fiber foods in their diet.
Diverticulitis is common in industrialized nations, where the average diet is high in refined carbohydrates and low in fiber. Physicians first observed the condition in the United States in the early 1900s, around the time processed foods became a mainstay. Too little fiber contributes to small, hard stools that cause increased pressure in the colon.
Diverticulitis sign and Symptom
Following are the most common symptoms of diverticulitis:
The common symptom of diverticulitis is abdominal pain.
Another most common sign is tenderness around the left side of the lower abdomen.
If infection is the cause, fever, nausea, vomiting, chills, cramping, and constipation may occur as well.
The severity of symptoms depends on the extent of the infection and complications.
Cause of Diverticulitis
Diverticulitis is inflammation in and around a diverticulum. The cause of diverticulitis is probably mechanical. The stagnation of nonsterile inspissated fecal material, within the diverticulum may compromise the blood supply to the thin-walled sac and render it susceptible to invasion by colonic bacteria, causing inflammatory erosion of the mucosal lining with perforation. This sequence of events can involve perforation into the colonic wall, with the formation of an intramural abscess. However, perforation usually occurs into the pericolic fat, leading to fibrinous exudate, abscess formation, local adhesions, or peritonitis. Most patients develop sealed-off abscesses or contained sinus tracts and fistulas. Fistulas usually involve adjacent structures, such as the bowel, urinary bladder, vagina, and anterior abdominal wall. Other potential complications include bowel obstruction and peritonitis.
Other causes may be as follows:
The etiology of diverticulitis remains unclear, but a low-fiber diet is considered a predisposing factor. Diets that are low in fiber lead to low-bulk stool, which, in turn, causes an increase in segmentation of the colon during propulsion. Intraluminal pressure is increased, and diverticula are created. Diets that are high in fat and beef content are thought by some to cause increased intraluminal pressure.
Aging causes changes in collagen structure that may lead to a weakening of the colonic wall.
Colonic motility disorders, ingestion of corticosteroids, and ingestion of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be predisposing factors.
Diagnosis of Diverticulitis
The differential diagnosis includes colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and irritable bowel syndrome, as well as a number of urological and gynecological processes. Some patients report bleeding from the rectum.
Now a days, patients with the above symptoms are commonly studied with a computed CT scan. The CT scan is very sensitive (98%) in diagnosing diverticulitis. It may also identify patients with more complicated diverticulitis, such as those with an associated abscess. CT also allows for radiologically guided drainage of associated abscesses, possibly sparing a patient from immediate surgical intervention.
Other studies, such as barium enema and colonoscopy are contraindicated in the acute phase of diverticulitis due to the risk of perforation.
Diverticulitis is often a medical emergency, requiring immediate medical attention and, frequently, admission to hospital. Mild attacks can be treated at home, but should always be assessed promptly. Treatment may include:
No eating or drinking - intravenous fluids are given to rest the bowel.
Surgery, if the weakened sections of bowel wall have ruptured or become obstructed, or if the attack of infection fails to settle.
If it isn't possible to rejoin the healthy sections of bowel, then a colostomy bag will be fitted. This is more common if the surgery is performed as an emergency. The use of a colostomy is generally temporary, and the bowel can be rejoined after six to 12 months, if health permits.
The long-term use of a mild antibiotic is often necessary to prevent further attacks
Cure for Diverticulitis
The best preventive action you can take against diverticulitis, is to keep from developing the small sacs called diverticula. Eat whole-grain breads, oatmeal, bran cereals, fibrous fresh fruits and vegetables, or try an over-the-counter preparation containing psyllium to increase the bulk in your diet.
You can also try ground psyllium seed: Once a day, add 1 teaspoon over any cold liquid and drink within a few minutes of preparing, before the mixture gels.
Make sure you drink plenty of fluids (at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day)
Take care to add fiber gradually; a sudden switch to a high-fiber diet can cause your abdomen to become distended and create an uncomfortable amount of intestinal gas. Adjust your diet to remove foods that are difficult for you to digest.
Avoid refined foods such as white flour, white rice, and other processed foods. Contrary to popular wisdom, however, it is not necessary to avoid nuts and seeds; they are no more likely than other foods to become caught in diverticula.
Try over-the-counter stool softeners to fight constipation. If you have the urge to move your bowels, don't delay or ignore it.
Regular exercise can help the muscles in your intestine retain their tone, which encourages regular bowel movements.
Specially formulated teas to fight constipation are available in health food stores, but some may be very strong, so use them only as directed.
Complication of Diverticulitis
Home Remedy Diverticulitis
Increase your daily intake of green vegetables. Introduce fibre gradually to avoid unpleasant symptoms such as flatulence.
Consider using a fibre supplement Drink plenty of fluids to ensure your stools are soft, moist and easy to pass.
Exercise regularly to encourage bowel function and peristalsis.
When to Call Doctor
Call the doctor immediately if you have the following:
Fever or chills.
Nausea and vomiting.
Unusual changes in your bowel movements or abdominal swelling.
Blood in your stool.
Pain that is worse when you move.
Burning pain when you urinate.
Abnormal vaginal discharge.
Severe pain in the abdomen that is getting worse.
Pain in the abdomen that becomes worse when you move or cough.
Shoulder pain (possibly from air in the abdomen due to a hole or perforation in the intestine).
Call your health professional if you have cramping pain that does not get better when you have a bowel movement or pass gas. You also should call your health professional if you pass gas or stool from your urethra while urinating. This indicates you have an opening (fistula) between the bowel and the urinary tract.
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