Diverticular Disease – Symptoms and Treatment
What are Diverticula?
Diverticula are outpouchings from the wall of the gut that usually have a narrow neck. They can occur in many parts of the gut but usually prefer the colon. They favour the left colon near the rectum.
Causes of Diverticula
Diverticula is a common condition that occurs in old age at least in the west. Lack of dietary fibre can cause diverticula. Constipation is another important cause of diverticular disease.
Diverticula can go from showing no symptoms to getting infected.When diverticula become infected the condition is known as diverticulitis. The manifestation may be pain, fever, cramping, blood in stools, nausea or vomiting.
Obstruction to the gut, abscess (pus) formation and fistula formation with peritonitis can occur.
Asymptomatic diverticular disease can be left alone. If there are symptoms, conservative management can be tried with high fibre diet, increased fluid intake etc. Sometimes surgery is necessary when complications arise.