How is diverticulitis diagnosed?
Diverticulitis is usually diagnosed by colonoscopy, barium X-ray or CT scan.
Author: Karen McCloskey
First answered: 23 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.4/5 Votes: 397
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Diverticulitis is a complication of a common digestive condition called diverticular disease, where small abnormal skin pouches (diverticula) form in your bowel. Usually these pouches are symptom-free, but if they get infected, it is called diverticulitis.
The symptoms of diverticulitis are a sharp, constant pain in your lower left-hand abdomen, fever above 38 degrees Celsius, a bloated abdomen, nausea and vomiting; you may also find blood in your bowel movements.
Diverticulitis is caused by abnormal pouches (diverticula) in your bowel becoming infected. This can be due to a piece of hardened feces getting trapped in a pouch and causing an infection.
People over 50 years of age, who eat a low-fiber, processed diet and/or are obese, are most prone to diverticulitis. It is a disease that mainly affects people who eat a western diet and is virtually unknown in Africa and Asia.
All cases of diverticulitis are considered medical emergencies until evaluated by a doctor. Most cases can be treated at home, though more severe cases are treated in hospital. In rare cases, surgery is required.
Most cases of diverticulitis can be treated at home with antibiotics, pain-relief medications and a liquids-only diet. After two or three days, solid foods can be introduced again, in which you can include five portions of fruit and …
Eating a high-fiber diet, exercising, drinking lots of water and avoiding constipation are key to avoiding diverticulitis.
With antibiotics and changes in diet, you can avoid having more episodes of diverticulitis. If you continue to eat a low-fiber diet and are constipated, you will probably have future episodes.