DIVERTICULITIS

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A complete overview on Diverticulitis

What’s ‘Diverticulitis’

Diverticulosis happens when small pouches are formed along the wall of your large intestine. Large intestine is otherwise known as the colon. These pouches are medically known as diverticula. The pouches can severely get inflamed or infected. This particular infection is named the diverticulitis. It can be quite a painful thing, when you are diagnosed with a diverticulitis.

Causes for occurrence of diverticulosis. 

The main reason for the formation of these pouches, especially in the weak spots of your colon is a low fiber diet. Consuming fibrous food, like adding plenty of fruits and vegetables to your daily diet, can in fact add more bulk to your stool. With a low fiber diet, the colon has to put an additional pressure to push your stools forward. It is on account of this pressure, that pouch like protrusions develop in your colon, most commonly in the left side, thats the descending colon and sigmoid colon. Simple presence of these pouches in the colon is called as diverticulosis and their inflammation is diverticulitis.The reasons typically responsible for Diverticulitis are as follows:

  • Bacterial infection within the pouches formed in your colon can lead to severe infection or inflammation
  • The additional pressure your colon puts across, for making the excretory material leads to small or microperforation involving the pouches and this can lead on diverticulitis and surrounding inflammation.

Symptoms for Diverticulitis

These are the following symptoms you would be experiencing on account of diverticulitis. They are

  • Pain in the lower half or the left side of your abdomen
  • Tenderness or cramps near your belly button area. You find aggravated pain, while you try to move.
  • Bleeding during stools
  • A bloated feeling /too much of gas formation
  • Swelling of the abdomen
  • Nausea combined with vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation and sometimes diarrhea

Diagnosis of Diverticulitis

These are the following diagnostic evaluations, your medical practitioner will adhere to, if he suspects diverticulitis of your colon

A blood test 

Usually a blood test is done, to see if there is evidence of infection. This will be manifested as increase white blood cell count.

CT scan

A computed tomography or a CT scan can help the doctor figure out, if there is evidence of inflammation or abscesses formation associated with the pouch formation along your colon. CT scan may also find out if there is rupture of abscess into the abdominal cavity.

Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy is a technique, where a lighter long flexible tube is passed through your anus to visualize the lower part of your digestive tract - the large intestine and terminal portion of the small intestine. Colonoscopy will detect the presence of diverticulosis, might also evidence of inflammation within the colon. Sometimes these diverticuli can cause bleeding, which can be seen during colonoscopy and it is possible to control the bleed at the same time. Other diseases like colon cancer and ulcerative colitis can also be ruled out.

Treatment optionsMedication

You will initially be supplied with pain relievers or antibiotics to subside the inflammation of your large intestine and to relieve your pain. But in spite of medication, if symptoms of diverticulitis do not reduce, then these are the surgical options, which you need to look at

  • Just in case you have two or more recurrent attacks of diverticulitis, it is better, you have the diseased or the infected part of the colon surgically removed. Most commonly it’s the sigmoid colon, which is involved necessitating a sigmoid colectomy
  • In case infection has developed into abscess it may be necessary to drain out the abscess initially by inserting a tube through your skin. Once you become alright then surgery is needed to remove your involved colon.
  • Sometimes emergency surgery will be required if abscess is large or has ruptured into your abdominal cavity. In that situation a colostomy might be required, where the colon is sutured on to an opening in your skin in the left lower abdomen or upper abdomen. Fecal material will collect in a colostomy(disposal) bag pasted on to your skin. Subsequently once you are alright the healthy colon is connected back within your abdomen and you will be able to pass stools via naturalis.

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