Diverticulosis is a usually symptomless condition that can lead to a more painful inflammatory condition called diverticulitis. If Dr. Charles Obioha, of Digestive Disease Clinic, discovers signs of diverticulosis during a colonoscopy, he offers treatments and dietary advice to control your condition and prevent it from worsening at his offices in Rockville, Silver Spring, and Bowie, Maryland. To discuss any concerns you have about your gastrointestinal health, call to schedule an appointment today.
Diverticulosis is a condition where pockets form in the tissue of your gastrointestinal tract. While the pockets can form anywhere, they’re most often found on the left side of your large intestine in the areas known as your descending or sigmoid colon.
Diverticulosis doesn’t usually cause symptoms, although you may notice:
Diverticulosis can develop into a more painful condition called diverticulitis when one or more of the pockets in your intestine becomes infected or inflamed. Diverticulitis causes severe pain, bloody stools, and painful gas. In some cases, it can cause severe bleeding in your lower gastrointestinal tract known as diverticula bleeding.
Your risk of diverticulosis increases as you age and is most common in people over the age of 50. While the exact cause of diverticulosis isn’t known, medical researchers and physicians believe that a low-fiber diet contributes to the disease. There may also be a genetic factor, which means that if a member of your family has diverticulosis, your chances of developing it are higher.
Another possible cause of diverticulosis is muscle spasms or the pressure of straining to pass a bowel movement.
In most cases, diverticulosis is diagnosed during a routine colonoscopy or while Dr. Obioha is investigating another condition. If your colonoscopy or an X-ray shows signs of diverticulosis, Dr. Obioha performs a physical exam and ask you questions about your personal and family medical history. He may order additional testing, including blood work, CT scans, or an X-ray with a barium enema.
Dr. Obioha’s objective in treating diverticulosis is to prevent the condition from worsening or developing an infection or inflammation that could lead to diverticulitis.
He often suggests dietary changes to add more high-fiber foods or supplements to your diet to help you digest food more easily. He may also prescribe probiotics to control your symptoms and aid digestion.
If you develop diverticulitis, Dr. Obioha can prescribe an antibiotic to fight the infection and medication to reduce your inflammation and pain.
Call to schedule a consultation today at Digestive Disease Clinic if you have symptoms like chronic bloating, gas, or lower abdominal pain.