Diverticulitis is the inflammation or infection of pouches that form in the intestines. The pouches are called diverticula. The pouches are not harmful. It shows up anywhere in the intestines. Once you have them, it is called diverticulosis.
If they become inflamed or infected, you have diverticulitis. Diverticulitis can be minor sometimes. However, it can also be severe with a massive perforation or infection of the bowel.
The causes of diverticulitis?
Heredity and aging are the primary factors of the infection’s development. But, diet also plays a role. Eating a diet high in refined foods and low in fiber may increase the risk. Indeed, an estimated 10% of people develop diverticulosis. Diverticulosis occurs in about 10-25% of those with diverticulosis.
Some researchers think that the common cause of the infection is often constipated. It is usually strained during a bowel movement condition. It creates enough pressure in the intestinal walls weakening them and starting the diverticular pouches development. There is another school of thought that deficiency of fiber in the diet is the one responsible.
Lack of fiber may lead to increased bowel wall strain, moving stroll through the colon. The condition increases the local pressures that lead to the pouches formation at weak points in the colon wall. The diverticular wall may erode when increased pressure is associated with undigested food in the pouches causing inflammation and bacterial infection may appear that results in diverticulitis.
Doctors are not sure. Some studies recommend that genes play a role. The pouches on the intestines get infected or inflamed when blocked by feces or get torn. Having more bad germs in the gut might cause the infection too. The chances of getting diverticulitis rise with age. It is more common to people over 40. There are other risk .factors include:
- Smoking cigarettes
- Being overweight
- Eating plenty of fat and red meat ( but not much fiber)
- Not enough exercise
- When taking certain drugs (steroids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, and opioids)
How to diagnose?
If you think that you have either diverticulitis or diverticulosis, talk to a doctor. The doctor performs a test to diagnose the conditions, including:
- CT Scan or X-rays create a series of contrast images from these devices to process and view on a computer to see the surrounding tissue and bones and intestines.
- Colonoscopy is a test performed, a flexible lighted tube used for the examination inside the intestines.
Do you have an acute case of diverticulitis? A colonoscopy can injure the intestine. Instead, the doctor recommends only a CT scan to help confirm the diverticulitis diagnosis.