Symptoms and Signs of Diverticulitis & Diverticulosis

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 10/22/2021

Doctor's Notes on Diverticulitis & Diverticulosis

Diverticulitis is inflammation of the small outpouchings, known as diverticuli, in the wall of the large intestine (colon). Diverticulosis refers to the presence of having diverticuli, and diverticulitis is the condition in which these diverticuli become irritated or inflamed. Diverticulosis increases with age due to a weakening of the walls of the colon over time. Increased pressure within the colon, such as with constipation, also promotes the formation of diverticuli. Once diverticulosis is present, it often becomes inflamed and progresses to diverticulitis.

Signs and symptoms associated with diverticulitis include:

Other signs and symptoms can include rectal bleeding and tenderness in the left lower abdomen.

What Is the Treatment for Diverticulitis & Diverticulosis?

Diverticulosis is a common condition that typically does not cause symptoms or require treatment.

  • Eating a diet high in fiber can help prevent diverticulitis if diverticulosis is present.
  • If diverticulitis develops, mild cases are usually treated with antibiotics.
  • Other treatment measures can include over-the-counter medications to control pain and following a low-fiber or liquid diet until symptoms improve.
  • In cases of severe diverticulitis, hospital care may be needed with intravenous fluids and intravenous antibiotics.
  • Surgery may be considered for complications such as abscess formation, perforation of the bowel, or blockages within the bowel.

Must Read Articles:


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