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Diverticulitis

About

Diverticulitis is a condition in the inner lining of the intestine (more commonly in the colon) where small bulging sacs form and can become inflamed or infected when fecal matter enters the sacs.

Symptoms

It is common to have no symptoms but for those who do you may experience pain usually in the lower abdomen, bloating from gas, fever and chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and/or constipation, lack of appetite and in rare cases blood may be found in stool. Symptoms may last between hours to days.

Causes and treatments

Eating a low fiber diet and too much processed food is the suspected cause. Thus constipation and hard stools are more likely to occur causing strain and increased pressure in the small intestine and colon which may be what causes these sacs to form.

You may be treated with an increase in fluids, pain medication, bed rest, gut rest for a couple of days with strictly fluids, antibiotics and steroids if needed.

A change in diet can help you avoid attacks in the future but the sacs will stay for life. Certain foods to avoid are: beans, peas, coarse grains, coconut, corn, popcorn, dried fruits, skins from vegetables and fruits, tomatoes, strawberries, pickles, cucumbers, nuts and seeds. Avoid foods and beverages that are known to make constipation worse.

Further complications can occur such as fistulas, abscess, perforation, and stricture. Continue seeing your doctor for followup treatment.


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