Diverticulitis is a condition where pea-sized, bulging pouches (diverticula) in the inner lining of the bowel become inflamed. If the diverticula grow and put pressure on the internal walls of the large intestine (colon), it can lead to serious digestive complications, such as rectal bleeding and blockages.
The condition affects more than half of Americans by the time they reach 60-years of age. However, the exact cause for the formation of these pouches is not known. Usually, patients suffering from diverticulitis have an elevated white blood cell count, abdominal pain (in the left side), bloating, fever, cramping, and tenderness. A few patients even report rectal bleeding. Here are 10 common symptoms of diverticulitis to look out for.
1. Pain in the Lower Abdomen
Abdominal pain, which may be persistent for a few or several days, is common with diverticulitis. As the infection manifests in the abdominal region, a patient can expect abdominal distention, urinary problems, rigidity, and painful cramps. The hallmark of diverticulitis pain is usually a stomach pain accompanied by many other symptoms, which a lot of people do not feel before the real attack.
The pain is mostly felt in the lower left side of the belly. But, in some people, specifically Asians, the pain can occur on the right side (due to genetic reasons) as well.