CEN Diverticulitis

CEN Diverticulitis

CEN Diverticulitis

CEN Diverticulitis Overview

Diverticula are small, bulging pouches that can form in the lining of your digestive system. They are found most often in the lower part of the large intestine (colon). Diverticula are common, especially after age 40, and seldom cause problems.

The presence of diverticula is known as diverticulosis.  When one or more of the pouches become inflamed, and in some cases infected, that condition is known as diverticulitis. Diverticulitis can cause severe abdominal pain, fever, nausea and a marked change in your bowel habits.

Mild diverticulitis can be treated with rest, changes in your diet and antibiotics. Severe or recurring diverticulitis may require surgery.

CEN Diverticulitis – Signs and Symptoms

  • Pain, which may be constant and persist for several days. The lower left side of the abdomen is the usual site of the pain. Sometimes, however, the right side of the abdomen is more painful, especially in people of Asian descent.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Fever.
  • Abdominal tenderness.
  • Constipation or, less commonly, diarrhea.

CEN Diverticulitis – Causes

Diverticula usually develop when naturally weak places in your colon give way under pressure. This causes marble-sized pouches to protrude through the colon wall.

Diverticulitis occurs when diverticula tear, resulting in inflammation, and in some cases, infection.

CEN Diverticulitis – Risk Factors

  • Aging. The incidence of diverticulitis increases with age.
  • Obesity. Being seriously overweight increases your odds of developing diverticulitis.
  • Smoking. People who smoke cigarettes are more likely than nonsmokers to experience diverticulitis.
  • Lack of exercise. Vigorous exercise appears to lower your risk of diverticulitis.
  • Diet high in animal fat and low in fiber. A low-fiber diet in combination with a high intake of animal fat seems to increase risk, although the role of low fiber alone isn’t clear.
  • Certain medications. Several drugs are associated with an increased risk of diverticulitis, including steroids, opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve).

CEN Diverticulitis – Complications

About 25% of people with acute diverticulitis develop complications, which may include:

  • An abscess, which occurs when pus collects in the pouch.
  • A blockage in your bowel caused by scarring.
  • An abnormal passageway (fistula) between sections of bowel or the bowel and other organs.
  • Peritonitis, which can occur if the infected or inflamed pouch ruptures, spilling intestinal contents into your abdominal cavity. Peritonitis is a medical emergency and requires immediate care.

CEN Diverticulitis – Treatment

Treatment depends on the severity of your signs and symptoms.

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