Understanding Diverticulitis – and its Link to Diverticulosis
Diverticulitis is an inflammation of small pouches, or sacs in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which are the signature feature of an otherwise benign condition called diverticulosis. Symptoms of diverticulitis include chronic pain in the lower abdominal region, bloating, and frequently nausea. The pouches of diverticulosis occur most often in the last part of the colon, also referred to as the large intestine. The causes of diverticulosis and diverticulitis attacks are not completely understood. Although not proven, the dominant theory is that a low-fiber diet can cause diverticular disease. Other GI conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Inflammatory Bowel Disease, which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, cause similar symptoms, which makes proper diagnosis important. A colonoscopic examination can provide a definitive diagnosis. Palmadessa & Brodsky Gastroenterology Associates provides state-of-the-art diverticulitis diagnosis and treatment for patients from throughout Queens like Flushing, Jamaica, Fresh Meadows, and beyond at our advanced endoscopy center practice.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Diverticulitis
Diverticulosis often develops with age. It is common by age 50, and by age 60 half of all people have diverticulosis. Yet most of those affected never experience diverticulitis symptoms. The condition is often diagnosed during colonoscopies performed for colorectal cancer screening or in evaluation of lower abdominal discomfort. Treatment for diverticulosis includes increasing fiber intake by eating more fruits, grains and vegetables, sometimes called a diverticulosis diet. Antispasmodics for the colon may be prescribed. Mild attacks of diverticulitis are treated with antibiotics. Untreated, diverticulitis can lead to abscesses or an infection of the lining of the abdominal cavity, which may require hospitalization. Repeated bouts of diverticulitis may require surgery to remove affected portions of the colon. Proper management can help avoid diverticulitis attacks and their complications.
At Palmadessa & Brodsky Gastroenterology Associates, we diagnose and prescribe treatments for patients close by and throughout Queens, New Hyde Park, Laurelton, St. Albans, College Point, Whitestone, and surrounding areas near you. If you are affected by this or other GI disorder, get the advanced GI care you need now, and schedule a consultation with one of our board certified specialists today!