Diverticular Disease

  1. Two types of diverticular disease.


  1. Diverticulitis:


  1. Factors that may increase risk of diverticular disease.


    1. Advancing age.

    2. Chronic constipation.

    3. Obesity.

    4. Low fiber diets high in refined sugar.

    5. History of ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.

    6. Genetic predisposition.


  1. Signs and symptoms of diverticular disease.


    1. Pain in lower left quadrant of abdomen.

    2. Constipation or diarrhea.

    3. Fever.

    4. Nausea and vomiting.

    5. Rectal bleeding.

    6. Flatulence.


  1. Measures to prevent diverticular disease.


  1. Lose weight, if overweight. (Provide "Weight Reduction" handout.)

  2. Avoid activities that may increase intra-abdominal pressure and increase symptoms:

  1. Report symptoms of diverticular disease to physician.


  1. Signs and symptoms of possible complications and when to report them to physician.


    1. Intestinal obstruction (lower abdominal cramping, abdominal distention, constipation).

    2. Peritonitis from rupture of diverticulum (fever, abdominal rigidity, and pain).

    3. Hemorrhage (blood in stool, black tarry stools, or coffee ground vomitus).

    4. Abscess of fistula formation.