Diverticulitis: Symptoms, Causes and Diagnosis

Diverticulitis: Symptoms, Causes, and Diagnosis in Cypress and The Woodlands, TX

Diverticulitis is inflammation (swelling) and infection that bulges outward through the colon, or large intestine. Dr. Nsikak Umoh at The Woodlands Colon and Rectal Associates can help you diagnose and treat diverticulitis and other colon problems. Contact us today for more information or schedule an appointment online. We have convenient locations to serve you in Cypress, TX and The Woodlands, TX.

Diverticulitis Specialist Near Me in Cypress, TX and The Woodlands, TX
Diverticulitis Specialist Near Me in Cypress, TX and The Woodlands, TX

Table of Contents:

What causes diverticulitis?
What are the symptoms of diverticulitis?
What are the complications of diverticulitis?
How is diverticulitis diagnosed?
When should I see the doctor for diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis is the inflammation of the small pouches (diverticula) that line the large intestine (colon). Diverticulitis can cause small, painful sores in the lining of the colon, called diverticulitis lesions. It can also cause severe stomach pain and diarrhea, which may be bloody. Diverticulitis is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment with antibiotics to stop the inflammation and decrease the risk of complications.

What causes diverticulitis?

The small pouches or sacs known as diverticula usually develop when naturally weak places in the colon give way under pressure, causing pouches the size of a marble to protrude through the wall of the colon.

Diverticulitis occurs when diverticula tear; this causes inflammation and can also lead to infection.

There are several risk factors associated with the chance of developing diverticulitis, including:

• Aging — The likelihood of diverticulitis increases with age
• Obesity — People who are significantly overweight are at much higher risk of developing diverticulitis
• Smoking — People who smoke cigarettes or use tobacco products are more likely to experience diverticulitis than are people who do not smoke
Lack of Exercise — People who live a sedentary lifestyle are at higher risk of developing diverticulitis; the opposite is also true: vigorous exercise appears to lower the risk of diverticulitis
Diet — Although the role of low fiber alone is not clear when a low-fiber diet is in combination with a high intake of animal fat, it seems to increase the risk
Certain Medications — There are a number of drugs that are associated with an increased risk of diverticulitis, including opioids, steroids, and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve)

What are the symptoms of diverticulitis?

The signs and symptoms of diverticulitis include:

• Pain, which is characterized by:
o Constant and persisting for several days
o Affecting the lower left side of the abdomen
• Nausea and vomiting
• Fever
• Abdominal tenderness
• Constipation or, less commonly, diarrhea

What are the complications of diverticulitis?

Complications from diverticulitis occur in about 25 percent of cases; these may include:

• An abscess (pus collects in the pouch)
• A blockage in the bowels caused by scarring
• An abnormal passageway (fistula) in the bowels
• Peritonitis (infected or inflamed pouch ruptures)

The complications of diverticulitis can be much more difficult to treat than the condition in its early stages, requiring more invasive procedures and longer recovery times; it is crucial to seek treatment as soon as possible in order to minimize the risk of complications.

How is diverticulitis diagnosed?

In most cases, diverticulitis is diagnosed when symptoms are currently flaring up (also known as a diverticulitis attack). In order to make an accurate diagnosis, the doctor will need to rule out other causes for the symptoms because abdominal pain can indicate a number of problems. Initially, the doctor will perform a physical examination, which will include checking the patient’s abdomen for tenderness. For women, a pelvic examination is typically performed as well to rule out pelvic disease.
Doctors may perform the following tests:

• Blood and urine tests
• Pregnancy test for women of childbearing age
• A liver enzyme test
• A stool test
• A CT scan

When should I see the doctor for diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis should always receive professional medical treatment from a qualified doctor as it can develop into severe complications without treatment. Furthermore, it is imperative to seek immediate medical attention for diverticulitis when experiencing constant, unexplained abdominal pain, especially when a fever, constipation, or diarrhea are also present.
 
If you are experiencing symptoms related to diverticulitis, come to The Woodlands Colon and Rectal Associates for treatment today. Call us to book an appointment with our diverticulitis treatment specialist, or visit our clinic. We serve patients from Cypress TX, The Woodlands TX, Shenandoah TX, Rose Hill TX, Conroe TX, Louetta TX, Tomball TX, Hockley TX, Montgomery TX, Cleveland TX, Houston TX, Kingwood TX, and Humble TX, Willis TX, and BEYOND.

Locations for The Woodlands Colon and Rectal Associates, PLLC

The Woodlands

  • 920 Medical Plaza Drive, Suite 330 The Woodlands, TX 77380
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Cypress

  • 27700 Northwest Freeway Suite 330 Cypress, TX 77433
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