Diverticular disease (diverticulosis) and diverticulitis

Introduction
Diverticular disease and diverticulitis are related conditions that affect the large intestine (colon). A “diverticula” is the medical term used to describe a small bulge that stick out of the side of the large intestine (colon). Diverticula are common and associated with ageing as it is thought that the bowel becomes weaker with age, and the pressure of hard stools.

It’s estimated that 5% of people have diverticula by the time they are 40 years old, and at least 50% of people have them by the time they are 80 years old. One in four people who develop diverticula will experience symptoms, such as abdominal pain. In diverticular disease, small bulges or pockets (diverticula) develop in the lining of the intestine. Diverticulitis is when these pockets become inflamed or infected.

Symptoms
Diverticular disease is mostly without symptoms (and known as diverticulosis) but some patients will develop

  • lower abdominal pain
  • feeling bloated

Patients who develop diverticulitis (infection of diverticula) can have

  • more severe abdominal pain, especially on the left side
  • high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
  • diarrhoea or frequent bowel movements

Diverticular disease and diverticulitis can lead to complications, such as bleeding, abscess, fistula, stricture.

To know more about Diverticular Disease, click here to download the pdf.

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