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Diverticular disease is a digestive disorder caused by enflamed diverticula, or pouches, in the colon. A common cause is constipation due to lack of fibre in the diet. Diverticulitis is extremely common, and a half to two thirds of all people in Europe and North America will experience it, while around 6,500 people a year are admitted to hospital because of diverticulitis in the UK, and 440,000 in the US. Many more require outpatient treatment. Symptoms may include cramps, bloating, constipation, fever, nausea, vomiting, chills, abdominal pain, and rectal bleeding, while complications may include peritonitis. Treatment is with antibiotics, though lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise can make a great difference; a person's state of mind can also be an influence. This book looks at the treatment and self-management of diverticular disease - while the doctor can help, much can be done by the individual to minimise the effect of this condition. Subjects covered include: types of diverticular disease; diagnosis and tests; treatment, including laxatives, fluids and antibiotics; exercise and rest; diet and probiotics; and emotions and living with diverticular disease.
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About the Author

Peter Cartwright is an expert on digestive disorders and former Assistant Director of the National Association for Colitis and Crohn's Disease (NACC). He is author of Coping Successfully with Ulcerative Colitis, Sheldon Press, commended by the Medical Journalists' Association.

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