When it comes to gastroenterological issues, most people know about irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease. However, not many people know about diverticulitis.
Diverticulitis is the infection or inflammation of pouches that can develop in your intestines. The pouches are called diverticula – if you have them, the condition is called diverticulosis. Diverticula can develop anywhere along the GI tract but are most common in the lower parts. They are vulnerable to bleeding and inflammation, especially if you eat an unhealthy diet.
Diverticulosis generally doesn’t have any symptoms. Most people are not even aware they have the condition until they subsequently develop diverticulitis. The most common symptoms associated with diverticulitis are:
- Cramps on the left side of the abdomen. The cramps generally subside after you pass gas or after a bowel movement
- Bright red blood in your bowel movement
- Severe abdominal pain
Treatment for diverticulitis depend on whether you have acute or chronic version of the condition. Acute diverticulitis can be treated with a liquid diet along with antibiotics. A liquid diet lets your intestines heal while the antibiotics help get rid of the infection. For most people, this treatment plan works, and they recover completely.
For some people, diverticulitis can be chronic. In such situations, you may need antibiotics intravenously. You will also need to make lifestyle and dietary changes to prevent the condition from becoming severe. This will include dietary modifications to include a lot of fiber as well as drinking a lot of water on a daily basis. Additionally, you will need to incorporate regular exercise in your routine.
If you develop complications, such an abscess in the abdomen, it will need to be drained. Another complication associated with diverticulitis is peritonitis or an infection of the membrane that lines the abdominal cavity. It is also possible to rupture your intestines. In such situations, you will need surgery to correct the damage. Going forward, you will need to eat a healthy diet with plenty of fiber and water intake. You will also need to exercise regularly.
It is important to prevent repeat episodes of diverticulitis. If you develop it once, chances are, you will get it again, unless you take action. Some of the things you can do to prevent diverticulitis from developing are:
- Eat whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
- Incorporate Plantago psyllium in your diet. You can get this in over-the-counter preparations, as well.
- Prevent constipation. You can do this by not only maintaining a healthy diet and exercising but by incorporating foods that fight constipation and prescription medications that are mild on your stomach but deliver good results.
Diverticulitis Treatment in Carlisle, Pennsylvania
If you have diverticulitis and need treatment, come to the experts at Carlisle Digestive Disease Associates. We have been providing expert and high-quality care for patients with all types of digestive tract issues, including diverticulitis.
Call us at (717) 245-2228 and schedule an appointment today with one of our board-certified physicians. You can also request an appointment online. We look forward to serving you soon.