Diverticulitis is a potentially dangerous condition that affects your intestines. The team of physicians at Digestive Disease Care diagnose and treat diverticulitis at their six New York offices in Lake Success, East Setauket, Mineola, and Hicksville in Long Island, and Forest Hills and Jamaica in Queens. If you have symptoms like bloody stools or rectal bleeding and desire rapid diagnosis and treatment, call Digestive Disease Care, or schedule a consultation online today.
As you age, it’s common to develop areas of weakness in your intestinal tract that stretch into small pouches known as diverticulosis. Tiny particles of food like partially digested food like seeds, nuts, and corn kernels can get trapped in those pouches. Diverticulitis occurs when the trapped food causes infection and inflammation.
Medical researchers haven’t identified a specific cause of diverticulitis. Genetic and environmental factors probably contribute to your risk of developing the condition.
Some of the common signs of diverticulitis include:
Your symptoms can range in severity. You should always talk to a doctor if you have rectal bleeding or find blood in your stool. Several colorectal conditions can cause these symptoms, and it’s critical to get a diagnosis and start treatment.
The doctors at Digestive Disease Care usually begin the diagnosis by reviewing your medical history, symptoms, and overall health and lifestyle. If they suspect diverticulitis, your doctor orders an urgent, same-day CT scan to confirm your diagnosis.
Your doctor might also rule out other conditions by ordering additional tests, including:
It’s essential to start treatment for diverticulitis as quickly as possible as the condition can cause complications, including abscess, fistula, perforation, or obstruction in your intestines.
The team at Digestive Disease Care provides customized treatment depending on the severity of your condition. In many cases, they suggest following a clear liquid diet for a few days to give your intestines a chance to rest and recover. They might also prescribe over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol or antibiotics.
The doctors might need to drain and abscess with needle aspiration or surgery. In severe cases, when medication and dietary changes don’t reduce your symptoms, the doctors might recommend a surgical procedure.
The doctors at Digestive Disease Care perform bowel resections to remove the damaged parts of your intestine. When possible, they use bowel resection with anastomosis, which allows them to connect the healthy sections of your bowel after removing the damaged tissue.
If they can’t reconnect your colon, they perform a colostomy, which connects your bowel to an opening in your abdomen. This directs your fecal matter into a colostomy bag outside of your body.
If you’re concerned about diverticulitis, call Digestive Disease Care, or make an appointment online today.