Diverticulosis is a condition of the large intestine that usually results from consuming insufficient dietary fiber. As a result of higher than normal pressure in the large intestine (colon) small hernias or “out-pouches” develop called diverticula. In most people diverticulosis causes no symptoms.
Diverticulitis is a disease that is caused by inflammation of diverticulosis. Patients with acute diverticulitis experience left lower abdominal pain that is sometimes associated with fever, constipation or diarrhea. The treatment of uncomplicated diverticulitis includes dietary restriction and antibiotics.
Occasionally patients require hospitalization for intravenous antibiotics. A small percentages of patients with severe diverticulitis can develop intestinal obstruction, perforation or hemorrhage . If patients with severe diverticulitis do not respond rapidly to medical treatment, surgery may be necessary to remove the diseased portion of the large intestine.