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Diverticulitis

Northern Medical Group Gastroenterology Division

GASTROENTEROLOGY PRACTICE LOCATED IN POUGHKEEPSIE, NY, FISHKILL, NY & HIGHLAND, NY

Diverticulitis is a painful problem affecting the tiny pouches inside the bowel. Patients who suffer from diverticulitis may have severe abdominal pain, constipation, nausea, and other unpleasant symptoms. Fortunately, the experienced gastroenterology team at Northern Medical Group Gastroenterology Division offers effective solutions that allow for a pain-free life again at last. To make an appointment, call their offices in Poughkeepsie, Fishkill, or Highland, New York, or request your visit online today.

Diverticulitis Q & A

What is diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis is a condition that affects the diverticula, the tiny pouches that can grow in your digestive tract. Although they're not present at birth, around half of the United States population has at least one diverticula by the time they're 60 years old. These diverticula form when weakened areas within the intestinal walls bulge outward. If those small pouches get inflamed or infected, it's known as diverticulitis.

How are diverticulitis and diverticulosis different?

Diverticulosis simply means the presence of diverticula. Diverticulosis usually causes no symptoms at all, although some diverticulosis sufferers have occasional abdominal discomfort. Because most patients who have diverticulosis never have symptoms, a diagnosis usually occurs only during diagnostic testing for another issue.

Diverticulitis occurs when inflammation or bacteria gets into the diverticula. It's entirely different from diverticulosis because it can cause severe pain and other difficult-to-manage symptoms.

What are the signs of diverticulitis?

The signs of diverticulitis usually start with abdominal pain, notably lower abdominal pain. Other symptoms of diverticulitis can include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Fever
  • Abdominal tenderness

If you have any of these symptoms, contact Northern Medical Group Gastroenterology Division to determine what’s causing them.

How is diverticulitis diagnosed?

Your medical history and your description of your symptoms are both critical in determining which diagnostic tools to use for a definitive diagnosis. Some diagnostic tools can include blood and stool tests, liver enzyme tests, and CT scans.

The team also uses colonoscopy to examine the inside of your intestinal tract to look for diverticula, inflammation, and infection.

How is diverticulitis treated?

Diverticulitis treatment can take several paths, depending on your symptoms, your age, your overall health, and other factors specific to you. Part of the treatment usually involves giving the bowel rest, which can mean short fasts, liquid diets, or different eating habits.

Your doctor might also prescribe oral or intravenous antibiotics. In severe cases, you might need an abdominal drainage tube or surgery, such as a bowel resection. They provide a follow-up colonoscopy to confirm that your treatment is successful and ensure that your condition does not have a link to cancer. 

Your gastroenterologist at Northern Medical Group Gastroenterology Division may prescribe antibiotics to clear up the infection and inflammation. 

For the expert treatment of diverticulitis, call Northern Medical Group Gastroenterology Division, or book online today.