Diverticulosis Vs. Diverticulitis: What is the Difference?

Many people are confused. Is the correct name Diverticulitis or Diverticulosis ? Or is it something else ?

Diverticulosis (Also called Divertiular Disease) is the name for a medical condition in which small pouches protrude outward from the colon. The colon is also called the large intestine. Each pocket is called a Diverticulum. When more than one pocket is present, they are collectively referred to as Diverticula.

It is estimated roughly 10% or more of all people in the Unites States, age 60 and above suffer from Diverticulosis. The Medical community believes Diverticulosis to be the result of a diet too low in fiber (roughage) .

When the pouches become inflamed or infected, the condition is the identified as Diverticulitis . This eventually occurs to about 1 in 4 people who have Diverticulosis .


The walls of the colon grow thicker as people age. A diet low in fiber can lead to small hard stools which require increased pressure to pass through the colon. Over time, the increased pressure cause the pockets to form at week areas across the muscle lining.


Most people suffering from Diverticulosis don’t experience symptoms. When symptoms are present, the most common areabdominal pain, cramps, or bloating. A high-fiber diet and pain reliever usually helps to relieve mild symptoms.

When an infection is present, there may also be nausea, vomiting, chills, cramping and constipation. In serious cases, diverticulitis can lead to bleeding or blockages. Treatment will concentrate on attacking the infection with antibiotics, resting the colon and preventing future problems. A serious case may require a hospital stay.


If a patient is suspected of having diverticular disease, a variety of tests may be performed, such as a Barium X-ray, CAT Scan , and Colonoscopy.


For the 80% of patients with Diverticulosis that are symptom free, no treatment is required.

Some doctors advise their patients avoid nuts, seeds, and corn for the damage they may cause on their passage through the colon.

If an attack of Diverticulitis occurs, antibiotic medicines such as Flagyl and Cipro my be prescribed.


Diverticulitis that does respond to treatment or involves persistent bleeding may sometimes result in surgery. Surgery could range from drainage of puss to removal of the problem area.


Once diverticular pockets are formed, they are permanent. To date, no treatment appears to insure against the problems associated with the disease.

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