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Benign Colorectal Disorders

A colorectal disorder interferes with the normal functioning of the colon – which is to absorb water from digested food and prepare waste to be expelled from the body. These disorders are fairly common and highly treatable, although if misdiagnosed or left untreated they can cause severe health problems. Recognizing the symptoms are not enough to properly diagnose any colorectal disorder because many have overlapping symptoms. Endoscopy, colonoscopy, and imaging such as a CT scan are necessary. At East Cooper Colorectal Surgery, our dedicated surgical staff work diligently to provide accurate diagnosis and effective treatment for your benign colorectal disorder.

Diverticulitis

Small pouches called diverticula can form in the lining of your digestive system. Although uncommon, diverticulitis occurs when one or more of these pouches becomes inflamed or infected. Symptoms of diverticulitis include:

  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Severe Abdominal Pain
  • Bloody Stool
  • Constipation

A mild case of diverticulitis can be treated with antibiotics, rest, and dietary changes. Adopting a liquid diet for a few days can help your bowels heal before introducing solid foods again. Making dietary lifestyle changes for the long-term can further help mitigate this issue. Foods to avoid include:

  • Foods High in FODMAPs – fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols
  • Red Meat
  • Refined Grains
  • Full Fat Dairy
  • Fried Foods
  • Nuts, Seeds, & Popcorn

When diverticulitis becomes persistent and severe, surgery may be recommended. Your doctor will discuss all of your options with you and determine the best approach to treat your particular case.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Also referred to as IBD, this disorder occurs due to a defective immune system. The exact cause is unknown, but it manifests in one of two forms including Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis. Both instances involve the chronic inflammation of the GI tract and can cause severe damage when left untreated. Symptoms of IBD include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Bloody Stool
  • Weight Loss
  • Fatigue

Treatment for IBD includes medications and in some instances, vaccinations are recommended to help patients with IBD avoid infection. Fortunately, advanced treatment options make surgery a last resort. When every form of treatment has been exhausted, surgery might be the most effective approach.