Diverticulosis is a common condition that occurs when outpouchings develop and make their way out of weak spots in a person’s colon. These outpouchings typically form in the lower part of the colon, referred to as the sigmoid colon. If just one pouch develops, it is called a diverticulum. In the event multiple pouches form, they are called diverticula. In most cases, people suffering from diverticulosis do not display any symptoms or have any known problems. However, when a person starts to display symptoms or has problems related to infection of these outpouchings, it is called diverticulitis.
An estimated 20 percent of people experience complications associated with diverticulosis. When the diverticula becomes inflamed and infected, it is considered diverticulitis. This usually occurs when the sacs become blocked with waste, resulting in a buildup of bacteria and infection. Approximately 10 percent of people over the age of 40 and 50 percent of people over the age of 60 develop diverticulitis at some point in their lives. As the numbers show, the risk of diverticulitis increases with age. In fact, nearly every single person over the age of 80 will have diverticulitis. This condition can be difficult to diagnose because it typically does not have any troublesome symptoms. In some cases people complain of tenderness in the affected area or abdominal cramps. The experienced surgeons at our Mansfield clinic will be able to provide you with additional insight on the symptoms and examine you to see if you are suffering from one of the conditions mentioned above.
How is Diverticulitis Diagnosed?
- Blood test
- CT scan
- Lower GI series