If you feel any pain in the lower area of your belly and experience fever and chills, you might think of taking some over the counter medications to lower and potentially eliminate the pain. That said, if you are experiencing the said problems for more than a week or so, then it is perhaps time to pay your doctor a visit as you might be experiencing a serious problem or potentially – Diverticulitis.
What is Diverticulitis?
This health problem is quite common among older patients specifically those in their forties and above. Diverticulitis happens when the small bulges (also known medically as “diverticula”) stick outside the large intestine. What causes the diverticula to form in the colon is still a mystery with physicians; however, one theory is that the pressure from pushing hard stools out may cause some areas in the colon to weaken causing the pouches. Some patients might not experience or might have little pain. Nonetheless, when the pain increases and the pouches become inflamed or infected then it is diagnosed as diverticulitis.
Signs and Symptoms
Patients may experience severe pain depending on the severity of the problem and some might not feel anything at all. Aside from this, other common symptoms include bloating gas, loss of appetite, nausea, fever with chills, constipation diarrhea and vomiting. For some however, the pain would be excruciating, and in certain instances rectal bleeding might occur. One can also experience abdominal infection as well as colon obstruction.
If your health practitioner believes that you are experiencing diverticulitis, he will request for a complete blood work and x-ray to verify their diagnosis and prescribe the right treatment. Depending on the severity of the case, some patients would have to take antibiotics for the pain. For cramps or pain in the lower abdominal area, use heating pads to help the muscles to relax. Prescription medicines or a modification in one’s eating habits may be required especially for individuals who do not have much fiber in their diets.
If the symptoms persist, surgery may be scheduled especially if there is a blockage or bowel obstruction or infection. Surgery is recommended if there is an infection spreading through the patient’s blood and severe bleeding has been observed.
This is just a brief overview of what diverticulitis is. It should give you a bird’s eye view on diverticulitis and should you be experiencing symptoms mentioned in the article. Do remember to talk with your health provider or doctor to ensure that you are giving your health top priority.