Diverticulosis & Diverticulitis

Signs & Symptoms   |    Causes   |    Treatment   |    Questions to Ask   |    Self-Care/Prevention

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Sometimes small pouches bulge outward through weak spots in the colon. This is called diverticulosis. The pockets (called diverticula) can fill with intestinal waste. With diverticulitis, these pockets and areas around them get inflamed or infected.

Rectal Problems

Signs & Symptoms

For Diverticulosis

Crohn's Disease

Often this has no symptoms. Some persons may have:

•  Mild cramps.

•  Bloating

•  Constipation.

•  Blood in the stool.

For Diverticulitis

•  Severe cramping and bloating in the abdomen, usually on the lower left side. The pain is made worse with a bowel movement.

•  Tenderness over the abdomen.

•  Nausea.

•  Fever.


A low fiber diet is thought to be the main cause. Constipation and overuse of laxatives may also play a role.


Diverticulitis needs medical treatment. Diverticulosis can’t be cured, but self-care measures can reduce symptoms and prevent serious problems.

Questions to Ask

Self-Care / Prevention

•  Get regular exercise. Drink 1-1/2 to 2 quarts of water daily. Eat a diet high in fiber, but avoid foods that bother you (e.g., corn, nuts, etc.).

•  Avoid the regular use of “stimulant” laxatives, such as Ex-Lax. Ask your doctor about taking bulk-forming laxatives like Metamucil.

•  Try not to strain when you have bowel movements.

This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.


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