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Diverticular Disease

Diverticula are outpouchings of the bowel wall prone to filling with fecal deposits. The occurrence of diverticula is referred to as diverticulosis. Most people have these from a certain age upwards. Diverticulosis is not usually accompanied by any symptoms. However diverticula may become inflamed when bacteria from fecal deposits penetrate the bowel wall. This inflammation, called diverticulitis, can recur and have a wide range of severity. It is not clear at the present time what causes diverticula to form but it is known that people living in industrialized nations develop diverticula and their complications more frequently than people living in developing countries. This has led some researchers to suspect that this might be a result of diet, which in industrialized countries contains significantly less dietary fiber. The simple presence of non-symptomatic diverticula does not require any treatment.

Symptoms and Course of the Disease

The most frequently reported symptom of diverticulitis is pain in the left lower abdomen. Inflammation of these bowel segments may lead to disturbances in bowel movements which can sometimes manifest themselves as long periods of constipation but also diarrhea, bloating or increased flatulence (passing intestinal gas). Other complications may occur later in the course of the inflammation. More dangerous is the situation in which pain, despite treatment, does not abate, if patients develop fever or the abdomen becomes hard.

Making the Diagnosis

Diverticulosis is often merely a coincidental finding during a large intestine colonoscopy or enema. Diagnostic work-up is completed with an ultrasound examination and if required, an X-ray examination of the abdomen.

Forms of Treatment

Once present, diverticula cannot be reversed by drugs. In non-symptomatic diverticulosis food rich in dietary fiber or bulking agents such as psyllium (Mucofalk®) is recommended for regulating stools as well as precautionary treatment of inflammation.
The first bout of acute diverticulitis is usually treated conservatively: depending on severity, the physician may recommend bed rest, avoidance of oral food intake, fluids by infusion administered, and antibiotics. If there is inadequate response to conservative therapy or a patient experiences frequent relapses or complications, surgery may be required.

Patienten für laufende Studie zu MORBUS CROHN gesucht!

Klinische Studie zur Beurteilung eines neuen, sich in der Erprobung befindlichen biologischen Medikaments. Der Name der Studie ist TRUST-2, was für „TRichUris Suis ova Trial“ steht.

Mehr als 200 Patienten mit MORBUS CROHN haben das sich in der Erprobung befindende Studienmedikament bisher in klinischen Studien eingenommen.

Die Studien zeigen eine Abnahme der Krankheitsaktivität und in der Mehrzahl der Fälle wurde Remission (beschwerdefreie Phase) erzielt. Die bisher beobachteten Nebenwirkungen betrafen zumeist den Verdauungstrakt.