What is Diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis refers to inflammation or infection of one or more diverticula, which are small pouches that can form in the wall of the colon or large intestine. Diverticula are common, especially in older adults, and are usually harmless and asymptomatic. However, when these pouches become infected or inflamed, it can lead to diverticulitis, which can cause a range of symptoms such as abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, changes in bowel habits, and bloating. In severe cases, diverticulitis can cause complications such as abscesses, fistulas, or perforations of the colon.

Diverticulitis is typically diagnosed through a physical examination, medical history, and imaging tests such as computed tomography (CT) scans or ultrasound. Treatment for diverticulitis may involve antibiotics to control infection, dietary modifications such as clear liquids or low-fiber diet, and pain management. In some cases, hospitalization may be required for severe diverticulitis or complications. Prevention of diverticulitis may involve maintaining a high-fiber diet, staying hydrated, regular exercise, and avoiding straining during bowel movements. Adherence to treatment plans, follow-up appointments with healthcare providers, and lifestyle modifications are important in the management and prevention of diverticulitis.

When is it necessary to see a doctor?

It is necessary to see a doctor if you suspect you may have diverticulitis or if you have a history of diverticular disease and your symptoms worsen or persist, it is important to seek medical attention promptly. A doctor can perform a physical examination, order imaging tests, and prescribe appropriate antibiotics or other treatments to manage diverticulitis and prevent complications.

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