Having blood in one’s stool can be attributed to various health conditions, and one of which is diverticulitis. What exactly is diverticulitis? This condition refers to inflamed sacs that can be found in the inner lining of the intestine. Diverticulitis presents itself as sacs or small pockets. They are usually found in the colon or in the large intestine.
The cause of diverticulitis remains unknown. But there have been researches linking poor diet in developing the sacs in the colon. The blood appears in the stool once these sacs explode inside the colon.
What causes diverticulitis?
As mentioned earlier, the cause still needs to be further investigated. However, one of the strongest links in the development of diverticulitis is poor diet. There have been studies suggesting that people with low fiber in their daily diets are more prone in developing these sacs in their colon. Moreover, people who consume more processed foods are at risk of diverticulitis.
Diverticulitis begins when a person experiences constipation or hard passing of stools. Whenever there is pressure in the colon, these sacs are being formed from the lining of the intestine. This intraluminal colonic pressure is the culprit for the development of sacs or diverticula.
In male adults, doctors found out that a diet of nuts and corn can help stop the progression of this health condition. But the key to avoid diverticulitis is to do some diet modification and increase fiber to avoid putting much pressure in the colon during passing of stools.
The common symptoms of diverticulitis
Just like majority of bowel disorders, diverticulitis presents with little or no symptoms at all. Most of its signs and symptoms can be associated with minor complications like constipation. Otherwise, here are some of the general conditions that a person needs to be aware of:
- Abdominal pain
- Colon bleeding
- Bloody stools
- Pus in the pelvis
- Loss of appetite
- Gas and bloating
If in case a person suspects him/her self having diverticulitis, the best way to rule out the disease is with the help of a physician. The general doctor will be able to conclude and properly diagnose the disease to address it properly.
Ways in which diverticulitis is diagnosed
The doctor will usually advise a patient to undergo a computed tomography scan or CT scan. This particular test is very accurate in determining cases of diverticulitis with a rate of 98 percent. The images obtained through the scan will help the doctors see if there are really sacs in the colon and if these sacs have ruptured.
Patients with severe cases of diverticulitis will also be able to receive the healthcare that they need once the physician has seen the results of the CT scan. Ultrasound and x-rays can also help, but CT scan is better in terms of examining the real condition of the colon.
Possible treatment options
Treatment options for people suffering with diverticulitis vary depending on the severity of their condition. Some people may require hospital stay based on doctor’s advice, while some patients may just need to take some time to themselves and rest. There may also be a need for diet modifications that should be followed to ease the symptoms associated with diverticulitis. Moreover, other patients may be required to take antibiotics.
Bed rest, adequate fluid intake, and avoiding caffeine altogether will actually do a patient a lot of good.
Outlook about diverticulitis is great. Actually, this is just a mild condition that can be attended to easily. It is just important to note that diverticulitis should be addressed immediately before it can lead to complications such as colon tears or stricture.