You may have heard of diverticulosis and diverticulitis, but you may not know how these two conditions are both related and very different.
Diverticula are small pockets that can form along the wall of the large intestine. Diverticulosis simply means these pockets are present – and chances are you’d never know they were there unless you had a colonoscopy or another imaging test like a CT scan. This condition is extremely common in the United States.
But diverticulitis is when these pockets become inflamed, which can cause sudden and intense abdominal pain. Of course, other digestive conditions also cause abdominal pain – so how can you tell the difference?
On this episode of the For Health’s Sake podcast, gastroenterologist Amanda Gibbs joins us to answer all these questions and more, including:
- How diet can contribute to the development of diverticulosis
- Symptoms of diverticulitis (and how it differs from irritable bowel syndrome)
- How diverticulosis and diverticulitis are diagnosed
- How to reduce your risk of developing diverticulitis if you have diverticulosis
- How to treat diverticulitis and help reduce the chance of a recurrence
- When, why and how surgery is done to treat diverticulitis
Get a gut check
Any time you’re experiencing changes in your bowel habits or abdominal pain, don’t ignore your symptoms. You can start by making an appointment with a primary care doctor. If necessary, your primary doctor can refer you to a specialist like a gastroenterologist.