A perforated colon or diverticulitis as it is known medically is when there is a perforation caused by a blockage in the bowels. This condition may cause leaking of waste matter into the abdominal cavity. Perforated colons occur when there is a severe blockage in the intestinal tract which gets infected. If left untreated, the infection will cause the intestinal lining to burst, resulting in possibly fatal symptoms.
Symptoms of a perforated colon may range from almost unnoticeable in some mild cases, to extreme and deadly if the perforation goes ignored for too long. Some common symptoms can be fever, chills, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, and mild to severe lower abdominal pains and cramping.
There are methods to treat a perforated colon lightly at first with the use of barium enemas, colonoscopy, or the guided drainage of the discovered perforated colon mass by using a CT scan. By inducing the elimination of the blockage, the actual aggravated perforation will heal itself with the aid of antibiotics.
These methods are attempted to see if these less invasive solutions provide positive results. If these methods prove unsuccessful, then surgery is needed to correct the perforated colon. If a perforated colon is not treated in adequate time, or if the rupture of the intestinal wall is large, this will result in the seepage of waste material into the abdominal cavity, resulting in fecal matter infecting the individual’s blood stream. This of course is a very serious condition that may cause toxic shock and eventually death.
For this reason, any signs and symptoms of a possibly perforated colon should not go ignored. The earlier perforated colon symptoms are discovered and the sooner the treatment, the less the possibility that surgery will be needed. The possible side effects of surgery are serious and can include internal bleeding, intestinal obstruction, abscess and peritonitis. However, medical professionals state that the benefits of surgery far outweigh the consequences of a perforated colon if left untreated for any amount of time!
A low fiber diet is very commonly also recommended for patients with a perforated colon after surgery to give the digestive tract a rest, therefore giving it time to heal by itself. Antibiotics are used at this time to heal the probable infection caused by the blockage. After healing, the patient will then be placed on a high fiber diet in order to encourage the digestive tract to do its job and efficiently carry waste out of the body and to reduce the chance of renewed blockage that might induce yet another bought of perforated colon symptoms.
Surgery to treat perforated colon is said to work a high percentage of the time, and is counted on to be very effective against the possibility of suffering from the dangerous condition again. It is also said that sticking to a high fiber diet greatly increases the functionality of the digestive tract, therefore making blockages that result in a perforated colon less likely. Doctors also advise people who have suffered from the condition to stay away from certain food products that might increase their mucoid plaque production, such as nuts and seeds.