Diverticulitis is a digestive issue that is caused by inflammation or infection in the Diverticula and is often associated with a diet high in animal fat and low fiber intake. This article explores the cause, symptoms, and treatment for Diverticulitis.
What Is Diverticulitis
Diverticula are small pouches that can form in the wall of the intestine. These pouches can become inflamed or infected. Diverticulitis has been classified into three types:
- Acute Diverticulitis: symptoms include fever, bloating, and constipation.
- Diverticulitis with abscess formation: Symptoms include vomiting and ileus (where your bowels stop working).
- Chronic Diverticulitis: This is when an individual has recurrent attacks.
The most common symptom of Diverticulitis is abdominal pain. The pain may be located on the left side of the abdomen, and it may worsen with movement.
Other common symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain that worsens with activity
- Weight loss – This symptom requires immediate medical attention to prevent peritonitis (a life-threatening complication).
Diverticulitis can also be caused by too much straining during bowel movements.
Treatment for mild cases of Diverticulitis may include rest, fluids, and over-the-counter pain medications.
Diverticulitis treatments often include prescription antibiotics. If Diverticulosis is causing severe pain, your doctor may recommend a hospital visit for intravenous antibiotics and fluids. In other more severe cases, surgery may be necessary.
Diverticulectomy: Surgery is needed when a patient’s symptoms do not improve after treatment or experience chronic symptoms for more than six weeks.
During this procedure, Diverticulitis is removed, and the affected area is closed off. This treatment presents an opening that allows mucus and gas to drain from your Diverticula and relieves pain. Diverticulostomy is not a surgical option for removing Diverticulosis; it is used as a preventive measure to avoid future episodes of inflammation.
A change in diet and lifestyle is often recommended as part of Diverticulitis treatment. Generally speaking: eat more fiber, drink lots of water, and exercise regularly.
The most common complications include:
- Peritonitis (inflammation of the peritoneum)
- Diverticulitis abscess
- Intestinal obstruction
- Fistula formation (an abnormal connection between two organs)
- Bleeding from the Diverticula
- Diverticular colitis (inflammation of the colon)
When To See A Gastroenterologist
You should see a gastroenterologist if you have severe abdominal pain, fever, and chills. These could be signs of a more severe infection.
Diverticulitis can lead to other health issues if it’s not treated correctly. So it’s essential to seek medical attention if you are experiencing any common symptoms.
Gastro Florida Can Help You With Diverticulitis
Do you need more information and care to help with your Diverticulitis symptoms? Gastro Florida’s team of professionals is here to help. Set up an appointment with us today, servicing several areas throughout Florida.