What is diverticulitis? Definition-wise, it’s a condition that’s best explained by describing how it starts—and what it starts as. According to The Diverticulitis Foundation of America, half of Americans older than age 60 have diverticulosis, a condition where small pouches (about the size of large peas) called diverticula bulge outward
Diverticulosis and diverticulitis affect the colon?the lower part of the intestine. Both fall under the header of diverticular disease, which affects up to half of people between the ages of 60 and 80. Thanks to their similar sounding names, diverticulosis and diverticulitis are often confused. Diverticulosis is the formation of small pouches in the colon walls, which may be caused by straining during bowel movements due to constipation. Food can become trapped inside these pouches, leading to inflammation and infection, which is called diverticulitis. About 10 to 25 percent of people with diverticulosis develop diverticulitis.
People with diverticulitis often feel pain in the lower abdomen. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, or a fever. Your doctor will do tests such as a blood test to identify an infection, and a stool sample to look for bleeding in your digestive tract. An x-ray or CT scan can help your doctor visualize the pouches. You?ll get a liquid called barium first, so the doctor can see your intestines. Sometimes a colonoscopy is necessary. The doctor will insert a thin tube into the rectum to look for pouches in the intestine.
Diverticulitis can be treated with simple dietary changes, such as adding more fiber to the diet to produce softer and easier-to-pass stools. Fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, wheat bran are all high-fiber foods. Experts recommend getting at least 25 to 30 grams of fiber daily in your diet. If you don?t get enough fiber from diet alone, you can take a fiber supplement like Metamucil.
People who have an infection will need to take antibiotics to clear up the bacteria. Those with bleeding pouches, persistent symptoms, or other diverticulitis complications may need surgery to clean the abdomen or remove damaged parts of the colon.
If you’ve been feeling bone pain, your doctor may take one look at that stiff, swollen joint or that loss of motion and suspect that what you’ve got is the inevitable onset of age-related osteoarthritis (OA) or the autoimmune disorder that leads to rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
But to refine that diagnosis,
Q: I’ve read in your newsletter about the benefits of nuts and “seeded” fruits such as blueberries, but I have diverticulitis. Do I need to avoid these healthy foods because of their effects on diverticulitis?
A: Katelyn Castro, a dietetic intern at Tufts’ Frances Stern Nutrition Center, and Joel Mason, MD,
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Fruits provide slow-digesting carbs, various types of fiber, and a host of vitamins, including A, C, E, and K plus several B vitamins. Fruits also provide many important minerals, including calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, and copper, along with a cornucopia of phytochemicals. Among plant foods, fruits are especially high in
An impacted bowel is one of the more unpleasant digestive issues you can experience. Bowel obstruction symptoms occurs when a mass of dry, hard stool will not pass out of the colon or rectum. Bowel impaction can become a serious issue if not treated, and in extreme cases may even
Fruits flourish across the planet in jungles, orchards, gardens, and back yards—and each fruit has its own distinctive flavor, aroma, and texture. Fruits add so much variety and taste to our diets that they have been cultivated, preserved, and enjoyed year-round by people all over the world for centuries.
The health claims about juicing seem too good to be true: lose weight…cleanse toxins from your body…cure or prevent illness. Unfortunately, science doesn’t back up those claims. But that doesn’t mean drinking a fresh glass of fruit-and-veggie juice is a bad idea.
Benefits. Fruits and vegetables are chock full of vitamins,
Your odds of diverticulosis increase with age—it affects more than 60 percent of people over age 70. In this condition, small pouches called diverticula form in weak spots in the wall of the large intestine (colon). Why this happens is unclear, but it’s partly hereditary.
“Most people aren’t aware they have