If you’ve been having stomach pain, there are several conditions that could be the cause. Diverticulitis is just one of them. If you’re not familiar with diverticulitis, take a look at the common symptoms, treatments and risk factors, then schedule a doctor’s appointment to get the diagnosis and treatment you need.
What Is Diverticulitis?
This condition affects the digestive system. More specifically, diverticulitis describes an issue in which diverticula – which are small pouches – form in the colon. In most cases, diverticula exist without incident, but sometimes they become infected, at which point they may lead to extreme pain.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms?
The main symptom of diverticulitis that signals a possible problem is constant pain in the belly. While the pain can occur on both sides of the belly, it’s commonly felt on the left. Other symptoms that often come with diverticulitis include bloating, diarrhea, gas, constipation, nausea and vomiting. Loss of appetite, chills and a fever are also common when you have diverticulitis.
What Are the Treatments?
The treatment you need depends on how severe your symptoms are. If you only have mild symptoms, you can start your treatment with antibiotics for the infection and acetaminophen to relieve the pain. If your case of diverticulitis is more severe, you may need to be admitted to a hospital to get antibiotics intravenously. This may be followed by surgery to remove any affected parts of your intestine.
Are There Ways to Prevent Diverticulitis?
You may be able to reduce your chance of getting diverticulitis by reducing the risk factors that apply to you. For example, some common risk factors are obesity, old age, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking and a diet that has too little fiber. In addition, some medications – such as steroids and ibuprofen – can increase your chance of getting diverticulitis. Obviously, not all of these risk factors can be changed, but making adjustments wherever you can should help prevent this condition.
If you suspect you have diverticulitis, it’s important to schedule an appointment as soon as possible to get the treatment you deserve. Please call Ocala Infectious Disease and Wound Center today to set up an appointment with our caring staff.