Small protruding sacs (called diverticula) in the inner lining of the intestine can develop in any part of the intestine, but they are most common in the colon. These diverticula most commonly occur in people over the age of 40.

When diverticula become inflamed, the condition is called diverticulitis. Diverticulitis affects 10 – 20% of people with diverticula at some time. These inflamed areas can become infected.

Symptoms of Diverticulitis

The most common symptoms of diverticulitis include:

  • Abdominal pain – usually the left lower abdomen
    but could be anywhere
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Chills
  • Fever

The following symptoms are less common signs of diverticulitis:

  • Bloody stools
  • Nausea and vomiting

Learn more about Diverticulitis

Treatment for Diverticulitis

A sudden or severe attack of inflammation or infection will need treatment with antibiotics. After the infection is under control, diverticulitis can usually be kept at bay with dietary changes that increase fiber intake. Usually, diverticulitis is a mild condition that responds well to treatment.

Recurring attacks of diverticulitis or attacks that result in damage to the colon may require surgical removal (bowel colectomy) of the affected portion of the colon.

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