What is diverticulosis?

intestine

Diverticulosis is a common condition among many individuals and does not cause severe or noticeable symptoms or require treatment. It often occurs due to tiny bulges or pockets (diverticula) in the walls of the large intestine. However, diverticulosis can lead to diverticulitis resulting in one or more diverticula becoming inflamed or infected. Men, particularly those above 40 years of age, are more likely to develop diverticulosis than women. Certain dietary or lifestyle choices can increase an individual’s risk of developing diverticulosis. These may include:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Stationary lifestyle
  • Intake of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Consumption of red meats and foods and beverages rich in fats
  • Consumption of low-fiber foods and insufficient fruits, legumes, bread, grains, and vegetables

While diverticulosis does not cause noticeable symptoms, patients might experience mild symptoms such as:

  • Constipation
  • Swelling or bloating
  • Mild abdominal cramps
  • Tenderness over the affected area

As diverticulosis does not cause obvious discomfort to the patients, it often remains undetected until symptoms arise. It can also be detected during routine tests and check-ups.
Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, increasing intake of dietary fibers, exercising regularly, and reducing intake of red meat can help prevent diverticulitis.

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