Although diverticulitis symptoms are generally minor and may include mild cramps or bloating, untreated diverticulitis may lead to more serious problems. The severity of a person's symptoms depends on the extent of the infection and complications. Serious cases of diverticulitis may eventually lead to bleeding, infections, tears, and blockages. These complications require immediate treatment to prevent the development of serious illness.
Most people with diverticulosis (a condition in which small pouches bulge outward through weak spots in the colon) do not have any discomfort or symptoms. However, possible symptoms that may be experienced include:
- Mild cramps
Other diseases, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and stomach ulcers, can cause similar problems, so these symptoms do not always mean a person has diverticulosis. You should visit your doctor if you have these troubling symptoms.
Diverticulitis occurs when the pouches (called diverticula) become infected or inflamed, causing pain and tenderness.
The most common symptom of diverticulitis is abdominal pain. The most common sign is tenderness around the left side of the lower abdomen. If infection is the cause, symptoms such as fever, nausea, vomiting, chills, cramping, and constipation may occur as well. The severity of symptoms depends on the extent of the infection and complications.
Diverticulitis can lead to bleeding, infections, perforations or tears, and blockages. These complications always require treatment to prevent them from progressing and causing serious illness.