What your gastroenterologists in Lima, OH want you to know
Diverticulosis is a common condition diagnosed in over 200,000 people each year. It is most common in people over 40 years old. Your gastroenterologists at Gastro-Intestinal Associates in Lima, OH want to share what you need to know about this common condition.
Diverticulosis occurs in your colon and is characterized by small pouches pushing out of weakened spots in your colon wall. They are often found in the lowest part of your colon, called the sigmoid colon. Diverticulosis can be diagnosed by a doctor through imaging and lab tests.
You may or may not have symptoms with diverticulosis. If you do have symptoms, you might experience:
- Changes in bowel habits
- Pain or cramps in your abdomen
- Bloating, constipation or diarrhea
If the pouches, known as diverticula become inflamed, you may experience acute pain, resulting in a condition known as diverticulitis. You may also have blood in your stool.
There are some things you can do if you have diverticulosis, but it’s important to discuss changes to your diet or supplements with your doctor before you begin. Your doctor may suggest:
- Taking probiotics
- Taking fiber supplements Citrucel or Metamucil
- Slowly increasing the intake of fiber in your diet by eating apples, pears, raspberries, prunes, high-fiber cereals, peas or mixed vegetables
Your gastroenterologist may also recommend medications including mesalazine to reduce symptoms, or an antibiotic like rifaximin.
If you develop diverticulitis, your gastroenterologist may prescribe antibiotics and recommend that you rest. It’s also helpful to have a liquids-only diet for a few days. Introduce solid foods gradually to prevent increasing symptoms. For severe cases of diverticulitis, you may have to stay in the hospital and receive intravenous antibiotics.
Although diverticulosis can go unnoticed, it can also develop into diverticulitis, a very painful condition. Your gastroenterologists at Gastro-Intestinal Associates can treat diverticulosis and other gastrointestinal conditions to get you back on your feet. For more information about gastrointestinal services call your gastroenterologists at Gastro-Intestinal Associates in Lima, OH today!