Diverticular disease is a commonly occuring condition after one reaches 50 years of age. However younger population in even 30's aren't exempted. Diverticular disease is not a result of one single causative factor but quite a few confounding factors are attributable. Western lifestyle, processed meat, low fibre diet, genetics, and stress are some of them.
Diverticular disease is essentially formation and presence of pouches (sacs) in the wall of the colon, mainly affecting left lower part called sigmoid colon. This periodically results into spasms of the colon giving pains, and sometimes infection and inflammation can occur causing an acute attack of 'diverticulitis'.
Antibiotics are often required in acute flare ups of the disease, and for periodic pains, antispasmodics are found to be useful. Click here to read more......
Often a colonoscopy or a CT scan is needed to formulate the diagnosis and exclude 'complicated diverticulitis'.
Complications of diverticulitis can include perforation, causing localised abscess formation, strictures, fistula into urinary bladder (colo-vesical fistula) or sometimes severe life threatening peritonitis.
In some selective cases elective (planned) resection of sigmoid colon affected severely by diverticular disease has to be performed to avoid these complications. This can be done laparoscopically and may avoid a stoma bag, which is almost a certainty when operation is performed as an emergency.