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What Is Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis occurs when diverticula, which arelittle pouches are found in the colon, form. Normally, they’re fairly small and actually not that dangerous or painful. However, if they get infected or become inflamed, that’s when they start to cause pain and complications. Generally, these diverticula form in the lower section of the large intestines. This condition of the colon can be incredibly painful, especially if you let it go too long and get a major infection.

Difficulty in Diagnosis

Diverticulitis is difficult to diagnose by yourself because it’s hard to tell when you have it and when you have other types of bloating or tenderness in your abdomen. Those who have inflamed or infected diverticula will also have diarrhea and may experience a low-grade fever and the chills. However, these are all signs of other things, too. You may have the same symptoms with the norovirus or some other illness. There aren’t any outward signs that distinguish diverticulitis from other conditions. However, one thing that does indicate diverticulitis is experiencing these symptoms for weeks or months. The longer you have them, the more concerned you need to be. In fact, if you have them for more than a week, you should probably seek medical help.

Blood in your stool can be a sign that a hole has developed between one of the diverticula and a nearby blood vessel. Generally, there’s no pain and the bleeding stops after a short period. However, even if that’s true, you still need to see a doctor right away because blood in the stool can be a sign of something much more serious.

What Causes Diverticulitis?

No one is quite sure why diverticulitis forms in the colon, but most medical experts think it occurs when the high-pressure spots of the colon press up against weaker spots. There does seem to be a link between having diverticulitis and eating a diet that is low in fiber. No one is sure why, but many think it has to do with being constipated or not moving things through the bowels regularly.

Get Enough Fiber

By eating more fiber, you can help decrease the chance of diverticula forming within the colon. That’s why you need to eat a good amount of fiber every day. Almost all vegetables, fruits, whole grains, peas, lentils, and dried beans are high in fiber. You should also change out regular pasta for whole wheat pasta and eat brown rice instead of white rice. Another good way of adding some fiber to your meals is by putting extra vegetables in your pasta, stew, soup, or pizza.

Most Americans do not get enough fiber in their diet. However, you can take fiber supplements—powdered, pills, or gummies—to get more fiber in your diet. Some multivitamins and other supplements also contain fiber. Be sure to see how much fiber you’re getting and, if you need to, supplement it. You don’t want to develop diverticulitis!

You may also want to start taking an acai berry supplement. Research has shown that a supplement such as the acai berry may be able to provide you with a number of benefits.

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These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any diseases.