Signs and Symptoms of Diverticulitis

The signs and symptoms of diverticulitis can vary depending on the severity of the condition, but some common symptoms include:

  1. Abdominal pain: This is the most common symptom of diverticulitis and is usually felt in the lower left side of the abdomen.
  2. Nausea and vomiting: These symptoms may occur as a result of the abdominal pain.
  3. Constipation or diarrhea: Changes in bowel movements are a common symptom of diverticulitis.
  4. Fever and chills: A fever and chills may indicate an infection is present.
  5. Bloating: This is a common symptom of diverticulitis, and can be accompanied by abdominal pain.
  6. Loss of appetite: This can occur as a result of the abdominal pain and discomfort.
  7. Rectal bleeding: In some cases, diverticulitis can cause rectal bleeding.

If you don’t treat it, diverticulitis can lead to serious complications that require surgery:

  1. Abscesses, collections of pus from the infection, may form around the infected diverticula. If these go through the intestinal wall, you could get peritonitis. This infection can be fatal. You’ll need treatment right away.
  2. Perforation or tearing in the intestinal wall can lead to abscesses and infection because of waste leaking into the abdominal cavity.
  3. Scarring can lead to a stricture or blockage of the intestine.
  4. Fistulas can develop if an infected diverticulum reaches a nearby organ and forms a connection. This most often happens between the large intestine and the bladder. It can lead to a kidney infection. Fistulas can also form between the large intestine and either the skin or the vagina.
  5. Stricture, which happens when the colon narrows in the affected area.

It’s important to note that these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, and that not everyone with diverticulitis will experience all of these symptoms. If you have symptoms of diverticulitis, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible for a proper evaluation and treatment plan.