Diverticular Disease / Diverticulitis
What is diverticular disease / diverticulitis?
Diverticular disease and diverticulitis are two related conditions that affect the large intestine/ bowel. Diverticular are small bulges that can develop in the lining of the intestine as you get older. When these cause problems such as stomach pain, it is called diverticular disease. If the diverticular become even more inflamed, your symptoms may worsen, and this is called diverticulitis.
What are the symptoms of diverticular disease/diverticulitis?
Symptoms of diverticular disease include:
- Stomach pain
- Constipation and/or diarrhoea
- Passing blood
You may have diverticulitis if you:
- Have severe stomach pain
- Have a high temperature
- Regular diarrhoea and/or constipation
- Regularly pass blood
How is diverticular disease/diverticulitis diagnosed?
During consultation Professor Aftab Ala will discuss your symptoms and medical history. You may may be required to have a blood test, colonoscopy and/or CT scan to confirm any diagnosis.
How is diverticular disease/diverticulitis? Treated?
You may be given antibiotics and painkillers to relieve any pain. You may need surgery if your diverticulitis is particularly serious and this will involve removing a section of your large intestine. Research suggests that diverticula are formed by hard stools passing through the intestines. Eating lots of fibre softens stools, putting less pressure on the walls of the intestine. So lack of fibre, smoking and obesity will all increase the risk of diverticula occurring.