Diverticulitis symptoms can be limited to severe. Many people with diverticulitis have little or no discomfort or symptoms.
What is Diverticulitis?
When the small pouches in the colon bulge outward through weak spots, like an inner tube that pokes through weak places in a tire, the pouch is called a diverticulum. Pouches (plural) are called diverticula. The condition of having diverticula is called diverticulosis. When the pouches become infected or inflamed, the condition is then called diverticulitis, and this happens in 10 to 25 percent of all people with diverticulosis. Diverticulosis and diverticulitis are also called diverticular disease.
Diverticulosis of the Colon Often Diagnosed During Colonoscopy
After a colonoscopy many people are surprised to find the have diverticulosis. It is very common since 40 to 60 percent of people have them and they become even more common as you age. The condition is very common and usually don’t cause any problems. Diverticulosis only causes symptoms if one of the diverticula bleeds or gets infected. When bleeding does occur, it tends to be intense for a short period, but usually stops on its own. The cause of the diverticular bleeding may be that something injured a blood vessel in the pouch. Even if bleeding stops on its own, you can still lose a considerable amount of blood, so you should see one of the doctors at Digestive Care Physicians.
Signs and symptoms include:
- Pain, which may be constant and persist for several days. The lower left side of the abdomen is the usual site of the pain. Sometimes, however, the right side of the abdomen is more painful, especially in people of Asian descent.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Abdominal tenderness.
- Constipation or, less commonly, diarrhea.
This information was provided by the Mayo Clinic.
The board certified physicians at Digestive Care Physicians based north of Atlanta are skilled at diagnosing and treating mild and severe cases of diverticulitis.
Treatment for diverticulitis focuses on clearing up the infection and inflammation, resting the colon, and preventing or minimizing complications. An attack of diverticulitis without complications may respond to antibiotics within a few days if treated early.
An acute attack with severe pain or severe infection may require a hospital stay with treatment by antibiotics and a liquid diet. In some cases, however, surgery may be necessary.