What is Diverticular Disease and Diverticulitis
- Diverticular Disease is a common condition that affects the digestive tract. It involves the formation of small pouches, known as diverticula or diverticulosis, in the lining of the large bowel most typically in the colon.
- If left unmanaged, this condition can lead to multiple complications that require long-term treatment or surgery.
- Diverticulitis is usually diagnosed during an acute attack. When one or more of the diverticular pouches become inflamed, and in some cases infected, that condition is known as diverticulitis.
- Diverticulitis can cause severe abdominal pain, fever, nausea and an unpleasant change in your bowel habits.
As Specialist Dietitian’s we see hundreds of patients troubled with this condition, most frequently after a significant episode. It is preventable and in some cases when looked after correctly it can become dormant.
In this blog I will shed light on its implications for those who are affected by it to hopefully prevent an increase in severity and possible surgical intervention.
Causes of Diverticular Disease
The exact cause of diverticular disease is still uncertain, but there are multiple factors that play a role in its development.
One of the main contributors is a diet that lacks sufficient fibre.
When we don’t consume enough fibre, it can result in increased pressure within the colon during bowel movements.
This increased pressure can weaken certain areas of the colon wall and ultimately lead to the formation of pouches.
Other contributing factors may include:
Statistics on Diverticular Disease
Diverticular Disease, diverticulosis is a prevalent condition, especially in developed countries.
In the UK alone, it affects a substantial portion of the population, with statistics revealing that approximately 50% of individuals over the age of 50 have diverticula in their colon.
While not everyone with diverticula develops symptoms, around 10-25% of individuals may experience complications, such as diverticulitis, inflammation, infection, or bleeding from these pouches.
About 25% of people with acute diverticulitis develop complications, which may include:
An abscess, which occurs when pus collects in the pouch.
A blockage in your bowel caused by scarring.
An abnormal passageway (fistula) between sections of bowel or the bowel and other organs.
Peritonitis, which can occur if the infected or inflamed pouch ruptures, spilling intestinal contents into your abdominal cavity. Peritonitis is a medical emergency and requires immediate care.
Management Strategies: Diet and Lifestyle
To manage diverticular disease the focus is on dietary and lifestyle modifications
Here at 121 Dietitian, we have put together 5 effective strategies to help Diverticular Disease:
Diverticular Disease is a common condition that can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. Though the exact cause is still unclear, there are certain steps individuals can take to manage and prevent complications associated with this condition as highlighted.
By incorporating these key elements into your daily routine, individuals can effectively manage Diverticular Disease and improve their overall well-being while reducing their risk of Diverticulitis.
Seeking guidance from a registered dietitian or healthcare professional is valuable when it comes to managing your health and nutrition. They possess the expertise to develop a personalized plan that aligns with your specific needs and goals.
We here at 121 Dietitian will empower you with knowledge so you can make informed choices to effectively manage diverticular disease and enhance your overall gut health with our gut health solutions.
If you or a family member has bowel health concerns or has been diagnosed with Diverticular Disease, Diverticulosis or Diverticulitis please do not hesitate to get in touch.
If you want to book your programme TODAY we would love to help you.
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