Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis

Many people have small pouches in their colons that bulge outward through weak spots, like an inner tube that pokes through weak places in a tire. Each pouch is called diverticulum. Pouches (more than one) are called diverticula. The condition of having diverticula is called diverticulosis. About 10 percent of Americans over the age of 40 have diverticulosis.

When the pouches become infected or inflamed, the condition is called diverticulitis.

Quick Facts

Symptoms:

  • Most people with diverticulosis do not have any discomfort or symptoms.
  • Mild cramps
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Tenderness around the left side of the lower abdomen. 

Common Causes:

  • A diet in lower-fiber foods 

Diagnosis:

  • Medical History Review and Review of Symptoms
  • Physical examination
  • May perform one or more diagnostic tests

Common Treatments:

  • High fiber diet
  • Fiber supplements, such as Citrucel or Metamucil once a day
  • Mild pain medications, if warranted 

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