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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Diverticulitis
      Category : Health Centers > Digestive System


Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Diverticula are small sacs that sometimes form in the wall of the intestine. When these sacs become infected and inflamed, a condition known as diverticulitis results.

What is going on in the body?

The term diverticulosis means the presence of many diverticula in the bowel. A person's diet is thought to play a role in the formation of diverticula. Diverticula do not usually cause symptoms. But if diverticula become inflamed, symptoms usually do occur.

What are the causes and risks of the disease?

Diverticulitis can only occur in people who have diverticulosis. Both conditions are more common in people older than 50.

Diverticulosis is more common in people who have a low intake of fiber in their diets. Diverticula usually occur in the left side of the large bowel or colon. This may be due to higher pressure in this part of the bowel.

Once a diverticulum has formed, it may become infected. This infection causes the inflammation and symptoms of diverticulitis.


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Diverticulitis: Symptoms & Signs

Author: Minot Cleveland, MD
Reviewer: Kathleen A. MacNaughton, RN, BSN
Date Reviewed: 09/20/02

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