The problem with gut health is that it can be affected by a wide range of illnesses, many of which manifest themselves much in the same way: altered bowel patterns and abdominal pain. These may require a colonoscopy. Diverticulitis is one of those illnesses; nonetheless, it is occasionally mistaken for diverticulosis, a condition that can indicate the onset of diverticulitis.
Even though the titles of these two conditions are similar and one can cause the other, it’s crucial to know the difference between the two. What is diverticulosis? What is diverticulitis? Let’s find out.
First things first, the conditions’ names themselves can provide important hints: In diverticulosis, the suffix “osis” refers to sickness or condition, whereas in diverticulitis, the suffix “itis” refers to the presence of inflammation.
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What is Diverticulosis?
Little holes or pouches (diverticula) can grow in the muscle of the colon or large intestine wall, leading to diverticulosis.
An infection or inflammation of these atypical pouches is known as diverticulitis. Diverticular disease is the collective term for various illnesses.
Diverticular illness is not linked to more dangerous disorders, like bowel cancer, even though it has certain symptoms. Diverticulitis, on the other hand, is typically a medical emergency that necessitates prompt medical attention and, frequently, hospital admission. Although mild episodes can be managed at home, they should always be evaluated very carefully.
Causes of Diverticulosis
Diverticulosis is incredibly prevalent. Diet and advanced age may be the main risk factors. The illness affects more than half of all persons over the age of 70. The majority of these individuals do not know they have diverticulosis.
Large-scale epidemiological research has been analyzed, and the major complication of diverticular illness, diverticulitis, is less common in those who consume more fibre overall. The kind of dietary fibre may matter; fruits, grains, and cereals are good sources, while eating vegetables may not be as healthy.
What Is Diverticulitis?
Diverticulitis is the result of inflammation or infection of one or more diverticula in the colon wall. The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) states that it frequently manifests quickly and can produce symptoms like fever, chills, stomach cramps, diarrhea or constipation, and lower left-side abdominal pain.
According to the NIDDK, diverticulitis accounts for around 200,000 hospital admissions annually. However, diverticulitis is but one aspect of diverticular disease, which also includes diverticular bleeding, diverticular complications, and persistent symptoms caused by diverticula.
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Major Difference Between Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis
In the colon, diverticulitis and diverticulosis can also occur. Diverticulitis is less common, painful, and can cause consequences whereas diverticulosis is frequent and generally goes unreported.
Diverticula—small pouches or sacs that form in the colon wall—cause diverticulosis. It usually doesn’t show any symptoms, and it could go unnoticed until someone has a regular imaging exam or has a colonoscopy.
When diverticula become infected or inflammatory, diverticulitis results. Usually, diverticulitis presents with acute, severe stomach pain.
Diverticulosis may occur naturally as people age. More than 30% of those between the ages of 50 and 59 and more than 70% of those over 80 are affected. However, diverticulitis occurs in less than 15% of cases of diverticulosis.
Ensure Diverticulosis Doesn’t Become Diverticulitis
Your primary concern probably isn’t to experience another flare-up of diverticulitis, especially if your doctor has tried treating it with antibiotics, clear liquid diet, and painkillers in the past. The following actions are recommended by the Mayo Clinic, NIDDK, and AGA to help avoid a recurrence:
- Become a high-fibre eater: Eat more plant-based meals, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, to gradually increase your intake of fibre.
- Hydrate: To replenish the fluids that the fibre in your diet has taken up, you need to drink a lot of liquids. If not, you can become constipated.
- Engage in physical activity: Intense, heart-pounding workouts may be especially beneficial.
- Give up smoking: For a number of health reasons, as well as the fact that it is costly and no longer acceptable in society.
Canadian Place Endoscopy Clinic is well-equipped to help you identify the illness before it becomes severe. Request an appointment today and get proactive for your health.