Enable/Disable "how ask works"
FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is diverticulitis?
Diverticulitis is a complication of a common digestive condition called diverticular disease, where small abnormal skin pouches (diverticula) form in your bowel. Usually these pouches are symptom-free, but if they get infected, it is called diverticulitis.
What are the symptoms of diverticulitis?
The symptoms of diverticulitis are a sharp, constant pain in your lower left-hand abdomen, fever above 38 degrees Celsius, a bloated abdomen, nausea and vomiting; you may also find blood in your bowel movements.
What causes diverticulitis?
Diverticulitis is caused by abnormal pouches (diverticula) in your bowel becoming infected. This can be due to a piece of hardened feces getting trapped in a pouch and causing an infection.
Who gets diverticulitis?
People over 50 years of age, who eat a low-fiber, processed diet and/or are obese, are most prone to diverticulitis. It is a disease that mainly affects people who eat a western diet and is virtually unknown in Africa and Asia.
How is diverticulitis diagnosed?
Diverticulitis is usually diagnosed by colonoscopy, barium X-ray or CT scan.
How is diverticulitis treated?
All cases of diverticulitis are considered medical emergencies until evaluated by a doctor. Most cases can be treated at home, though more severe cases are treated in hospital. In rare cases, surgery is required.
Can diverticulitis be prevented?
Eating a high-fiber diet, exercising, drinking lots of water and avoiding constipation are key to avoiding diverticulitis.
Will diverticulitis keep coming back?
With antibiotics and changes in diet, you can avoid having more episodes of diverticulitis. If you continue to eat a low-fiber diet and are constipated, you will probably have future episodes.
About this article
Author: Karen McCloskey BHSc
First answered: 23 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.7 out of 5
Votes: 1027 (Click smiley face below left to rate)