Diverticulitis services offered in Waldorf, MD

Up to 30% of adults aged 50-59 have diverticulitis, a condition causing inflammation in the large intestine (colon). At GI Associates of Maryland in Waldorf, Maryland, the team of experienced gastroenterologists specializes in diagnosing and treating diverticulitis. After an exam and lab testing, they can make personalized treatment recommendations to prevent the condition from worsening. Call the GI Associates of Maryland office today to schedule treatment for diverticulitis, or book your appointment online. 

Diverticulitis Q & A

What is diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis is a painful condition that occurs when diverticula –– small pockets that develop on the inside of the colon –– become swollen and irritated. The natural aging process is the cause of diverticula forming. They usually don’t cause problems, but in some people, they become inflamed. Without treatment, diverticulitis can lead to infection or other problems. 

What are the symptoms of diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis symptoms include:

  • Constipation
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Distended abdomen

If you have an infection, you might experience a fever.

Are there different types of diverticulitis?

GI Associates of Maryland treats several types of diverticulitis, including:

Acute diverticulitis

Acute diverticulitis occurs suddenly and improves with treatment like prescription medication. 

Chronic diverticulitis

Chronic diverticulitis causes inflammation that lasts for weeks or even months, often pointing to an underlying problem with the large intestine. 

Uncomplicated diverticulitis

Uncomplicated diverticulitis responds well to treatment, causing inflammation but healing quickly and rarely presents lasting problems.

Complicated diverticulitis

Complicated diverticulitis triggers more gastrointestinal problems. This type of diverticulitis takes a multi-step treatment approach and regular monitoring.

How is diverticulitis diagnosed?

Your GI Associates of Maryland provider reviews your medical records, asks about your symptoms, and completes a physical exam. Because diverticulitis presents similar symptoms to other gastrointestinal problems, your provider rules out other causes first and orders blood work and a stool or urine test.

If these screens confirm inflammation of your diverticula, your provider orders a computed tomography (CT) scan. This X-ray helps pinpoint the location and severity of the diverticulitis. 

Your provider orders a colonoscopy if a CT scan doesn’t provide enough information. A colonoscopy uses a colonoscope to look closer at the inside of your large intestine.

How is diverticulitis treated?

Diverticulitis treatment depends on the type and severity of your symptoms. Acute and uncomplicated diverticulitis often improves, but you should still see a doctor to determine the best approach. 

Your GI Associates of Maryland provider might recommend:

  • A liquid diet
  • Oral antibiotics to stop an infection
  • Taking over-the-counter acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Intravenous (IV) antibiotics
  • Blood transfusion
  • Endoscopic procedures (to treat minor complications)

Your provider might recommend surgery if your diverticulitis is severe or causing more serious problems like persistent bleeding. GI Associates of Maryland suggests surgery when more conservative treatments fail.

Call the nearest GI Associates of Maryland office today to explore treatment for diverticulitis, or book your appointment online.