Diverticulosis - Diverticulitis

Intestinal diverticula are small pouches that protrude from the intestinal lumen, most commonly found in the colon. Occasionally, these diverticula become inflamed, leading to diverticulitis. It has a high prevalence in the population, affecting 65% of those over 65 years old.

The presence of diverticula is very common in the population, especially after the age of 40. When these diverticula become inflamed, something that happens less frequently, they can cause health problems.

Diverticula form as a result of pressure in naturally weak spots in the intestine. Among the risk factors that can cause the tearing and inflammation of these structures are:

  • Age: the incidence of the disease increases with age.
  • Obesity and overweight.
  • Smoking: people who smoke are more prone to suffer from diverticulitis.
  • Lack of physical exercise.
  • Unhealthy diet: a diet high in fat and low in fiber can increase the risk.
  • Use of certain medications: drugs such as steroids, opioids, or NSAIDs are associated with an increased risk.

Symptoms

The majority of people with diverticula are asymptomatic, although they may notice bloating and cramping in the lower abdomen. When these diverticula become inflamed, the symptoms are much more evident, including:

  • Pain and tenderness in the lower abdomen that may last for several days
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Bloating and gas
  • Fever and chills
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite

Prevention

The appearance of diverticula cannot be prevented, but there are factors that can help reduce the risk of diverticulitis. Among them:

  • Exercise regularly, as it promotes proper bowel function and reduces pressure within the colon.
  • Increase fiber intake, prioritizing foods like fresh fruits or vegetables and whole grains.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Avoid tobacco consumption.

Number of observed variants

13.5 million variants

Number of risk loci

38 loci

Genes analyzed

ABO ARHGAP15 BDNF BMPR1B CCN3 CHRNB1 COA6 COL6A1 CRISPLD2 DISP2 EDEM1 EFEMP1 ELN FADD FAM185A GDNF GPR158 HAS2 INSC IRF8 LYPLAL1 METTL6 MMS22L NALF1 NT5C1B P2RY13 PDGFC PPIC S100A10 SLC25A13 SLC25A28 SPINT2 SREK1IP1 TRPS1 UBTF

Bibliography

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