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Diverticulosis & Diverticulitis: Symptoms, Treatments, Prevention

Diverticulosis refers to the existence of diverticula. The condition when one or more of the pouches becomes swollen and infected in some cases, it is called diverticulitis.

Diverticulosis & Diverticulitis: Symptoms, Treatments, Prevention

Sentinel Digital Desk

There is a saying which says "Health is Wealth." It is indeed true especially now more than ever. The coronavirus pandemic has taught everyone that health always comes first.

Let us have a detailed understanding of a disease called diverticulitis.

Formed in the lining of our digestive system, Diverticula are bulging pouches that are small in size. They are situated in the large intestine's lower part.

People belonging to the age category of 35-50 years are more susceptible to this disease. According to statistics, more than 10 lakh cases are recorded every year in India.

Diverticulosis refers to the existence of diverticula. The condition when one or more of the pouches becomes swollen and infected in some cases, it is called diverticulitis.

Diverticulitis could lead to fever, nausea, severe abdominal pain as well as changes in one's bowel habits.

As far as minor diverticulitis is concerned, adequate rest, a change in antibiotics and diet can be the remedy. However, surgery could be required in case of severe or recurring diverticulitis.


There are several signs and symptoms of diverticulitis.

One could endure constant pain which may persist for several days. The site of the pain is usually the lower left side of the abdomen. But, people of Asian lineage could feel more pain on the right side of the abdomen sometimes.

One could also experience nausea, vomiting, fever, Abdominal tenderness, constipation, or in rare cases, diarrhea.

The development of Diverticula usually happens when naturally vulnerable places in one's colon succumb to pressure.

On the other hand, Diverticulitis occurs at a time when the diverticula rips up, which often results in swelling. It could also lead to infection in serious cases.

Risk factors

There are several factors that could enhance the chances of developing diverticulitis.

Ageing could be a factor as the probability of catching this disease increases with growing age. However, this is simply not in one's control as ageing is a natural phenomenon.

But, there are some factors which completely depends on us.

It is been found that obesity could contribute to diverticulitis. Hence, being overweight is definitely not recommendable if one is to avoid this disease.

People who smoke cigarettes are more susceptible to this disease as compared to their non-smoking counterparts.

Individuals who consume animal fat in large numbers while the fibre content in their diet is low have an increased risk of catching it.

Last but not the least, the use of several drugs such as steroids, opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) also increases the risk of diverticulitis.

As far as complications are concerned, about 25% of people having acute diverticulitis may develop certain complications.

The likes of which include an abscess that occurs when pus collects in the pouch. The blockage of the bowel could take place which is caused by scarring.

There could be an abnormal passageway (fistula) between sections of the bowel or the bowel and other organs.

It could also lead to Peritonitis. It occurs when the infected or inflamed pouch ruptures, spilling intestinal contents into the abdominal cavity. It requires immediate care as it is considered to be a medical emergency.

However, there are several ways to prevent diverticulitis.

Exercising regularly could help as exercise enables the bowel to function normally and also reduces pressure inside the colon. Exercising for at least 30 minutes on most days would be advisable.

One should also follow a diet that is rich in fibre. Foods that contain a high amount of fibre, such as fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Eating seeds and nuts would also help as it is not associated with developing diverticulitis.

It is recommended that one must be constantly hydrated and drink plenty of fluids. But one fails to drink enough liquid to replace what's absorbed, fibre can be constipated.

One should avoid smoking as it increases the chances of catching diverticulitis.

When to see a doctor

One should not hesitate to take medical assistance if he/she is going through recurring and unexplained abdominal pain, especially if one is suffering from fever and constipation or diarrhoea.

Also read: Borderline Personality Disorder: Symptoms, Treatment And Everything You Need To Know

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