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Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

If a person should see a health care practitioner if he or she has any of the following symptoms, which may indicate a serious condition:

  • persistent abdominal pain, often in the lower-left area of the abdomen;
  • persistent unexplained fevers;
  • persistent diarrhea;
  • persistent vomiting; or
  • persistent or recurring urinary tract infection.

Any time a person has bleeding from the rectum, he or she should see a health care practitioner as soon as possible.

  • Seek medical care even if the bleeding stops on its own.
  • Bleeding may be a sign of diverticulitis or other serious diseases.
  • If there is a lot of blood or a steady flow of blood, go to a hospital emergency department immediately.

The following symptoms suggest a complication and warrant an immediate visit to an emergency department:

  • worsening abdominal pain;
  • persistent fever with abdominal pain;
  • vomiting so severe that food or liquids cannot be tolerated;
  • swelling or distention of the abdomen;
  • persistent constipation for an extended period of time; or
  • severe pain or other symptoms that you had before when you had diverticulitis.

A person should not attempt to drive themselves to receive medical help, they should have someone else drive them, or call 911 for emergency medical transport. Calling for an ambulance often speeds the trip to the hospital when there is an emergency.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/29/2014
Medical Editor:

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Diverticulitis »

Diverticula are small mucosal herniations protruding through the intestinal layers and the smooth muscle along the natural openings created by the vasa recta or nutrient vessels in the wall of the colon.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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