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Diverticulosis and diverticulitis are two related conditions that affect the colon (large intestine). This patient information sheet aims to provide you with a basic understanding of these conditions, their causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.


Diverticulosis is a condition where small pouches (diverticula) form in the lining of the colon. It is a common condition that often does not cause any symptoms. However, some people may experience mild cramping, bloating, and constipation.

The exact cause of diverticulosis is unknown, but it is thought to be related to a low-fiber diet. A low-fiber diet can cause the colon to work harder to move stool, leading to increased pressure on the colon walls, which can cause the pouches to form.

Diverticulitis is a condition where the diverticula become inflamed or infected. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, and changes in bowel movements.


The exact cause of diverticulitis is not known, but it is thought to be related to a blockage or pressure in the diverticula, which can lead to inflammation or infection. A low-fiber diet can also contribute to the development of diverticulitis.

Diverticulosis is often diagnosed during routine colonoscopies or CT scans. Diverticulitis is usually diagnosed based on symptoms and a physical examination. A CT scan may be done to confirm the diagnosis and to determine the severity of the condition.

Treatment for diverticulosis often involves increasing fiber intake through diet or supplements. Treatment for diverticulitis may include antibiotics, pain relievers, and a liquid diet to allow the colon to rest. In severe cases, hospitalization and surgery may be necessary to remove the affected part of the colon.


The best way to prevent diverticulosis and diverticulitis is to maintain a healthy diet that is high in fiber. This can help prevent constipation and reduce pressure on the colon walls. Drinking plenty of water and exercising regularly can also help prevent these conditions.

Diverticulosis and diverticulitis are two related conditions that affect the colon. While diverticulosis often does not cause symptoms, diverticulitis can cause abdominal pain, fever, nausea, and vomiting. Maintaining a healthy diet that is high in fiber can help prevent these conditions. If you experience symptoms of diverticulitis, it’s important to seek medical attention promptly to prevent complications.

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