If you experience long-lasting or severe abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, or constipation, diverticulitis might be the culprit. At North Texas Gastroenterology Associates PLLC in Sherman and Anna, Texas, Joseph Kim, MD, Jermaine Clarke, DO, MBA, and their highly trained team can diagnose and treat diverticulitis to reduce unpleasant symptoms and complications. Call the office today for an appointment or use the online booking tool.
If you have diverticulitis, small, inflamed, or infected, bulging pouches appear in your large intestine. The condition affects about half of people over 60. While some people with diverticulitis don’t experience any symptoms, others have unpleasant symptoms that can interfere with their life.
If you experience diverticulitis, you could notice some of the following symptoms:
About 25% of people with short-term diverticulitis develop complications from the disease. Examples include an abscess with pus, infections, inflammation, bleeding, tears, bowel blockages, abnormal passageways in your bowel, and pouch ruptures (peritonitis).
Peritonitis can cause the intestinal contents to spill into your abdominal cavity. That’s a medical emergency requiring immediate attention.
While anybody can develop diverticulitis, certain things boost your risk of developing it. Examples include being older or obese, smoking, being physically inactive, eating a low-fiber diet or a diet high in animal fat, and taking some medications.
To find out if you have diverticulitis, a specialist reviews your medical history and symptoms. They complete a physical exam, check your abdomen for tenderness, and do a pelvic exam if you’re a woman.
Your doctor might recommend other diagnostic tests, including blood tests, urine tests, stool tests, liver enzyme tests, CT scans, and a colonoscopy.
Depending on how severe your diverticulitis is and whether you experience complications, your GI specialist will suggest one of the following treatments:
Get regular exercise, eat high-fiber foods, take probiotics if your doctor recommends it, drink a lot of fluids, and avoid smoking. Your specialist could suggest that you follow a liquid diet for a specific period of time.
Taking over-the-counter medicines to relieve your symptoms or prescription medications to improve intestinal healing can be part of your diverticulitis treatment.
If you experience a severe diverticulitis attack or serious complications, your specialist will probably recommend that you spend time in the hospital. There you can receive intravenous antibiotics and/or undergo surgery.
Don’t live with unpleasant diverticulitis symptoms or complications when help is within reach at North Texas Gastroenterology Associates PLLC. Call the office today for an appointment or use the online booking system.