Diverticulosis can be diagnosed in patients with pouching in the colon, called diverticula, coming from the mucosa and submucosa levels without inflammation (Shih et al., 2022). Many patients do not know of this pouching until a chronic episode happens or a colonoscopy is performed. Age has been identified as the number one risk factor for diverticulosis and diverticulitis (Shih et al., 2022). Diverticulitis usually occurs if the disease progresses and an acute attack can cause patients to come to the hospital. Acute diverticulitis can cause bleeding and severe pain usually bacteria enter the lamina propria because of the damage from diverticulosis progression and inflammation occurs (Barbaro et al., 2022).
Clinical findings in the case study that support a diagnosis of acute diverticulitis can include occult stool. Blood in the stool can be an important clue to how far the disease has progressed (Shih et al., 2022). A fever can also be a sign of acute diverticulitis showing that the lining in the diverticula has thinned and that bacteria is invading (Barbaro et al., 2022). Another clinical finding is abdomen distension which can be associated with inflammation. This finding combined with others can help lead to the diagnosis.
One big risk factor for diverticulitis is age the case study indicates that the patient is 84 years old (Shih et al., 2022). A few other risk factors include smoking, obesity, drinking alcohol, and genetics may also play a role in the development of diverticulitis (Barbaro et al., 2022). Nurse practitioners can add diverticulitis to the list of diseases that patients should consider when leading unhealthy sedentary lifestyles.
Fluids and antibiotics are common in cases of acute diverticulitis. Many patients present with dehydration from vomiting, insensible water loss from fever, and not being able to eat because of severe stomach pain all requiring rehydration. Antibiotics can help with inflammation if the inflammation is caused by bacteria invading the body and if there are micro or even bigger perforations (Barbaro et al., 2022). Lastly in an acute case, many times doctors keep patients nothing by mouth until all results are in and the disease process is diagnosed in case of the need for emergent surgery this necessitates fluid rehydration.
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