By Office of Glenn D. Madokoro, MD
April 15, 2015
Category: Gastroenterologist
Tags: Diverticulitis  

Diverticulitis Diverticulitis is an unfortunately common and painful disease of the digestive system. It occurs when pouches formed in the intestines and colon become inflamed. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, and nausea. The disease is diagnosed when symptoms are present and then confirmed with a blood test by your gastroenterologist. An ultrasound or CT scan may also be used to diagnose diverticulitis.

Diverticulitis can be so serious that it can down elite athletes. In 2009, professional wrestler and mixed martial arts star Brock Lesnar nearly lost his career when he was sidelined with diverticulitis. The athlete described this condition as feeling like a “shotgun blast to the stomach,” which says a lot coming from the former Ultimate Fighting Heavyweight Champion.

The Risks of Diverticulitis

  • Cancer
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Fistula
  • Bleeding
  • Peritonitis
  • Strictures

Blood loss may result in hospitalization for observation and intravenous fluids, particularly if it causes dizziness or loss of consciousness.

What Causes Diverticulitis?

Researchers and clinicians have been unable to pinpoint the cause of diverticulitis. Some doctors recommend a diet that includes probiotics and some recommend a high fiber diet. However, experts say there is not enough evidence on either to form a clinical recommendation.

Treatment for Diverticulitis

Depending on the severity of the disease, your doctor may recommend changes in diet or antibiotics if an infection is present. The American College of Gastroenterology guidelines also recommend colonoscopy after diverticulitis to rule out other conditions such as cancer. Patients should have a colonoscopy at least six weeks following the episode of diverticulitis and no more than 12 months after the condition has cleared.

In rare cases, surgery may become necessary to remove the bleeding diverticula. However, most patients stop bleeding on their own after a few days of observation.

If you experience abdominal pain and are concerned about diverticulitis, talk to your Newport Beach gastroenterologist. Dr. Glenn Madokoro of Newport Beach, CA treats patients with diverticulitis and can perform a colonoscopy to check for other conditions associated with the disease. Schedule an appointment today with your Newport Beach gastroenterologist if you are concerned that you may be at risk for diverticulitis.