Depending on the age, people may suffer from various conditions even if they take proper medications and lead a healthy lifestyle. What is verticulitis and what influence must be expected when it occurs? This is a very common digestive condition that is often referred as diverticulitis. It occurs as a result of pouches formation of the colon walls. The condition may affect the large intestine or colon and cause pressure in the tissue. There are several factors that can lead to its development, yet even knowing them doesn’t make the preventive course easy and plain.
Common Verticulitis Causes
They define six main causes or triggers of the condition. They are:
Dieting takes the very first place in the list. It is believed to be the core reason of verticulitis development at any age. It’s not a high carbohydrate or high fat diet that can cause complications. The type of the eating routine that can become dangerous is a low-fiber one. Why so? The produced waste includes no necessary bulk. Sooner or later this adds to the segmental work of the large intestines. Tract is not continuous but rhythmic, thus causing pouches formation and infection.
Another cause is the lifestyle. This medical condition is frequently linked to a sedentary lifestyle. It is still unknown why a sedentary lifestyle is connected to the illness, yet it is often recommended to stay active in order not to develop the disease. Choose swimming and biking instead of plain sitting. Physical activity will keep your digestive tract healthier.
Age contributes to health problems, too. With age verticulitis develops in many people. When a person gets older, his/her intestinal walls lose elasticity. Becoming weak they can’t oppose the development of health problems when the rectum or colon passes waste. At first there occur protrusions that soon become infected pouches.
The meds you take have a great impact, too. The commonest pills that contribute to the condition are corticosteroids. Their long-term and regular use increases chances for diseases. Naproxen and Ibuprofen, as well as other NSAIDs add to complications, too.
Constipation leads to diverticulitis in very rare cases and only in some people. When experiencing the straining to pass stools, a person may have pouches developed. Cases of constipation must be treated, especially when they are frequent.
And finally genetics: verticulitis can be a result of one’s genetics. Some sufferers are predisposed to various digestive disorders. To avoid the re-occurrence they need to exercise more than others, eat only healthy foods and avoid certain medication types.
What Are Verticulitis Symptoms?
Do you know that most affected people don’t even have any symptoms? When they start appearing, they are rather mild:
- abdominal pain;
- diarrhea or constipation.
However, such symptoms are regarded as non-specific ones: they are common for various conditions and disorders. They don’t mean that you actually have verticulitis. Whenever they appear it is essential to consult a specialist before choosing self-treatment.
When the condition is very severe, the symptoms tend to be serious, too:
- nausea and vomiting;
- abdominal pain;
- pain in the lower left side;
- diarrhea or constipation;
When all the above-mentioned symptoms remain untreated, serious complications always follow:
- persistent fever;
- bleeding from rectum;
- severe abdominal pain;
- no liquid and food is tolerated;
- pain and burning during urination;
- extended-term constipation.
Effective Verticulitis Treatment
After proper diagnostic and cause/trigger definition, it is important to find the right way for providing relief. Today most doctors suggest:
- antibiotics (they are effective in infection reduction);
- antispasmodic meds (they are helpful in relieving a really serious abdominal pain).
When the infection level is reduced, they pain becomes severe and discomfort is barely experienced. Whenever mild and moderate pain occurs, the natural therapy includes:
- breathing exercises;
- regular stool passing as a preventive measure;
- hot compression application to the lower abdomen (the use of a heating pad is available, too);
- certain medication help to relieve pain;
- relaxation is important (listen to music).
What about surgical intervention is case of verticulitis? It is required in case of a chronic condition, when the above-mentioned therapies are useless.
This may be an elective of medical surgery. When the first one is chosen, it is performed depending on the stage of the diseases and several external factors. The general medical condition, medical history, patient’s age, the frequency of attacks and their severity are always taken into consideration. Usually an elective surgery brings fewer risks for a patient. It is performed at about 6 weeks after acute condition recovery.
There are cases of emergency surgeries. This type of surgery is necessary for those sufferers, who have intestine raptures that resulted in abdominal cavity infections. There’s an opening created during the surgery: the ruptured section is removed, thus a colostomy is performed. A surgeon makes an opening between the skin surface and the large intestine. The opening is closed within 10-12 weeks.
The greater number of specialists perform bowel resection laparoscopically most often. They choose this way because of the post-operative pain that is reduced faster than in case of other surgeries. Thus, the patient’s recovery is not as durable. This type of a surgery is regarded as the least invasive one: three or four small incisions are made in the navel or abdomen.
The colon surgery itself includes three maneuvers that vary in complexity. The level of complexity depends on the bowel region and the disease nature:
- the division of the colon attachments;
- the retraction of the colon;
- the dissection of the mesentery.
After the resection, a surgeon divides the attachments to the small intestine and liver. When the mesenteric vessels are dissected, a surgical stapler helps divide the color.
Verticulitis Post-Treatment Period
Most patients are eager to know what they should wait for after verticulitis treatment. To start with, all treatment therapies work pretty well. However, if the condition has appeared once, it will remain for life. So, cases of its re-occurrence are to be awaited.
Specialists agree that lifestyle changes can be very helpful for the re-occurrence prevention. Add fiber to your daily eating routine and drink much water to prevent constipation. There are former sufferers, who state that eating seeds and nuts, raspberries, tomatoes and peanuts causes flare-ups. However, such reports do not have any medical support.
What is the best professional advice? We suggest monitoring your medical condition regularly and monitoring your personal responses to different kinds of food. With time this all will help decide on the adequate food and its amount. According to the recent researches, a former-suffer should consume 21-25 grams (for women), 30-38 grams (for men) of fiber daily. The more fiber is added, the lower chances for verticulitis re-occurrence are.
Make sure you eat more:
- collard greens;
- kidney beans;
- black beans;
- sweet potatoes with skin;
- cereals and whole grains.
To avoid constipation, go to the bathroom every time you feel the urge. If you wait too long before going to the bathroom, the stool gets harder, thus increasing the bowels pressure. You need to understand that verticulitis condition is always serious. It starts as a mild discomfort, yet leads to severe complications, when it is left untreated. Even when the most minor complications occur, please contact a specialist to avoid hospitalization and surgery in future.