Diverticulitis (Diverticulosis, Diverticular Disease)

  • Medical Author:
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Diverticulitis Symptoms

Rectal Bleeding

Blood in the stool can be bright red, maroon in color, black and tarry, or not visible to the naked eye. Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.

Rectal bleeding also can be a symptom of other diseases or conditions such as:

  • Anemia
  • Anal fissures
  • Cancer
  • Colon polyps
  • Diverticulitis
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Ulcers (for example, ulcerative or Crohn's colitis)
Picture of Diverticulitis

Quick GuideDigestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions

Digestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions

Diverticulosis and diverticulitis definition and facts

  • Most people with diverticulosis (diverticular disease) have few or no symptoms; however, symptoms that can occur with diverticulosis, which then may be called "diverticular disease" include
  • When diverticulosis is associated with inflammation and infection it is called "diverticulitis."
  • Diverticulitis as well as diverticular disease can be diagnosed with barium X-rays, sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, or CT scan.
  • Treatment of diverticulitis and diverticular disease can include high fiber diet, and anti-spasmodic drugs.
  • Foods to eat that may prevent diverticulitis flares include fruits and vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
  • It has been suggested that people with diverticulitis avoid eating seeds, nuts, and corn; however, there is little evidence to support this recommendation.
  • When diverticulosis is associated with inflammation and infection the condition is called diverticulitis.
  • Complications of diverticulosis and diverticulitis include rectal bleeding, abdominal infections, and colon obstruction. Continue Reading
Reviewed on 12/28/2015

Anne F. Peery and Robert S. Sandler. Diverticular Disease: Reconsidering Conventional Wisdom. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2013;11:1532-1537.

Choosemyplate.gov. "Grains Gallery."

Eatforhealth.gov. "Vegetables and Legumes/Beans."





4.Getty Images

5.Getty Images

6.Getty Images

7.Getty Images


9.Getty Images

10.Getty Images

11.Getty Images

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Newsletters

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

  • Diverticulitis (Diverticulosis) - Causes

    What are the causes of your diverticulitis?

    Post View 19 Comments
  • Diverticulitis (Diverticulosis) - Attack Symptoms

    What were the symptoms of your diverticula attack?

    Post View 89 Comments
  • Diverticulitis - Treatment

    What treatments were effective for your diverticulitis?

    Post View 45 Comments
  • Diverticulitis - Experience

    Please share your experience with diverticulitis.

    Post View 19 Comments
  • Diverticulitis: Diet, Foods to Avoid

    What foods have you found to aggravate your diverticulitis? Do you take probiotics, and in what way have they been helpful?

    Post View 11 Comments

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors