Diverticulitis is a condition that occurs in the lining of the digestive system.
It often happens in the lower part of the large intestine in the colon, a long, tube-like structure that stores and then eliminates waste, on the left side.
What are Diverticula?
Diverticula are small, bulging pouches or sacs that form along the wall of the colon. The causes of diverticula are not known by doctors, but it is largely believed that a low-fiber diet is one catalyst. A low-fiber diet means that the colon has to work harder to push stool through the colon, and the pressure may cause diverticula to form in weak spots.
Having diverticula is called diverticulosis.This condition is rare in people under 40, but the potential to develop diverticulosis does increase with age. Most with diverticulosis experience few to no symptoms.
How Diverticulitis Occurs
When diverticula are infected or inflamed, diverticulitis occurs. This is caused by feces getting trapped in the pouches and allowing bacteria to grow. When diverticula become inflamed, the result can be very painful, with symptoms lasting from a few hours to a few weeks.
Some Symptoms include:
- Belly pain, usually in the lower left side, that is sometimes worse when you move
- Fever and chills
- Bloating and gas
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Nausea and sometimes vomiting
- Not feeling like eating
If you think you may suffer from diverticulosis or diverticulitis, consult a physician.