What is diverticulosis?

Diverticulosis is a condition in which small pouches form on the inside of the colon, called diverticula.  No one really understands why these form or how to prevent them. Some studies have shown that people who eat diets higher in fiber have less chance of diverticular disease.

What is diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis occurs when diverticula become inflamed or infected.  

What are the risk factors for getting diverticulitis?

  • Aging
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Eating a diet low in fiber
  • Steroid use
  • Long term NSAID use (Advil, Motrin, ibuprofen, Aleve)
  • Opioid use

What are the symptoms of diverticulitis?

  • Pain, usually in the lower left side of the belly
  • Cramping
  • Feeling bloated
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

What should I do if I think I have diverticulitis?

Contact your physician, who will probably order labs and x-ray to confirm that you have diverticulitis.

How is diverticulitis treated?

If your diverticulitis is mild and caught early, your doctor will most likely treat you with antibiotics and a liquid diet for a few days to help heal your bowel. If your attack is worse, you may need to have IV antibiotics and additional procedures/surgery.