Diverticulitis: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Live Science | 5/25/2016 | Staff
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Diverticulitis is a condition that affects the digestive system. It can cause problems with bowel movements and a can cause severe and sudden pain in the abdomen.

It's important to make a distinction between diverticulosis and diverticulitis. Diverticulosis is the simple presence of diverticula, which are small bulges or pouches that can form anywhere within the digestive system, such as in the intestines, esophagus and stomach. They are most commonly formed in the lower colon. One pouch is called a diverticulum and multiple pouches are called diverticula.

Diverticula - Response - Spots - Colon - Parts

Diverticula usually develop in response to pressure on weak spots in the colon or other parts of the digestive tract. These are very common, and the vast majority of people who have them will not have a problem with them. They become more common as people age. About half of all people over age 60 have diverticulosis, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

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Diverticulitis - Inflammation - Infection - Pockets - Severity

Diverticulitis is inflammation and infection of these pockets. "The severity of diverticulitis depends on how bad the inflammation or infection is," said Dr. Amitpal Johal, director of endoscopy and associate director of the division of gastroenterology at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pa. "If a patient goes untreated, the infection and inflammation can progress to more serious complications like an abscess (large infection) and even bowel perforation (hole in the bowel)."

It was once thought that a low-fiber diet may contribute to inflammation, but a high-fiber diet and increased frequency of bowel movements are associated with greater prevalence of diverticulosis, according to a study published by the journal Gastroenterology.

Doctors - Pouches - Theory - Levels - Serotonin

Doctors aren't sure, though, why these pouches get inflamed or infected. According to one theory, decreased levels of serotonin in the body...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Live Science
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