Diverticulosis describes a collection of diverticulum in the colon. A diverticulum is a small pocket or pouch that develops in the lining of the intestine, usually the colon. Unusual in people under 40 and nearly universal in people over 80, diverticulosis can be scattered over a broad area or concentrated in a small section of the colon.
Once formed, the diverticulum does not disappear. Most people with diverticulosis have no symptoms and are usually diagnosed as part of another test, such as a screening colonoscopy. Occasionally, diverticulosis can cause constipation and bloating. Your ADH doctor may recommend eating a high fiber diet to help your stool to move through your digestive tract easily, reducing the pressure on the diverticulum.
Diverticulitis is the inflammation or infection of the diverticulosis. Symptoms include: localized pain in the abdomen that is sensitive to being touched and fever. Your ADH physician may order a CT scan to confirm that you have diverticulitis before determining the best course of treatment. Mild cases normally respond well to antibiotics. Severe cases may require additional testing or surgery, especially when there is diverticular bleeding. Your gastroenterologist will carefully explain your treatment plan and answer any of your questions.