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What is Diverticulosis & Diverticulitis?

Diverticulosis is a condition that describes small pouches in the wall of the digestive tract that occur when the inner layer of the digestive tract bulges through weak spots in the outer layer. Diverticulitis forms when these pouches become inflamed, or bacteria gather in them and cause an infection. If you develop diverticulitis you need to see a doctor to make sure you recover completely and to avoid possible life-threatening complications.

Symptoms Include:

Some symptoms of Diverticulitis include:

  • Nausea
  • Chills or fever
  • Severe abdominal pain and cramping
  • Bloating
  • Constipation, thin stools, or diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding

Causes

Aging and heredity are primary factors in the development of diverticulitis, but diet can also play a role. Eating a diet low in fiber and high in refined foods may increase the risk.

Diagnosing Diverticulitis

If you think you have diverticulitis, talk to your doctor. Your doctor can perform tests to diagnose the condition that may include, CT scan, X-rays or a Colonoscopy.

Treatment for Diverticulitis

Mild diverticulitis infection may be treated with stool softeners, a liquid diet, antibiotics to fight the inflammation, and possibly antispasmodic drugs.

If you have had a perforation or develop a more severe infection, you will probably be hospitalized so you can receive intravenous antibiotics. In addition, your doctor may want to drain infected abscesses and give the intestinal tract a rest by performing a temporary colostomy.

When Surgery is Necessary

If you have several attacks of acute diverticulitis, your doctor may want to remove the affected section of the intestine when you are free of symptoms. You may also need surgery if intravenous therapy does not effectively treat an acute attack of diverticulitis.

At the Surgery Group of LA, we know how painful and uncomfortable Diverticulitis can be. Combining state-of-the-art medical facilities with compassionate, patient-centered care, we work hard to determine effective treatment for every patient so that they find relief. Call us today to schedule an appointment with a colorectal surgeon in Los Angeles.

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