If you’re over 50, your risk of developing diverticulitis-related complications rises. At The Gastroenterology Group, the experienced gastroenterologists offer diagnostic testing to identify diverticulitis symptoms like inflammation and infection that can develop in your intestinal tract. They also customize care plans to treat abdominal pain and other symptoms of diverticulitis so that you can feel better. Call The Gastroenterology Group at their Akron, Ohio office today to schedule a consultation for diverticulitis symptoms or book an appointment online.
Diverticula are small, bulging pouches that develop in the digestive system, most often in the lower part of the large intestine (colon). These pouches develop when weak spots in your colon give way and allow the tissue to protrude through the colon wall.
While the growth of these pouches is common, especially in people over 40, some pouches can become inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection is called diverticulitis.
Besides age, other risk factors for diverticulitis include:
If left untreated, diverticulitis can lead to severe pouch infections (abscesses) or a blockage in your bowel. You can also develop abnormal passageways (fistulas) between your bowel and other organs.
In the most severe cases, an infected pouch can rupture, causing peritonitis, a condition where the infected contents of your intestines spill into your abdominal cavity. Peritonitis is a medical emergency. Go immediately to the nearest hospital emergency room or call 911 right away.
You should schedule a diagnostic evaluation at The Gastroenterology Group if you have diverticulitis symptoms like:
The gastroenterology team can order blood and urine tests to confirm an underlying infection in the diverticula. You might also need a CT scan to identify inflamed pouches in your intestinal tract.
Your treatment plan for diverticulitis depends on the symptoms you’re having and how severe they are.
If you have an infection, you need antibiotics to clear it. You might also need to eat a bland, liquid diet to give your bowel time to heal.
More serious diverticulitis symptoms can require intravenous (IV) antibiotics and the insertion of a tube into your gastrointestinal tract to drain infected pus.
Surgery can be needed for those with diverticulitis-related complications, like fistulas, bowel abscesses, or tears in the bowel wall. More complex surgeries, like bowel resection procedures, will be necessary if you have severely damaged or diseased intestines that aren’t treatable with more conservative therapies.
If you need diagnostic testing for symptoms of diverticulitis, call The Gastroenterology Group today to schedule an appointment or book a consultation online.