What is diverticulitis?
Diverticulitis is a fairly common disease found in the large intestine. People get the disease from when pressure inside the large intestine causes pockets of tissue to press out of the large intestine as a person ages. This makes you more vulnerable to the disease as you get older, proven by the rough statistics that are given - "More than one third of people over 45 years of age, and two thirds of people over 85 years of age have some diverticular pockets". Not to worry though, only about a quarter of people with these pockets develop the disease, so you see why it is common. The actual disease start when one of the pockets (diverticula) become inflamed. Once the inflammation goes down, the symptoms start to disappear.
Diagram of inflamed large intestine
Diagram of inflamed large intestine

The common symptoms:
  1. Diarrhoea
  2. Constipation
  3. Abdominal cramping
  4. Loss of appetite
  5. Nausea

a diverticular pocket
a diverticular pocket

Diverticulitis can be treated in a few different ways. If the disease is found early enough then antibiotics can do the trick. Other-wise a low fibre/fluid diet is recommended, as that will help ease your bowel. Though Panadol is advised for mild pain relief. For worse cases though, drastic action may occur, including hospitalisation;extreme painkillers if in hospital, a drip to pump fluids into your body. If your body fails to take notice of the antibiotics then emergency surgery may be necessary. Though that is normally only if part of your large intestine has died. Sometimes a large intestine is so damaged that you need a temporary colostomy, or very occasionally a permanent one. Mostly this disease is fairly harmless, but some very extreme cases can be fatal.

Location of disease
Location of disease


Accessed between 28-30th June
Medicine Net Accessed between 27-29th June
http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/diverticulosis/ Accessed on the 29th June
Medicine Net Accessed on 28th June

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