The World’s First Diverticular Disease Awareness Week!

2nd October 2023

This week (2nd-8th October) is the World’s First Diverticular Disease Awareness Week! Have you heard of it?

Diverticular disease affects 1 in 3, increasing to 1 in 2 people during their lifetime. Diverticula are permanent pockets that develop in the bowel and in some people, they can cause symptoms.

What does diverticular disease look like?

The terminology surrounding diverticular disease can get a little confusing, so let’s break it down:

  • Diverticulum: A diverticulum is a small pouch about 1cm in size which sticks out from the wall of the large bowel.
  • Diverticula: This refers to more than one Diverticulum. The most common site for diverticula is on the lower part of the large bowel on the left-hand side. They are permanent unless the affected part of the bowel is surgically removed.
  • Diverticulitis: Diverticulitis means the condition that occurs when a single diverticulum or several diverticula become inflamed or infected.
  • Diverticulosis: You may have heard the term diverticulosis, which means the presence of diverticula, this is not the same as diverticular disease. Most people with diverticulosis do not have, or go on to develop, diverticular disease. The great majority of people with diverticulosis will live out their lives never having symptoms. Having symptoms is diagnosed as diverticular disease.

How can diverticular disease affect you?

Most people with diverticular disease will never have any complications and can carry on with their daily lives as normal, but there are people who will be greatly affected by symptoms of diverticular disease.

Symptoms

The most common symptoms are:

  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Bloating (increase in abdominal size due to gas)
  • Change in bowel habit (diarrhoea or constipation)
  • Mucus or blood in the stool

The pain is commonly focussed on the left side of the abdomen (belly) where the diverticula most often occur. In a small number of people, and people of South Asian origin, symptoms may occur on the right-hand side of the abdomen.

This week, we’re also raising awareness of the symptoms of diverticulitis (when the pocket/s can become infected). Diverticulitis can occur within between 1 in 10 to a quarter of people with the condition, so it’s crucial that you know the symptoms. If any of the below symptoms are experienced, seek medical help immediately:

  • Worsening abdominal pain
  • High temperature
  • Nausea (feeling sick) or vomiting (being sick)

Let’s #GetParticularWithDiverticular

During October 2023, we bring you the World’s First Diverticular Disease Awareness Week, running from 2nd – 8th October inclusive.

We see and hear you. We hear your worries and nobody should suffer alone. Diverticular disease is an underfunded digestive condition that needs more attention. We need to get expert patient information in the hands who need it most, raise more public awareness and change lives with more research.

Meet Diverticular Dave! If you follow us on social media, you can get involved with Diverticular Disease Awareness Week by sharing your diverticular disease stories with the hashtag #GetParticularWithDiverticular and tagging us @gutscharityuk. Please share and help us build a community, raise awareness and take strides for our guts!

We can give our guts the support they so desperately deserve and we can help people to know their normal. We can empower them to seek help when something isn’t right. Donate £3.00 per month to Guts UK today – play your part in helping the UK get to grips with guts.

Our upcoming Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) into diverticular disease

Guts UK is delighted to announce we’ll soon begin a ‘Priority Setting Partnership’ (PSP) into diverticular disease. This will give you the opportunity to have your say and tell us what research you’d like to see into diverticular disease. Together with healthcare professionals, other patients and family members, you can decide the top 10 priorities for research into diverticular disease. Read more and sign up for updates here.

It is important that robust research continues into the causes and treatments for diverticular disease. Guts UK is the only UK charity funding research into the digestive system from top to tail. We’re proud to produce patient information for diverticular disease and we’re here to help, please contact us with any questions.

Where can I get more information on diverticular disease?

You can find out more detailed information on diverticular disease in our patient information.

About us

Guts UK’s vision is of a world where digestive diseases are better understood, better treated and where everyone who lives with one gets the support they need. We fund life-saving research into diseases of the gut, liver and pancreas.

Champion our cause; help us fight digestive diseases and change the lives of millions of people in the UK by supporting our work today.

 

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