Diverticulitis is a gastroenterological condition wherein small pouches that develop along the walls of the intestines become infected, accompanied with inflammation. While the formation of the pouches themselves may be a relatively benign condition known as diverticulosis, the more serious disease known as diverticulitis can involve anything ranging from a small abscess in one of the poches, or more than one, to perforation of the bowel.
The pouches may develop on any part of the digestive tract, but they are most commonly found at the end of the descending and sigmoid colons, which are located on the left side of the abdomen. They also frequently form on the first section of the small intestine, but this rarely causes a serious problem.
The following symptoms are to be noted, and their presence may necessitate a visit to gastroenterology doctors in Hyderabad or any nearby city. For diverticulosis, the symptoms include cramping in the left side of the abdomen. This may disappear after you pass gas or move your bowels. Another symptom may be bright red blood found in the stool.
The symptoms of diverticulitis are more noticeable. They include severe abdominal pain and fever. Diverticulitis can be divided into two types- acute and chronic. The acute form of diverticulitis may present itself as one or more sever attacks involving infection or inflammation. Chronic diverticulitis may involve inflammation and infection that subside, but never clear up completely. This inflammation may eventually result in a bowel obstruction, leading to constipation, thin stools, diarrhea, bloating or abdominal swelling and abdominal pain. In case the obstruction persists, there may be increased abdominal pain and tenderness and you may also experience nausea and vomiting.
Diverticulitis can lead to several complications if left untreated. You might have to undergo surgery if serious complications arise. If abscesses form around the infected diverticula, and they go through the intestinal wall, you may develop peritonitis. This is a potentially fatal infection and treatment is required immediately. Scarring may also occur, leading to a blockage or a stricture of the intestine. Fistulas may develop in case an infected diverticulum reaches another organ and forms a connection between them. This mostly occurs in between the large intestine and the bladder. This can lead to an infection in the neighboring kidneys. Less commonly, this may occur between the large intestine and the skin, or the vagina. Severe bleeding is another problem and this may require a blood transfusion.