Most people with diverticulosis never develop symptoms, but you’ll know if diverticulitis strikes because it causes severe abdominal pain. The team at Palmadessa and Brodsky Gastroenterology Associates in Douglaston, New York, has extensive experience with the spectrum of diverticular conditions. They’re fully prepared to provide individualized treatment that relieves your pain and gets you on the road to recovery. At the first sign of lower abdominal pain, call Palmadessa and Brodsky Gastroenterology Associates or use the online booking to schedule an appointment.
Diverticular disease is the inclusive name for diverticulosis and diverticulitis.
This condition occurs when small pouches develop in your colon. The tiny sacs, called diverticula, push out through weakened areas of the colon wall. Diverticulosis can develop anywhere along your large intestine, but it most often occurs in the lower left side of your colon.
Diverticulitis is an active infection with inflammation in one or more of the protruding pouches. This condition often comes on suddenly and causes potentially serious complications.
Both diverticular conditions are associated with other diseases or disorders:
Diverticulosis is one of the most common causes of massive and painless rectal bleeding. While the bleeding often stops on its own, it can cause such a large amount of blood loss that it requires emergency medical care and hospitalization.
The ongoing inflammation of diverticulitis may cause complications such as:
An abscess is a swollen, infected, and very painful collection of pus. Ongoing inflammation may damage the tissues and create a tunnel or fistula between the colon and another organ like your bladder.
Bowel obstructions can block stool and cause constipation. A bowel perforation is a small tear that lets the infection spread to the lining of your abdomen, leading to peritonitis. Segmental colitis occurs when healthy colon tissue near diverticulitis becomes inflamed.
Other than bleeding, diverticulosis doesn’t cause symptoms. Diverticulitis, however, causes severe pain that’s often accompanied by fever, nausea, and a change in your bowel habits. Most patients develop constipation, but you may have diarrhea.
Antibiotics are the first line of treatment for active diverticulitis. While inflammation and pain are present, a soft or liquid diet helps promote healing. However, once your symptoms get better, a high-fiber diet is recommended to prevent future episodes of diverticulitis.
Your doctor at Palmadessa and Brodsky Gastroenterology Associates may recommend surgery if you develop complications or have frequent bouts of diverticulitis. Surgery typically involves removing the inflamed part of your colon or repairing problems such as a fistula.
If you develop sudden, severe abdominal pain, call Palmadessa and Brodsky Gastroenterology Associates or schedule an appointment online today.