Diverticular Disease

Friday, June 28, 2013

Diverticulosis of the colon is a common condition that afflicts

about 50 percent of Americans by age 60 and nearly all by age 80. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about this condition and its effects in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Diverticulosis is when you have pouches in the colon that bulge out. These pouches are called diverticula. They are caused by pressure in the colon that weakens the bowel wall. Not eating enough fiber, not exercising enough, and taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen can cause diverticulosis.

Diverticulitis is when diverticula are inflamed or infected. One in four people with diverticulosis will get diverticulitis.

Symptoms vary and can include stomach pain, fever, constipation or diarrhea, and nausea.

If you have mild diverticulitis, your doctor may send you home. Some patients may need antibiotics.

Diverticulitis often does not come back. You can decrease your chances of getting diverticulitis again by eating a lot of fiber. Exercising, losing weight if you are overweight and stopping smoking will also decrease your chances of getting it again.

Although it was once thought that certain foods, such as nuts, seeds or popcorn, may get stuck in the diverticula and cause inflammation, new research proves this is not true.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.