This video is meant to expand your general knowledge about living a healthy life and is NOT a substitute for seeking professional medical advice. Please consult with your doctor before making changes in your health practices, diet and self-care.
In this video, gastroenterologist Dr. Lisa Das defines diverticulitis, explains how it differs from diverticulosis, which foods you should avoid if you have it, and when it’s time to seek treatment from a doctor.
Essentially, diverticular disease and diverticulitis are related digestive conditions that affect the large intestine (bowel).
Diverticula are small bulges or pockets that can develop in the lining of the intestine as we get older. When they occur without symptoms, it is called diverticulosis. When diverticula cause symptoms, such as pain in the lower abdomen, it’s called diverticular disease. And if the diverticula become inflamed or infected, causing more severe symptoms, it’s called diverticulitis.
It is believed that not getting enough dietary fibre leaves people more vulnerable to developing diverticular disease and diverticulitis.
Symptoms of diverticular disease include:
- Abdominal pain, usually in the lower left side, that tends to come and go, and gets worse during or shortly after eating (passing stool or gas eases the discomfort)
- Constipation, diarrhoea, or both
- occasionally, blood in the stool
If the diverticula become infected and inflamed (i.e. diverticulitis), the individual may suddenly:
- get constant, more severe abdominal pain
- have a high temperature
- have diarrhoea or constipation
- get mucus or blood in their stool, or bleed from the rectum (rectal bleeding)
Learn more about diverticular disease and diverticulitis here.
View the original video here.
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