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March 27, 2016

Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is due to small pouches in the large colon which lop an infection. It is a common cause of lower abdominal pain that present to emergency rooms such as FRONTLINE ER. It is caused by bacteria in our stool which gets caught in these pouches. Helpful ways to avoid this is a high fiber diet. Most patients present with increasing lower abdominal pain most often in the left lower abdomen. However, other symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting, blood in the stool, and bloating.

Diverticulitis Symptoms

When a patient experiences these symptoms they should call their doctor or go to an emergency room. The emergency room doctor will exam you and order blood tests to help make the diagnosis. Afterwards, a CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis is ordered to both make the diagnosis and look for complications that can occur from diverticulitis. Once the diagnosis is made there are two ways way to treat this disorder.

Many patients can go home on antibiotics, with pain medication and on a clear liquid diet and follow-up with their doctor. More severe cases where the patient is vomiting, does not have a doctor, or has a serious complication such a perforation of the large colon will be admitted to the hospital. Here they will receive IV antibiotic, and IV fluids with pain control and possible surgery for complications.

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