Diverticulitis is a condition when pouches (or diverticula) form on the side of the colon and become inflamed. This can be an uncomfortable and painful condition that is still being researched by doctors and scientists because there is no one particular cause of it. But with a good diet, exercise, and plenty of fiber you will be able to avoid this painful condition.
Who Can Get Diverticulitis?
Many people who have diets that consist of a low amount of fiber will often be the ones that experience diverticulitis. Most of the time, this happens in adults who have spent years months or years not getting the right amount of fiber in their diet. This can cause stress on the colon which can lead to diverticulitis.
Doctor’s believe that diverticulitis is a condition that can develop from a low-fiber diet, but there is no one sure cause of the conditions. Without fiber, the colon usually has to work a lot harder in order to push the stool forward and out of the body. Doctors believe that the pressure from this may cause these pouches to form from the weakest spots in the colon. Inflammation or infection is caused by bacteria getting trapped in the pouches.
Symptoms of diverticulitis can last anywhere from a week to just a few hours. Some of the most common symptoms include: belly pain (located on the lower left side), fever, chills, bloating, gas, nausea, and diarrhea or constipation. If these symptoms get severe, you will want to seek immediate medical attention to avoid additional conditions such as dehydration.
Over the Counter Treatments
The simplest way to begin treating diverticulitis is to start with only liquids for a few days, then slowly adding food back into your diet. When you add food back in, you will want to make sure that the food contains more fiber and is healthy food for your body. If you are constipated or have diarrhea, you can used laxatives or other over the counter medications to alleviate these symptoms. Tylenol and a heating pad can also be used to treat mild pain.
A diet with plenty of water, exercise, and fiber will be able to alleviate and prevent this condition as well. If you change you lifestyle, you may be able to get rid of your symptoms without any medical treatment.
If you have developed an infection because of it, your doctor can prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. If you have tried all other treatments and your condition is not getting any better, then your doctor will talk to you about your surgical options, but this is only for severe cases.
When is Medicinal Treatment Necessary?
Medical treatment for diverticulitis is necessary when you cannot function normally without some type of pain or other symptom that affects normal daily functions. You will also want to be treated by a doctor if you develop an infection because of the condition.