Diverticulosis is an illness of a weakened digestive system. It happens when a person consumes too much unhealthy diet like fatty fast food or processed ingredients. Over many years, the walls of the bowels get very weak and start to form “pockets” or “pouches” (from which diverticulosis is named). There may be one or more pouches which form, mostly in the large intestine (where the stool or feces are temporarily stored until toilet time). Half-digested food or the waste products of digestion then gets trapped within these pouches; especially if these are the fatty, low-fiber kind which tends to stick to the walls. This slows down digestion and allows bad bacteria to grow quickly. The end-results are infections and inflammation among other complications.
The symptoms that diverticulosis patients experience depends on the stage of the illness. If it is still early on, the following could be some of the common symptoms:
- An irregular change from normal toilet habits.
- Constipation or a bloated feeling in the abdomen which gets relieved if the passing of stool is successful.
- Difficulty in passing out stools.
- Some mild pain or tenderness in the lower abdomen which starts and stops (not continuous).
- Nausea or feeling sick and want to vomit.
- Possible diarrhea.
- Hyperacidity on stomach due to stress.
- Appetite could, later on, be affected.
- Some difficulty in movement (ie. walking, sitting).
Diverticulosis is a long-term disease and may leave patients feeling exhausted and frustrated.
If the diverticulosis sufferer can alter his or her lifestyle in time, then the illness could be managed with the patient having a relatively comfortable quality of life. But if the patient continues with business as usual then there is a high chance of diverticulosis getting much worse. Infection and inflammation of the “pouches” can lead to diverticulitis.