health care  
 
All about diverticular disease causes of diverticular disease symptoms of diverticular disease diagnosis of diverticular disease complications of diverticular disease treatment for diverticular disease high fiber diet for diverticular diseases diverticulitis complications of diverticulitis causes of diverticulitis symtoms of diverticulitis diagnosis of diverticulitis treatments for diverticulitis diverticulitis surgery diverticulosis causes of diverticulosis symptoms of diverticulosis complications of diverticulosis diagnosing diverticulosis treatment of diverticulosis

What are the complications of diverticular disease?

People generally remain unaware that they have diverticular disease unless a complication arises. Complications typically start when one or more of the pouches, or diverticula, become infected and inflamed and diverticulitis develops.

Complications of diverticulosis include bleeding, infection, perforation, abscess fistula formation, and obstruction.

Bleeding from diverticula is uncommon but in rare cases it can be severe. Small blood vessels can be particularly fragile in inflamed diverticula. They can become so stretched that they weaken and finally burst, releasing a surge of blood. The blood may appear in the stool or in the toilet. The bleeding may stop spontaneously and not require treatment. If it continues, it may require surgery.

A fistula is an abnormal connection between two organs. This can arise when inflamed or damaged tissue sticks to another organ and heals that way. For example, an infected diverticulum may attach to organs such as the bladder or small intestine. Often in men, a fistula forms between the colon and the bladder. This can lead to a severe urinary tract infection. (In women, the uterus normally blocks the colon's path to the bladder.)

Infection is usually the result of the opening (mouth) of a diverticulum being blocked by faecal material or food. With a loss of drainage contents of the diverticulum stagnates providing an ideal environment for the growth of bacteria. Untreated progression will occur to abscess formation with pus, swelling, and destruction of tissue.

Large bowel obstruction occurs in about five percent of people with diverticulitis. Obstruction is the result of swelling, spasm of the muscles, and scar tissue formation. This may settle quickly as the inflammation is treated or may remain as a partial blockage due to the scar tissue narrowing of the bowel lumen (the space within the tubular bowel).

The tissue destruction occurring in association with the abscess may lead to small holes with leakage out of the colon and extension of the abscess to tissues outside the colon.

Inflammation with infection can cause tissues to stick together. When the damaged tissues stick to another organ and small perforations occur, the destroyed tissue can progress to communications between organs (fistula). Fistula occur between adjacent loops of bowel, bowel and bladder, bowel and vagina, or bowel with skin.

More information on diverticular disease

What is diverticular disease? - Diverticular disease is a condition in which small pouches, called diverticula, develop in the wall of the colon, or large intestine.
What causes diverticular disease? - Diverticular disease essentially results from eating a diet with too little fiber. Fiber is the part of fruits, vegetables, and grains that the body cannot digest.
What are the symptoms of diverticular disease? - The major symptoms of diverticular disease are abdominal pain, diarrhea, cramps, alteration of bowel habit and occasionally, severe rectal bleeding.
How is diverticular disease diagnosed? - A complete diagnostic work-up for diverticular disease including colonoscopy, and radiological examinations are the basic tools for initial investigation.
What are the complications of diverticular disease? - Complications of diverticulosis include bleeding, infection, perforation, abscess fistula formation, and obstruction.
What is the treatment for diverticular disease? - The only treatment for mild diverticulosis is to increase fiber in the diet. For diverticulitis, antibiotics will be prescribed.
High fiber diet for diverticular diseases - Good sources of fiber for diverticular diseases include whole grains, nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and a dietary supplement of fiber products.
What is diverticulitis? - Diverticulitis is a common condition in which abnormal pouches (diverticula) in the wall of the colon become inflamed.
What are the complications of diverticulitis? - Complications of diverticulitis may include a blockage in colon, an abscess or a fistula. Peritonitis is a medical emergency and requires immediate care.
What causes diverticulitis? - Diverticulitis can only occur in people who have diverticulosis. Diverticulosis is more common in people who have a low intake of fiber in their diets.
What're the symtoms of diverticulitis? - Symptoms of diverticulitis are due to the muscle abnormality and consist of pain, often abdominal distension, an irregular bowel habit with pellet-like stools.
How is diverticulitis diagnosed? - Diverticulitis is suspected after a history and physical examination. Diverticulitis is usually diagnosed during an acute attack.
What are the treatments for diverticulitis? - Treatment of diverticulitis depends on the severity of symptoms and whether this is a first attack of diverticulitis.
What's the diverticulitis surgery? - Emergency surgery is necessary for people whose intestine has ruptured; intestinal rupture always results in infection of the abdominal cavity.
What is diverticulosis? - Diverticulosis is a condition in which small outpouchings of the colon wall develop through time. Diverticula may develop anywhere in the large intestine.
What causes diverticulosis? - A low fibre diet can lead to small, hard stools which are difficult to pass. The pouches that develop are called diverticula.
What are the symptoms of diverticulosis? - Diverticulosis do not have any signs or symptoms. Diverticulosis can sometimes cause unexplained painful cramps, diarrhea or other bowel movement disturbances.
What are the complications of diverticulosis? - Diverticulitis can lead to complications such as infections, perforations or tears, blockages, or bleeding.
How is diverticulosis diagnosed? - Diverticulosis is suspected when symptoms such as unexplained painful cramps, diarrhea or other bowel movement disturbances, or rectal bleeding are present.
What is the treatment for diverticulosis? - The goal of treatment for diverticulosis is usually to reduce intestinal spasms, which is best achieved by maintaining a high-fiber diet (which consists of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains) and drinking plenty of fluids. 
Digestive health Mainpage

Topics in digestive disorders

Signs and symptoms of digestive diseases
Anal and rectal disorders
Diverticular disease
Inflammatory bowel diseases
Malabsorption
Gastroenteritis
Pancreatitis
Peptic disorders (Stomach disease)
Emergencies of digestive system
Liver diseases
Irritable bowel syndrome
Diagnostic tests for digestive disorders
 

Featured articles

Constipation
Heartburn
Hemorrhoids
Diverticulosis
Crohn's disease
Ulcerative colitis
Peptic ulcer
Gastroesophageal reflux disease
Hepatitis
Hepatitis A
Hepatitis B
Hepatitis C
Liver transplant
Colon cancer
Stomach cancer
Colorectal cancer (bowel cancer)


All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005, health-cares.net, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005