Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis
Diverticulitis Quick Overview
- Diverticulosis is a condition that describes small pouches in the wall of the digestive tract that occur when the inner layer of the digestive tract bulges through weak spots in the outer layer. When these diverticula become inflamed, that is called diverticulitis.
- One of the main causes of diverticulosis is a diet low in fiber.
- Many people with diverticulosis have no symptoms. When symptoms do occur they can include
- Diverticulitis is more serious and symptoms can include
- pain in the abdomen (usually in the lower left side),
- constipation, and
- occasionally diarrhea.
- Diagnosis of diverticulosis/diverticulitis is made over several methods, including a physical exam which includes a digital rectal examination, blood tests,
CT scans of organs in the abdomen, a
colonoscopy, or a
- Treatment for diverticulosis includes a diet high in fiber, fiber supplementation if needed, plenty of fluids, and exercise.
- Diverticulitis also is treated with antibiotics and sometimes surgery.
What is diverticulitis?
Diverticula are small pouches in the wall of the digestive tract. They occur when the inner layer of the digestive tract bulges through weak spots in the outer layer. (This is similar to what happens when an inner tube bulges through a tire.)
- Although these pouches can occur any place from the mouth to the anus, most occur in the large intestine (colon), especially the left (lower) portion of the colon just before the rectum.
- These marble-sized pouches usually occur where the blood vessels run through the intestinal wall.
- Individuals who have these pouches have diverticulosis.
- Because this condition typically does not cause symptoms, most people are unaware they have diverticulosis.
Picture of diverticulitis, diverticulosis, diverticular
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/8/2015
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