The myths to be debunked on diverticulosis

Written by: Prof. Sergio Morini
Edited by: Top Doctors®

Who suffers from diverticulitis can not eat dried fruits? False! The reason is told by Prof. Sergio Morini, an expert in Gastroenterology in Rome

It often happens that repeated statements acquire insistently the value of documented truths and are disseminated as such. Not infrequently, unfortunately, some "traditional" signs are perpetuated despite studies that have proved unfounded. Therefore, the door remains ajar to unnecessary or sometimes harmful prescriptions or prohibitions. So let's look at some myths to discredit and some obscure points to clarify.

"Those who suffer diverticulitis can not eat nuts"
The limitation of seeds, nuts, peanuts, tomatoes, kiwi, etc., for the risk of penetrating diverticulitis diverticulum cause or perforation has proved not useful; Several studies have excluded any relationship between them. Even less justified is the exclusion of blueberries or strawberries, due to their small seeds (achenes) that represent the real fruit. Gastrointestinal Surgeons survey of Americans found that 53% of them believe that the ban has no value, and many others did not have a clear opinion. Another study concluded that succinctly "peanuts and seeds do not increase the risk of diverticulitis or diverticular bleeding." More recently it has been discovered that even people who eat seeds and peanuts more often actually have a lower risk of developing bowel diverticula.

"Diverticulitis is very common"
Often, the diagnosis of diverticulitis is based on the appearance of pain in the left side of the abdomen. Actually, this is almost always caused by a spasm of the sigma musculature, which is very developed. In these cases, it is sufficient to use antispasmodics and avoid fruits and vegetables for a few days. The frequency of diverticulitis, in the past is estimated between 10% and 20% in diverticolosici, is currently considered not to exceed 1% -3% in one study lasted 11 years. The diagnosis of uncomplicated diverticulitis should be based on clinical signs (prolonged pain and fever), laboratory signs (increased white blood cell count and erythrocyte sedimentation rate or C-reactive protein) and imaging tests (CT abdomen ).

"Antibiotics are indispensable in all cases of diverticulitis"
In cases of established diverticulitis, antibiotics are usually prescribed. The controlled studies of the last years have questioned that the therapy with antibiotics in the acute uncomplicated diverticulitis is indispensable. Two important studies from northern Europe compared two groups of 300 patients admitted for surgery uncomplicated acute diverticulitis documented by computed tomography. Only one of the two groups received antibiotics. The conclusions were that antibiotic treatment does not speed healing, does not prevent any complications or relapses within a year after the event. Certainly, they should be prescribed for the treatment of complicated diverticulitis. Therefore, the prescription of antibiotics will be evaluated from case to case, as indicated by the Italian Guidelines and many other countries.

Diverticulitis is more common in smokers and obese subjects
More than one myth, however, is a fact that diverticulitis occurs more frequently in obese subjects, smoking, less unbalanced diet. On the other hand there is not enough considering the fact that some medications such as cortisone, NSAIDs, aspirin, increase the risk of perforations, diverticular diverticulitis, and bleeding. In people with diverticula, therefore, the indispensability of these medications must be evaluated.

Diverticulars and polyps are the same? Here is the difference of our expert!

Publisher: Valerio Bellio

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Prof. Sergio Morini

Prof. Sergio Morini is an expert in Gastroenterology and Digestive Endoscopy.
He was Primary of Gastroenterology and Digestive Endoscopy at the New Regina Margherita and San Giacomo Hospital in Rome until 2010 and was a consultant for the screening of Cancer Cancer of ASL RM A from 2010 to 2013. He has been formed at prestigious international centers and was a member of the Board of the Italian Society of Digestive Endoscopy for the implementation of guidelines on screening and surveillance of colon polyps. He is author of over 120 articles and over 100 communications published in national and international magazines. He has been Rapporteur at National and International Congresses. He was President of the Italian Association of Hospital Gastroenterologists.

He is currently an Adviser to the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic and a Consultant to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

Your personal case is over thirty thousand diagnostic and operative endoscopy, including esophageal treatments (sclerosis and varicose veins, peptic stenosis, neoplastic and acalaxy dilatations, prosthesis and laser therapy); gastro-duodenal ulcers (hemorrhage treatment, polyposis removal, stenosis dilatation, insertion of duodenal prostheses, removal of foreign bodies) endoscopic interventions on bilio-pancreatic pathways (ampulectomy, sphinctomotomy, calculus extraction and biliary and pancreatic prosthesis, cystic drainage pancreatic) and the ileo-colon tract (polypectomy - beyond 5000 -, neoplastic, inflammatory, postoperative, haemorrhaging, foreign body extraction, etc.).

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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