Diverticular disease is a common condition that affects the large intestines. Though it rarely causes problems, some people with diverticular disease develop diverticulitis, which may require immediate medical intervention. At Gotham Gastroenterology, with locations throughout New York City in the Midtown East and Financial District neighborhoods of Manhattan, New York, and Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, the skilled gastroenterologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of diverticulitis. For comprehensive care from an experienced team, contact the office nearest you by phone or book your appointment online today.
Diverticular disease, also called diverticulosis, is a condition that causes small out-pouchings (diverticula) in the lining of your gastrointestinal tract. Though they can occur anywhere along your digestive tract, they are most often found in the left side of the large intestine.
Diverticular disease is very common, especially in older people. Though the cause of diverticular disease is still under investigation, it’s believed that the changes in the lining of the digestive tract may be related to abnormal contractions and spasms of the muscle, which creates a weak spot in the intestinal wall.
Most people with diverticular disease rarely have symptoms. However, the sacs in your gastrointestinal tract may become infected and lead to diverticulitis.
Diverticulitis occurs when the pouches in your large intestine become infected or inflamed, which may happen if the diverticula tears.
Diverticulitis is an acute condition of diverticular disease. You may be at greater risk of developing diverticulitis if you’re obese, you’re a smoker, or you eat a low-fiber diet. Aging and certain medications also increase your risk of developing diverticulitis.
With diverticulitis, you may experience a dull aching sensation on the left side of your lower abdomen. The pain may last days or weeks. In addition to the discomfort, you may also develop a fever or nausea and vomiting.
Constipation is also a common symptom of diverticulitis.
Though abdominal discomfort may develop from many causes, you should contact Gotham Gastroenterology if you’re experiencing prolonged, unexplained abdominal pain.
The team at Gotham Gastroenterology conducts a comprehensive evaluation to diagnose diverticulitis. During your exam, they review your symptoms and medical history, and then perform a physical exam.
To confirm or rule out diverticulitis, diagnostic testing may be performed, such as bloodwork, a urinalysis, stool tests, or a CT scan.
The team develops an individualized treatment plan for diverticulitis based on the severity of your infection and symptoms. If your inflammation and infection is mild, the team may treat your diverticulitis with bowel rest and antibiotics.
In severe cases, surgery to remove the infected portion of your large bowel may be needed, along with intravenous antibiotic therapy.
Diverticulitis is a complication of diverticular disease that requires medical management. For expert care from an experienced team, call Gotham Gastroenterology or book online today.