Three Types of Diverticular Disease | Surgical Associates of Cleveland

When we talk about diverticular disease, we mean one of three conditions in which small pockets develop in the wall of the colon. These conditions include diverticulosis, diverticular bleeding, and diverticulitis. Let the Surgical Associates of Cleveland help you make sense of this disease.

Learn about some of the myths of diverticular disease here.

With this condition, many tiny pockets called diverticula develop in the lining of the bowel. Diverticula formed from excess pressure on weak spots of the intestinal walls. These pockets often form when straining during a bowel movement due to constipation, and are common in the lower part of the large intestine.

Diverticulosis is a common condition. About 10% of people over age 40 and half of people older than age 60 have diverticulosis. While the majority of people experience little to no symptoms, complications occur in about 20% of people with diverticulosis. Complications include rectal bleeding (diverticular bleeding) and diverticulitis.

Diverticular Bleeding
This is a complication of diverticulosis that happens with chronic injury to the small blood vessels which are next to the diverticula. This condition produces blood in the stool, and sometimes so much blood is lost that it causes weakness. Contact your doctor right away if you experience blood in your stool, and learn more about this condition from The Mayo Clinic.

This condition is the inflammation and infection of diverticula. Diverticulitis typically occurs when the pouches get blocked with waste and the bacteria begins to multiply. This condition is treatable, but it can recur more than once.

Diverticulosis itself doesn’t cause symptoms. It’s not until a complication has occurred that a patient will begin to experience symptoms. Such symptoms may occur suddenly and can include:

  • Diarrhea and constipation–typically these will alternate
  • Painful cramps or tenderness felt in the lower abdomen
  • Fevers and chills
  • Blood in stool

Please see your doctor if you are having symptoms of diverticulitis or diverticulitis bleeding. Surgery may be recommended depending upon your frequency of attacks or extent of infection. We regularly perform surgeries for diverticulitis and can help you find relief. [Visit our website]() today to learn more about our surgical services.