Diverticular Disease – What is it?

Diverticular Disease – What is it?

  • On June 22, 2007

Divertular disease is a suprisingly common condition, yet one few people know much about. Having had several people enquire about products for this condition we thought it might be worth giving some more background information.

Diverticular disease is a condition that affects the large bowel, or colon and is, believed to be the result of too little fibre in the diet which is why it’s very rare in developing countries where diets are high in fibre. In Western countries where many people still don’t eat enough fibre, Diverticular disease becomes more common as people get older.

About one in four adults is affected by the time they reach 60, and two-thirds are affected by the time they reach 85. Men and women are equally likely to be affected.

A diet low in fibre creates the ideal conditions for constipation to develop. When this happens, the pressure in the large part of the gut increases, which forces small parts of the gut lining outwards through the muscles surrounding the gut. This causes the lining to form small balloon-like pouches called diverticula.

Unless these become inflamed, many people won’t have any obvious symptoms. Indeed, they may only become aware they have diverticular disease when it’s found by chance during tests for another condition. Under these circumstances, to prevent future problems developing, it’s advisable to increase the amount of fibre in the diet to avoid constipation.

When the diverticulae are not inflamed those who have symptoms find that their symptoms tend to come and go. Episodes of abdominal pain, bloating, and the passing of excess wind are common. These are often accompanied by a change in their normal bowel movements, with constipation or diarrhoea, or both, alternating.

Dietary advice to increase the amount of fibre is a first action and sometimes medication is recommended for use when needed.

If someone with diverticulitis is unwell, they may be treated at home with painkillers, antibiotics, laxatives and dietary advice. However, diverticulitis is often severe, and can need hospital treatment with antibiotics and fluids.

For those people experiencing occasional diarrhoea as a result of Diverticular disease then being able to get on with normal activities whilst feeling secure is important. As a result for the majority of our customers with this condition the best product to use they have found to be Tena Pants Super. The advantage of using this type of pull-up disposable underwear is that it can be used in a smilar way to normal underwear but has the security of a built-in highly absorbent pad as well as elasticated leg cuffs and waistband for security against leakage. The side tears mean the product can be quickly and easily be removed after use without having to remove clothing fully.

More information on Diverticular Disease can be found on the BUPA Website.


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