Diverticulitis definition - What is Diverticulitis?

What is Diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis is a common disease of the bowel, the main part of the large intestine.
Diverticulitis develops from diverticulosis, which involves the formation of pouches (diverticula) on the outside of the colon. Diverticulitis results if one of these diverticula becomes inflamed.
Bacteria may subsequently infect the outside of the colon if an inflamed diverticula bursts open.
If the infection spreads to the lining of the abdominal cavity, (peritoneum), this can cause a potentially fatal illness (peritonitis).
Sometimes inflamed diverticula can cause narrowing of the bowel, leading to an obstruction.
Also, the affected part of the colon could adhere to the bladder or other organ in the pelvic area. Diverticulitis most often affects middle-aged and elderly persons.

Symptoms of diverticulitis 

The symptoms of diverticulitis include localized abdominal pain and tenderness, loose bowel movements or constipation, and fever.
A blood test shows an increased number of white blood cells.

Treatment for diverticulitis

An acute attack of diverticulitis is usually treated with antibiotics.
When the infection has been controlled, patients suffering from such an attack are also placed on a high-fiber diet.
However, recurring acute attacks or complications, such as peritonitis, require surgical treatment.

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