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Acute Diverticulitis vs. Diverticulosis Case Study

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Updated: Jun 19th, 2022

Many people are reported to complain of abdominal pains that are accompanied by blood in stool and fever. The situation commonly occurs will the elderly people who are said to be above 70 years in most cases (Burch & Tort, 2018). Diverticulitis is the swelling of the left side of the colon due to the presence of bulges. This paper aims to discuss the contrast between diverticulosis and diverticulosis by answering the questions given. The questions to be answered include the findings that support the diagnosis, the risk factors associated with diverticulitis, and why antibiotic and intravenous antibiotics and fluids are mentioned in the case.

When comparing and contrasting between diverticulosis and diverticulitis, it is important to consider the stage. Diverticulosis is the presence of one or more bulges in a body organ such as the colon wall, while diverticulitis is the swelling and infection of one or more bulges in a body organ (Thompson, 2016). Diverticulosis is a common issue and rarely causes symptoms and needs no treatment. On the other hand, diverticulitis can be treated by distortion of antibiotics, and surgery can be an option if the condition is severe. Both diverticulosis and diverticulitis share a feature known as diverticula, a situation where one or more bulges form in the wall of a patient’s large intestines.

Diverticulosis is commonly reported in the western world and may occur in different ways. It is noted in 10% for people aged 40 and above and 50% for people 60 years and above (Thompson, 2016). The rate of diverticulosis rises as the person’s age increases and affects nearly everyone at 80 years and above (Thompson, 2016). The two diseases are caused by what scientists assume is of consuming enough fiber. However, diverticulitis is yet to be analyzed on what may lead to specific conditions, but researchers relate to bacteria’s presence in the stool that gets attached to diverticula.

The other key feature to compare is the symptoms with diverticulosis having tenderness and moderate abdominal pain. Additionally, patients who have diverticulosis have reported swelling and constipation (Burch & Tort, 2018). Diverticulitis symptoms include severe pain in the abdomen’s left side, which can start randomly or develop gradually. Fever, chills, nausea, and rectal bleeding are other forms of symptoms that a patient can have when suffering from diverticulitis.

Clinical findings from the case study that support acute diverticulitis diagnosis include various types of complications that the 84-year-old patient has. First, the patient has left lower quadrant abdominal pains accompanied by nausea, fever, and vomiting. From the research, it is reported that the symptoms are likely to be associated with diverticulitis. Acute diverticulitis is present in the patient because diagnoses done in the clinic have shown that there is blood in her stool (Thompson, 2016). The findings support the diagnosis of acute diverticulitis and not diverticulosis because there are severe symptoms that reveal that the condition is serious.

Several risk factors lead to the development of diverticulitis. First is age, as it is reported that as the person’s age increases, do does chances of having diverticulitis (Thompson, 2016). Secondly, obesity is a common factor that may lead to this condition. When a patient is seriously overweight raises the chances of developing the condition. The third risk factor is consuming a diet that is high in animal fat and has low fiber (Thompson, 2016). If a person consumes a low fiber diet and combines that with a high intake of animal fat, there may be risks of getting acute diverticulitis. Other factors that may lead to these conditions include if the patient is under certain medications associated with risks of getting the condition. For instance, steroids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, and others may increase the chances.

The inclusion of antibiotics in the case study is because diverticulitis has not yet developed to complicated levels. Treatment f diverticulitis has been associated with antibiotics with oral agents for patients with moderate infection. Intravenous antibiotics and fluids are useful to treating the condition if it deteriorates (Burch & Tort, 2018). Delivering antibiotics through IV is relevant because bacteria formation and survival will be minimized. The intravenous antibiotics will be helpful if the diverticulitis will be resistant to oral administration. It is also important to note that diverticulitis at some stages may require a high dosage that would not be administered orally (Thompson, 2016). When intravenous antibiotics are included, it is possible to switch the oral administration after a while if the condition does not turn positive.

From the analysis, diverticulosis is different from diverticulitis because it does not show symptoms and requires no treatment. It means diverticulitis is a development of severe diverticulosis. The discussion shows that the condition is mostly associated with the older group. The risk factors for acute diverticulitis infection are age, obesity, and low intake of fiber foods. The disease can be diagnosed by scanning, and antibiotic administration aids in treatment. However, if the condition is resistant to oral antibiotics, intravenous antibiotics and fluids can be used. People can prevent diverticulitis by exercising and avoiding smoking.


Burch, J., & Tort, S. (2018). For people with diverticulitis, how does mesalamine (5-ASA) compare with placebo for the prevention of recurrence? Cochrane Clinical Answers, 2(7), 6-14. Web.

Thompson, A. (2016). Diverticulosis and diverticulitis. JAMA, 316(10), 11-24. Web.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Acute Diverticulitis vs. Diverticulosis." June 19, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/acute-diverticulitis-vs-diverticulosis/.


IvyPanda. (2022) 'Acute Diverticulitis vs. Diverticulosis'. 19 June.

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