Diverticulitis is a relatively common condition that affects approximately 58% of adults over the age of 60. It is a complication of diverticulosis, the condition of weakening in certain areas of the inner wall of the colon. This weakness allows the colon to bulge and for small pouches to form. Diverticulosis often occurs without symptoms. It is often discovered when a person has an abdominal CT or colonoscopy for another reason. Fortunately, only a small percentage of people who develop diverticulosis progress to diverticulitis, the condition in which the pouches that form in the colon become inflamed or infected.
The Signs of Diverticulitis
The most common signs of diverticulitis infection and inflammation are fever and abdominal pain. This is usually felt on the lower left side. Diverticulitis pain is distinctly sharp. In addition to the pain, a person may also develop bloating and abdominal cramping, loss of appetite, or nausea and vomiting.
Mild cases of diverticulitis may resolve spontaneously within a few days. If fever, abdominal pain, and other symptoms of this infection last longer than 2 days, are severe at their onset, or get worse rather than better in a 48 hour period, it is necessary to seek medical attention at a nearby emergency room. Summit Healthcare provides a physician-staffed Emergency department 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Prompt medical attention allows the doctor to determine the severity of diverticulitis and the best way to resolve the inflammation quickly.
Diverticulitis is categorized as either uncomplicated or complicated. Uncomplicated diverticulitis is confined to one section of the colon and does not show signs of complicating factors. This type of infection may be treated with prescription antibiotics that are taken daily at home. The patient may also be placed on a clear liquid diet for a few days to allow the bowel to rest. Complicated diverticulitis involves a specific complication of some sort. In these cases, the doctor may prescribe IV antibiotics to be administered in the hospital. If necessary, surgery may be discussed to repair the extended, inflamed section of the colon.
Summit Healthcare delivers exceptional, compassionate care close to home. Contact our facility in Show Low, AZ today to schedule a visit with an appropriate provider.