Diverticulitis results from inflammation of areas of weakness (or “outpouchings”) within the colon wall. This inflammation typically occurs in the sigmoid colon, which is near the end of the large intestine. These areas of weakness, called diverticula, are tiny pockets that can also cause bleeding, though inflammation and bleeding rarely happen at the same time.
The weakness results from increased pressure within the wall of the colon, often from chronic constipation or lack of fiber in the diet. Most Americans over the age of 60 have evidence of diverticula, though not everyone develops inflammation or symptoms.
Signs and symptoms of diverticulitis
- Abdominal pain
- Fevers or chills
- Nausea and vomiting