WHAT ARE DIVERTICULA?
Diverticula are small, bulging pouches that can form in the lining of your digestive system. They are found most often in the lower part of the large intestine (colon). Diverticula themselves are common, especially after age 40, and seldom cause problems.
Diverticulosis is the presence of diverticula in your digestive system.
Diverticulitis is the inflamed or infected state of diverticula.
RISK FACTORS FOR DIVERTICULITIS
Aging, obesity, smoking, lack of exercise, diets high in red meat, diets low in fiber, certain medications, and genetics.
SYMPTOMS AND COMPLICATIONS OF DIVERTICULITIS
Diverticulitis occurs when diverticula tear, which can result in inflammation or infection or both. This results in spasms and severe pain in the lower left side of the abdomen. Diverticulitis can also cause fever, nausea, vomiting, and constipation. Other complications may include:
Blockage of the colon, a Fistula between sections of bowel or the bowel and bladder, Peritonitis or Sepsis.
Following a high-fiber diet with adequate fluid intake can help to prevent diverticulitis. Higher fiber foods include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans.
Nuts, seeds, and popcorn are OK for people with asymptomatic diverticulosis, but these foods may worsen symptoms in diverticulitis.
If diverticulitis acts up and creates an acute attack, then a low fiber diet is recommended until it subsides. Then gradually reintroduce fiber 2-4 weeks later.