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Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is a condition where there is infection in the tiny areas of weakness in the large intestine. Feces can get stuck in these weak pouches (diverticulum) and lead to inflammation and infection. This condition usually affects people over the age of 60 years. There is inflammation or infection in the diverticulum. Diverticula can form in different parts of the digestive tract, be it the esophagus, small intestine or stomach. It is associated with diets low in fiber. Diverticulitis is noticed in persons from developed nations who partake refined, high fat food. Fiber in the diet prevents constipation and allows for easier passage of stools. This prevents formation of bulging diverticulum. If left untreated, Diverticulitis can lead to bleeding and blockage thereby causing serious illness.


Abdominal pain is a primary symptom of diverticulitis. There is tenderness around the left side of the abdomen and may be accompanied by fever, vomiting, chills and cramps. Often a person suffering from diverticulitis may not exhibit any symptoms. There may be difficulty in passing urine and frequent need to pass urine. Diverticulitis is usually diagnosed during routine checks for intestinal problems and colorectal cancer. CT scan and blood tests can aid in the diagnosis.


When a patient is suffering from diverticulitis, a low-fiber and clear liquid diet is usually recommended. A high fiber diet helps in keeping diverticulitis at bay. Fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains make for high fiber content. Drinking plenty of water will help prevent constipation. Antibiotics are prescribed to treat any inflammation and infection. Surgery is resorted to in cases where the diverticulum forms an obstruction. Changes in diet can go a long way in treating diverticulitis. Read more on diverticulitis diet to make modifications and add fiber to your meals.

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

The cause for pelvic pain is often difficult to diagnose. Tissues around the pelvic organs might suffer increased or reduced sensitivity or irritation leading to pain in the area. Pelvic floor disorders can manifest as urinary incontinence or fecal incontinence. Typical pelvic disorders include interstitial cystitis, pelvic inflammatory disease or digestive disorders such as diverticulitis and colitis. Cystitis, irritable bowel syndrome, pelvic congestion and Vulvovaginitis> are other pelvic conditions that lead to pelvic pain. Infections, pregnancy and childbirth, incorrect posture, trauma or surgery can lead to pain in the pelvic area.


Symptoms in Women


  • Frequent urination with incomplete sensation
  • Pelvic pain
  • The feeling of incomplete bowel movement
  • Vaginal or rectal prolapse (sagging of the vagina or rectum)
  • Rectocele (protrusion of the rectum into the vagina)
  • Cystocele ( herniation of the bladder into the vagina)
  • Enterocele (a herniation of the intestine into the vagina)
  • Sigmoidocele (a herniation of the sigmoid colon into the vagina)


Symptoms in Men:


  • Urgency and frequency in urination
  • Pain in testes and pain on ejaculation
  • Reduced urinary flow
  • Levator Ani Syndrome (pressure and pain in the sacrum)
  • Constipation or strain during bowel movement

For constipation, low dose muscle relaxants are prescribed. Lifestyle changes in diet and physical activity are recommended. Rectal prolapse and rectocele may be treated through surgery. Cold laser involving a process wherein low-intensity laser light is applied to the tissue easing the pain and inflammation.



Intestinal Obstruction

A complete or partial blockage of the bowel thereby preventing intestinal content to move through is termed as intestinal obstruction. The bowel comprises the large intestine and the small intestine. When there is a block in either of them, the condition shows up. Intestinal content like fluids, food and gas do not pass through completely or partially due to this condition.


Intestinal obstruction is also known as paralytic ileus, bowel obstruction or colonic ileus. The blockage or obstruction may cause pain that is intermittent. If left untreated, intestinal obstruction may lead to death of those parts of the intestine that are blocked leading to further complications. However if treated on time, intestinal obstruction can be treated effectively.


What causes intestinal obstruction?

Common causes for intestinal obstruction:


  • Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease

  • Tumors in the small intestine

  • Intestinal adhesions, bands of fibrous tissue in the abdominal cavity that are formed after the pelvic or abdomen surgery.

  • Intussusception

  • Volvulus i.e. twisted intestine.

Mechanical causes for intestinal obstruction arise from


  • Hernia
  • Tumor, Colon cancer
  • Stricture, narrowing of the colon caused by inflammation or scarring.
  • Diverticulitis
  • Impacted stool, noticed in people who get constipated for long periods.
  • Post surgery scar tissues or adhesions.
  • Gallstones in a few cases
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease.

Paralytic ileus or pseudo-obstruction is a major cause of intestinal obstruction in children and infants. Conditions that cause paralytic ileus include:


  • Complications from an abdominal surgery or pelvic surgery.
  • Kidney or lung disease
  • Bacteria or virus that cause intestinal infections
  • Decreased blood supply to the intestine
  • Abdominal infections like appendicitis
  • Chemical, mineral or electrolyte imbalance
  • Substance abuse like use of narcotics
  • Muscle and nerve disorders like Parkinson's.

Symptoms include abdominal pain and cramping, distention and bloating. There is reduced appetite and vomiting. An obstruction in the intestines can lead to either constipation, diarrhea or flatulence. After physical examination, Xray or CT scan of the abdomen might be suggested as also . In some cases, an enema or stent is required to open up a partial blockage. Nasogastric tube (tube from nose to stomach) is passed so as to relieve abdominal swelling and vomiting. Volvulus of the large bowel may be treated by passing a tube into the rectum.


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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: October 16, 2017