Diverticulitis Symptoms & Treatment
Dr. Carlos A. Barba in Brownsville and Harlingen, TX
Diverticulitis is the inflammation or infection of one or more diverticula in the digestive tract, which are small pouches that form commonly after the age of 40 and usually don’t cause problems. However, the inflammation or infection of one of these pouches can lead to many complications and symptoms.
Symptoms of Diverticulitis
Diverticulitis has to be diagnosed by a physician. Usually it is diagnosed through a colonoscopy or barium enema X-ray. Of course, there are some common symptoms that may indicate Diverticulitis such as:
- Constant and persistent pain in the abdomen, usually on the lower left side
- Blood in stool
If you are experiencing these symptoms across multiple days, book your appointment online or call Dr. Barba!
Risk Factors of Diverticulitis
Some of the risk factors that can lead to increased chances of diverticulitis include the following:
Smoking – Studies have shown that people who smoke cigarettes are more likely to develop diverticulitis than people who do not smoke.
Age – The chance of experiencing diverticulitis increases with age, usually over the age of 40
Lack of Exercise – Frequent exercise can lower the risk of developing diverticulitis
Obesity – Not only can being overweight dramatically increase the chances of developing diverticulitis, but it also can add complications to the surgery
Diet – While not the biggest factor, a diet that’s high in animal fat and low in fiber can possibly increase chances of experiencing diverticulitis.
Treatment for Diverticulitis
Mild diverticulitis may be cured by changing diets and rest or minor medical treatment like draining the abscess in the colon/abdomen, but more severe cases may require surgery. Usually less than 10% of people with diverticulitis need surgery and can be cured through the help of Dr. Barba. However, severe cases that require surgery may involve:
- Repeated attacks of diverticulitis
- Fistula formation between the colon and adjacent organ
- An infected diverticula that spreads to other parts of the body
- Colon obstruction
- Severe bleeding
Multiple different surgeries can cure diverticulitis depending on each individual case. Usually, a partial colectomy is done to remove the diseased part of the colon and reconnecting the reaming parts. In rare cases, multiple surgeries are needed in sequence to cure diverticulitis.
For More Information
Contact the general surgery office of Dr. Carlos A. Barba by calling (956) 621-4981 or filling out our secure appointment request form.