William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Diverticulosis and diverticulitis facts
- What is diverticulosis?
- What is diverticulitis?
- What causes diverticula and how do diverticula form?
- What are diverticulitis symptoms?
- Is there a special diet or digestive supplement that can treat or prevent diverticulitis symptoms?
- What are the more serious complications of diverticulitis?
- How are the diagnosis of diverticulitis and diverticulosis made?
- What is the treatment for diverticulitis and diverticulosis?
- Medical treatment of diverticulitis and diverticulosis
- Surgical treatment for diverticulitis
- Pictures of Diverticulitis (Diverticulosis) - Slideshow
- Find a local Gastroenterologist in your town
What are diverticulitis symptoms?
Most patients with diverticulosis have few or no symptoms. The diverticulosis in these individuals is found incidentally during tests for other intestinal problems. It has been thought s many as 20% of individuals with diverticulosis will develop symptoms related to diverticulosis, primarily diverticulitis; however, the most recent study suggests that the incidence is closer to 5%.
The most common signs and symptoms of diverticulitis include:
- Abdominal pain (left lower abdomen)
- Abdominal tenderness (left lower abdomen)
- Constipation or, sometimes, diarrhea.
Is there a special diet or digestive supplement that can treat or prevent diverticulitis symptoms?
Once formed, diverticula are permanent. No treatment has been shown to prevent complications of diverticular disease.
Diet: Diets high in fiber increase stool bulk and prevent constipation, and theoretically may help prevent further diverticula formation or worsening of the diverticular condition. Some doctors recommend avoiding nuts, corn, and seeds, which are thought by some to plug diverticular openings and cause diverticulitis, but there is little evidence to support this recommendation.
Probiotics: Because inflammation has been found at the edges of diverticula, it has been speculated that colonic bacteria may be playing a role in the rupture of diverticula by promoting inflammation. This has led some people to further speculate that changing the bacteria in the colon might reduce inflammation and rupture and to suggest treatment with probiotics; however, there is not enough evidence of a benefit of probiotics yet to recommend treatment with probiotics of patients with diverticular disease.
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