What is Diverticulitis? Diverticulitis, one of several digestive system disorders that affect our health, is a condition that occurs due to inflammation or infection of vesicle-shaped protrusions that occur on the inner surface of the colon. This disease is particularly common in the population over 40 years old and can present different symptoms depending on the severity of the disease.
With the correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment, diverticulitis can usually be controlled and treated without serious complications. In this article, we will learn more about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of diverticulitis so that we can better understand this condition.
What is Diverticulitis?
Diverticulitis is a medical condition that commonly affects the digestive tract. Diverticulitis is characterized by inflammation or infection of small, protruding vesicles called diverticulum. Diverticula are small sacs that usually form on the lining of the colon and are part of a condition called diverticular disease. This condition results from inflammation or infection of the diverticulum and can present with symptoms of varying severity depending on the severity of the disease.
Although the cause of diverticular disease is not fully understood, in most cases it is associated with weakened bowel movements and difficulty passing stool through the intestines. This creates pressure in the intestinal wall, leading to the formation of vesicles called diverticula. These diverticula are usually concentrated in the lower part of the colon. Fecal particles or bacteria hiding in the diverticulum can cause inflammation and infection, resulting in diverticulitis.
What Causes Diverticulitis?
Diverticulitis is a medical condition that results from inflammation or infection of small vesicles called diverticulum. The main cause of diverticulitis is a weakening of bowel movements and straining of the stool as it passes through the intestines. This causes an increase in pressure on the inner surface of the colon and the formation of vesicles called diverticula. When stool and bacteria become clogged in the diverticulum, inflammation and infection develop, which is the main cause of diverticulitis.
Aging is linked to the development of diverticulitis. Although diverticula are rare at a young age, the likelihood of them occurring increases with age. For this reason, diverticulitis tends to be more common in people over the age of 40.
2. Fiber deficiency
Modern dietary habits are associated with insufficient fiber intake and is one of the main risk factors for diverticulitis. Not consuming high-fiber foods makes it difficult for stool to pass through the intestines, facilitating the formation of diverticula. High-fiber foods regulate bowel movements and reduce the risk of diverticulitis by keeping the bowels running regularly.
3. Weakening of bowel movements
Slowing or weakening of bowel movements causes stool to build up in the colon. This leads to an increase in intra-intestinal pressure and causes the formation of diverticula.
4. Family History
Family history can increase the risk of diverticulitis. If one or more family members have diverticular disease, the likelihood of similar problems in other family members may increase.
5. Smoking and alcohol consumption
Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can negatively affect gut health and increase the risk of diverticulitis.
What Are the Symptoms of Diverticulitis?
Diverticulitis is a disease characterized by inflammation or infection of vesicles called diverticula that form on the inner surface of the colon. This condition often starts with mild symptoms, but severe pain and complications can occur in severe cases. Symptoms of diverticulitis can vary depending on the severity and extent of the disease. Here are the most common symptoms of diverticulitis:
The most common symptom of diverticulitis is severe abdominal pain. The pain is usually concentrated in the lower left abdomen and can sometimes radiate to the lower back or pelvic area. The pain may start suddenly and be persistent or cramping. The pain may increase, especially after defecation.
Since diverticulitis is an infectious condition, patients may develop a fever. It can be in varying degrees from mild fever to high fever.
Diarrhea or constipation
Diverticulitis can affect bowel movements. Therefore, constipation or diarrhea may occur in patients. Diarrhea can sometimes be bloody.
Nausea and vomiting
In severe cases of diverticulitis, patients may experience nausea and vomiting.
Sensitivity and Sensitivity
By touching the area affected by diverticulitis, tenderness and tenderness can be felt in the abdomen.
Gas and bloating
Bowel disturbances caused by diverticulitis can lead to gas and bloating.
Urinary tract symptoms
In rare cases, you may experience difficulty or pain while urinating due to diverticulitis pressing on the urinary tract.
How is diverticulitis treated?
The treatment of diveticulitis varies depending on the severity of the disease. In mild cases, a light, healthy diet with fluids and plenty of vitamins and exercise may be sufficient. This treatment can be supported with antibiotics and painkillers. In severe cases, hospitalization may be required, oral nutrition may be discontinued, and abdominal abscess formations may be drained. In some cases, surgery may also be required.
Treatment of mild cases continues at home. The patient should eat a lot of vegetables, fruits and grains. Foods that are difficult to dissolve in the intestines, such as red meat, should be avoided. In addition, a lot is consumed.
Severe cases are hospitalized due to cessation of oral food intake. Antibiotics are given to the patient who is fed serum. After the severe period of the disease has passed, the patient can be put on special diets.
The most serious condition of divertuculitis is the rupture of the intestine. If this condition, called peritonitis, occurs, the patient is taken to the operating room. The problematic intestinal area is surgically removed. If there is no other problem, the intestines are combined between the parts taken.
Surgical procedures, in which the diseased part of the intestine is removed and the remaining parts rejoined, also require other techniques. Some patients may have a temporary colostomy (surgery that attaches part of the colon to the abdominal wall to create an opening for stool to pass through).
How should a patient with diverticulitis be fed?
Diverticulitis is a disease characterized by inflammation or infection of vesicles called diverticula that form on the inner surface of the colon. Therefore, it is important for patients with diverticulitis to regulate their diet. With a proper diet, it is possible to reduce the symptoms of diverticulitis and prevent the progression of the disease. Here are some key points about how to feed patients with diverticulitis:
Sufficient fiber intake
The most important dietary advice for patients with diverticulitis is to ensure adequate fiber intake. High-fiber foods regulate bowel movements and prevent the formation of diverticula by facilitating the passage of stool through the intestines. In this way, the risk of constipation in patients with diverticulitis is reduced. High-fiber foods include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
When fiber consumption is increased, adequate water intake for the body also becomes important. Fiber absorbs water in the intestines, so drinking plenty of water softens the stools of patients with diverticulitis, making bowel movements easier.
Choose soft foods
Patients with diverticulitis should prefer soft foods as well as high fiber foods. Foods such as juicy fruits, cooked vegetables, yogurt and purees can be digested without irritating the intestines and can help reduce the severity of symptoms.
If patients with diverticulitis have trouble getting enough fiber, they can take fiber supplements recommended by their doctor. These supplements are available in high-fiber powder or tablet form and can help meet your daily fiber needs.
Avoid fried and spicy foods
Fried and spicy foods can irritate the intestines and make diverticulitis symptoms worse. It would be helpful to avoid such foods as much as possible.
Limit the use of alcohol and caffeine
Alcohol and caffeinated drinks can irritate the intestines and increase symptoms in people with diverticulitis. Therefore, it is important to limit the consumption of alcohol and caffeine.
Eat regular and small portions
Patients with diverticulitis should ensure that they eat regularly and in small portions. Large meals can put pressure on the intestines and make symptoms worse.
Is diverticulitis dangerous?
Diverticulitis can be dangerous if it progresses too far. Several complications can arise with the problem of intestinal perforation. In such cases, antibiotics and painkillers do not relieve the patient. When the situation is understood, the patient needs urgent surgery. Surgery usually resolves the problem and can treat problem areas.
Will the diverticulum go away on its own?
If diverticular disease is very mild, it may go away on its own. If such a bowel problem is experienced, attention should be paid to eating and drinking and returning to a healthy diet. In this way, the progression of the disease is prevented and the symptoms experienced can improve. However, if the problem persists, you should consult a doctor.
What should diverticular patients not eat?
Diverticular patients should not eat red meat, excess fat, meaty foods, and solid foods that are difficult to dissolve in the gut. Instead, they should pay attention to a liquid diet, give preference to easily digestible foods and drink plenty of fluids. In addition to a healthy diet, patients should not remain inactive and should walk and exercise every day.
Where Does Diverticulitis Pain Occur?
Diverticulitis is characterized by severe abdominal pain. Abdominal stiffness and tenderness may be felt. If this symptom is accompanied by constipation, fever and chills, diverticulitis may be suspected. When these symptoms are observed, a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible and precautions should be taken before the problem gets worse. This makes treatment easier.
Which doctor should you go to for diverticulitis?
General surgery and gastroenterology departments of hospitals can be consulted for diverticulitis. Specialist doctors in these departments can detect the disease and determine its condition. A treatment plan can be drawn up on the basis of the data from the examinations carried out. If necessary, the patient can be referred to different departments.
Does the diverticulum bleed?
If the condition is very advanced in patients with diverticula, bleeding may rarely occur. This can occur with rectal bleeding. Bleeding is a very serious symptom and should not be ignored. It can also be confused with various diseases and conditions. For this reason, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible if you notice any signs of bleeding.