When pockets develop in the wall of the colon, this is called diverticulosis. The pockets that form are called diverticula; the pockets pick up fecal matter as the body’s waste is propelled through the colon.
Diverticulosis and diverticulitis are classified as diverticular disease. The main difference between diverticulosis and diverticulitis is that there is no inflammation, and with the second there is. Approximately 80 percent of the individuals who have been diagnosed with diverticulosis never advance to the more serious condition, diverticulitis. Most people who have diverticulosis have no symptoms at all.
Symptoms of diverticulosis
Left lower abdominal pain (relieved after passing stool or gas)
No symptoms at all
Symptoms of diverticulitis
Sudden pain in the left lower abdomen
Abdominal pain may start out mild and worsen over time
Abdomen is tender to the touch
Daily bowel habits change
Fever (caused by the inflammation or infection)
Blood in stool
Causes of diverticulosis
It isn’t exactly known why diverticula form on the colon wall, but it is believed by the medical community that the pouches form due to elevated pressure inside of the colon pushes outwards. The weak spots in the colon pooch outward and fill up with fecal matter.
It is believed that a diet which lacks enough fiber is a primary cause of the high pressure created in the colon. The increased pressure causes tissue breakdown of the colonic wall. If you don’t eat enough fiber, the stool gets hard. When stool gets hard, it tends to stay in one spot and more fecal matter packs up behind it, which causes more pressure to be exerted on the wall of the colon.
Causes of diverticulitis
The causes of diverticulitis are also thought to be due to internal pressure in the colon. It’s not completely understood what...