Diverticulitis is the condition of pouch like formations which tend to develop in intestines predominantly the large intestine. The disease is rather common but it is serious as it may lead to various complications. In the United States 10% of people who are in their 40s and 60s are affected. The disease is present in other parts of the world except for Asia and Africa where diverticulitis is not so common. The pouches or diverticulas are tiny sacs which push outward the intestine. They may affect each part of large intestine but the end of the left colon is basically where they tend to develop. Some researches studied the connection between the dietary regimes and diverticulitis. It has been reported that people who eat food rich in fat and do not consume enough dietary fibers are more prone to the condition.
Generally symptoms are not the same in all patients. The condition usually presents with minimal or no symptoms at all. This explains why most people are not aware they are suffering from diverticulitis. But even in these patients impermanent abdominal pain may occur. The lower abdomen may be tender as well.
The symptoms become obvious when the pouch gets infected. The inflammation may lead to serious complications.
The pain is always present. It arises suddenly and is mainly located in the lower part of the abdomen. The intensity varies so one person can feel excruciating pain while other may experience mild pain which gets worse within the following days. The pain may be even in a form of stomach cramps.
Additionally abdominal tenderness is present and one may feel nausea and vomit. Changes in stool include possibilities, diarrhea and constipation. Fever affects some of the patients. Patients who vomit and are feeling bloated with blood traces in the stool have to be monitored as this is the sign of definitive problem within gastrointestinal tract. If occurs bleeding may be continuous or irregular. It can last up to a few days. The hemorrhage stops spontaneously. In more severe cases abdominal obstruction may develop and this is an urgent state. The diverticulum can perforate and then bacteria spread into the surrounding area.
People who are suffering from diverticulitis are forced to make dietary changes. They are supposed to increase the hydration, cut down on food rich in fats and increase the intake of fruit and vegetables.
After the diagnosis is set the patients are treated either conservatively or surgically.