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What's Going Around - 5/23

May 23, 2011

From the common cold to important health reminders, we're tracking illnesses passing through Central Virginia communities.

This week we checked in with Dr. John Carl, of Martha Jefferson Surgical Associates. He says diverticulitis, an inflammation in the sacs or pouches in the lining of the intestine, is what's going around.

Symptoms include lower abdominal pain, bloating or gas, fever and chills, nausea or vomiting, constipation or diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Those symptoms can develop over several hours or days.

Treating diverticulitis is going to require a trip to the doctor. You will need a prescription for antibiotics. Depending on how severe the inflammation is, the abscess may need to be drained or removed with surgery.

Preventing diverticulitis is fairly easy. Dr. Carl suggests eating a diet high in fiber.

It's important to point out, that people that have had multiple attacks of diverticulitis may benefit from removing the affected segment of colon.

Keeping in line with colon health, Dr. Carl is reminding people to get a colonoscopy screening for early detection and prevention of colon cancer.

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