Ruptured Colon Symptoms

Diverticulitis, also known as a ruptured colon, occurs when small areas of tissue (sacs) bulge from the colon and burst and acquire infection. Individual sacs are known as diverticulum, and more than one sac is identified as diverticula. As a person ages, the muscles lining the colon become harder and it takes more pressure to eliminate waste. Cracks in the muscle walls allow sacs of tissue to bulge from the colon from the internal pressure.The pouches that develop are then termed diverticula. It is most common to experience diverticula near the end of the colon--an area called the sigmoid colon. Individuals over the age of 50 are more likely to suffer from diverticula. If a physician suspects an individual may have diverticula, a series of diagnostic tests may be performed that may include Barium X-rays, CT scan, ultrasound and colonoscopy. Treatments include diet changes including fiber, nut and seed restrictions. A physician may also prescribe more rest, or anti-spasmodic drugs to help alleviate pain. Oral antibiotics may be prescribed for mild symptoms of diverticulitis. More severe symptoms may require less fibrous diets to limit the amount of waste material traveling through the colon, and possibly surgery if an individual's body does not respond to antibiotics. According to the Mayo Clinic, only about 25 percent of individuals suffer from any symptoms associated with diverticulitis.


Due to the fact that the colon narrows where the diverticula have formed, pain and abdominal cramps--typically experienced in the lower left area of the abdomen--may occur when passing fecal matter through the colon. The pain may be instantaneous and severe, or it may be mild and come and go. Tenderness of the abdomen may also be a symptom of diverticula.


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A fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit that continues for more than two days in combination with other symptoms may be a sign of diverticula. Individuals suffering from a fever of over 101 degrees who also have a poor response to oral antibiotics may be admitted to the hospital for IV fluids and antibiotics.


An upset stomach, vomiting, nausea and possible abscess in the pelvic region are all symptoms that may be suffered from diverticulitis.


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Experiencing more frequent bowel movements that are loose in consistency and also suffering greater abdominal pressure and bowel sounds may occur as symptoms of diverticulitis. An individual may suffer from incomplete evacuation of stools and feel intense pressure to go again immediately following eliminating fecal matter. Individuals may also suffer from incontinence of stools with diverticulitis.


Bleeding into the colon can occur when vessels rupture in the diverticula; it can occur for several days or can be intermittent. Passing blood clots from the colon that are red, or maroon-colored is also a possible symptom of diverticulitis. Passing blood or blood clots may occur with or without the individual suffering any pain.


More than one incident of diverticulitis can cause scarring and toughening of the muscles lining the large intestines and colon, making it difficult to pass solid waste and thus result in the waste obstructing the colon passageway.