Our Gastroenterology Blog

Posts for tag: diverticulitis

By HOUSTON DIGESTIVE DISEASES CONSULTANTS
March 19, 2019
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: diverticulitis  

Are you suffering from diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis is when pouches called diverticula that are found along the intestine walls are inflamed or infected. Dr. Krishnamurthy diverticulitisShivshanker of Houston Digestive Diseases Consultants in Houston, TX, can help diagnose and treat this issue.

More About Diverticulitis

The formation of these pouches is a condition called diverticulosis but diverticulitis is an advanced stage of diverticulosis. Several small abscess form in the pouches which may result in infection, or perforate the bowel.

In actuality, the pouches develop in several places, not just the intestines. They can be found on the digestive tract but are most commonly found on the left side of the abdomen.

Symptoms of Diverticulitis

  • Severe abdominal pain and cramping on the left side of the abdomen
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Nausea
  • Chills or fever
  • Bloating
  • Bowel obstruction resulting in constipation
  • Thin stools
  • Diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding, which is rare

Severe symptoms that require doctor notification include:

  • Fever
  • Rigid abdomen and pain when you move
  • Peritonitis, infection of abdominal cavity membrane
  • Chills
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Vomiting
  • Blood in your stool

Complications

If left untreated, complications may arise and you may need surgery:

  • Abscesses formation near the infected diverticula.
  • Fistulas develop if an infected diverticulum reaches an organ, such as the large intestine, bladder, kidneys
  • Severe bleeding may result in needing a blood transfusion.
  • Scarring resulting in blockage of the intestine.

Diagnosing Diverticulitis

Your Houston gastroenterologist performs several tests that help indicate where exactly the abscessed pouches are located and the severity of the condition.

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  • CT scan: A CT scan is a series of X-ray images taken from different angles to evaluate your intestines and the surrounding tissue.
     
  • Colonoscopy: This procedure enables your doctor to examine the lining of your large intestine, colon, by inserting a thin, flexible tube into your anus to monitor your intestine for any abnormalities.

Need a Consultation?

For more information about diverticulitis, contact your Houston, TX, gastroenterologist by calling (713) 777-2555 today!

By HOUSTON DIGESTIVE DISEASES CONSULTANTS
June 27, 2018
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: diverticulitis  

Are you experiencing unexplained stomach cramping, bloated stomach, constipation, and passing gas too often? You could be dealing diverticulitiswith a common digestive disease called diverticulitis. According to the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy it affects as many as half of Americans over the age of 60. At Houston Digestive Diseases Consultants in Houston, TX, a gastroenterologist will talk to you about how to ease your symptoms.

What Is Diverticulitis?
Diverticulitis is a gastrointestinal condition that occurs in the colon. Pockets called diverticula form along the walls of the colon, most likely due to pressure and straining when going to the bathroom. Those pockets may become infected with bad bacteria that reside in the colon. As waste attempts to pass through the colon, the pockets may cause temporary blockages and more straining. Doctors believe that the underlying cause of diverticulitis is not getting enough fiber in your diet, which in turn causes constipation. 

Diverticulitis Symptoms
As is the case with many abdominal conditions, pain is often the first symptom of diverticulitis. You may feel this pain before and while going to the bathroom. An increase in odorous gas and bloating of the stomach may also happen, which is possibly the most embarrassing symptom of diverticulitis. If your stomach suddenly feels or looks bloated, this condition may be one of the causes. Be sure to tell your Houston gastroenterologist all of the symptoms you’ve been experiencing at your next appointment.

Diverticulitis Diagnosis and Treatments
Diagnosing diverticulitis as the exact cause of your digestive issues is the first course of action. This can be done with a CT scan or colonoscopy test. You will also discuss your medical history with your gastroenterologist, including any medications you have recently started and any dietary changes. The treatment will most likely be oral antibiotics to eliminate any infection, probiotics to balance gut flora, and fiber supplement. A new diet high in fiber will also help.

Get Relief from Symptoms
In order to get relief from the uncomfortable symptoms of diverticulitis, you’ll have to get it properly diagnosed by a gastroenterologist at Houston Digestive Diseases Consultants in Houston, TX. Call (713) 777-2555 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Krishnamurthy Shivshanker.

By HOUSTON DIGESTIVE DISEASES CONSULTANTS
July 19, 2017
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: diverticulitis  

Could you have diverticulosis? Our Houston, TX, gastroenterologist, Dr. Krishnamurthy Shivshanker of Houston Digestive DiseaseDiverticulosis Consultants, shares some information about the condition.

What is diverticulosis?

Diverticulosis occurs when small pouches form in the wall of your large intestine. Thirty-five percent of people 50 and younger and 58 percent of people 60 and older have the condition, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease.

How can I tell if I have diverticulosis?

You probably won't experience any symptoms if you have diverticulosis. Many people only find out they have the condition when tests are performed to diagnose another condition or disease. If you do develop symptoms, you may notice bloating, pain in the lower left part of your abdomen or constipation. Symptoms are more likely to occur if you have diverticulitis, which occurs when the pouches become infected or inflamed. Fortunately, most people who have diverticulosis will never experience diverticulitis.

What are the symptoms of diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain and tenderness
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation or diarrhea

How is diverticulitis treated?

If you have diverticulitis, you'll need to take an antibiotic to treat the infection. You may also be advised to follow a liquid diet for a few days. You may spend a few days receiving intravenous antibiotics in the hospital if you suffer a severe attack. Surgery may be needed to treat bowel obstructions, abscesses or perforations.

How can I reduce the chance of developing diverticulosis or diverticulitis?

Drinking plenty of water and eating a high fiber diet can help digested food pass through your colon more quickly and may reduce your risk. Maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding smoking and exercising regularly may also be helpful. If you do develop diverticulitis symptoms, it's important to call our Houston office as soon as possible, particularly if your symptoms severe. The infection won't go away on its own, and obstructions and other serious consequences may be life-threatening if you don't receive prompt treatment.

Are you concerned that your abdominal pain may be a sign of diverticular disease? Call our Houston, TX, gastroenterologist, Dr. Shivshanker of Houston Digestive Disease Consultants, at (713) 777-2555 to schedule an appointment.