Diverticulosis is the inflammation or infection of sac-like protrusions from the wall of the gastrointestinal tract, called diverticula. These sac-like protrusions, or pockets, occur at sites where the blood vessels pierce through the gut wall, in the lower-left part of the colon (sigmoid colon). Diverticula are generally not symptomatic and are rather common in middle age. It is when these diverticula become inflamed or infected (generally due to tearing) that the condition is called diverticulitis and gives rise to symptoms. Initial symptoms include fever and most often pain in the lower-left portion of the abdomen. Rectal bleeding can occur when the blood vessels near the diverticula are damaged. Patients with diverticulitis sometimes develop complications and suffer from a wider array of symptoms.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal tenderness
- Diarrhea (less common)
- Persistent pain in the low abdominal region