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Abdominal Pain Caused By Diverticulitis?

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Dr. Falchuk explains the different symptoms that diverticulitis will cause a patient, including location of abdominal pain, signs of infection, and treatment options.

Kenneth Falchuk, MD: Abdominal pain is a broad subject, but if someone is concerned about a specific disease such as diverticulitis, the pain usually is acute. More often than not it is a pain centered to the lower abdomen, more commonly or not, the left side of the abdomen. We call it the left lower abdominal quadrant. That is an area where most of diverticula usually occur.

It is an area where the bowel is somewhat narrow and a little curved and when diverticulitis occurs, develops, that means inflammation within the diverticula, and the pain will be or can be quite severe and can also be mild. Patients may develop a change in the bowel pattern, they may become constipated, and they cannot eliminate the stools as well they may even feel bloated. Sometimes the pain is quite intense when the patient is doubled over.

Sometimes the patient can have a fever with chills, a sign of an infection. What diverticulitis really is, the definition, is perforation that means a little hole that could be small, does not have to be large, in one of the diverticula or in several diverticula. So in the space, the area of the colon where these are located, things become narrow, swollen, we call it edema. Pus can collect and that is called abscess and therefore patients can be quite ill, they need to be seen promptly.

Many cases of diverticulitis tend to be mild, mild in the sense that patient can be seen by a physician as an outpatient, evaluated, diagnosis established and be treated with antibiotics. The specific way to make the diagnosis is not only the clinical presentation. The clinical finding is the need to do an x-ray, a CT scan with contrast of the abdomen focussing in the area where the pain is present.

Now that does not mean that you cannot have diverticulitis in other segments of the colon. It could be at the right side, it could be at the mid-portion of the transverse colon.

As I said previously, the left side of the colon, the sigmoid colon, is the predominant site where diverticulitis develops. Abdominal pain is a broad symptom. It is caused by many conditions so it is important for the physician to know how to proceed and differentiate, what we call established differential diagnosis or in another conditions, it could be a catastrophe of something is leaking into the abdomen. There could be another abscess. There could be a perforated appendix and so and so, that is why prompt evaluation, proper x-ray studies and laboratory studies as well and then proceed with a treatment and followup.

Learn more about Dr. Falchuk: http://services.bidmc.org/Find_a_doc/doc_detail.asp?sid=41414641434540

This information should not be relied upon as a substitute for personal medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Use the information provided on this site solely at your own risk.  If you have any concerns about your health, please consult with a physician.

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50 Comments

    Popular Comments:

TacocaT . 2020-04-03
I don't know what's wrong with me, a few months ago I had appendicitis and got them taken out, idk if it has anything to do with the pain but it feels like it's stinging and it's kinda bad
121 2 . Reply
Wstern Boy . 2020-03-05
here look easy ansewr Stop fucken Eating some muxh fatass stop getting bloated
121 2 . Reply
S W . 2020-03-01
thank you Doc !
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Zeek Street . 2020-02-24
He's a good Doctor. He's saying you should receive X-rays before
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Homeslice Slices . 2020-02-14
I have diverticolusis, was diagnosed year n half ago when i got really sick. Was puking nonstop all that. Now a year later ive been having chronic problems with my intestines. Headaches, bad constant gas, constipation off and on like 2 weeks out of the month. So I went to hospital, recommended by my PCP. Ok so no infection but i have high blood pressure, slight fever and i got headache. I'm calling my PCP in morning and going have a colonoscopy. I'm bit scared. I still hurt, headache, abdominal pain, gas, temperature of 99. This is has been a week and a half so may b i went to doc after the infection went away? What could it be? The doc at hospital said may b Chrohn disease? I'm a bit at a loss. The doc at hospital said could be IBS too. That they cant see certain things with CT scan and contrast. That colonoscopy may be only thing to figure it out. Also i drink a lot of water and electrolytes and all docs tell me i need drink electrolytes.
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Donald Quirk . 2020-02-12
How about a burning sensation on left side. Not bad but just annoying. It comes and goes.
121 2 . Reply
Mark Thomas . 2020-02-04
I'm pretty sure I have this diverticulitis. It really hurts bad I am lying in bed now but the second I move it's going to hurt like hell. I'm going to call the advice nurse now to see if I could get scheduled at Kaiser going to the ER would cost a minimum of $1,000. This video was very helpful, thank you doctor
121 2 . Reply
Lospk VLOG . 2020-01-30
I had been 2weeks ago I see the doctor n doctor give me some medicine but not getting good too my problem for abdomen is when I ate food after immediately I got gass problem n started to pain to stomach. Plz can u tell about reason why?
121 2 . Reply
p larkin . 2020-01-14
I used to have this before I discovered I had Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity....NCGS
I even had infections and fever
I would take Echinacea Golden Seal Garlic and not eat much and in a few days I would be fine.
People do not realize antibiotics are dangerous.
I know they can be necessary and save lives too.
Thank you
Lord bless you
See..Paul Haider on YTube concerning grains...hes great!
121 2 . Reply
Dontmind . 2020-01-03
Does anyone knows if this also causes bad breath as a sude effect? I swear its seems like people can smell whatever I eat everytime i eat something.
121 2 . Reply
RobbIE DANK . 2019-12-10
Holy shit I’m saved
121 2 . Reply
Dragan Banjac . 2019-12-09
Great Video! Sorry for chiming in, I would appreciate your thoughts. Have you considered - Weyannah Reyharlotte Method (Sure I saw it on Google)? It is a great one of a kind guide for getting rid of IBS and irritable colon Immediately minus the headache. Ive heard some incredible things about it and my old buddy Taylor after a lifetime of fighting got astronomical success with it.
121 2 . Reply
tony borg . 2019-11-16
Ccure?
121 2 . Reply
Mojo Bro . 2019-10-27
Dr in the last two years I have been suffering from pains across top of my abdomin. It is a feeling of being full of gas, very painful to turn, make raped movments. At the same time my joints have started to inflame, hurt, just pain with no control. My CCP response number jump from 2017-22 /. 2018-39 / 2019-79, so they are sending me to see RA Dr. A CAT scan seen Diverticulitis in my Duodenum of all places. Could the intestine issues be connect to CCP and Authritis?
121 2 . Reply
TwoKool115 . 2019-09-14
what I’ve had the past couple of days isn’t pain, per se, it’s more of a dull unconformableness. In my lower left abdomen, above the hip. It almost feels like something is stuck inside, and on occasion, it feels really painful. Is this a symptom? Or is it a tightening muscle, like what a couple of my med school buddies say it might be?
121 2 . Reply
Shade Man . 2019-08-24
hey ya i do have a bit of pain on the lower abdominal but like 2 out of 10 but this was after i somehow hurt my right nut but now my testical is fine but i have a bit of abdominal pain now, so maybe i just pulled a muscle doing work cause it jsut feels swollen but doesnt hurt unless i touch but again doesnt hurt much so ya i was wondering if that could be serious or not ?
121 2 . Reply
Mickey Thomas . 2019-08-23
I’ve got this now. Been in pain for a week, originally thought it might be a virus.
Literally get pains within 5 minutes of eating, I am sick to death of sitting on the toilet. Even eating the bland diet gives me pains. Dr has given me some antibiotics today, so praying that they get rid of this. Never had anything like this, it’s nasty, gets you down and stops you doing things.
121 2 . Reply
Li Malik . 2019-07-26
So if it hurts and you have a fever you have a Infection?
121 2 . Reply
Hello People . 2019-07-23
I’m having abdominal pain it’s hurting so bad I can’t sleep
Every time I move it hurts this is the worst pain I have ever felt I feel like throwing up but doesn’t come out
I know am not pregnant I however am 17 days late but my cycle is also messed up
Help!!!!!!
(The pain started tonight around 1am it’s now 4:44am)
121 2 . Reply
Online School . 2019-07-23
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Ann 124 . 2019-07-19
Would it be lower abdomen? I have pain in my lower abbs. Feel the pain on ovary area, left/right. A CT Scan was done I was told I have nothing, no cysts, nothing. I was told I had infection. I took antibiotics prescribed. My fever went away. This happened about 8 months ago. But feel pain again. No fever yet tho. I think it may be a cysts or fallopian tube infection. But CT scan and ultrasound would have detected that. I'm worried now 😕. I'll go to a different Doctor.
121 2 . Reply
Scottys Back Yard BBQ . 2019-06-17
diver hurts like hell.. 3 times i had this..
121 2 . Reply
monckey wrench . 2019-06-07
Doc, i think your topic is really essential,, but i think you really need to produce visuals on this to clarify your explanation. Thanks bdway for this very important topic.
121 2 . Reply
Gumball Watterson . 2019-05-07
Doctor please answer my question, I have a little bit pain on my lower left side abdomen its not painful to touch but I had a little fever before i felt the lain in my lower left side abdomen. Im not sure if this is just muscle strain because i have been playing too muchh table tennis everyday or this is diverticulitis. Thank you
121 2 . Reply
Robin Hall . 2019-03-11
J
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Tasha Golden . 2019-03-07
Had a diverticulitis attack and was diagnosed with a ct scan in 2011. afterwards I promptly got an infection in my testicles. I was put on antibiotics that took care of the infection. My stomach has never been the same. No appetite and discomfort in my belly button. Gastroenterologist said I had gastritis and to take a prevacid. No medicine or diet has any effect on my condition. Bottom line I'm screwed doctors don't know what the hell there taking about. When they do the autopsy on my body they will probably say I don't know how we missed that it was cancer.
121 2 . Reply
Drowning Narcissist . 2019-03-03
But is it something that's necessary to see a Dr about?
121 2 . Reply
Colorectal Surgery Services TV . 2019-02-23
Great video.
121 2 . Reply
Bethany Girard . 2018-08-20
Thank, you
121 2 . Reply
Jj Goens . 2017-08-04
spent 4 days in the hospital due to pain and I thought it was a kidney stone until the doctor told me I had diverticulitis at the age of 24 and required surgery due to it rupturing no joke! 6 months now gave up all fast food started eating mostly veggies and whole grains and I feel fantastic!
121 2 . Reply
The Dude Man . 2017-07-28
I have a pain in my upper left abdomen right under my rib cage that has been off and on for years. Well lately it's been hanging around a lot longer and is not getting better. Seems to worst shortly before bowel movements. My family has a history of diverticulitis.
121 2 . Reply
aPugsLife . 2016-11-23
for years i tought it was PCOS :(
121 2 . Reply
Come-up Music . 2015-12-16
I have been having abdominal pain which moves around, under left, right rib cage to just above pelvic bone, I had gallbladder removed years ago, drs, have done plenty of blood work and tests, however nothing so far other than an inflammation in the stomach I also get a fever when I do any cleaning, walking around, etc....any ideas on what this could be??
121 2 . Reply
Ray Davidson . 2015-10-06
just got out of the hospital,spent a week there recovering from a perforated colon do to a infection,the hospital sent me home like that they missed it on the ct scans,had to drink the dye to its called contrast not good for the kidneys,but went home and the pain was indescribable the only way I can describe the pain was if someone shot me with a shotgun with buckshot rite in the gut,I don't wish the pain on my worse enemy,I was pre septic,but went back to hospital the next day and they found it ,the ripe,they had to put drainage tubes in my gut they were called jP infection drainage tubes they look like hand grenades,had three of them for almost a week draining the infection out my organs and gut,I feel for people with this condition its nothing to play with, very very very painful,thank god I made it threw this,god bless
121 2 . Reply
Aries Laygo . 2015-08-19
does it heal on it's own though? and what if abdominal pains just go away after a day or two, does that mean anything?
121 2 . Reply
Lori Smith . 2015-05-17
i have this...on meds now...it hurts bad!
121 2 . Reply
1mythalive . 2013-11-13
Bad doctor...giving pills when you can give herbs to treat people
121 2 . Reply
jesuisravi . 2013-10-06
good information
121 2 . Reply
Priyavrat sanyal . 2012-10-27
thanks
121 2 . Reply