A 65 year patient came to Walk in clinic in Dr. Phillips area with the complaints of abdominal pain and fever for 2 days. The patient had lower abdominal pain but had no diarrhea. The patient didn’t have nausea or vomiting. Dr. Usha Jain examined the patient and ordered blood tests and urinalysis. The patient didn’t have any urinary complaints and urinalysis was normal. Dr. Jain diagnosed that the patient has diverticulitis and treated her with the injection of the antibiotics followed by oral antibiotics. The patient was advised to take only liquid diet and to come for follow up next day.
The patient came for follow up next day and felt much better. The patient was given antibiotics injection again. The patient reported that she felt much better 2nd day.
Diverticulitis is the condition where diverticula get infected and inflamed.
Diverticulosis happens when pouches (diverticula) form in the wall of the colon. If these pouches get inflamed or infected, it is called diverticulitis. Diverticulitis is painful condition of the abdomen.
What causes diverticulitis?
Low-fiber diet: Without fiber to add bulk to the stool, the colon has to work harder than normal to push the stool forward. The pressure from this may cause pouches to form in weak spots along the colon.
Diverticulitis happens when feces get trapped in the pouches (diverticula). This allows bacteria to grow in the pouches. This can lead to inflammation or infection.
What are the symptoms?
- Belly pain, usually in the lower left side, that is sometimes worse when you move. This is the most common symptom.
- Fever and chills.
- Bloating and gas.
- Diarrhea or constipation.
- Nausea and sometimes vomiting.
- Not feeling like eating.
Diagnosis of Diverticulitis
Tests may include:
- Blood tests, such as a complete blood count (CBC)
- X-ray or a CT scan.
How is it treated?
The treatment you need depends on how bad your symptoms are and whether you have an infection. You may need to have only liquids at first, and then return to solid food when you start feeling better.
If you have an infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better.
For mild cramps and belly pain:
- Use a heating pad, set on low, on your belly.
- Relax. For example, try meditation or slow, deep breathing in a quiet room.
- Take medicine, such as acetaminophen.
You may need surgery only if you have problems such as long-lasting (chronic) pain, a bowel obstruction, a fistula, or a pocket of infection (abscess).
How can you prevent diverticulitis?
You may be able to prevent diverticulitis if you drink plenty of water, get regular exercise, and eat a high-fiber diet. A high-fiber diet includes whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables.