What is diverticulitis?

Diverticulosis is a condition in which enlargements form on the wall of the colon that are sac-shaped or small pouch-like, called a diverticulum.

If these pouches become inflamed or infected, this clinical condition is referred to as diverticulitis. Inflamed diverticulitis can cause severe pain.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms can last from a few hours to a week or more and usually consist of:

  • Abdominal pain, usually in the lower left side and sometimes worse when walking. This is the most common symptom.
  • High temperature and chills;
  • Abdominal bloating and gas;
  • Diarrhea or constipation;
  • Nausea and sometimes vomiting;
  • Lack of appetite .

Treatment of diverticulitis

The method of treatment depends on how severe the symptoms are and whether there is an infection. You may need only liquids at first, then gradually return to more solid food as you start to feel better.

If you have an infection, your GP may prescribe antibiotics. You should take them according to the prescribed schedule. Do not stop antibiotic therapy just because you feel better.

For mild cramps and abdominal pain:

  • Place warm compresses low on the left side of the abdomen;
  • Relax – try meditating or breathing slowly and deeply in a quiet room; >
  • You can drink paracetamol for pain relief;

Surgery may only be necessary if the diverticulitis does not respond well and the affected person does not received relief from his condition from the therapies he administered.

Surgical intervention will also be necessary if the pain lasts too long and becomes chronic, also in case of intestinal obstruction, fistula or diverticula abscess.

When you feel better, to prevent another bout of diverticular pain, you can:

  • First of all, you should eat a balanced diet and include more fiber-rich foods in your menu, as it has been proven that people who eat mainly plant-based food in very rare cases suffer from diverticulosis, which is a prerequisite for the development of inflammation of the diverticula.
  • Create the healthy habits of eating regularly several times a day and at the same time, which will ensure the maintenance of good bowel health.
  • Try not to rely on laxatives to have regular bowel movements;

Other a way to treat inflammation of diverticula in the large intestine is to drain the formed abscess. In some cases, the abscess heals on its own. But if this does not happen, it can be drained without surgery.

A needle is inserted under local anesthesia through the skin and the abscess in the colon wall is punctured.

A computer tomograph is used, with the help of which the doctor guides the needle into the abscess. Sometimes a plastic tube – a catheter – is placed in the abdomen to drain the abscess.

Sometimes it is recommended to rest the digestive tract to treat an obstructed colon.

A person affected by diverticulitis is given no food or liquids for several days and is given intravenous fluids and nutrients.

Can diverticulitis be prevented?

One of the main steps to preventing diverticulitis is maintaining a healthy hydration balance in your body. Drinking enough water is essential.

Water helps maintain the proper functioning of the intestines and facilitates the digestion process. This prevents stagnation of stool in the large intestine and reduces the risk of diverticula formation.

It is recommended that you drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, but individual needs may vary depending on climate, activity and other factors.

Exercising regularly is also an important aspect of maintaining a healthy digestive tract. Physical activity stimulates peristalsis of the intestines, helping to maintain regular and efficient activity of this organ.

Regular exercise can also help maintain normal weight and insulin levels in the body, which contributes to overall health and protects against some of the risk factors for diverticulitis.

Food plays a key role in preventing diverticulitis. Whole grains that are high in fiber are an excellent way to support healthy bowel function and reduce the risk of diverticulitis.

Such foods include whole grain breads, oatmeal, whole grain flour, apples, pears, broccoli, spinach, and more.

Vegetable fibers add bulk to the stool and facilitate its movement through the intestines, which prevents accumulation and stagnation.

In addition, they help maintain healthy gut flora by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria.

In addition to whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables are also important sources of fiber and can be included in your daily diet.

Fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that support overall health.

For example, vitamin C, which is found in citrus fruits and red peppers, can help strengthen the walls of the intestines.

Vegetables like spinach and broccoli contain folic acid, which is important for gut health.

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