UNDERSTANDING YOUR DIVERTICULAR CONDITIONS CONTROL & TREATMENT
Diverticula are formed by increased pressure on weakened spots of the intestinal walls caused by gas, waste or liquid. Straining during a bowel movement, such as with constipation, can lead to the formation of these pockets. Diverticula can range from pea size to much larger and are most common in the lower portion of the large intestine (sigmoid colon). Infection and inflammation of diverticula can occur suddenly and without warning.
SMALL POUCHES FORMED IN YOUR COLON (large intestine) WALL.
Generally NO symptoms, but may include:
- Colicky pain in lower left side of abdomen that is relieved by a bowel movement
- Constipation, gas pains, bloating
- Upset stomach
- Diarrhea may occur in some cases
AGING MAY CONTRIBUTE TO PROBLEM
SERIOUS PROBLEM THAT DEVELOPS WHEN THE POUCHES BECOME INFLAMED.
Symptoms may include:
- Alternating diarrhea and constipation
- Painful cramps or tenderness in the lower abdomen
- Chills or fever
OTHER RISK FACTORS
- DIET: Low-fiber, high in fat and refined carbohydrates
- Sedentary lifestyle
CONTROL & TREATMENT
You and your doctor can discuss how to approach your Diverticular condition which may include diet changes, medications or, in severe cases, surgery.
2 MAIN KEYS TO CONTROLLING CONDITION: FIBER [roughage] & LIQUID
- Fiber absorbs water as it travels through your colon, helping your stool stay soft and move smoothly
- Serious cases may require stool softeners or antispasmodic medications for pain
3 LEVELS OF TREATMENT: BASED ON YOUR SYMPTOMS
- Mild: might begin with a temporary liquid diet and oral antibiotics
- Relieved: may be given a high-fiber diet
- Severe: could require hospitalization, IV antibiotics and fluids
KEYS TO COLON HEALTH
What you eat makes the real difference in the health of your colon.
- Include plenty of high-fiber fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet
- Drink plenty of liquids like water and juice