What Is Diverticular Disease?
Diverticular disease refers to three different conditions: diverticulosis, diverticular bleeding and diverticulitis. These diseases sound similar but are caused by different things.
Diverticulosis – Small pockets, called diverticula, form in the lining of the bowel. It can be caused by straining during a bowel movement.
Diverticular bleeding – Rectal bleeding is a complication of diverticulosis. It can also occur when the small blood vessels next to diverticula are injured.
Diverticulitis – A diverticular infection is another complication of diverticulosis. Most often, this occurs when the pockets become blocked with waste.
Symptoms of diverticular disease can vary based on the type of condition. There are no symptoms of diverticulosis, but diverticulitis and diverticular bleeding often have symptoms.
Diverticular Bleeding Symptoms:
Blood in stool
Blood from rectum (bleeding may be mild or severe)
Treatment for diverticular disease can vary widely depending on the severity of the condition and symptoms you experience. Treatment options may include:
Change in diet – Increasing fiber intake and limiting red meat can help manage symptoms of diverticular disease.
Antibiotics – Prescription antibiotics can help treat diverticulitis.
Surgery – Rarely, surgery may be recommended for severe cases of diverticular disease. Surgical options may include partial removal of the colon.
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