The term diverticulosis simply describes the presence of diverticula. Diverticulitis is the clinical syndrome resulting from inflammation of a diverticulum. Diverticular colitis – mucosal changes are thought to be an idiosyncratic inflammatory response to diverticulitis.
Causes of diverticular disease
In diverticulitis, retained undigested food mixed with bacteria accumulates in the diverticular sac, forming a hard mass. This substance cuts off the blood supply to the thin walls of the sac, making them more susceptible to attack by colonic bacteria. Inflammation follows, possibly leading to perforation, abscess, peritonitis, obstruction, or hemorrhage. Occasionally, the inflamed colon segment may produce a fistula by adhering to the bladder or other organs.
Diverticula probably results from high intraluminal pressure on areas of weakness in the GI wall, where blood vessels enter. Diet may also be contributing factor because insufficient fiber reduces fecal residue, narrows the bowel lumen, and leads to higher intra abdominal pressure during defecation.
Sign and symptoms of diverticular disease
Diverticulosis usually produces no symptoms but may cause recurrent left lower quadrant pain, which is commonly accompanied by alternating constipation and diarrhea and is relieved by defecation or the passage of flatus. Symptoms resemble irritable bowel syndrome and suggest that both disorders may coexist.
Mild diverticulitis produces moderate left lower abdominal pain, mild nausea, gas, irregular bowel habits, low grade fever, and leukocytosis.
In severe diverticulitis, the diverticula can rupture can rupture and produce abscesses or peritonitis, which occurs in up to 20% of such patients.
Symptoms of rupture include abdominal rigidity and left lower quadrant pain. Peritonitis follows releases of fecal material from the rupture site and causes signs of sepsis and shock (high fever, chills, and hypotension). Rupture of the diverticulum near a vessel may cause microscopic or massive hemorrhage, depending on the vessel’s size.
Chronic diverticulitis may cause fibrosis and adhesions that narrow the bowel’s lumen and lead to bowel obstruction. Symptoms of incomplete obstruction are constipation, ribbon like stools, intermittent diarrhea, and abdominal distension. Increasing obstruction causes abdominal pain and rigidity, diminishing or absent bowel sounds, nausea, and vomiting.
Investigations for diverticular disease
Barium enema – diverticulosis is readily detected.
Abdominal CT is also effective for diagnosis
Colonoscopy – if chronic bleeding or insidious change in bowel habit, symptoms which may be caused by cancer of sigmoid colon which can be over looked on barium enema, in presence of diverticular disease.
Homeopathic treatment for diverticular disease
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat diverticular disease but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several remedies are available to treat diverticular disease that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensations and modalities of the complaints. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. There are following remedies which are helpful in the treatment of diverticular disease:
China, Hydrastis, Arsenic Album, Aloe, Bryonia, Lac Can, Cheledonium, Picric Acid, Alumina, Ammonium Mur, Arsenic Album, Bromium, Calcaria Carb, Crotolus H, Medorrhinum, Nitric Acid, Phosphorous, Sepia, Sulphur, lycopodium, Phosphoric Acid, Rhododendron, Ginseng, Manganum Act, and many other medicines.