Hospiten tells us about diverticular disease of the colon
Diverticulitis, another name for diverticular disease of the colon, is an inflammation of the colon’s diverticula. Increased pressure in the colon from feces, gas, or small, hard stool pieces that lodge inside the diverticulum can all contribute to this condition.
We can distinguish between two types of diverticulitis based on their severity:
Seventy-five percent of cases of diverticulitis are simple cases, which have no complications and can be managed medically without surgery.
The remaining 25% of cases of diverticulitis are complicated, which occasionally calls for surgical intervention. This is due to the possibility of complications like fistulas, obstruction, peritonitis, or serpis, among others, as well as abscesses or pus-collecting lesions.
Is diveritulosis the same as diverticular disease or diverticulitis?
As previously mentioned, we should not confuse diverticulosis with diverticular disease or diverticulitis, the former being more common than the latter.
Both diseases are digestive disorders and are caused by diverticula. However, while diverticulosis indicates the mere presence of diverticula, inflammation of these diverticula (or some of them) is what would be called diverticulitis.
Colon diverticulosis typically does not cause symptoms in the patient, but it is frequently discovered by chance during a diagnostic test ordered for another reason. The patient may occasionally experience some abdominal discomfort or pain, which may subside with gastric evacuation or expulsion.
Diverticulosis does not have any specific symptoms, so it is possible to diagnose it accidentally while conducting research for another reason. There are several ways to diagnose this condition, including:
- Barium enema, also known as an opaque enema, is a radiological procedure in which barium is fed to produce an external colon silhouette on x-rays.
- Colonoscopy: A flexible tube with a camera at the end is used to examine the large intestine.
For the diagnosis of diverticulitis and its complications, a CT scan is frequently used. The only test suggested if the patient has diverticulitis suspicions is this one.
What are the treatment options?
Following a diagnosis, the patient should begin a course of treatment based on the condition’s clinical manifestations.
Diverticulosis, or diverticula without inflammation, is treated by altering diet and adopting a healthy lifestyle. Specialist physicians advise eating a diet high in fiber. Instead of cereals, fruits and vegetables are the preferred source of this fiber. Other suggestions include consuming less red meat, avoiding sugar-laden juices and soft drinks, and upping physical activity.
If these dietary recommendations are insufficient, you can speak with your doctor about adding medication to the treatment. Analgesics and spasmolytics are advised by experts to reduce the patient’s symptoms. Utilizing probiotics, live microorganisms that have potential health benefits, is another therapeutic option.
Diverticulitis patients require antibiotic treatment, and depending on the severity of their condition, they may need to be admitted to the hospital, follow an absolute diet with fluid therapy, and receive intravenous antibiotics.
In more serious situations, the possibility of undergoing elective surgery can also be considered, taking into account the risk and benefits based on age, the number of episodes of diverticulitis and their severity.
In short, being up to date with medical check-ups is really important for the digestive health of patients since, in many cases, these disorders do not present specific symptoms. In the event that you present symptoms, do not hesitate to see your doctor immediately. Taking preventive measures is really important.