In people over the age of 50, the presence of small pockets which stick out from the wall of the colon called “diverticula” is very common. These diverticula are usually of no concern. However, should they become infected, the term diverticulitis is used. Diverticula by themselves cause no symptoms, however, diverticulitis can cause abdominal pain, cramps, diarrhea, fever, and sometimes constipation. Treatment with antibiotic will usually solve the problem, but, sometimes surgical removal of the involved segment of the colon is necessary.
- Sometimes Constipation
If you develop these symptoms contact your physician.
Occasionally, one of the thin walled diverticula will perforate and allow leakage of colon contents into the abdominal cavity. This is a serious condition requiring immediate surgery. Bleeding is another problem sometimes encountered with diverticulosis. It is currently believed that the prevention of diverticulosis may be possible if young people would add sufficient amounts of dietary fiber to their daily diets.
It can be difficult to get the 25-35 grams of fiber so experts sometimes recommend adding fiber supplements to your diet. They also recommend a diet rich in fiber such as bran cereals, whole wheat breads, a variety of beans, fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid constipation
- Eat at regular intervals
- Drink water (8 glasses a day)
- Exercise daily