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Diverticular Disease

Diverticular disease consists of three conditions that involve the development of small pockets in the wall of the colon, including diverticulosis, diverticular bleeding, and diverticulitis.

Diverticulosis is the formation of numerous tiny pockets (diverticula) in the lining of the bowel. Diverticula are formed by increased pressure on weakened spots of the intestinal walls by gas, waste, or liquid. Diverticula can form while straining during a bowel movement, such as with constipation.

Diverticular bleeding occurs with chronic injury to the small blood vessels that are next to the diverticula.

Diverticulitis is an inflammation or infection in the diverticula. This usually occurs when the pockets become blocked with waste increasing bacteria build up causing infection.


Most people with diverticulosis have no symptoms. Mild cramps, bloating and constipation may occur but these symptoms are common and occur with other conditions also. Diverticulitis causes abdominal pain and tenderness especially in the left side of the abdomen. Depending on the severity of the inflammation fever, nausea and vomiting may occur.