Why is diverticular disease important?
Patients with diverticular disease can develop a variety of complications which carry their own unique symptoms. When no complications are present the patient is said to have diverticulosis. Diverticulitis is a serious complication of the illness where the orifice of a diverticulum becomes obstructed, leading to inflammation. You may experience significant left, lower abdominal pain with additional symptoms of fever, chills, nausea, vomiting and change in bowels. Uncomplicated cases of diverticulitis can be treated with antibiotics and bowel rest. Rarely, more serious complications such as bowel obstruction, abscesses and/or perforation require surgical therapy.
Diverticular hemorrhage is a serious complication of this illness where a blood vessel erodes through a diverticulum. You may have diverticular hemorrhage if you experience sudden passage of red or maroon blood from the anus, sometimes mixed with stool. Bleeding may be accompanied by abdominal cramping with weakness, dizziness and lightheadedness. Contact your Gastroenterologist immediately if you have any of these symptoms.