What's diverticulitis? That's what fight fans want to know in the wake that UCF fighter Brock Lesnar is headed back to the ring after being sidelined with the digestive disorder. Keep clicking to get answers to five must-know questions about diverticulitis...
What causes diverticulitis?
No one knows the exact cause. But doctors think the problem may arise when people don't get enough fiber in their diets. Eating lots of low-fiber processed foods, such as white bread, crackers, and many breakfast cereals, can lead to constipation. That, in turn, can cause people to strain to move their bowels - which can cause the tiny sacs or pouches to form in the intestine. If stool collects in these pouches, inflammation or infection can result - in other words, diverticulitis.
What are the symptoms?
Common symptoms include bloating or gas, nausea, vomiting, and tenderness in the lower left side of the abdomen. In addition, some people with diverticulitis don't feel hungry and may not eat much. The symptoms often start suddenly and worsen over a few days.
How is diverticulitis treated?
Treatment depends on the severity of symptoms. Pain can often be controlled with bed rest, often with a heating pad on the belly, as well as with pain medications. Antibiotics can be helpful too. Often it's helpful to consume only fluids for a day or two.
What about avoiding foods?
Some foods can make symptoms worse, so it can be very helpful to avoid these. Which ones? Beans, peas, coarse grains, coconut, corn, popcorn, dried fruits, tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers, and pickles. In addition, it's often a good idea to avoid the skins of fruits and vegetables. Nuts and seeds can be iffy too - ask your doctor. Coffee, tea, and alcohol should be limited, as they can cause constipation.
Who gets diverticulitis?
Diverticular disease affects men and women, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. It is most common in people over the age of 40.