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When to Go to the Emergency Room for Diverticulitis

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Diverticulitis is a potentially serious condition that occurs when pockets of diverticula form in the colon and then become inflamed. These pockets can cause serious pain in the abdomen and can have deadly consequences if not treated properly and promptly. While it is common for this condition to be treated simply with medication and diet change, there are symptoms that you should look for that tell you when to go to the emergency room for diverticulitis.

Symptoms that mimic Diverticulitis

There are multiple other conditions that show the same symptoms as diverticulitis. Some of these conditions can be deadly if not treated right away; these conditions include:

• Appendicitis
• IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
• Various trauma to rectum and bowl such as fishbones or toothpicks
• Colon Cancer
• Urinary Tract Infection
• Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

While conditions like IBS or UTI can be treated easily with antibiotics, it is important to seek emergency treatment right away if the symptoms could be appendicitis (pain in the lower right side of the abdomen), Colon cancer (pain with bowel movements, lack of bowel movements or blood in stool). Blockages can also be either similar or secondary to that of diverticulitis and require immediate medical treatment.

When to go to the ER For Diverticulitis

There are a few symptoms of Diverticulitis that should never be ignored. These symptoms point to a more serious complication of the condition and typically require a 2-day stay in the hospital for IV antibiotics and in more serious cases, surgery. These symptoms include excessive vomiting and severe nausea, fever of over 100 with or without chills or loss or sudden change in appetite.

The emergency room can be a scary place which is why more and more patients are finding stand-alone emergency departments are a better fit for their needs. Places like Physicians Premier offer the same treatments as those found in hospitals, but without the hospital environment. If a hospital stay is required for treatment, the facility will arrange transport to the hospital. In any case, if you experience any of the severe symptoms of diverticulitis or one of the symptoms that mimic something potentially more serious, you should go to the emergency room for treatment as soon as possible.

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