Diverticulosis and diverticulitis – Causes, symptoms, treatment, and recommended diet

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Diverticulosis which is also referred to as diverticular disease of the colon, is caused due to the formation of a large number of tiny sacs (diverticuli) in the walls of the large intestine. Diverticula can occur throughout the colon but are most commom near the end of the left colon.

Symptoms of diverticulosis

Diverticulosis shows very few or no symptoms, even if it shows some symptoms, they may be due to the presence of irritable bowel syndrome as diverticula rarely shows symptoms.
Below are some likely symptoms that may come up:

• Abdominal pain

Diarrhea and

Constipation

Causes of diverticulosis

The causes of diverticulosis includes:
• Increased pressure within the intestine. This mainly occurs when the feces are small and hard, and the muscles of the intestine must contract strongly to move them, thus, exerting alot of pressure on its wall.

• When they are certain weak spots within the intestinal wall, it can also cause the formation of diverticuli in the walls of the intestine.

Treatment of diverticulosis

The treatment of diverticulosis is mainly diet related. It is best treated with high fiber containing foods. Below is a list of foods that will help reduce the risk of formation of diverticulosis or prevent them from increasing in size if they already exist:
Note that if you have diverticulosis, these foods cannot make them to disappear but can prevent their further growth.

INCREASE THE INTAKE OF:

• Fiber rich foods
• Water
• Vegetables
• Legumes
• Whole grains, and
• Fruits.

REDUCE OR ELIMINATE THE INTAKE OF:

• Total fat
• Meat, and
• Refined baked goods.
Baked products made with refined flour contain little fiber and promotes hard feces, thus, leading to an intestinal pressure that in turn causes diverticulosis.

Diverticulitis

When the tiny sacs or diverticuli on the walls of the intestine becomes inflammed due to fecal waste materials that has not been ejested, it produces a serious disease known as “diverticulitis”.
Diverticulitis is a serious complication of diverticulosis which must be treated under qualified health specialist in the hospital. Its treatment mainly deals with the adoption of a strict diet, and at times by surgical operations.

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