Diverticulitis isn’t a rare condition. It’s a condition that affects your digestive tract and is more likely to happen as you age, most commonly affecting people 40 and older. Diverticulitis is the result of inflammation of small pouches that have the ability to form inside your intestines. Diverticulitis occurs not from the formation of these pouches, known as diverticula, but rather when these pouches become inflamed or infected.
When to see a doctor
Generally speaking, diverticula isn’t harmful. These pouches can exist within your intestines without you ever knowing about it. That’s not the case with diverticulitis. Here are a few symptoms:
- Severe abdominal pain on your left side
- Fever and chills
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blood in your stools
Although the presence of diverticulitis isn’t necessarily a dangerous condition on its own, if you experience any of the symptoms listed above, it’s time to see a doctor. Since several other conditions share the same symptoms as diverticulitis, a qualified physician is the best person to help provide you with an accurate diagnosis and develop a treatment plan tailored to your needs.
The dangers of diverticulitis
Left untreated, diverticulitis can lead to severe consequences, including death. Abscesses are just one complication of diverticulitis that require urgent care. If abscesses form, they can break through the intestinal wall. If this happens you can develop peritonitis, an infection that could be fatal. Tears in your intestinal walls can leak waste into your abdominal cavity, ultimately leading to an infection. Finally, the inflammation associated with diverticulitis can lead to painful bowel obstruction.
Non-urgent cases of diverticulitis may be treated at home, under the supervision of a physician. It can usually be managed by something as simple as dietary changes. Initially, your physician may recommend that you stop eating solid foods in an effort to give your digestive system a much-needed break. Your physician may also encourage you to add more high-fiber foods to your diet. This helps with complications such as constipation.
For more advanced cases of diverticulitis, you’ll most likely need the services of an expert surgeon who specializes in gastrointestinal surgery. The physicians and professional staff at Desert West Surgery in Las Vegas have the expertise to diagnose, treat, and support your recovery from diverticulitis. They’re experienced in both minimally invasive surgery and conventional surgery and can provide an appropriate approach to relieving your symptoms.
Please give us a call today at one of our three convenient Las Vegas locations to make an appointment so we can help you get on the road to better health.