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Our Services / Diverticular Disease

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About Diverticular Disease

About one-quarter of Americans develop symptomatic diverticular disease, with issues like abdominal pain, bowel habit changes, and other disruptions. At Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA, with offices in 13 locations throughout Charlotte, Belmont, Concord, Davidson, Matthews, Monroe, Huntersville, University, and Pineville, North Carolina, the state’s foremost diverticular disease experts offer everything from testing to treatment in the same place. Schedule an appointment online, or call the office nearest you for help with diverticular disease now.

Diverticular Disease Q & A

What is diverticular disease?

Diverticular disease is a condition in which small pouches form and push out from the colon wall. When the pouches don’t cause symptoms, it’s called diverticulosis. 

But, in some cases, diverticulitis inflammation or infection in the pouches may occur. 

Diverticular disease is especially common after the age of 50, although it can develop earlier. 

What are the symptoms of diverticular disease?

While diverticulosis doesn’t cause symptoms, diverticulitis can be quite difficult. Some of the most common symptoms of diverticulitis include:

  • Pain in the lower left abdomen, often with sudden onset
  • Change in bowel habits — usually constipation but can be diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Chills and fever

Some people with diverticulitis experience diverticular bleeding, in which a large amount of blood appears in stool. You may experience weakness, lightheadedness, or cramping during bloody bowel movements. Diverticular bleeding is a serious problem that requires immediate treatment.

What causes diverticular disease?

In the past, experts believed that the main factor in the development of diverticular disease was a low-fiber diet. The American College of Gastroenterology states that recent studies may disprove this. Ongoing research seeks the true causes of diverticulosis and diverticulitis. 

While the specific cause of diverticular disease isn’t certain, some possible factors include a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, struggling with your weight, and long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

How is diverticular disease diagnosed?

Usually, diverticular disease is discovered during testing for other conditions or routine health screenings. Specific tests for diverticular disease depend on the kind of symptoms you have and how severe they are. 

Some common tests include blood tests, stool tests, colonoscopy, barium enema, and computed tomography (CT) scan. 

How is diverticular disease treated?

Your doctor at Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA, prescribes a personalized approach to treatment based on your particular symptoms and needs. 

Common treatment of symptomatic diverticular disease (diverticulitis) includes a high-fiber diet, probiotics, and medication to ease symptoms like abdominal pain.

If you experience severe symptoms like rapidly increasing pain, fever, or diverticular bleeding, 

you may need advanced treatment including antibiotics or surgery.

When you’re experiencing abdominal pain, bowel habit changes, or other GI issues, Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA, offers expert diagnosis and exemplary care. Call the office nearest you, or click on the provided link to book your appointment now.