8 Causes of Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is an intestinal condition that may cause many problems. It starts out as diverticulosis, a relatively harmless condition. People who have diverticulosis develop diverticula which are small pouches along the intestinal walls. At first, these diverticula may not cause problems. However, if they get infected or inflamed, then diverticulitis sets in. The severity of diverticulitis can vary wildly. In some people, it may just be a small spot of inflammation. Others may develop an abscess or get a massive infection that eats a hole in the bowel. Infected diverticula along the beginning of the small intestine rarely cause issues while infected diverticula at the end of the colors can cause more severe issues. The condition is often hard to spot. People may just feel some light cramping, have occasional abdominal pain, get diarrhea or constipation, have some bloating, experience a fever, or see red blood in their stool. If left untreated, there can be severe complications, including intestinal blockage, abdominal bleeding, or fistulas. Therefore, it is important to get a diagnosis and begin treatment as soon as possible. You may want to visit a doctor and get checked for diverticulitis if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of the condition and have recently experienced one of these eight causes of diverticulitis.

1. Low Fiber Diet

One of the biggest causes of diverticulitis goes all the way back to the cause of diverticula themselves. Diverticula typically form from repeated pressure on the walls of the intestines. This tends to happen when a lot of hard, firm digestive material is repeatedly passing through the intestines. Unfortunately, many people tend to eat the type of diet that makes them more likely to develop the condition in their later years. In order to create stool that passes easily through the intestines without putting uneven pressure on the walls, people need to eat more fiber. Fiber is a nondigestive material found primarily in plant matter. Humans get it by eating whole grains, fruits with their skins on, and crunchy vegetables. Some fiber is a non-soluble type that helps to push other foods and stool through the digestive tract, and some fiber is a soluble type that forms a gel like substance that softens the stool. Women who are eating less than 25 grams of fiber a day and men who are getting less than 38 grams of fiber a day are technically eating a low fiber diet. A diet that mainly consists of meats, fats, and sugars without fiber can end up putting a lot of strain on the entire gastrointestinal tract.