Symptoms & Treatment for Diverticular Disease
What is diverticulosis?
Diverticulosis is a health issue that causes diverticuli, which are small pockets that can develop in the gastrointestinal (GI) lining. These sacks are most commonly found in the large intestine but can develop anywhere in the digestive tract. Diverticulosis is most commonly seen in older adults, usually over the age of 60, and rarely affects people who are under the age of 30.
What causes diverticulosis?
The cause of diverticulosis is currently unknown. However, the following are believed to have an effect on the development of the condition:
- Abnormal colon spasms
- Weak spots in the intestinal wall
- Diets lacking fiber
- Chronic constipation
- Genetic predispositions
- Being over the age of 60
What are the symptoms of diverticulosis?
Often, patients who have diverticulosis do not show any signs of the illness and may not feel any symptoms at all. Because of this, the condition often goes undiagnosed. When symptoms do occur, they may include:
- Stomach pain
- Changes in bowel habits
- Decreased appetite
How is diverticulosis diagnosed?
In general, diverticulosis can be diagnosed using the following tests at a doctor’s office:
- CT scan
- Barium enema test
Are there any complications of diverticulosis?
The following are complications that have been associated with diverticulosis when the problem goes untreated:
- Abscess development
- Narrowed colon (stricture)
- Connection of the bowel and bladder (fistula)
- Severe bleeding
How is diverticulitis treated?
Usually, one or more of the following are used to treat diverticulitis:
- Surgery, rarely
- Nutritional guidance