Diverticulosis is the presence of small outpouchings (diverticula) in the muscular wall of the large intestine that forms in weakened areas of the bowel. They usually occur in the sigmoid colon, the high-pressure area of the lower large intestine.
Diverticular disease is prevalent and occurs in 10% of people over the age of 40 and 50% of people over the age of 60 in Western cultures. It is often caused by too little roughage (fiber) in the diet. Diverticulosis rarely causes symptoms.
Complications of diverticular disease happen in about 10% of people with outpouchings. They include infection or inflammation (diverticulitis), bleeding, and obstruction. Treatment of diverticulitis includes antibiotics, increased fluid, and a special diet. Surgery is needed in about half the patients who have complications to remove the colon’s involved segment.
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