What Can Cause Diverticulitis?

The precise cause of diverticulitis is still unknown; however, scientists theorize that it could be connected to insufficient dietary fiber and resulting constipation. When constipation puts additional strain on the colon walls, diverticula can form in weaker areas and then become infected when bacteria from the stool is pushed into them. Diverticulitis may also develop when the diverticula themselves start to deteriorate from the excess pressure.

The factors listed below may increase your risk of acquiring diverticulitis.

  • Age: Risk increases as you age
  • Obesity: Being overweight or obese may increase your risk
  • Smoking: Smokers are more likely to develop the condition than people who don’t smoke
  • Inactive lifestyle: Regular physical activity can decrease risk
  • Diet: Proper fiber intake can lower your risk
  • Medications: Certain drugs, like steroids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and opioids have been associated with a higher risk of developing diverticulitis

What Are the Symptoms of Diverticulitis?

Symptoms range in severity, but many sufferers report:

  • Tenderness or pain in the lower abdomen (often on the left side) that lasts for multiple days
  • Fever and nausea; vomiting may also occur
  • Constipation; diarrhea has also been reported but is much less common

Learn About the Diverticulitis Surgery Stony Brook, NY Residents Depend On

Less severe diverticulitis attacks can often be managed with non-surgical solutions like antibiotics, probiotics, or an increase in dietary fiber. However, a doctor may recommend diverticulitis surgery if these non-surgical treatments are unsuccessful.

Surgery is also recommended in cases with serious complications, like peritonitis, a tear or rupture that causes the intestinal contents to spill into the abdominal cavity. Patients with a weakener immune system may also benefit from surgery. If you’ve had multiple attacks of diverticulitis, surgery will likely be the best option for you as well.

For more information about the diverticulitis surgery Stony Brook, NY residents need, get in contact with us today. We will consider your options together and determine if surgery is right for you.