Diverticular Disease

Illinois Gastroenterology Group -  - Gastroenterology

Illinois Gastroenterology Group

Gastroenterology located in Arlington Heights, IL & Elk Grove Village, IL

When you suffer from diverticular disease, you develop small pouches called diverticula inside your colon. If the diverticula become infected, it can become incredibly painful and could even cause complications like colon blockage. The dedicated team at Illinois Gastroenterology Group in Elk Grove and Arlington Heights, Illinois, can diagnose diverticular disease and get you the treatment you need to end the suffering. Book your appointment online or by calling the office nearest you now.

Diverticular Disease Q & A

What is Diverticular Disease?

In diverticular disease, you develop little pouches (diverticula) in your colon. Diverticula usually grow in the colon wall, near your rectum, but they can grow anywhere in your colon. The two basic types of diverticular disease are:

  • Diverticulosis: Diverticulosis occurs when you have diverticula but they're not causing any problems. If you have diverticulosis, you could eventually develop diverticulitis, the other main type of diverticular disease.
  • Diverticulitis: Diverticulitis is inflammation and infection in your colon, which develops if waste accumulates in the diverticula. Diverticulitis can cause serious symptoms and become a medical emergency in some cases.

If you’re dealing with diverticular disease, it’s important to get ongoing medical support, even if you don’t need immediate treatment. Your gastroenterologist can help with preventive measures that can keep diverticulosis from turning into diverticulitis.

Do I Have Diverticular Disease?

Although diverticulosis doesn't usually cause symptoms, diverticulitis can cause some major gastrointestinal issues, including:

  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

If you've got any of the symptoms above, it's important to seek treatment before you experience any complications like colon blockage or abscesses.

How Does the Doctor Diagnose Diverticular Disease?

Diverticular disease is often diagnosed during a colon cancer screening (colonoscopy). Your Illinois Gastroenterology Group gastroenterologist might also do an abdominal and pelvic CT scan to verify that you have diverticular disease and determine the extent of the damage to your colon.

What is the Best Way to Treat Diverticular Disease?

Diverticulosis doesn’t necessarily require treatment, but to prevent the condition from progressing, you might need to make dietary changes like eating more fiber and reducing your red meat intake. Your gastroenterologist might recommend taking fiber supplements as well.

If you have diverticulitis, your gastroenterologist will usually prescribe antibiotics to clear the infection and relieve your symptoms. 

For diverticulitis complications like abscesses, you’ll typically need drainage along with antibiotics. With severe diverticulitis complications like a colon blockage or rupture, surgery is usually needed.

The Illinois Gastroenterology Group team can help with diverticular disease and all its complications, so call the office nearest you or book online to get help now.