What Is Diverticulitis?
What Is Diverticulitis? Diverticulitis is a condition in which the sac on the colon (bowel) undergoes inflammation or infection. The formation of a small sac or lump on the wall of the intestine itself is a disorder commonly called diverticula.
The formation of diverticula that occurs in the colonic wall is known by the name of diverticulosis. Until now, it is not yet known what is the main cause of diverticulosis. But experts suspect that a low-fiber diet is the trigger.
Diverticles are commonly afflicted by a person aged 40 and older, because their colon is weakened. Diverticles are more common in European and North American countries than in Asia and Africa. Men and women have the same risk of developing diverticulosis.
Symptoms of Diverticulitis
Symptoms are something that is felt and told by the patient. Diverticulitis has several symptoms that can last from several hours to several days. The symptoms of diverticulitis are:
- Pain, sensitive, or cramps in the abdomen, generally left lower abdomen and more felt when the body is moved.
- Fever shivers.
- Bloating or stomach sensation filled with gas.
- Diarrhea or constipation.
- Nausea and sometimes vomiting.
- Loss of appetite.
Causes and Risk Factors Diverticulitis
Diverticulitis is still not known the exact cause. There is a suspicion of developing bacteria in the sac in the intestinal wall (diverticula), can trigger inflammation or infection.
A low-fiber diet is thought to be responsible for the formation of diverticula because without fiber, the colon must work harder to encourage food. Colon pressure when pushing food can lead to the formation of sacs at a weak point along the colon wall.
Some of the things that increase a person’s risk of getting diverticulitis are:
- Genetic factors. There are family members who have diverticulosis.
- Age. The older a person, the risk of getting diverticulitis is also higher.
- Drugs. Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or aspirin will increase the risk of developing diverticulitis.
- Diet. Under a diet low in fiber and high in animal fat.
- Lack of exercise.
Diagnosis of Diverticulitis
Diagnosis is a doctor’s step to identify a disease or condition that explains the symptoms and signs experienced by the patient. Tests that doctors usually do to diagnose diverticulitis are:
- Physical examination. The doctor will check the patient’s abdomen for inflammation in the abdominal cavity that usually hurts when the stomach is pressed.
- Blood test, to find out whether there is infection or bleeding in the colon sufferer.
- Pregnancy test, to ensure that the abdominal pain experienced by the patient is not caused by pregnancy.
- Urine analysis test, will indicate whether the patient has a urinary tract infection.
- Imaging test. Patients will undergo an X-ray imaging or CT scan procedure on the abdomen.
- Test liver function, to test whether the patient has liver disorders.
- Digital rectal examination, to see if there is a lump in the lower pelvis.
- Sigmodoscopy or colonoscopy, will be recommended by the doctor if symptoms tend to bleed from the intestine.
- Blood test is faint in stool samples. To check if there appears to be blood in the stool of the patient.
Treatment of Diverticulitis
How to handle diverticulitis usually depends on the severity of diverticulitis suffered by the patient. For mild diverticulitis, patients will only be prescribed antibiotics, painkillers, and high-fiber but low-fiber diets. This step is done until the pain disappears.
If the diidap sufferers are acute diverticulitis or already complicated, then the patient needs hospitalization in the hospital. Some types of treatment for patients with acute diverticulitis are:
- Intravenous antibiotics, usually given to treat infections that cause pain.
- Suck the contents of the intestine so that the stomach remains empty, if the patient experienced vomiting or abdominal swelling.
- Surgery to remove the infected part of the intestine. Conducted in case of complications, experiencing recurrent diverticulitis, there is a disorder of the patient’s immune system.
- Resting the intestines, to cope with blocked colon. The trick is to give nothing but fluids and nutrition through the infusion to the patient.
Complications and Prevention of Diverticulitis
There are several complications that can be experienced by patients with acute diverticulitis, namely:
- Peritonitis, which can arise due to rupture of her infected intestinal sac and shed its contents into the abdominal cavity.
- The appearance of an abscess in the intestinal cavity when pus collects inside the intestinal sac (diverticula).
- Blocked in the colon or small intestine, due to the emergence of scar tissue.
- The appearance of abnormal channels (fistulas) between parts of the intestine or between the intestines with the bladder.
- Urinating disorders. Diverticulitis causes the inflamed part of the intestine to come into contact with the bladder. This causes pain during urination, frequency of urination more often, and the entry of air in the urine.
To prevent diverticulitis, one can do the following:
- Eat plenty of fluids.
- Expand the consumption of high fiber foods but low in fat or eat red meat.
- Exercise regularly.