Diverticulitis occurs when one or more diverticula—small, bulging pouches that can form along your digestive tract—become inflamed or infected.
- Severe abdominal pain, typically on the left side
- Increased bouts of diarrhea or constipation
- Possibly fever and nausea
Who is at risk?
As you age, the walls of your intestines weaken and become more susceptible to diverticula. Cases of diverticulitis can begin in people as young as their 40s, though the majority of people suffering from diverticulitis are 80 years old or older.
A diet rich in fiber, including beans, fruits and vegetables, helps digestion and keeps bowel movements consistent.
The best way to diagnose diverticulitis is with colonoscopy.
What is a colonoscopy?
During a colonoscopy, your doctor uses a long, slender, flexible tube attached to a camera to examine your intestines. If any polyps or suspicious areas are found, your doctor will pass surgical tools through the tube to remove and biopsy the area.
Mild cases can be treated with antibiotics, rest, and diet. More serious cases may require surgery.