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Diverticulitis Specialist

Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis services offered in South Bend, Plymouth and LaPorte, IN

Every year, the excruciating pain of diverticulitis sends nearly 2 million patients to see their doctors and another 200,000 end up in the hospital. The board-certified gastroenterologists and advanced nurse practitioners at Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc have years of experience diagnosing and treating diverticulitis, providing customized care that eases the pain and helps eliminate the inflammation. If you need prompt care for diverticulitis, book online or call the nearest office today. They have four offices, in La Porte and Plymouth, Indiana, and on Generations Drive and in The South Bend Clinic on North Eddy Street in South Bend, Indiana. 


Diverticulitis Q & A

What is diverticulitis?

The wall of your large intestine is made of a layer of muscle sandwiched between several other layers of tissues. If the muscle develops a weak spot, the innermost layer can push out through the weak area, creating a balloon-like sac.

The sac, called a diverticula, protrudes from the outer intestinal wall. If you have one or more sacs, you have a condition called diverticulosis, which seldom causes symptoms or problems.

However, if a sac becomes inflamed, you have a more serious condition called diverticulitis. Diverticulitis can occur in any part of your large intestine, but it most often develops on your lower left side.

What symptoms develop due to diverticulitis?

You can't miss the symptoms because diverticulitis causes excruciating pain. Your lower abdomen also becomes very tender, with the slightest touch causing severe pain.

In addition to pain, you may experience:

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Fever and chills
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

The inflammation can also lead to complications, especially if you have recurrent bouts.

What complications does diverticulitis cause?

Ongoing inflammation damages intestinal tissues, leading to complications such as:

Abscess

An abscess develops when pus collects around the inflamed sac. If it spreads into your abdomen, you can end up with abdominal inflammation and infection (peritonitis). Peritonitis requires immediate medical attention.

Fistula

A fistula develops when inflammation damages the tissues in a way that creates a tunnel between the large intestine and a nearby organ like your bladder.

Bowel perforation

If the weakened sac or intestinal wall rupture, waste from your intestine and infection from the diverticulitis leak into your abdominal cavity. This complication is a medical emergency.

Diverticular bleeding

Small blood vessels in the sac can break and bleed, causing rectal bleeding. In some patients, the bleeding can be heavy and require emergency surgery.

How is diverticulitis treated?

Your Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc provider recommends treatment based on the severity of your symptoms, whether this is your first diverticulitis attack, and if you have any complications.

Your provider may prescribe oral medications and have you temporarily follow a liquid diet. A liquid diet lets your large intestine rest and gives the tissues time to heal.

Severe symptoms may need intravenous antibiotics and nutrients. If you have recurrent diverticulitis or complications, you may need surgery to repair the intestinal wall.

If you have pain in your lower left abdomen, don't wait to seek help. Call Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc, or book an appointment online today.