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 diverticulitis can learn to care for themselves and decrease their chance of a re-occurring bout of diverticulitis by practicing healthy bowel habits by eating at regular intervals, eating high fiber foods, drinking plenty of fluids, not straining while having a bowel movement, and not relying on a laxative to have a bowel movement.(webmd.com)
Diverticulitis is responsible for over 300,000 hospital admissions per year, and the annual costs to treat the condition in the U.S. exceeds 2.6 billion dollars. Diverticulitis, a disease of the colon, is common in westernized countries. Most common is left-sided diverticulitis; right-sided diverticulitis is believed to be a separate disease which is due to genetic predisposition.
Development and industrialization is known to increase the prevalence of diverticulitis. Asia has the highest rates of right-sided diverticulitis but still have far lower rates of left-sided diverticular disease than the U.S.
The incidence of diverticulitis increases with age. Only 1-2% of Americans under the age of 30 will experience diverticulitis. Americans over the age of 60 have a 50% chance of developing the disease, and the rate increases to over 70% after the age of 80. The prevalence of diverticular disease in men and women is equal. Diverticular bleeding occurs more often in men and more women experience obstructions due to diverticulitis....