Diverticulosis results when pockets in the walls of the colon form and become inflamed. Houston Regional Gastroenterology, with locations in Sugar Land and Humble, Texas, can help if you’re part of the population that suffers from this common condition. If you’ve recently experienced changes in your bowel habits, have belly tenderness, or experience abdominal pain, call one of the locations or schedule online for a diverticulitis evaluation.
When small pouches, called diverticula, form in weak areas of your colon, you have diverticular disease. These pouches usually form in the area closest to your rectum. You may have the presence of diverticula with no symptoms; this is known as diverticulosis.
When the pouches inflame, and you experience irritation, you receive a diagnosis of diverticulitis. With the inflammation of diverticulitis, diverticula can rupture or bleed, cause pain, and result in digestive distress.
Why some people develop diverticular disease isn’t fully understood. The pouches are thought to form due to excess pressure in the colon. People who enjoy a diet high in red meat and low in fiber are often more likely to develop diverticular disease.
The occurrence of diverticulitis increases with age. You’re also at greater risk if you’re obese, smoke, or lead a sedentary lifestyle.
Diverticular disease doesn’t always cause symptoms. But, if the diverticula become inflamed with diverticulitis, you might experience:
Diverticulitis can also cause blood in your stool. The inflamed diverticula of diverticulitis can also rupture, causing complications such as abscesses and colon blockages. Diverticulitis complications include peritonitis, a condition in which your intestine’s contents spill into your abdominal cavity. Any of these cases require immediate medical attention.
If you suspect a serious complication of diverticular disease, contact Houston Regional Gastroenterology right away for treatment.
If you have inflamed diverticula, you may benefit from antibiotics to reduce pain, prevent further infection, and reduce any fever. Ruptured diverticula may call for surgery to remove the affected part of the colon. Dietary changes, such as a reduction in red meat and an increase in fiber, can help prevent future complications of diverticulitis.
If you have the presence of diverticula, but not the inflammation associated with diverticulitis, Houston Regional Gastroenterology recommends you make these dietary changes, too.
Don’t ignore symptoms of diverticulitis. Call Houston Regional Gastroenterology at the office nearest you or book an appointment using the online tool.