Symptoms of Diverticulitis
Many people develop diverticulosis and never know it. This harmless condition causes pouches to develop on the wall of the colon. If one of these pouches becomes infected or irritated this is known as diverticulitis. While we aren’t entirely sure what causes this condition, it is believed that a person’s diet plays a role in the development of diverticulitis. One theory is that people who don’t get enough fiber in their diet may be prone to developing this digestive problem.
Symptoms of diverticulitis can last anywhere from a few hours to over a week or more. It’s a good idea to come in for a check up if you are experiencing any of these symptoms:
- Stomach pain on the lower left side that may become worse when you move
- Diarrhea (or constipation)
- Lack of appetite
When you come in for care, we will discuss your symptoms with you and ask you questions regarding your medical history. Then we will need to perform tests to determine whether your symptoms are due to diverticulitis or an infection. Common tests include a complete blood panel, X-rays and a CT scan.
The treatment plan we create for you will really depend on the severity of your condition. In some cases, we will need to completely alter your diet for the interim until you are feeling better. This may mean switching to a liquid diet and then adding in solid foods as you begin to feel better.
You will also be prescribed antibiotics and pain medications. Make sure to always follow directions for these medications. Even if you start to feel better, you will need to continue with your round of antibiotics until it is completely finished. Only in rare cases when these treatment options fail is surgery the best way to treat diverticulitis.