Diverticulosis

Diverticulosis is a condition in which pouches called diverticula form in the wall of the large intestine (colon). The pouches may not cause any symptoms, or they may bleed or become painful, inflamed, or infected.

Diverticula form when increased pressure pushes the wall of the colon outward at certain weak points. These pouches may be smaller than a pencil lead or larger than 0.25 in. (6.4 mm) in diameter. They become more likely with age. Although they are found most often in the colon, diverticula can be found in nearly all parts of the digestive tract.

Most people don't know they have diverticulosis. If diagnosed, it is usually managed by increasing the amount of fiber in the person's diet and avoiding constipation.

Last Updated: July 30, 2008

Author: Monica Rhodes

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Jerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology

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