Find out what factors could leave you prone to developing this digestive problem.
You may not hear a lot of talk about diverticulosis, a common condition in America that causes small pockets in parts of the lining of the digestive tract. While this condition doesn’t always cause symptoms, those who do experience symptoms may notice bloating, cramps or constipation. While this condition might seem innocuous, it can lead to some pretty serious complications including intestinal blockages, bleeding, and infection.
Your Longmont, CO gastroenterologist is here to point out the most common risk factors that could cause you to develop diverticulitis:
Age: It’s more common to be diagnosed with diverticulosis as you get older. In fact, about one in ten Americans over 40 years of age have diverticulosis while as many as half of Americans over the age of 60 have it.
Obesity: This is another factor that has been gaining attention as a risk factor for diverticulosis. This may have something to do with the fact that physical inactivity coupled with an unhealthy diet are also two risk factors for the development of this intestinal condition. Furthermore, being severely obese also increases your chances of needing more aggressive treatments for diverticulosis.
Smoking: It’s also been discovered that smokers are more likely to develop diverticulosis than non-smokers.
Sedentary lifestyle: Research has found that routine physical activity can actually reduce your chances of developing diverticulosis. Therefore, those who don’t participate in regular exercise are more likely to develop this condition.
Lack of fiber: This is one of the largest and most determining risk factor for developing diverticulosis. Furthermore, diets that are high in animal fats also put you at an increased risk for developing this condition. One study even found that maintaining a diet high in fiber might prevent those with asymptomatic diverticulosis from actually developing symptoms.
Some medications: Taking certain medications like steroids or NSAIDs (e.g. ibuprofen; naproxen) regularly can increase your chances of diverticulosis.
If you are displaying symptoms of diverticulosis or you are concerned about the risk factors, then it’s time to talk to your Longmont, CO gastroenterologist, Dr. Jonathan E. Jensen, about what you can do. Schedule an appointment today at Front Range Gastroenterology PC.