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Do I have diverticulitis?

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Every few months I'm getting this severe sudden lower left abdominal pain. It come from nowhere, also feel it in rectum, feels like a serious spasm, exacerbated by any movement but eased by lying on my right side. The pain usually lasts for around an hour then eases leaving me with less severe, shorter spasms for the next 24-48 hours. Family histories of divert ocular disease, including abscesses. Any ideas?

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Category: Family Physician-GP
 31 Doctors Online

Hello, The pain in the left lower abdomen can be due to various causes such as ectopic pregnancy, Crohn's disease, kidney stones , ovarian cysts , endometriosis, diverticulitis. However since you have a family history of diverticular disease, it would be probably suggestive of Diverticulitis that is an inflammation of the Diverticula that are small, bulging pouches commonly found in the large intestine. They are common especially after 40. They will have severe abdominal pain, fever, nausea and change in bowel habits. Mild cases can be treated with rest, change in diet and antibiotics. Serious cases require surgery. Symptoms are sudden severe pain in the lower abdomen, change in bowel habits, abdominal tenderness, fever, nausea and vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, bloating- bleeding per rectum. Diverticula develop in weak places in the colon when there is pressure, which weakens the wall and leads to infection or the trapped fecal matter leads to infection. The risk factors include aging, too little fiber, lack of exercise, obesity, and smoking. The complications include peritonitis, rectal bleeding, an abscess, and a fistula and at the same time you should rule out Irritable bowel syndrome, colon cornea, Ischemic colitis, stomach ulcers. It is better to examine the patient with all routine investigations (likewise for 2 infection), CT scan is a must to know whether it is inflamed or infected. The treatment depends on the severity of signs and symptoms. If it is mild, low fiber diet and antibiotics and the pain is still severe, you can give Tylenol. If the patient develops obstruction or peritonitis or abscess, patient may need surgery. After the evaluation, the surgeon might do a primary barrel resection or Bowel resection with Colostomy. Hence, it is better you consult the doctor for the same. Thank you.

Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
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