What Is Diverticulitis?
Diverticula are small pouches that can develop in the lining of your digestive system. They most often form in the lower large intestine and are most common after age 40. While some cases of diverticulosis don’t cause symptoms or problems, the pouches can become inflamed and develop into a condition called diverticulitis. Diverticulitis symptoms include severe stomach pain, fever, nausea or vomiting, and bowel changes. At GI Specialists of Georgia, we have decades of training and experience in recognizing diverticulitis symptoms in patients. We specialize in swift, aggressive, and effective diverticulitis treatment in Atlanta, GA. Call us today if you recognize diverticulitis symptoms or need treatment for diverticulitis.
Recognizing Diverticulitis Symptoms
Diverticulitis symptoms can vary in intensity from case to case. Some people have mild symptoms, while others have symptoms that prevent them from living a normal, healthy life. If you notice any of these diverticulitis symptoms, call us right away to schedule a consultation for diverticulitis treatment:
- Abdominal pain that is severe, persistent, and constant for several days. Pain typically occurs in the lower left side of the abdomen; however, pain can also occur in the right side of the abdomen.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- A fever that persists for more than one day.
- Abdominal tenderness or guarding.
- Constipation or diarrhea.
You should visit one of our specialists for medical treatment right away any time you have constant and/or unexplained abdominal pain, especially if it is accompanied by a fever, constipation, or diarrhea.
Diverticulitis Causes & Treatment for Diverticulitis
The most common cause of diverticula is pressure on the colon. Extended pressure on weak areas of the colon can lead to the formation of marble-sized pouches that protrude through the wall of the colon. Diverticulitis can occur when the diverticula tears or ruptures, which results in inflammation and infection. You may be at a greater risk of diverticulitis if you are over age 40, are obese, smoke, live a sedentary lifestyle or don’t get enough exercise, eat a diet that is high in animal fat and low in fiber, and take certain medications like steroids, opioids, and NSAIDs.
What is the treatment for diverticulitis? For mild cases of diverticulitis, we recommend rest and maintaining a liquid diet to promote healing of the intestines. You may also need antibiotics to treat infection and a mild, over-the-counter pain reliever. For severe cases, you may require acute diverticulitis treatment. You may need to stay in the hospital, take intravenous antibiotics, or undergo surgery. Our specialists can assess your symptoms, perform testing and diagnostic imaging, and determine the safest treatment method for diverticulitis.
Understanding How We Diagnose Diverticulitis
We diagnose diverticulitis by assessing your symptoms, lifestyle, family medical history, personal medical history, and certain demographic factors like age and risk level. We can perform blood tests to check for signs of infection and diagnostic imaging tests to confirm the presence of diverticula and assess the extent of your diverticulitis.
Review Our Diverticulitis Surgery Options
You may be referred for surgical diverticulitis treatment for major or acute issues that have no other possible treatment method. The two types of surgical acute diverticulitis treatment are:
- Primary Bowel Resection – If parts of your intestine are severely infected or diseased, a surgeon can remove them and reconnect the healthy sections.
- Bowel Resection with Colostomy – If there is so much swelling that the colon cannot be reconnected to your rectum, a surgeon may need to create an opening in your abdominal wall to allow waste to flow into a colostomy bag. Once the swelling and inflammation have subsided, the surgeon can reconnect the bowel in a separate surgery.
Once you have healed from surgery, we may need to perform a colonoscopy to rule out colon cancer if you did not have a full colonoscopy prior to your surgery.
Why Choose Us for Acute Diverticulitis Treatment
At GI Specialists of Georgia, we are the result of a 2007 merger between two successful care providers in the industry: Digestive Care Associates and Northwest Gastroenterology Associates. We quickly established ourselves as a leader in the industry and a place where patients could receive centralized care, aggressive treatment options, and comprehensive gastrointestinal screenings and diagnoses. We stay on top of the latest advancements, research, and trends in the industry to be sure we are always offering our patients the safest and most effective care. We operate a collaborative environment and state-of-the-art modern facilities focusing on patient care and comfort.
Schedule an Appointment for Treatment for Diverticulitis in Atlanta, GA
Call us today or contact us online to schedule an appointment for diverticulitis treatment in Atlanta, GA. We have board-certified physicians at eight convenient office locations and three endoscopy centers. We specialize in treating diseases and disorders of the digestive tract, liver, colon, and pancreas. We are committed to providing personalized treatment plans using the latest advancements and research in the industry.