The First Signs of Diverticulitis

A disease on the rise. A few months back we wrote a blog article discussing the reasons diverticulitis has affected millions of Americans annually the past twenty years. Things such as low fiber intake, smoking, and obesity each rising among the population seems to correlate with the rise of this disease. But, with many gastrointestinal disorders, it may be tough to tell them apart from each other. Common causes in almost all gastro conditions include diarrhea, constipation, cramping, and bloating. So, what makes the symptoms of diverticulitis any different than that of IBD or IBS? Which is more life threatening? In this article we will break down the top 3 symptoms and why they are associated primarily with diverticulitis.

Tenderness, cramps or pain in lower left abdomen

Historically, this disease has affected the colon on the lower left side of your abdomen. Once the diverticula in the lining of the colon have become inflamed, pain is often not far behind. Not to be confused with general abdomen cramping, watch out for pain located specifically in this location.

Fever and chills

Unlike IBD/IBS where no infection is present, though one could always arise, diverticulitis is indeed an infection of the diverticula. Fever and chills are a major sign an infection is present. If  associated with pain in the lower left quadrant of the abdomen, diverticulitis may be in full swing.

Constipation/loss of appetite

Obstruction of stool may just be the most uncomfortable of all the symptoms if you can believe that. Because of the heavy swelling in the colon, especially if there is an abscess, stool may be blocked from exiting the body. This, in its own way, can be very dangerous for the body and will need serious medical attention as soon as possible. If a full obstruction is not present, constipation could be.

These three symptoms seem to happy early, often, and quickly after the onset of diverticulitis. If you or a loved one has any of the above symptoms, don’t hesitate to seek medical help. Our twenty doctors and twelve locations are here to service you at any moment.