Tagged: cause of diverticulitis
- Norm RobillardKeymasterFebruary 2, 2014 at 3:28 pmPost count: 438
Scientists don’t know for sure why diverticula form or why they become inflamed causing diverticulitis. Diverticula form at weak points in the large intestine possibly due to intestinal pressure where they occur. The relatively narrow part of the large intestine (called the sigmoid colon) where most diverticula occur is believed to have the highest pressure. The source of pressure could be intestinal gas or possibly the strain of going to the bathroom.
Because diverticulitis was believed to occur more often in developed nations where processed foods containing less fiber are popular, lack of dietary fiber was suggested as a potential cause. The idea was supported by observational studies on fiber, suggesting that dietary fiber in general and cellulose fiber in particular , could reduce the risk of diverticular disease. But a recent study evaluating the role of fiber in diverticular disease found that the opposite was true. People who ate more total fiber, fiber from grains, soluble fiber, or insoluble fiber were more at risk. The study also found that constipation, physical activity, dietary fat and red meat consumption were not linked with the condition. Similarly, some online sources recommend avoiding nuts, seeds, corn, and popcorn, but as there is little evidence to support these recommendations.
But why do diverticula become inflamed? The small openings of diverticula may limit blood flow or trap fecal matter and bacteria in the pouch leading to infection. Dysbiosis, a loss of balance between healthy and disease-causing bacteria, could be a contributing factor.
Here is a place to discuss the science of what causes diverticulitis.
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