Diverticulosis is a condition of the colon that affects about 10 percent of adults over the age of 40 and 50% of the population over the age of 60. The prevalence of the condition increases as age progresses. Most elderly have diverticulois to some degree varying from one to many pockets. Diverticulosis can develop into diverticulitis, a rare but serious condition that can develop if the diverticulosis is not treated in its early stages with proper diet.
Most cases of diverticulosis often do not have symptoms. Most often the condition is found in the sigmoid colon where there may be gripping pain or a spastic condition of the sigmoid colon. Constipation or diarrhea may alternate. It is likely caused by a decrease in the strength of the collagen tissues of the colon causing the wall to form a pocket in its musculature. Some suspect this may be advanced by long term difficulties in evacuation.
It is generally agreed upon by most doctors and researchers that the best preventative and strengthening of the colon comes with a high fiber diets. Conventional beliefs and recommendations suggest that diets with nuts and seeds should be avoided but no research has demonstrated this to be true. This may be more of a concern with diverticulosis, an inflammation of the diverticuli, which is a severe inflammatory situation that may also have infection involved or bleeding and significant pain.
The best diagnostic tests are Contrast CT, sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy, barium enema or MRI. The barium enema is the least expensive and may be indicated if the sigmoid colon is too convoluted for a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy without risk.
I would suggest that those who have a general weakened immunity and who have had other gut and digestive disorders will be at higher risk for diverticulosis. The large and small bowel are supposed to have a very specific environment that can be damaged by antibiotics, steroids and other drugs. One must work to maintain a normal flora and good digestion which many of my other articles expand and educate on. If the diet is right, the flora good, constipation nonexistent, inflammation eradicated there will be little risk for developing diverticulosis or its more serious consequence, diverticulitis.
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