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Diverticulosis


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Diverticular disease is a condition occurring when pouches form toward the end of the large intestine.

Your large intestine, also known as your colon, includes the cecum, ascending colon,

transverse colon, descending colon, sigmoid colon, rectum, and anal canal.

The wall of your colon has four main layers: the mucosa, the submucosa, a muscular layer, and the outer serosa.

Blood vessels, called vasa recta, supply blood to your colon.

Although the cause is unknown, diverticulosis is associated with a low fiber diet, constipation, and frequent straining with bowel movements.

Constipation causes increased pressure inside your colon.

Increased pressure may cause the mucosa and submucosa

to herniate through a weakened area of the wall of your colon and form a diverticulum.

Diverticulosis occurs when you have these diverticula, but often no other symptoms.

In contrast, diverticulitis occurs when the diverticula become inflamed.

The usual symptoms of diverticulitis are: lower left abdominal pain, fever, constipation or diarrhea, and decreased appetite.

Diverticulitis may develop an accumulation of pus, called an abscess.

Excessive swelling and accumulation of puss may lead to a formation of a perforation,

allowing pus and other material to escape into your abdomen.

This is a very serious condition, and requires immediate medical attention.

If you have a severe case of diverticulitis, you may need to have a procedure to drain an abscess.

If the condition persists, you may require surgery to remove the affected part of your colon.

During your procedure, your surgeon will pass the remaining end of your colon through your abdominal wall,

creating an opening, called a stoma. After your colon heals, it can be reattached to your rectum.

The main treatment for diverticulosis is increased consumption of fiber-rich foods to soften and add bulk to stools,

which helps stimulate the colon to contract and eliminate them.

Other treatments for diverticulitis includes a clear liquid diet and oral antibiotics.