Symptoms and Signs of Diverticulitis vs. Ulcerative Colitis (UC)

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 9/30/2021

Doctor's Notes on Diverticulitis vs. Ulcerative Colitis (UC)

Diverticulosis and ulcerative colitis are conditions that both affect the digestive tract. Diverticulosis occurs when the inner layer of the digestive tract bulges through weak spots in the outer layer, forming small pouches in the wall of the digestive tract. When these diverticula become inflamed or infected, diverticulitis may develop. 

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that is an acute or chronic inflammation of the innermost membrane that lines the colon (the large intestine) and may result in the formation of sores (ulcers).

Symptoms and signs of diverticulosis/diverticulitis and ulcerative colitis that are similar include 

Signs and symptoms of diverticulosis also include 

Symptoms of diverticulitis also include 

Symptoms of ulcerative colitis also include

  • the urge to have a bowel movement,
  • lack of appetite, and 
  • fatigue.

What is the treatment for diverticulitis and ulcerative colitis?

The treatment for diverticulitis typically involves antibiotics and a liquid diet while the intestine heals. In severe cases, intravenous antibiotics may be required. Surgery is generally reserved for those with complicated or recurrent diverticulitis.

The treatment of ulcerative colitis may involve a combination of the following:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Immune system suppressant medications
  • Biologic therapies that target proteins involved in the immune response
  • Antidiarrheal medications or medications that reduce spasms in the intestine
  • Surgery to remove part or all of the colon

Must Read Articles:


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.