Diverticulosis is a medical condition affecting the colon. When the walls of the colon develop pouches, known as the diverticula, the resulting condition is referred to as diverticulosis. The pouches are generally small, ranging from 5-10 millimeters but can also grow larger.
Developing these pouches will not result in any symptoms and it is only when the more painful diverticulitis develops. It is estimated that 80 out of 100 individuals who have diverticulosis will never develop diverticulitis. Diverticulosis is often discovered in a patient only when medical testing is done for other problems or illnesses.
Diverticulosis is not very well understood. Medical experts believe that additional pressure placed on the colon causes weak areas in the wall of the colon and the pouches develop. Doctors do suspect that a poor diet is to blame for the condition. When not enough fiber is consumed, stool passing through the colon is more difficult to move, causing the colon to work harder. Stool remains in the colon area for a longer period of time causing higher pressure on the walls of the colon.
In order to diagnose diverticulosis, testing will need to be completed such as x-rays, colonoscopies, or using a barium enema. The testing is usually done to detect other problems and it is then the diverticulosis is discovered. If one is diagnosed with diverticulosis, treatment may involve a high fiber diet plan including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and bean daily. . Some patients will also need an additional fiber supplement in their diet to keep the bowel and colon clean. Fluids are also important, especially water. Exercise will be recommended to keep the body moving for good overall health.