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 Disease Myths Pictures Slideshow: Common Misconceptions

Digestive Disease Myths Pictures Slideshow: Common Misconceptions

Diverticulosis and diverticulitis 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
References
REFERENCES:

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

Choosemyplate.gov. "Grains Gallery."
<http://www.choosemyplate.gov/foodgallery-grains>

Eatforhealth.gov. "Vegetables and Legumes/Beans."
<https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/food-essentials/five-food-groups/vegetables-and-legumes-beans>

IMAGES:

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6. iStock

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9. Getty Images

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