In discussing diverticular disease it is important to familiarize yourself with some common terms.
Diverticula are small, balloon-like protrusions that can develop in the colon. Once these pouches begin to form, it is called diverticulosis, or diverticular disease. Doctors are unsure of what causes the formation of the diverticula, but once formed they are permanent. Diverticular disease normally has no symptoms and the diagnosis is usually made while testing for other conditions or during routine screenings. Once the diagnosis has been made, most doctors recommend eating a variety of foods rich in fiber and nutrients.
Occasionally, one or more of the diverticula become inflamed or infected. This is called diverticulitis. Symptoms of diverticulitis may include abdominal pain, fever, nausea, blood in the stool, and a change in bowel habits. Diverticulitis should be treated by a physician as some complications can be severe and an increase in symptoms should not be ignored. Treatment includes antibiotics and a low-fiber diet to allow the bowel to rest. Depending on your symptoms, additional imaging may be required. If you experience abdominal pain, nausea, bleeding, and fever, seek medical treatment right away by making an appointment with Dr. Islam.