Diverticulitis is a painful condition that happens when small pouches in the colon, or large intestine, become inflamed or infected. David Magner, MD, FACS, FASCRS in Beverly Hills, California can diagnose and treat this prevalent condition in the most minimally-invasive way possible, making sure you’re able to return to your normal life as quickly as possible. The main symptoms of diverticulitis are lower abdominal pain and fever, if you think you might have diverticulitis, call the office or book online to set up an appointment today.
Diverticulitis happens when diverticula, or pouches on the side of the colon, become infected and cause severe abdominal pain. The diverticula only cause problems when they become inflamed or infected.
This medical condition is widespread, occurring in roughly 50% of men and women over age 60 in the United States.
The exact cause of diverticulitis is still unknown. When bacteria grow in the diverticula pouches along the side of the colon, these pouches can become inflamed or infected. Doctors think diverticula form when pressures within the colon push on weak spots in the colon lining.
A high-fiber diet produces bulky stool that the colon can easily push out. When insufficient fiber is present, the stool might be small and hard, requiring considerable pressure from the colon to move it out.
A low-fiber diet can also lengthen the amount of time stool spends in the colon, which also increases pressure on the colon wall.
Symptoms of diverticulitis might last a few hours or several days. Common symptoms may include:
To diagnose diverticulitis, Dr. Magner performs an exam to rule out any other possible causes of your abdominal pain and other symptoms. He may test you to confirm diverticulitis, by performing blood tests, imaging studies, colonoscopy, or other diagnostic tests.
Dr. Magner treats your short bouts of diverticulitis with a liquid diet and antibiotics. In most cases, you can expect your diverticulitis to improve within a few days after this treatment. Early detection improves your chances of a rapid recovery, which is why it’s so important to schedule an appointment as soon as you think you might have diverticulitis.
If your symptoms persist beyond initial treatment, or the diverticulitis causes complications such as damage to the wall of your colon, you might need surgery to correct the problem.