Diverticulitis

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Diverticulitis is an inflammation or infection in one or more small pouches in the digestive tract. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about diverticulitis 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 occurs 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 recommend not eating and drinking only clear liquids. Some patients may also need antibiotics. The majority of cases do not require surgery.

You can decrease your chances of getting diverticulitis again by eating a lot of fiber. Exercising, losing weight and stopping smoking 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.