Diverticulosis Patient Guide.pdf - Diverticulosis and...

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Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse U.S. Department of Health and Human Services NATIONAL ± INSTITUTES± OF HEALTH± What are diverticulosis and diverticulitis? Many people have small pouches in the lin- ing of the colon, or large intestine, that bulge outward through weak spots. Each pouch is called a diverticulum. Multiple pouches are called diverticula. The condition of having diverticula is called diverticulosis. About 10 percent of Americans older than 40 have diverticulosis. 1 The condition becomes more common as people age. About half of all people older than 60 have diverticulosis. 2 Diverticula are most common in the lower portion of the large intestine, called the sigmoid colon. When the pouches become inflamed, the condition is called diverticulitis. Ten to 25 percent of people with diverticulosis get diverticulitis. 3 Diverticulosis and divertic- ulitis together are called diverticular disease. What are the symptoms of diverticulosis and diverticulitis? Diverticulosis Most people with diverticulosis do not have any discomfort or symptoms. However, some people may experience crampy pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen, bloating, and constipation. Other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and stomach ulcers cause similar problems, so the symptoms do 1 Bogardus ST. What do we know about diverticular ± disease? A brief overview. Journal of Clinical ± Gastroenterology . 2006;40:S108–S111.± 2 Ibid.± 3 Ibid.± Colon (large intestine) Diverticula Many people have small pouches in their colon that bulge outward through weak spots. Each pouch is called a diverticulum. Multiple pouches are called diverticula. The condition of having diverticula is called diverticulosis. not always mean a person has diverticulosis. People with chronic symptoms should visit their doctor or health care provider. Diverticulitis The most common symptom of diverticulitis is abdominal pain. The most common sign on examination is tenderness in the lower left side of the abdomen. Usually, the pain is severe and comes on suddenly, but it can also be mild and become worse over several days. The intensity of the pain can fluctuate. A per- son may experience cramping, nausea, vomit- ing, fever, chills, or a change in bowel habits.
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What are the complications of diverticulitis? Diverticulitis can lead to bleeding; infections; small tears, called perforations; or blockages in the colon. These complications always require treatment to prevent them from pro- gressing and causing serious illness. Bleeding Rectal bleeding from diverticula is a rare complication. Doctors believe the bleeding is caused by a small blood vessel in a diver- ticulum that weakens and then bursts. When diverticula bleed, blood may appear in the toilet or in the stool. Bleeding can be severe, but it may stop by itself and not require treat- ment. A person who has bleeding from the rectum—even a small amount—should see a doctor right away. Often, colonoscopy is used to identify the site of bleeding and stop the bleeding. Sometimes the doctor injects
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  • Fall '17
  • Diverticulitis, Diverticulosis

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