Diverticulitis is a medical condition that occurs when small, bulging pouches (diverticula) in the lining of the digestive system, usually in the large intestine or colon, become infected or inflamed.
The exact cause of diverticulitis is not known, but it can be related to a diet low in fiber, which leads to hard, compacted stools that can put pressure on the colon wall and cause small pouches to form.
There are several risk factors for diverticulitis, including:
Symptoms of diverticulitis can be similar to those of other gastrointestinal conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with a primary care provider today.
A physician can diagnose diverticulitis through a combination of medical history, physical examination, and imaging tests. Common steps involved in the diagnosis of diverticulitis include:
The treatment of diverticulitis depends on the severity of the condition. Mild cases may be treated with antibiotics and a low-fiber diet, while severe cases may require hospitalization and possibly surgery.
Following your provider's advice and treatment plan is important to help manage diverticulitis and prevent complications. In addition, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, including regular exercise and hydration, may help reduce the risk of developing diverticulitis or experiencing recurring episodes.
Our experienced, board-certified gastroenterologists serve patients throughout the Greater Houston area. No matter where you live or which location you choose, you can trust that we will provide the same patient-centered standards of quality care to everyone.
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