What are the Most Common Diverticular Disease Symptoms?

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  • Written By: Anna T.
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 14 February 2019
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The most common diverticular disease symptoms are usually severe abdominal pain on the left side of the body and problems with bowel movements. Both constipation and diarrhea are common with diverticulitis. A person might also run a fever and become nauseated, which might lead to vomiting. Rectal bleeding, bloating, and gas are other diverticular disease symptoms, but these are much rarer. It is possible for a person of any age to have diverticulitis, but it seems to be more common in people more than age of 40.

Diverticula are small pouches that are often present in the digestive tract. These normally do not cause any problems until they become irritated or infected, which usually leads to diverticular disease symptoms. In addition to aging, diverticulitis may also result from diets that are too low in fiber and a lack of exercise. People who are more than age 40 may benefit from exercising a few times each week and increasing their fiber intake in order to prevent the onset of diverticulitis. A person who suspects that he or she may have diverticulitis should see a doctor as soon as possible, because the sooner it is diagnosed, the less likely it is that surgery will be necessary.


A doctor will usually determine if a person with diverticular disease symptoms has diverticulitis by doing a CT scan and a blood test. The CT scan will help the doctor get a close-up view of the diverticula pouches to see if they are inflamed, and the purpose of the blood test is typically to get a while blood cell count. A high number of white blood cells is indicative of an infection inside the body. After the diverticula diagnosis is made, a doctor will normally discuss treatment options with the patient.

Some patients with diverticulitis require only antibiotics to get better. Other patients may need surgery. Surgery is usually necessary if the diverticulitis has led to an abscess or obstruction inside the digestive tract. After treatment, many patients must adopt lifestyle changes in order to keep the diverticulitis from recurring. Some of these lifestyle changes may include weight loss, increased fiber in the diet, and regular exercise. Most doctors additionally urge their patients to drink more water and other fluids because this can prevent constipation, which is something that may be a problem when large amounts of fiber are increased because it takes extra liquid to properly digest it.



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