sharp pain in lower abdomen
>>> dr. kenneth falchuk: abdominal pain isa 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 abdominalquadrant. that is an area where most of diverticula usually occur.
sharp pain in lower abdomen, it is an area where the bowel is somewhatnarrow and a little curved and when diverticulitis occurs, develops, that means inflammationwithin the diverticula, and the pain will be or can be quite severe and can also bemild. 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 thepain is quite intense when the patient is doubled over. sometimes the patient can have a fever withchills, a sign of an infection. what diverticulitis really is, the definition, is perforationthat means a little hole that could be small, does not have to be large, in one of the diverticulaor 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 calledabscess 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 thediagnosis is not only the clinical presentation. the clinical finding is the need to do anx-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 havediverticulitis in other segments of the colon. it could be at the right side, it could beat the mid-portion of the transverse colon. as i said previously, the left side of thecolon, the sigmoid colon, is the predominant site where diverticulitis develops. abdominalpain is a broad symptom. it is caused by many conditions so it is important for the physicianto know how to proceed and differentiate,
what we call established differential diagnosisor 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, thatis why prompt evaluation, proper x-ray studies and laboratory studies as well and then proceedwith a treatment and followup.