Diverticulosis

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Diverticulosis is a condition in which small, bulging pouches develop in the digestive tract. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about diverticulosis in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Diverticulosis is a condition in which small pouches, called diverticula, form at weak spots in the wall of the colon.

Diverticulosis is common in older adults, occurring in about half of people between 60 and 80 years old. It affects men and women equally. The cause of the condition is unknown. A low-fiber diet may play a role in developing the disease. Obesity, lack of exercise, and some medications have been associated with diverticulosis.

Most people who have diverticulosis do not have any symptoms. When diverticulosis causes symptoms, it is called diverticular disease. Symptoms can include constipation, cramps, bloating and painless bleeding from the rectum. Diverticular disease also includes diverticulitis.

Diverticulitis occurs when diverticula become inflamed or infected. Symptoms include abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, cramps and constipation.

The goal of treatment for diverticulosis is to prevent and manage symptoms. Increasing fiber intake by eating foods high in fiber or taking a fiber supplement may help. Your doctor may also recommend medication or probiotics.

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