LIFESTYLE DISEASE DIVERTICULOSIS
Diverticula are protrusions of the colon wall to the outside, which occur with increasing age and obstipation (diverticulosis). Diverticulosis is considered a disease of western civilization. The frequency in the population is inversely proportional to the fibre content of the diet. The symptoms can be treated with analgetic, anti-inflammatory drugs. In addition, some antibiotics act on bacterial overgrowth in the diverticulum (Colidimin®).
With frequent and severe symptoms at several occasions, surgery is recommended. Here, the part of colon with the symptomatic diverticula is removed and the healthy bowel ends are joined together (anastomosis). This operation can be carried out by keyhole surgery (laparoscopy) in most cases.
If the symptoms are frequent and severe, an operation is recommended.
The part of the colon carrying the diverticulum is removed and the healthy ends of the intestine are connected to one another. In most cases, this operation can be performed using keyhole surgery (laparoscopy). Before this, a colonoscopy or special computed tomography (CT) is necessary to rule out another cause of the symptoms and to determine the extent of the diverticula in the large intestine.
Nutrition in the presence of diverticula
Fibre-rich diet (vegetables, fruits, whole grains), enough fluid intake and physical activity prevent constipation, the main cause of diverticular disease.
In the presence of significant diverticula, however, the probability of symptoms (pain) or complications, such as inflammation (diverticulitis) become likely.
I advise you about how to adapt your daily life towards healthier living, regular bowel movements and thereby preventing complications from diverticulosis.
Complications of diverticulosis
Complications of diverticular disease occur as inflammation (diverticulitis), bleeding and perforation with abscess formation.
A diverticulitis occurs due to a temporary blockage by stool within the diverticular sac. With progressive inflammation, an abscess, or a hole in the intestinal wall, a perforation may occur. At the bottom of the diverticulum blood vessel erosion may cause bleeding. This may particularly occur in patients who are taking blood-thinning medication.
Complications of diverticulitis, especially abscess, hemorrhage and perforation are medical emergencies and need immediate medical examination and treatment in a hospital.
I advise you about how to prevent the occurrence of complications by a suitable lifestyle, but plan surgery if this becomes necessary.