The great news: 75 – 90% of all people with diverticulosis will never develop diverticulitis.
The unfortunate news: 10 – 25% of all people with diverticulosis will develop diverticulitis.
Which one will you be?
There are many preventive ways to keep your diverticulosis under control, high fiber diet, lots and lots of water daily, exercise, stress reduction, etc… And between misinformation, laziness, or crazy hectic life styles that unfortunately do not always offer us the time or pleasure of keeping up with preventative requirements everyday, a diverticulitis attack may occur. It is the results of an infection that is the culprit of diverticulitis and below are the symptoms to look for:
- Tenderness and pain (generally in the lower left abdomen area)
- Black stools
- Pain while urinating
- Persistent vomiting
- Constant diarrhea
Should you have any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately. See your doctor to confirm diagnosis. Antibiotic treatment may need to be started right away to reduce complications resulting from the infection. The sooner you begin treatment, the better.
Diagnosing the condition is important. If you have already had a bout with diverticulitis your doctor may diagnose you with diverticulitis just on the symptoms alone, however there are many other conditions that involve the intestines and other organs in the pelvis and abdomen areas that will also cause these symptoms. These include abscesses, uterine fibroids, appendicitis, and colon or ovarian cancer.
A CT scan will help to determine if the symptoms your are exhibiting diverticulitis and not and abscess or appendicitis. After the inflammation has subsided and your infection has healed, further testing by either a barium x-ray or colonoscopy will help to determine whether it is an abscess or diverticulosis. A scan will also aid in ruling out any cancers. It is important that these two tests are done after the inflammation is gone to avoid any damage or ruptures of the affected intestine.
It is amazing that not very many people suffer from the complications of diverticulosis when so many people have the condition. That being said, complications do arise and can be serious. So, please watch out for the symptoms and if they do occur seek medical advice immediately.