Your risk for developing diverticulitis and persistent abdominal pain increases as you get older. At Gastrointestinal Associates of Rockland, the board-certified gastroenterologists offer the latest diagnostic technologies on-site at their New City, New York, office. The medical team creates a custom treatment plan to alleviate your pain quickly and prevent permanent damage to your digestive system. For a fast, accurate diagnosis of diverticulitis, schedule an appointment online or by phone today.
Diverticulitis is a condition that develops when the small pouches of your digestive system (diverticula) become infected or inflamed.
These bulging pouches can form in the lining of your digestive system, especially if you’re over 40, when weakened areas of your colon allow the pouches to protrude through its wall.
Usually, these growths are harmless, but if they develop an infection or inflammation, you can experience a variety of chronic symptoms, like:
If untreated, diverticulitis can lead to more serious health complications, including an abscess, abnormal growth between bowel or bladder (fistulas), or peritonitis.
Peritonitis is a condition that develops when a pouch ruptures and causes the contents of your intestines to flow into your abdomen. It is a medical emergency that needs immediate treatment.
In many cases, diverticulitis isn’t diagnosed until you have an attack of severe abdominal pain. During your evaluation, your Gastrointestinal Associates of Rockland physician performs a physical exam, checking areas of your abdomen for tenderness and swelling.
You may need blood work to identify an infection, and a CT scan is also helpful in confirming the presence of inflamed or infected pouches and evaluating how serious your condition is.
Your Gastrointestinal Associates of Rockland doctor may also request other types of testing, such as liver screening or a stool test to rule out other underlying medical conditions that can cause abdominal pain and other symptoms.
In mild cases of diverticulitis, antibiotics may be necessary for clearing the infection. You will need to avoid solid foods for several days to allow your bowel time to heal, and take over-the-counter medications to alleviate pain.
If you have a severe attack of diverticulitis, you may need intravenous antibiotics and a stay in the hospital.
If you have a bowel obstruction or abscess as a result of diverticulitis, you may need a referral for surgery to remove areas of your bowel that have been damaged by infection or inflammation.
Find out more about treating diverticulitis and preventing additional medical complications by calling Gastrointestinal Associates of Rockland today or by requesting a consultation online now.