Diverticulitis is a common digestive disease which involves the formation of pouches (diverticula) within the bowel wall. This process is known as diverticulosis, and typically occurs within the large intestine, or colon, although it can occasionally occur in the small intestine as well. Diverticulitis results when one of these diverticula becomes inflamed.
People often have left lower quadrant abdominal pain and tenderness, fever, and an increase white blood cell count. They may also complain of nausea or diarrhea; others may be constipated. The severity of symptoms depends on the extent of the infection and complications. Less commonly, an individual with diverticulitis may have right-sided abdominal pain. This may be due to the less common right-sided diverticula or a highly redundant sigmoid colon. Some patients report bleeding from the rectum.
Large bowel (sigmoid colon) showing multiple diverticula. Note how the diverticula appear on either side of the longitudinal muscle bundle (taenium).
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