What is diverticulitis?
Diverticulitis is an infection or inflammation of the sinuses that can form in the intestine. These cysts are called diverticula.
Cysts are generally not harmful. It can appear anywhere in your gut. If you have it, this is called diverticulosis. On the off chance that they become tainted or aggravated, you have diverticulitis.
Sometimes, diverticulitis is minor. But it can also be severe, with a severe infection or a perforation (your doctor will call it a tear) in your intestine.
Symptoms of diverticulitis
Signs and symptoms of diverticulitis include:
- Pain may be constant and last for several days. The lower left side of the abdomen is the usual site of pain. However, sometimes the right side of the abdomen is more painful, especially in people of Asian descent.
- Vomiting and nausea
- Belly pain
- Less commonly constipation or diarrhea
Causes of diverticulitis
The diverticular disease develops when cysts form along the digestive tract, usually in the colon (large intestine). These cysts are known as diverticula. They form when weak spots form in the balloon of the intestinal wall to the outside.
Diverticulitis occurs when diverticulitis becomes inflamed and infected in some cases. This can happen when stool or partially digested food blocks the opening of the diverticulum.
There is no single known cause of diverticular disease. Instead, experts believe that many genetic and environmental factors are likely to contribute to its development.
- Individuals can often self-treat if the condition is not severe.
- Mild cases of diverticulitis can generally be treated by the individual. However, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics, as well as acetaminophen for pain.
- It is important to complete the full course of antibiotics, even if symptoms improve.
- Some people may experience drowsiness, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting while taking antibiotics.
- Antibiotics include ciprofloxacin (Cipro), metronidazole (Flagyl), cephalexin (Keflex), and doxycycline (Vibramycin).
- For those who take the pill, it is important to remember that antibiotics can interfere with their effectiveness. This effect on the pill lasts for about 7 days after stopping the antibiotic, so another form of birth control should interfere with this time.
Emergency clinic treatment might be important if any of the accompanyings apply:
- Regular analgesics do not relieve pain or the pain is severe.
- An individual cannot consume enough fluid to stay hydrated.
- A person with diverticulitis cannot take antibiotics by mouth
- They have poor health.
- A doctor suspects complications, often if the immune system is weak.
- Treatment at home is ineffective after two days.
- Hospital patients are generally given intravenous (IV) antibiotics, as well as fluids if they are dehydrated.
- People who have had at least two episodes of diverticulitis may benefit from surgery. Studies show that these patients are more likely to have seizures and other complications if they do not have surgery.
- Colectomy removes part of the affected colon and brings the remaining healthy parts together.
- Patients who undergo colectomy will have to gradually introduce solid foods into their system. Apart from this, normal bowel functions usually will not be affected.
Complications of diverticulitis
- Peritonitis: The infection may spread to the lining of the abdomen if an infected diverticulum bursts. Peritonitis is dangerous and can sometimes be fatal. It requires immediate antibiotic treatment. Some cases of peritonitis require surgery.
- Abscess: This is a pus-filled cavity that requires antibiotics. Sometimes, surgery is needed to remove the pus.
- Fistula: These are abnormal tunnels or tubes that connect two parts of the body, such as the intestine to the abdominal wall or the bladder. A fistula can form after the affected tissues touch each other and stick together; When the infection ends, a fistula forms. Often, surgery is required to remove the fistula.
- Intestinal obstruction: The colon may be partially or completely blocked if an infection causes scarring. If the colon is completely obstructed, emergency medical intervention is required. Total obstruction will lead to peritonitis. In the event that the colon is incompletely impeded, they will require treatment. However, it is not as urgent as a complete occlusion.
- Depending on the degree of scarring and the extent of blockage, colectomy may be required. Sometimes, a colostomy may be required. A hole is made in the side of the abdomen, and the colon is rerouted through the opening and connected to the external colostomy bag.
- Once the colon heals, it joins again. In rare cases, doctors may have to create an endometriosis cyst.
How is diverticulitis diagnosed?
If you have symptoms of diverticulitis, it is important that your healthcare provider see you get the correct diagnosis.
First, your health care provider will ask you about your medical history, including current symptoms, types of foods you usually eat, how often you have a bowel movement, and other questions about your bowel movements, and will review any medications you are currently taking. Your health care provider will examine your abdomen for pain and tenderness.
It includes other tests that may be performed or ordered to help diagnose your condition:
- Blood test: Your blood is checked for signs of infection, such as a high white blood cell count.
- Stool sample: The stool sample is checked for the presence of abnormal bacteria or parasites as possible causes of infection, abdominal pain, blood in the stool, diarrhea, or other symptoms.
- Digital rectal exam: In this physical exam, a health care provider inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to feel for any problems with the anus or rectum.
- CT scan: A CT scan can show an infected or inflamed diverticulum and also reveal the severity of the diverticulitis.
- Barium enema (also called lower digestive tract radiography): In this test, a liquid containing barium is injected into the anus. The fluid covers the inside of the colon, which helps make any colon problems more apparent on an X-ray.
- Sigmoidoscopy: In this test, a thin, flexible tube with a light at the end of it is inserted into the rectum and moved into the sigmoid colon. The tube is connected to a video camera. The camera allows a visual examination of the sigmoid colon (where most diverticula form) and the rectum.
- Colonoscopy: In this test, the full length of your colon can be examined. A thin, flexible, lighted tube with a camera, called a colonoscope, is inserted through the rectum into the colon. During the colonoscopy, your colon is examined for any abnormal growths, sores, ulcers, bleeding, or other problems that could cause changes in bowel habits or abdominal pain. Tissue samples can be taken and polyps removed.
- Angiography: If you have rapid and profuse rectal bleeding, this procedure helps to find out the source of the bleeding. During this test, the arteries supplying the colon are injected with a harmless dye that allows you to see the source of the bleeding.
Risk factors for diverticulitis
Several factors may increase your risk of developing diverticulitis:
- The incidence of diverticulitis increases with age.
- Being overweight increases your risk of developing diverticulitis.
- People who smoke cigarettes are more likely than non-smokers to develop diverticulitis.
- Lack of exercise. Vigorous exercise appears to reduce the risk of developing diverticulitis.
- A diet is high in animal fats and low in fibre. A low-fibre diet combined with a high intake of animal fats appears to increase the risk, although the role of low fibre alone is unclear.
- Certain medications. Several drugs are associated with an increased risk of developing diverticulitis, including steroids, opioids, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve).
How can I prevent diverticulitis?
The best way to prevent diverticulitis is to adjust your diet and lifestyle.
Here are some tips:
- Eat more fibre by adding whole grain bread, oatmeal, bran grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables to your diet. However, be careful to add fibre gradually. Sudden switching to a high-fibre diet can cause bloating and gas.
- Bulk up your diet by adding an over-the-counter preparation that contains psyllium, which is derived from the Plantago psyllium plant. You can also try ground psyllium seeds: once daily, add 1 teaspoon of ground psyllium seeds over any cold liquid and drink it within a few minutes of preparation, before the gel mixture.
- Drink plenty of fluids(At least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day) if you increase your fibre intake.
- Avoid refined foods, Like white flour, white rice, and other processed foods.
- Prevent constipation By trying over-the-counter stool softeners. However, do not use suppositories or laxatives for long-term constipation without consulting your doctor. Prunes, prune juice, and psyllium seeds are all good natural laxatives. Teas specifically designed to combat constipation are available in health food stores, but some can be very strong, so use them only as directed. Avoid products that contain senna (Cassia Senna), which is an especially strong and addictive herbal laxative. Also, senna can stain the lining of the colon, which may lead to a condition called colonic melanin. Polyethene glycol (MiraLax) is a useful laxative for short-term use in cases of constipation. Prescription medications, such as Amitiza, are available for long-term constipation. Talk to your doctor about these medications.
- Exercise regularly: Exercise can help your bowel muscles maintain tone, which encourages regular bowel movements. If you have the urge to have a bowel movement, do not delay or ignore it.