Frequently Asked Questions About Diverticulitis

diverticulitis faq

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  • Diverticulitis starts when sac-like pouches, called diverticula, form on the walls of your intestines because of passing of hard stools
  • Unfortunately, diverticulosis is irreversible and once you’ve developed even one diverticulum, it will stay there for life, as the body cannot stretch back a protruded intestinal wall

Q: Q. How do you get diverticulitis?

A: Diverticulitis starts when sac-like pouches, called diverticula, form on the walls of your intestines because of passing of hard stools. This is a condition known as diverticulosis. However, when the diverticula become inflamed, tear and eventually infected, it results in diverticulitis.

Since straining and passing of hard stools is the primary risk factor of diverticula formation (diverticulosis) and, eventually, diverticulitis, it can be said that this is an ailment that is strongly tied to a lack of dietary fiber intake. To learn more about the causes of diverticulitis, check out this page.

Q: Q. What does diverticulitis pain feel like?

A: People with diverticulosis usually have no symptoms, and if they do, the pain tends to be mild and is felt in the abdomen, particularly in the belly. However, the case is different once diverticulosis progresses to diverticulitis. The pain, which either comes on suddenly and severely or develops over a few days, becomes more intense. It manifests below the belly button and then moves to the lower left-hand side.

The pain that comes with diverticulitis can also fluctuate, depending on how severe the infection is and if it has spread to other areas of the digestive tract. It worsens when you are eating or after ingesting a meal, although passing stool or flatulence may give you relief.

Q: Q. Diverticulitis vs. diverticulosis: What’s the difference between these two?

A: Diverticulosis is a condition wherein you have diverticula, sac-like pouches, in your colon. It’s a common condition that affects half of all U.S. adults who are 60 years old and above, and is typically painless. If symptoms occur, they are usually mild.

Diverticulitis is more severe. It’s the condition that results when the diverticula becomes inflamed and infected. Diverticulitis comes with pain and other uncomfortable symptoms, and may lead to complications. Here are more basic facts about diverticulitis.

Q. Is surgery recommended for diverticulitis?

A: Surgery is not usually recommended for diverticulitis. However, if the disease has already worsened or complications have arisen, bowel resection may be advised. Also known as partial colectomy, this procedure aims to remove a diseased or damaged part of the rectum or colon. You may need to stay in the hospital for four to seven days, or as long as two weeks, after a colectomy. The diverticulitis surgery recovery time may take anywhere between six to eight weeks.

Remember, however, that any intensive surgical procedure has risks and may result in complications, so it’s best to exhaust all natural and safer options before undergoing surgery.1

Q. Is there a link between diverticulitis and alcohol?

A: Yes. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology has found that alcohol intake is a significant risk factor for colonic diverticulitis (which may then progress into diverticulitis). According to the findings:

“When the prevalence of diverticulosis reported from 18 countries was analyzed against alcohol use, there was a strong correlation with national per-capita alcohol consumption rates.”2

Q. Is diverticulitis contagious?

A: There is no evidence that diverticulitis is contagious. For it to occur, diverticula must first develop in a person’s gastrointestinal tract.3

Q. How long does a diverticulitis flare-up last?

A: The symptoms of diverticulitis can clear up within 48 to 72 hours, as long as you take the correct actions to resolve the problem. However, remember that flare-ups may occur, so make sure to apply the recommended holistic strategies to keep this from happening.

Q. Can diverticulitis be cured?

A: Unfortunately, diverticulosis is irreversible and once you’ve developed even one diverticulum, it will stay there for life, as the body cannot stretch back a protruded intestinal wall.4 Nevertheless, there are ways to prevent diverticulosis from progressing to diverticulitis. There are also effective methods to control the symptoms of this ailment reduce your risk of flare-ups.

MORE ABOUT DIVERTICULITIS

Diverticulitis: Introduction

What Is Diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis Causes

Diverticulitis Types

Is Diverticulitis Hereditary?

Diverticulitis Signs and Symptoms

Diverticulitis Treatment

Diverticulitis Prevention

Diverticulitis Diet

Diverticulitis FAQ

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