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Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis

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Diverticulitis

A diverticulum is a sac like protrusion or pockets  in the wall of the colon, and when you have  diverticulum, you are known to have  diverticulosis. Whenever this pocket gets inflamed  due to  infection it is called diverticulitis.

With diverticulosis you may or may not experience any symptoms .  If you are having diverticular bleeding, diverticulitis  or colitis you are known to have diverticular disease.

Diverticulitis is the third most common gastrointestinal illness that requires hospitalization and the leading cause for colon surgery. Risk factors associated with diverticulitis include high dietary intake of red meat,  low dietary fiber intake , lack of vigorous physical  activity, obesity, and smoking

Symptoms:

  • Lower abdominal pain (mostly left sided)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Low grade fever
  • Change in bowel habits
  • Urinary symptoms like urgency, frequency and burning urination due to bladder irritation  from inflamed sigmoid colon.
  • Complications of diverticulitis include abscess , colonic or small bowel obstruction due to narrowing of the lumen due to inflammation, fistula formation and perforation of the bowel

Treatment:

You might be prescribed medications depending upon the severity of the disease. If you are stable you can be treated with oral antibiotics and pain medications. Unstable patients need to be hospitalized for  administration of IV antibiotics and fluids and bowel rest is recommended until feeling better.

Dietary Modifications and supplement:

To prevent recurrence high fiber diet is recommended They do not need to avoid seeds , corn and nuts. Use of Anti-inflammatory agents like mesalamine need further studies.

Recurrent Diverticulitis:

Surgery is offered for patients with recurrent attacks to prevent the development of complications.

Colonoscopy:

After complete resolution of symptoms associated with acute diverticulitis,  colonoscopy is recommended in 6-8 weeks , except for patients  who had colonoscopy within the previous year. Colonoscopy assess the extent of the diverticular disease and exclude a concomitant colon cancer which can mimic the presentation and /or radiographic features of diverticulitis.

Do you need treatment for diverticulitis? Call Gastroenterology Institute Of Orlando, at 407-201-3686 to learn more about treatment!


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