How is diverticular disease diagnosed?


A doctor can test for diverticular disease in many ways. A computed tomography (CT) scan is the most common test used. A doctor will inject a liquid in a vein in your arm that better highlights your organs on X-rays. You may be asked to drink liquid called barium instead of getting an injection. You are then placed in a large doughnut-shaped machine that takes X-rays.

Other tests include:

Medical history: The doctor will ask about your health and symptoms, such as pain. You will be asked about your bowel habits, diet, and any medications you take.Blood test: This test can help detect infections.Stool sample: This test may show bleeding in the digestive tract.Digital rectal exam: The doctor will insert a gloved finger into your rectum to check for pain, bleeding, or a blockage.X-ray and barium enema: The doctor will insert liquid called barium in the large intestine through your anus-the opening from where stool leaves the body. Barium makes the diverticula show up on an X-ray.Colonoscopy: The doctor will insert a small tube through your anus. A tiny video camera in the tube will show if there are any pouches.

The answer is based on source information from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Continue Learning about Digestive Diseases

Digestive Diseases

Digestive diseases, also known as gastrointestinal diseases, are disorders that affect your esophagus, stomach and small and large intestines. The symptoms of digestive diseases vary widely depending on which part of your digestiv...

e system is affected. Generally symptoms can be blood in your stool, a change in bowel habits, pain, weight loss or heartburn that is not relieved by antacids. See you doctor if you have any of these signs of digestive disease.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.