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Diverticulitis is an inflammation of the internal walls of the intestine. It is mainly characterized by the formation of small and bulging cysts and sacs, called diverticula, that get inflamed and cause the disease.
But how are the diverticula formed? It is not yet known how the diverticula are formed. A theory is that diets poor in fiber contribute to their formation.
The lack of fiber in the diet hardens the feces, which causes constipation. We end up having to push harder when defecating, which pressures the colon and the intestines and forms these cysts, the diverticula. The build-up of stool causes inflammation.
Any person can develop diverticulitis, being more common in the elderly. Its causes are related mainly to the poor functioning of the intestine.
Also, people who smoke may present a higher risk of forming diverticula since smoking weakens the intestinal walls.
Diverticulitis can stay many years without presenting any symptoms, and sometimes is only found out by accident, during a routine colonoscopy.
However, when there are complications, like the symptoms we talked about, it may be necessary to do ultrasounds or an abdominal tomography to evaluate the seriousness and decide the best treatment.
0:00 Possible complications of diverticulitis
0:58 Intestinal obstruction
2:55 Diverticulitis symptons and risk factors
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