Diverticular Disease

What is Diverticular Disease?

Diverticular disease is a term used to describe the condition of diverticulosis and two possible complications, diverticulitis and diverticular bleeding. Diverticulosis is a condition in which one or more pockets develop in the wall of the colon. These pouches represent weakened areas in the colon wall, typically where arteries are present. While someone with diverticulosis may experience occasional abdominal discomfort due to a mild colon muscle spasm, this condition is generally without symptoms. Diverticulosis is most often diagnosed during a routine colonoscopy exam.


In the case of diverticulitis, one or more diverticula become inflamed. Most commonly, those with diverticulitis experience pain in the left lower abdomen, which is likely the result of increased pressure in the colon or hardened particles of stool lodged within the diverticulum.

Diverticular Bleeding

Diverticular bleeding usually causes painless bleeding from the rectum. In about 50 percent of cases, maroon or bright red blood will appear in the stool.

Diverticular disease is a common condition that affects men and women equally. The risk of these conditions as well as related complications increases with age. When diverticula are diagnosed, a diet high in fiber (more than 20 grams of fiber per day) is recommended.

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The board-certified physicians at San Francisco Gastroenterology are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders affecting the digestive tract, including diverticular disease. We serve from Marin County, Oakland, Berkeley, Palo Alto and the entire San Francisco Bay Area. Our goal is simply to provide the highest quality medical care and patient service possible.

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