Knowing the signs of diverticulitis can help individuals seek medical attention promptly and prevent complications. Fortunately, you can learn everything you need to know about diverticulitis with a search online, which could help you spot early symptoms.
Diverticulitis is a painful and potentially serious condition that occurs when small pouches in the digestive system’s lining become inflamed or infected. If you experience any of the signs of diverticulitis, seeking medical help is crucial.
Abdominal pain is the most common symptom of diverticulitis. Pain ranges from mild discomfort to excruciating pain, depending on the severity of inflammation in the colon. The pain is often accompanied by related symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, rectal bleeding, and a sudden change in bowel habits.
Once the inflammation of diverticulitis sets in, diarrhea will result, along with stomach cramps, fever, and nausea. Explosive and painful diarrhea can occur, and bowel movements can change abruptly.
Patients with diverticulitis may alternate between explosive diarrhea and painful constipation. Strained bowel movements weaken the intestinal walls and encourage diverticular pouches and bacterial infection to form.
Blood in Stool
Finding blood in stool is often the result of feces becoming lodged for long periods in a diverticulum. This may cause a large amount of bleeding all at once or gradual bleeding over time. Either way, any sign of rectal bleeding should be considered an emergency as it could cause infection, colon rupture, or anemia.
Loss of Appetite
An upset stomach is common for those experiencing diverticulitis. Patients may experience constipation, diarrhea, and nausea, which may lead to a decreased appetite or desire to eat food.
Painful bloating can be aggravated when excess air is swallowed when eating or drinking. Most patients will experience intermittent lower abdominal pain, cramping, and bloating due to infection of diverticula.
Severely painful inflammation can occur, particularly distention in the lower left abdominal region. Any pressure in this area will worsen the pain and may cause nausea, vomiting, and difficulty breathing. Digestive upset, bowel movement upset (explosive diarrhea), and nausea are also common when inflammation attacks.
Often with diverticulitis, a high fever will occur, reaching 100.4-degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Pain in the low abdomen is typically the first sign of trouble, and diverticulitis commonly causes flu-like fever and nausea, as well as diarrhea.
The high fever that comes along with diverticulitis will often be accompanied by full-body chills and could indicate peritonitis.
Urinary Tract Infections
Persistent urinary tract infections (UTIs) are another common symptom when a fistula develops between the colon and the bladder. This occurs more often in males, as the colon and bladder are blocked by the uterus in females. Associated symptoms can include pain, urinary frequency (an urge to urinate), vaginal discharge, and decreased urinary retention and control.
Don’t Ignore the Signs!
Remember that diverticulitis is a common condition and seeking medical attention promptly is the best way to prevent serious complications. Early diagnosis and treatment can help manage symptoms, relieve discomfort, and prevent life-threatening situations such as peritonitis. Don’t hesitate to consult a healthcare provider if you experience any symptoms of diverticulitis. With proper care, most individuals with diverticulitis can manage their symptoms and lead a healthy life.