Diverticulitis: inflammation

Diverticulitis is an inflammation of a bulge in the intestine. The most common clinical picture is abdominal pain, fever and also blood in the stool. However, the complaint can also become chronic.

Inflammation

Diverticulitis is an inflammation of a bulge in the intestine. This bulge is called a diverticulum. This bulge is caused by, for example, a developmental disorder or increased pressure, which weakens the intestinal wall. The bulge looks like a balloon. These are quite common in humans and are harmless. Rarely does a derverticulum become malignant. Most derverticulae occur in the large intestine, but they can also occur in the esophagus or small intestine. They usually arise as a result of a diet with too little fiber.

In diverticulitis, this bulge is inflamed by bacteria. An inflammation of the large intestine or small intestine is also often a cause of bacteria, but has a different name. Diverticulitis can therefore only occur in people who have one or more derverticulae. The inflammation is caused by stool remaining in the bulge. This gives bacteria a chance to multiply and the bulge becomes inflamed.

Phenomena

The most common clinical picture is abdominal pain, fever and also blood in the stool. If the complaint has existed for some time and is chronic, the symptoms are often much less clear. People often suffer from vague abdominal pain. Sometimes there is constipation. This can alternate with diarrhea. Sometimes the patient gets chills or feels nauseous.

To expand

The inflammation may also spread to surrounding areas. This is then referred to as peridiverticulitis. This can cause abscesses and fistulas to form. For example, in the intestine or in the bladder. These can cause a lot of pain. A peritonitis can also develop. This happens when the bulge bursts open and allows the contents to travel further into the body.

Therapy

Diverticulitis must always be treated. This is because there is a risk that the inflammation will spread further, with all its consequences. Initially, bed rest is prescribed in the acute stage. Furthermore, a low-residue diet. A low-residue diet is a diet that is poor in fiber and indigestible products. It is also called a snail diet.

A fully absorbable diet can also be prescribed. This diet is equivalent to astronaut food and consists of a mixture of amino acids, simple sugars and fats. Chronic diverticulitis that does not cause any complications is treated with fiber-rich foods.

If there are complications such as fistulas or abscesses, surgical intervention is necessary. Sometimes part of the intestine is removed.

Prevent

To prevent this inflammation, it is important to ensure that no bulges can develop in the intestines. This is done by eating fiber-rich food. Fiber is found in bread such as rye bread, currant bread and whole wheat bread. White bread and light brown bread do not contain fiber. Grain products also contain fiber. Bran, muesli, oatmeal and brown rice are important sources of fiber. White rice, on the other hand, is not.

Legumes and nuts also contain fiber. White and brown beans and capuchins are doing well. Nuts, poppy seeds and sesame seeds too. Lentils and peas are also high in fiber. Fibers are, as it were, plant particles that are not digested in the small intestine.