Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Diverticulosis Overview

What is diverticulosis?
Diverticula are small pockets, or pouches, that form in the wall of the intestine. A person with diverticulosis has one or more diverticula in the intestine. About 30 percent of Americans over 60 years of age have diverticulosis. Diverticulosis is caused by increased pressure on the intestinal wall from inside the intestine. As the body ages, the outer wall of the intestine becomes less flexible, and stool moves mores slowly through the intestine. This can increase the pressure inside the intestine. Diverticulosis does not cause symptoms. Inflammation of the diverticula, called diverticulitis, can cause abdominal pain and blood in the stool.

What are the symptoms of diverticulosis?
Diverticulosis does not cause symptoms unless the pouches in the colon become inflamed. Inflammation of the pouches is called diverticulitis. Symptoms of diverticulitis include abdominal pain that is usually located in the lower left abdomen. Other symptoms include anorexia, fever, constipation, and rectal bleeding.

How does the doctor treat diverticulosis?
There is cure for diverticulosis. Treatment for diverticulosis may include a high fiber diet. Additional treatment measures are required if diverticulitis develops.

Continue to Diverticulosis Incidence

Last Updated: Aug 25, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Diverticulosis References
  1. Hall NR. Managing diverticular disease. Practitioner. 2003 May;247(1646):392-6, 400, 402 passim. [12760128]
  2. Simpson J, Spiller R. Colonic diverticular disease. Clin Evid. 2004 Dec;(12):599-609. [15865664]
  3. Simpson J. Recent advances in diverticular disease. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2004 Oct;6(5):417-22. [15341720]
  4. Stollman N, Raskin JB. Diverticular disease of the colon. Lancet. 2004 Feb 21;363(9409):631-9. [14987890]
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