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Pouches In Large Intestine - Know the Reasons Behind it!

Dr. Parthasarathy G 92% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, M.Ch - Surgical Gastroenterology/G.I. Surgery, Fellowship in Hepatobiliary Surgery & Liver Transplantation, International Visiting Scholar
Gastroenterologist, Hyderabad  •  16 years experience
Pouches In Large Intestine - Know the Reasons Behind it!

Diverticulosis refers to a serious medical condition when pouches develop on the walls of your colon,which is another name for the large intestine. These pouches are small in size and usually vary from 5 to 10 millimeters, but can get bigger when this condition becomes serious. Diverticulosis is usually discovered while performing tests for other medical conditions on your body. Once these pouches become infected and inflamed, they may cause acute pain in your abdomen. This condition is called diverticulitis and is considered quite serious.

Causes of Diverticulosis:
Doctors have suggested that the pouches in diverticulosis are formed when pressure increases inside the colon and presses against the weaker spots in the walls of the large instesine. The differences in pressure may create tears or pouches within the colon resulting in the disorder. Some of the causes are mentioned here:

  1. Low fiber dietLow fiber diet causes small hard stool which makes it tough for the colon to put much more pressure. Low fiber diet can also increase the amount of time stool stays in the bowel which adds to high pressure and thus may contribute to this condition.
  2. Age: The chances of diverticulosis increases when you are above the age of 60 which has something related to the weakening of bowels over time. A bad diet over many years can make this worse.
  3. Lifestyle: Certain lifestyle habits which generally contribute to bad colon health may also result in diverticulosis by increasing pressure on the blood vessels of the bowel wall. This then pushes against other vessels resulting in the formation of pouches.

Diagnosis
Many people with diverticulosis may not even know they have this issue until it is detected while looking for other issues within the body. There are many cases when diverticulosis has been diagnosed when various tests like X-ray which use barium enema or colonoscopy is performed on your body for other medical reasons. If your white blood cells are higher in count than normal then it can indicate infection which may turn into diverticulitis. You may also be asked to undergo CT scan to check if the pouches are infected.

Symptoms of Diverticulosis:
Diverticulosis is hard to diagnose as it may not show any symptoms at all. In most cases symptoms start showing when it progresses towards diverticulitis. However certain generic symptoms which may prompt the doctor to require a detailed examination are as follows:
1. Diarrhea
2. Vomiting
3. Bloating or gas
4. Loss in appetite
5. Constipation

Treatment can be done at home or you may be asked to stay in hospital depending upon the severity of the case. Proper bed rest and liquid diet may be prescribed to enable the diverticula to heal properly. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gastroenterologist.

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