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5.6: Diverticulosis & Diverticulitis

Approximately 10% of people under 40, and 50% of people over 60 years old have a condition known as diverticulosis1. In this condition, diverticula (plural, diverticulum singular), or outpouches, are formed at weak points in the large intestine, primarily in the lowest section of the sigmoid colon, as nicely shown in the figure below and in the video in the web link below.

Figure 5.61 Diverticula on the large intestine1

It is believed that diverticula are formed as a result of a low-fiber diet because people may strain more during bowel movements. Most people with diverticulosis do not know that they have the condition. However, if the pouches become inflamed, then the condition is known as diverticulitis. The most common symptom of this condition is abdominal pain. A liquid diet may be needed until the inflammation is decreased, then fiber is gradually increased1.

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