Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis Doctor in Orlando, FL

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What are diverticulosis and diverticulitis?

Many people have small pouches in the lining of the colon, or large intestine, that bulge outward through weak spots. Each pouch is called a diverticulum. Multiple pouches are called diverticula. The condition of having diverticula is called diverticulosis.

Diverticula are most common in the lower portion of the large intestine. When the pouches become inflamed or infected, the condition is called diverticulitis. If blood vessels going into the pouch burst, it results in a condition called diverticular bleeding.

Diverticulosis and diverticulitis together are called diverticular disease.

What are the symptoms of diverticulosis and diverticulitis?

Diverticulosis symptoms

Most people with diverticulosis do not have any discomfort or symptoms. However, some people may experience crampy pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen, bloating, and constipation.

 

Diverticulitis symptoms

The most common symptom of diverticulitis is abdominal pain. The most common sign on examination is tenderness in the lower left side of the abdomen. Usually, the pain is severe and comes on suddenly, but it can also be mild and become worse over several days. The intensity of the pain can fluctuate. A person may experience cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, or a change in bowel habits.

What are the complications of diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis can lead to bleeding; infections; small tears, called perforations; or blockages in the colon. These complications always require treatment to prevent them from progressing and causing serious illness.

What causes diverticular disease?

Although not proven, the dominant theory is that a low-fiber diet causes diverticular disease. The disease was first noticed in the United States in the early 1900s, around the time processed foods were introduced into the American diet. Consumption of processed foods greatly reduced Americans’ fiber intake.

Low fiber diets lead to constipation. Constipation or hard stool may cause people to strain when passing stool during a bowel movement. Straining may cause increased pressure in the colon, which may cause the colon lining to bulge out through weak spots in the colon wall. These bulges are diverticula.

It is not clear what causes diverticula to become inflamed. The inflammation may begin when bacteria or stool are caught in the diverticula. An attack of diverticulitis can develop suddenly and without warning.

How is diverticular disease diagnosed?

To diagnose diverticular disease, doctors at Orlando Gastroenterology ask patients about their medical history, perform a physical exam, and may perform one or more diagnostic tests. Because most people do not have symptoms, diverticulosis is often found through tests ordered for another ailment. For example, diverticulosis is often discovered during a colonoscopy screening for cancer or to evaluate complaints.

A doctor may order radiologic tests, including an abdominal ultrasound or a computerized tomography (CT) scan.

How is diverticular disease treated?

A high-fiber diet and pain medications help relieve symptoms in most cases of diverticulosis. Uncomplicated diverticulitis with mild symptoms usually requires the person to rest, take oral antibiotics, and be on a liquid diet for a short time.  Sometimes an attack of diverticulitis is serious enough to require a hospital stay, intravenous (IV) antibiotics, and surgery.

 

Diverticulosis treatment

Increasing the amount of fiber in the diet may reduce symptoms and prevent complications such as diverticulitis. Eating a high-fiber diet is the only requirement emphasized across medical literature.

If cramps, bloating, and constipation are problems, the doctor may prescribe a short course of pain medication. However, some pain medications cause constipation.

 

Diverticulitis treatment

Treatment for diverticulitis focuses on clearing up the inflammation and infection, resting the colon, and preventing or minimizing complications.

Depending on the severity of symptoms, the doctor may recommend bed rest, oral antibiotics, a pain reliever, and a liquid diet. If symptoms ease after a few days, the doctor will recommend gradually increasing the amount of high-fiber foods in the diet.

Severe cases of diverticulitis with acute pain and complications may require a hospital stay. Most cases of severe diverticulitis are treated with IV antibiotics and a few days without food or drink to help the colon rest. In some cases, surgery may be necessary.

The above information comes from The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. To ensure that you’re viewing the most up-to-date information, we recommend visiting the bleeding in the digestive tract entry at the NIDDK website.

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What are diverticulosis and diverticulitis?

Many people have small pouches in the lining of the colon, or large intestine, that bulge outward through weak spots. Each pouch is called a diverticulum. Multiple pouches are called diverticula. The condition of having diverticula is called diverticulosis.

Diverticula are most common in the lower portion of the large intestine. When the pouches become inflamed or infected, the condition is called diverticulitis. If blood vessels going into the pouch burst, it results in a condition called diverticular bleeding.

Diverticulosis and diverticulitis together are called diverticular disease.

What are the symptoms of diverticulosis and diverticulitis?

Diverticulosis symptoms

Most people with diverticulosis do not have any discomfort or symptoms. However, some people may experience crampy pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen, bloating, and constipation.

 

Diverticulitis symptoms

The most common symptom of diverticulitis is abdominal pain. The most common sign on examination is tenderness in the lower left side of the abdomen. Usually, the pain is severe and comes on suddenly, but it can also be mild and become worse over several days. The intensity of the pain can fluctuate. A person may experience cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, or a change in bowel habits.

What are the complications of diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis can lead to bleeding; infections; small tears, called perforations; or blockages in the colon. These complications always require treatment to prevent them from progressing and causing serious illness.

What causes diverticular disease?

Although not proven, the dominant theory is that a low-fiber diet causes diverticular disease. The disease was first noticed in the United States in the early 1900s, around the time processed foods were introduced into the American diet. Consumption of processed foods greatly reduced Americans’ fiber intake.

Low fiber diets lead to constipation. Constipation or hard stool may cause people to strain when passing stool during a bowel movement. Straining may cause increased pressure in the colon, which may cause the colon lining to bulge out through weak spots in the colon wall. These bulges are diverticula.

It is not clear what causes diverticula to become inflamed. The inflammation may begin when bacteria or stool are caught in the diverticula. An attack of diverticulitis can develop suddenly and without warning.

How is diverticular disease diagnosed?

To diagnose diverticular disease, doctors at Orlando Gastroenterology ask patients about their medical history, perform a physical exam, and may perform one or more diagnostic tests. Because most people do not have symptoms, diverticulosis is often found through tests ordered for another ailment. For example, diverticulosis is often discovered during a colonoscopy screening for cancer or to evaluate complaints.

A doctor may order radiologic tests, including an abdominal ultrasound or a computerized tomography (CT) scan.

How is diverticular disease treated?

A high-fiber diet and pain medications help relieve symptoms in most cases of diverticulosis. Uncomplicated diverticulitis with mild symptoms usually requires the person to rest, take oral antibiotics, and be on a liquid diet for a short time.  Sometimes an attack of diverticulitis is serious enough to require a hospital stay, intravenous (IV) antibiotics, and surgery.

 

Diverticulosis treatment

Increasing the amount of fiber in the diet may reduce symptoms and prevent complications such as diverticulitis. Eating a high-fiber diet is the only requirement emphasized across medical literature.

If cramps, bloating, and constipation are problems, the doctor may prescribe a short course of pain medication. However, some pain medications cause constipation.

 

Diverticulitis treatment

Treatment for diverticulitis focuses on clearing up the inflammation and infection, resting the colon, and preventing or minimizing complications.

Depending on the severity of symptoms, the doctor may recommend bed rest, oral antibiotics, a pain reliever, and a liquid diet. If symptoms ease after a few days, the doctor will recommend gradually increasing the amount of high-fiber foods in the diet.

Severe cases of diverticulitis with acute pain and complications may require a hospital stay. Most cases of severe diverticulitis are treated with IV antibiotics and a few days without food or drink to help the colon rest. In some cases, surgery may be necessary.

The above information comes from The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. To ensure that you’re viewing the most up-to-date information, we recommend visiting the bleeding in the digestive tract entry at the NIDDK website.

Make an Appointment

Name

Date of Birth:

Phone Number

Requested Date of Appointment

Time Requested

Additional Information