Causes, incidence, and risk factors
No one knows exactly what causes the sacs, or pouches of diverticulosis to form. Eating a low-fiber diet is one of the most likely causes. People who eat mostly processed food, as many Americans eat, do not get enough fiber in their diet. Processed foods include white rice, white bread, most breakfast cereals, crackers, and pretzels. As a result, constipation and hard stools are more likely to occur - causing people to strain when passing stools. This increases the pressure in the colon or intestines and may cause these pouches to form. Diverticulosis is very common. It is found in more than half of Americans over age 60. Diverticulitis is caused by small pieces of stool (feces) that become trapped in these pouches, causing infection or inflammation.
People with diverticulosis often have no symptoms, but they may have bloating and cramping in the lower part of the belly. Rarely, they may notice blood in their stool or on toilet paper. Symptoms of diverticulitis are more severe and often start suddenly, but they may become worse over a few days.
Signs and tests
Your health care provider will examine you. Blood tests may be ordered to see if you have an infection. Other tests that help diagnose diverticulitis may include:
Ultrasound of the abdomen
X-rays of the abdomen
The treatment of diverticulitis depends on the severity of your symptoms. Some people may need to be in the hospital, but usually you can treat this problem at home. To help with the pain, your doctor may suggest that you:
Rest in bed and possibly use a heating pad on your belly
Take pain medicines (ask your doctor which ones you should use). Drink only fluids for a day or two, and then slowly begin drinking thicker liquids and then eating foods. http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/tc/diverticulosis-topic-overview
The doctor may treat you with...