Diverticulosis of the colon
Diverticula (pouches) are clearly visible in this
endoscopic view of the wall of the colon. The
condition is thought to be due to a low-fibre diet.
The diverticulosis - A form of diverticular disease in which diverticula (abnormal pouches) exist in the wall of the intestine, particularly in the colon. Complications of diverticulosis may include intestinal bleeding and diverticulitis. The cause is believed to be a lack of fibre in the diet (see fibre, dietary). Diverticulosis is very rare in developing countries, where high-fibre foods make up much of the diet.

Symptoms occur in only a minority of people who have diverticulosis. They usually result from spasm or cramp of the intestinal muscle near diverticula. Many patients have symptoms similar to those of irritable bowel syndrome, including abdominal pain, a bloated sensation, and changes in bowel habits. In severe cases of diverticulosis, intestinal haemorrhage can lead to bleeding from the rectum.

In people with cramps, a high-fibre diet, fibre supplements, and antispasmodic drugs may relieve the symptoms. A high-fibre diet also reduces the incidence of complications. Bleeding from diverticula usually subsides without treatment, but surgery is an option.


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