Inflammation and Infection Caused by Diverticulitis Essay

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Diverticulitis is an aliment of the colon that affects the inner lining. Approximately 50% of all Americans will experience diverticulitis by the time they reach age 60. Pouches or bulging sacs in the lining become inflamed or infected. The most common site of diverticulitis is the large intestine. A low fiber diet is believed to be responsible for most cases of diverticulitis. Small pieces of feces can become trapped in the pouches and bulging sacs, which then cause the inflammation and/or infection.
Diverticulitis normally responds well to treatment, some patients will have repeated bouts of diverticulitis, very few patients will require surgery to remove the effective section of bowel. (Fox & Stollman, 2010)
Patients with
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(ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
The inflammation in diverticulitis is believed to be the result of fecal material that gets trapped in a diverticulum. The resulting fecal stone, or fecalith, causes pressure and necrosis of the diverticulum. The inflammation progresses and perforates into the mucosa of the colon. A small perforation is easily treated with antibiotics. A large perforation may wall off and create an abscess which can erode into nearby structures such as the small bowel or bladder, anterior abdominal wall, and fecal peritonitis can occur. (textbook)
Patients present with left lower quadrant pain, reiterating the tendency for diverticulitis to affect the sigmoid colon in western countries. The pain can be constant or intermittent, and lack of appetite, or nausea and vomiting can be present. Physical examination of the abdomen reveals localized tenderness but frank rebound or guarding should be negative. Bowel sounds are frequently distant or depressed, if bowel sounds are very active an obstruction may be present, in mild cases the bowel sounds may be normal. The WBC may be elevated and the patient may present with a fever. Occasionally a palpable mass may be felt and may be very painful. Eating exacerbated the pain of left-sided diverticulitis and pain can be lessened with the passage of feces or flatus. Patients may complain of a feeling of being bloated.
Differential diagnoses for diverticulitis include colon cancer, colitis, crohn’s
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