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Difference between Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis
Diverticulosis vs Diverticulitis PDF Print E-mail

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Many people are confused by the terms diverticulitis and diverticulosis. What do those words mean and what does it mean to your health. 
To help you understand, here is a simple description.

Diverticulosis results when muscles of the colon wall become weaken and lose their elasticity.  The loss of elasticity is often caused from the muscles being overworked and dealing with hardened stools, and/or a lack of bulk fiber in the diet. The weakened muscles develop small pouches in a person’s colon (also known as the large intestine). The pouches protrude outward through weak spots in the walls. These pouches are called diverticula. The condition of having diverticula is called diverticulosis.  Once these pouches appear, they do not go away on their own. Do not let this frighten you. Many people have diverticulosis and never develop diverticulitis.

About 10 % of Americans over the age of 40 have diverticulosis. About half of all people over the age of 60 will end up with diverticulosis.  It is becoming a growing trend in western civilization. Scientists and doctors believe the increase in this condition is due to our increasing lack of healthy diets and lifestyles.  We have become a fast food culture, eating up refined foods with little nutritional value. All those years of our parents preaching eat your veggies had a lot of truth to it.

The symptoms of diverticulosis may include bloating, mild cramps, and constipation.  There are other diseases like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and even stomach ulcers that have similar symptoms.  Many people also chalk it up to indigestion.

If you have these symptoms and they persist you should visit your doctor to get a proper diagnosis so you can get the start of your preventive wellness in place.

Diverticulitis is the condition that occurs when these pouches become infected or inflamed.  Many times food can become trapped in these pockets making wonderful breeding ground for bacteria.  This only occurs in about 10 to 25 % of people with diverticulosis.  The first and most common symptom of diverticulitis is severe abdominal pain, and a common sign is tenderness around the left side of the lower abdomen.  If you are experiencing an attack of diverticulitis, you may so also have a fever, nausea, vomiting, chills, cramping, and/or constipation.  The more severe the infection, the more severe the symptoms and complications will become. 

Diverticulitis can eventually lead to bleeding, infections, perforations, tears, or blockages.  Any of these complications will require treatment so always consult your doctor immediately with any signs to prevent any further complications.

Both diverticulosis and diverticulitis are also known as diverticular disease. There are so many different safe healthy avenues to take for prevention and protection of your colon to help avoid any serious dangers of diverticulitis.  One has to be dedicated and diligent in ones efforts, easy to say, not so very easy to do.

So, in the infamous words of your mothers and grandmothers, did you eat your veggies today?

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