As we age, we are more susceptible to a condition called diverticulitis. This is when weak spots on the lining of the large intestine or the colon bulge outwards. Just one of these bulges is called a diverticulum and many of them are called diverticula. About ten percent of those over the age of forty have diverticulosis. Many people with this condition will have no symptoms at all where others will have lower abdomen pains. There can also be constipation and bloating but these diverticulitis symptoms can also fit with irritable bowel syndrome and even the same for ulcers of the stomach. For this reason of similar symptoms, it is important that your doctor check you out to find the real cause.
Abdominal pain is the most common symptom that people will first have when they go to their doctor. This pain is usually on the lower left side and the pains can show up quick. The person could also have cramping, vomiting, severe gas pains, fever and chills. If left unattended, it can lead to small tears in the bulge and then an infection can grow. There can be bleeding and even a blockage of the colon. These are serious conditions and need medical care to keep them from progressing. If an infection appears, then antibiotics will usually clear that up but if it gets worse, it is possible for the colon to have an abscess.
The theory that doctors have to the cause of this disease is that a low-fiber diet is the cause. Diverticulitis was first seen in the US in the beginning of the 1900s. Also happening at this time was the introduction of processed foods in the American diet. It is these foods that greatly lowered the intake of fiber in the American diet. This low fiber diet is also seen in England and Australia but rarely seen in Africa and Asia. In case you are not aware, fiber comes from the part of fruits, veggies and grains that our bodies cannot digest. This fiber from foods as well as water soluble fiber both help prevent constipation as they soften the stools to that they can easily pass through the body. If bacteria or stool get caught in this bulge called the diverticula, it is possible for inflammation to occur. This condition can develop quickly and without any type of warning. An abdominal ultrasound can be done to find if any diverticula are inflamed. The CT scan will give a cross section of the body to detect any abscesses or perforations.