The disease of structure small outpouchings (diverticula) in the muscular wall of the large intestine (the bowel) that form in weak areas of the bowel is known as diverticulosis. The sigmoid colon, a high-pressure region of the large intestine, is where they most commonly occur.
Diverticular disease is extremely common in Western cultures, affecting 10% of people over 40 and 50% of people over 60. A lack of roughage (fiber) in the diet is a common cause of constipation. Diverticulitis may develop from diverticulosis in some cases.
About 10% of people with outpouchings have diverticular disease complications. Infection or inflammation (diverticulitis), bleeding, and obstruction are all examples of diverticulitis symptoms. Constipation management and antibiotics, if necessary, are part of the treatment for diverticulitis. Surgery to remove the diseased segment of the colon is the last resort for those who have experienced significant complications.
Signs and Symptoms of Diverticulitis
It is possible for diverticulitis, an infection, and inflammation of the diverticula, to occur suddenly and unexpectedly.
For example, diarrhea and/or constipation, as well as abdominal pain and tenderness, may be signs of diverticulitis.
The signs and symptoms of diverticulitis can be mistaken for those of colitis (larger segment of colon inflammation). Appendicitis typically causes pain in the lower right abdomen, whereas diverticulitis typically affects the lower left. Because the treatments for these conditions are so different, a timely and accurate diagnosis is critical.
What Is the Prognosis for Diverticulosis?
Diverticulosis without symptoms or complications does not necessitate treatment, but a high-fiber diet is recommended to help prevent the growth of new diverticula in the intestines.
If you have diverticulosis, you should avoid laxatives and enemas at all costs.
Diverticulitis Can Lead to a Range of Complications.
Diverticulitis can lead to serious complications. A tear or perforation in the intestinal wall is the most common cause. Gut waste can leak from the intestines and cause a variety of issues in the surrounding abdominal cavity.
· Abscesses (infections that have been “walled off” in the abdomen)
· Obstruction (blockage of the digestive tract) (blockages of the intestine)
· If there is an abscess, the doctor will need to use a needle to remove the pus. The abscess may necessitate surgery to remove a portion of the colon and clean the abscess. If the infection spreads into the abdominal cavity (peritonitis), surgery is required to remove the infected portion of the colon and clean the abdominal cavity. Peritonitis can be fatal if left untreated.
· A partial or complete blockage of the colon’s lining can result from infection-induced scarring. Emergency surgery is not required for a partial blockage. When the blockage is complete.
You could be diagnosed by your physician by:
· For the most accurate diagnosis of diverticulitis, an abdominal or pelvic CT scan is required. If the condition is severe enough, it can also be used to guide treatment. A contrast agent may be administered intravenously (IV). Drinking an oral contrast material an hour before the scan is also an option. Radiologists are able to see more clearly your digestive tract and other internal organs thanks to both materials.
· Inflamed, infected pouches can be seen in the colon’s interior through a small camera.
· Ultrasound-Pelvis: Ultrasound uses sound waves rather than ionizing radiation to produce images of the organs in the abdomen. Ultrasound images, on the other hand, lack the level of detail provided by CT scans, making them ineffective for evaluating the intestines.
· Diverticulitis may necessitate an x-ray of the lower gastrointestinal tract.
· Urine tests, on the other hand, are used to detect signs of infection and inflammation. Among these warning signs is an increase in levels of the white blood cells in the blood.
Your doctor may ask you to take a pregnancy test if you are of childbearing age. Pregnancy as a cause of abdominal pain can be ruled out with this test.
A visit to the doctor should be made as soon as possible if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of diverticulitis.
Doral Health Experts
A physical examination, which may include an abdominal exam, and questions about your medical history (including bowel habits, symptoms, diet, and current medications) will be performed by your doctor.
There may be a need for a diagnostic procedure. Blood tests and computed tomography scans are two common procedures.
A colonoscopy may be ordered by a doctor if a patient is experiencing heavy, rapid rectal bleeding.
The digestive system necessitates specialized attention from a multidisciplinary team. Our gastroenterologists treat patients with pancreatic, liver, gallbladder, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and colon diseases or disorders. Call us today at 347-868-1016.