Diverticulitis occurs when small, bulging pouches of the inner lining of the intestine become inflamed or infected. These pouches are most commonly in the large intestine. These pouches are most likely initially caused by eating a diet low in fiber, which can be caused by an excessive amount of processed food.
Diverticulitis causes constipation and hard stools, which can cause strain when attempting to be passed. The strain and increased pressure on the intestines causes the pouches to grow and worsen. The main symptoms associated with diverticulitis are severe and often start suddenly, usually growing worse as time progresses. These symptoms include:
- Bloating or gas
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fever and chills
- Tenderness in the left lower side of the abdomen
- Loss of appetite
To reduce your risk of developing diverticulitis, it is best to avoid processed foods like white rice, white bread, breakfast cereals, crackers and pretzels. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, there are remedies that you can try at home to treat it. Rest in bed with a heat pad on your abdomen, take pain medications as advised by your doctor, and try to drink only fluids for a day or two before gradually easing back into eating solid foods.
If the pain or discomfort does not cease, antibiotics may be necessary. Diverticulitis is commonly a mild condition that responds well to treatment. However, more serious complications can occur if it is not treated properly, so it is best to schedule an appointment with Saracino Gastroenterology if you feel you may have diverticulitis.