The three most common internal organs to suffer from the condition diverticulitis are the heart, the bladder and the colon. Of those three organs the colon is affected most frequently. Diverticulitis occurs when a diverticulum located on an organ becomes inflamed or ruptures. The diverticulum pouches that form on the outside of these organs, and are generally filled with fluid, but can also be hollow sacs.
Who Gets Diverticulitis?
Generally this is a condition associated with the aging body. As people become older there is pressure within the colon that causes a small sac, or pouch to be pushed out. These sacs are known as diverticula and they are normally of no concern to the person.
People usually have no idea that they have these sacs developing on the outside of their colon until one of them becomes inflamed. When this happens the person may experience:
- Pain in the abdomen
- A change in their bowel habits
While most cases are rather mild, the condition can become severe, and the pain can become unbearable.
Is Age The Only Thing That Causes the Condition?
While age plays an important factor there are other things that can cause this condition. If you frequently are constipated, or have extremely firm bowel movements. Straining to have a bowel movement can cause them, and if your bowels move slower than they should.
Symptoms of Diverticulitis
Pain in the abdomen is the most frequent symptom complained of. There may be a sensation of tenderness on the area of your lower abdomen, particularly on the left side. You could have a sudden change in bowel habits like constipation or diarrhea. You may be nauseated, experience fever, and may even vomit. There may even be a presence of blood in your stool.
For mild cases of this condition, the doctor will more than likely recommend that you reduce the fiber in your diet, until the condition improves. This will allow your colon time to rest. You will also be given an antibiotic to take to control the occurrence of infection. You will also be told some preventive measures to help keep this from happening again.
In severe cases the doctor may recommend surgery to correct the problem.
Once your body has healed the doctor will suggest you reintroduce fiber to your diet, and that you have an adequate daily intake of fiber. Fiber helps to cleanse our colons, and helps to prevent constipation, stools that are too firm, and the straining that can cause the condition.
Drink plenty of fluids. You need to have a fluid intake of 6 to 8 glasses every day to help promote colon health.
Be sure and get plenty of physical exercise. Getting exercise can promote the movement of the stool through your bowel tract so that you do not get constipated as easily.
Speak to your doctor about taking things such as pain pills, and some other medications that are known to create constipation.