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.
Diverticular disease is mostly without symptoms (and known as diverticulosis) but some patients will develop
lower abdominal pain
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.
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