If you have an unexplained pain in the lower left side of your abdomen, you should take note and contact your doctor. Abdominal pain can signal a variety of issues for patients, and pain in the lower left region of your abdomen could be a sign of diverticulitis.
It’s important for Glendora patients who are experiencing these symptoms to see a doctor as soon as possible because the condition is treatable. It’s especially important for people who have experienced diverticulitis in the past to see a doctor if they are experiencing this pain, which can become a recurring issue.
What is Diverticulitis?
The diverticula are a part of the lining of the large intestine and are often referred to as “bulging sacs”. When the diverticula become inflamed or even infected, they can cause diverticulitis. In most cases, diverticulitis forms in the colon, but it is possible for this infection to form at any point in the intestinal tract.
What Causes Diverticulitis?
The exact cause of diverticulitis has not been determined, but medical professionals believe it is more common in patients who eat a diet that does not contain enough fiber. Patients who do not include enough fiber in their diet may become constipated, making it difficult to pass stool. This may lead to the formation of diverticula sacs, making a person more prone to infection or diverticulitis. Diverticulitis is ultimately caused by fecal matter becoming trapped in the sacs and infecting the diverticula.
What are the Risk Factors for this Condition?
There are several factors that can increase a person’s risk for developing diverticulitis. First and foremost, dietary habits can lead to this infection. A person who does not eat a diet that is high enough in fiber is at a higher risk of developing diverticulitis.
In addition to that, the risk increases for a person as they get older. People who are over the age of 60 are at the highest risk of developing diverticulitis, but patients as young as 40 can experience this infection.
What are the Treatment Options?
The treatment will depend on the severity of the infection. Some patients can put themselves on a liquid diet, take an antibiotic, and rest while the diverticula heals. Others may need to be treated in a hospital because of complications that have developed. Patients who do not respond to antibiotics may have to have surgery in order to remove the infected portion of the intestinal tract.
Los Angeles patients who are at risk for diverticulitis or are experiencing the symptoms of this condition should make it a point to contact their physician as soon as possible. It would be in their best interests to seek the counsel of an expert general surgeon. The sooner the patient contacts a doctor or a general surgeon, the sooner they can begin exploring the right diverticulitis treatment options for them.