By naturopath Margaret Jasinska
Diverticulitis is extremely common, especially in people over the age of 50. Diverticulosis means the formation of abnormal pouches in the bowel wall. Diverticulitis means the pouches have become inflamed (this is usually caused by infection). It is estimated that half of all people over age 60 have diverticular disease.
Most people with diverticulosis don’t have any symptoms. Occasionally they may experience mild cramps, bloating or constipation. Diverticulosis is often discovered while a person is undergoing tests for something else. Many people first discover they have diverticula pockets in their bowel while they are undergoing a colonoscopy screening for colon cancer.
If the pouches become inflamed or infected, abdominal pain is the most common symptom, and it’s usually on the left side. Depending on the severity, some people also experience fever, nausea, vomiting and constipation. In very severe cases, diverticulitis can cause tears in the bowel that bleed, or blockages in the bowel. This can result in a medical emergency.
Conventional treatment usually consists of antibiotics, pain relievers, and a temporary liquid diet. Occasionally surgery is deemed necessary.