Diverticulitis is a medical condition that occurs when small, bulging pouches (diverticula) in the digestive tract become inflamed or infected. It is a relatively common condition, particularly among older adults. Diverticulitis symptoms can range from mild to severe and may require medical treatment. In this article, we will discuss the various symptoms of diverticulitis and what you can do to manage them.
One of the most common symptoms of diverticulitis is abdominal pain. The pain may be sudden and severe, or it may start out as mild and gradually worsen over time. The pain is usually located on the left side of the abdomen, but it can also occur on the right side or throughout the entire abdominal area.
Nausea and vomiting
In addition to abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting are also common symptoms of diverticulitis. These symptoms may be caused by the inflammation or infection in the digestive tract and can make it difficult to keep food down.
Changes in bowel habits
Another symptom of diverticulitis is changes in bowel habits. This may include constipation, diarrhea, or a combination of both. You may also experience bloating or gas, which can further contribute to abdominal discomfort.
If the diverticulitis infection is severe, you may develop a fever. This is your body’s natural response to an infection and is a sign that your immune system is trying to fight off the infection.
In some cases, diverticulitis can cause rectal bleeding. This occurs when the inflamed or infected diverticula rupture and bleed into the colon. The bleeding may be minor or severe, and it is important to seek medical attention if you experience rectal bleeding.
Diverticulitis can also cause urinary symptoms, such as pain or difficulty urinating. This occurs when the inflamed or infected diverticula put pressure on the bladder or urethra.
Loss of appetite
Due to the pain and discomfort associated with diverticulitis, you may experience a loss of appetite. This can make it difficult to eat enough food to maintain your energy levels and overall health.
Diverticulitis can also cause fatigue. This may be due to the inflammation in your digestive tract, which can cause your body to work harder to fight off the infection.
In rare cases, diverticulitis can cause joint pain. This is thought to be a result of the immune system’s response to the infection.
In severe cases of diverticulitis, the inflammation or infection can spread to the lungs, causing difficulty breathing. This is a serious symptom and requires immediate medical attention.
Some people with diverticulitis may experience back pain. This is thought to be caused by the pressure on the muscles and nerves in the lower back.
Diverticulitis is a common condition that can cause a range of symptoms, from mild to severe. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it is important to seek medical attention. Treatment for diverticulitis may include antibiotics, pain medication, and changes to your diet and lifestyle. With proper management, most people with diverticulitis can recover fully and go on to lead healthy, active lives.