Dr. Siva Maran, MD
Morristown Gastroenterology

705 North High Street Suite A
Morristown, TN 37814
Phone: 423-587-0860
Fax: 423-289-1267

Diverticular Disease

Lots of people have small pouches in the lining of the colon, that bulge outward through weak spots. Each pouch is called a diverticulum. Multiple pouches are called diverticula. The condition of having diverticula is called diverticulosis. Around 10 percent of Americans older than 40 have diverticulosis. The condition becomes more common as people age. 50% of all people older than 60 have diverticulosis.

Diverticula are most common in the lower portion of the large intestine, or the sigmoid colon. When the pouches become inflamed, the condition is called diverticulitis. 10 - 25% of people with diverticulosis get diverticulitis. Diverticulosis and diverticulitis together are called diverticular disease.

Most people with diverticulosis do not have any discomfort or symptoms. Some people may experience crampy pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen, bloating, and constipation. Other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome or stomach ulcers cause similar issues. People with chronic symptoms should visit their doctor or health care provider.

The most common symptom of diverticulitis is abdominal pain. The most common sign on examination is tenderness in the lower left side of the abdomen. Usually, the pain is severe and comes on suddenly, but it can also be mild and become worse over time. Intensity of pain can fluctuate. A person may experience cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, or a change in bowel habits



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