Acute diverticulitis management should be based on disease severity rather than age of the patient. In a retrospective analysis, the researchers compared the natural history and the course of acute diverticulitis in younger and older patients.
Patients younger than 50 had less severe diverticulitis, but a higher recurrence rate. Age was found to be the only positive factor for recurrence.
The results showed that acute diverticulitis is a mild disease with a low rate of complications. Among younger patients, males are more likely to develop diverticulitis than females, but the disease tends to be less severe in younger patients, despite a higher recurrence rate. The clinical course of acute diverticulitis is the same across different age groups, so treatment guidelines should be the same.
Medical treatments for diverticulitis include antibiotics to treat infection, liquid diet to allow bowels to heal, and over-the-counter pain relievers. In complicated cases of diverticulitis, surgery may be required, such as primary bowel resection, where the affected part of the intestine is removed and the rest of it is reconnected. Another option is bowel resection with colostomy if it is impossible to reconnect the colon to the rectum due to inflammation.
If diverticulitis is causing pain, there are home remedies you can try for relief. To reduce muscle cramping caused by diverticulitis, you can apply heat to the abdomen. Meditation, too, may be beneficial for pain management. If you still need to opt for a pain reliever, stay away from ibuprofen (Advil) and reach for acetaminophen (Tylenol) instead.
There are also some preventative measures you can try to lower your risk of developing diverticulitis.
Regular exercise, in particular, is beneficial for diverticulitis prevention, because it helps keep bowels regular and reduce the pressure on the colon. Added pressure can result in the formation of diverticula.
Fiber is essential for bowel regularity, too. And, in this vein, staying hydrated helps. Although fiber can help you stay regular, without enough fluids it can have the opposite effect. Staying hydrated improves bodily functions, so it’s important to drink enough water.