What is Diverticular Disease?
Diverticular disease is a condition which affects the large bowel. It involves the development of small pockets which bulge out from the lining of the bowel wall. ‘Diverticulosis’ refers to the presence of diverticula (the small pockets). If the pockets become inflamed (e.g. Due to faeces being trapped), this is known as ‘diverticulitis’.
It is more common with advancing age and in the left colon but usually does not cause any problems in the majority of people. Sometimes, the diverticula can lead to a change in bowel habit, abdominal cramping and constipation. Rarely, if diverticulitis develops this may cause rectal bleeding, fever, abdominal pain and tenderness.
Lower gastrointestinal endoscopy is usually the best test to diagnose the presence of diverticular disease, although it can also detected on CT scans.
Treatment options include dietary advice, painkillers and antibiotics for diverticulitis. Very rarely, surgery is required to treat severe inflammation.
If you are worried about diverticular disease, you can book a consultation with Dr Goel to discuss investigation and treatment options best suited to you.