What are the methods of Screening & Diagnosis?
As people with diverticulosis show no symptoms, diagnosis usually occurs during routine screening examinations such as colorectal cancer screening or other intestinal tests.
When you present with symptoms of diverticulitis, your doctor will examine your medical history with relation to your diet, bowel habits, and current medications used, and will perform a physical examination. He/she may also conduct a digital rectal examination, where a gloved and lubricated finger will be inserted into your rectum to check for abnormalities. You may be recommended the following diagnostic tests in order to determine the extent of damage to your intestine:
- Imaging tests like X-rays, ultrasound and CT scans
- Sigmoidoscopy: A flexible tube with a camera fitted at one end (sigmoidoscope) is introduced through the anus to visualise the inner lining of the sigmoid colon (lower 1/3rd of the colon) and rectum.
- Colonoscopy: A flexible tube with a camera fitted at one end (colonoscope) is introduced through the anus to visualise the entire large intestine.
- Blood tests: A sample of your blood is analysed in the laboratory for infection.
You may also be recommended to undergo angiography to identify the site of bleeding if you have heavy rectal bleeding. Angiography is a procedure performed to visualise blood vessels after injecting a contrast material into the arteries.