Diverticulosis – What is Diverticulosis?


is a condition in which the person has small pouches in his colon. Pouches are outpocketings of the colonic mucosa and submucosa that are formed due to weaknesses of muscle layers in the colon wall. Pouches are called


and each pouch is called a


. This condition usually begins in later age, above 40 years.

Causes of Diverticulosis:

Diverticulosis is thought as the consequence of increased pressure within the lumen of the colon. This increased pressure, secondary to constipation, may lead to weakness in the walls of colon, forming diverticula. Factors that cause diverticula are:

  • Low fiber diet or high fat diet
  • Colonic spasm that increases pressure in the colon
  • High intake of red meat
  • Increasing age
  • Chronic constipation
  • Connective tissue disorder in the colon wall

Symptoms of Diverticulosis:

Initially there are no symptoms. When symptoms occur, they are seen as:

  • Bleeding
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Changes in bowel movements including diarrhea or constipation
  • Chronic discomfort in the lower left abdomen
  • Acute episodes of sharper pain
  • Pulling sensation in the region
  • A tickling sensation around the region

Symptoms of anemia may present:

  • Fatigue
  • Light-headedness
  • Shortness of breath

Diagnosis of Diverticulosis:

To diagnose diverticulosis, a thorough physical examination is done by the doctor. Medical history is duly taken. Colonoscopy is the most used diagnostic test. Other tests recommended are abdominal X-ray, CT-scan and MRI. Barium enema is contraindicated in diverticulosis due to increased risk of perforation of the diverticula.

Treatment of Diverticulosis:

There is nothing much to treat diverticulosis. One just need to increase the amount of fiber in the diet. Fiber keeps the stool moving and lowers the pressure inside the colon. This prevents diverticulosis. For symptoms like cramps, constipation, bloating, the doctor may prescribe a short term medication.

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