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Diverticula are sac-like protrusions of mucosa through the muscular wall of the colon. They are usually multiple, 5–10 mm in diameter, and occur in the sigmoid colon. The exact cause of diverticulosis and diverticulitis is not known, but diverticulum formation may be associated with a low-fibre diet. This lowers stool bulk, slows transit times, and increases intraluminal pressure.
The exact cause for the development of diverticular disease and diverticulitis is not known, but the following risk factors may be involved:
Consider an alternative cause for symptoms before making a working diagnosis of diverticular disease or diverticulitis.
Age from 18 years onwards
If a person has confirmed diverticulosis, provide the following advice:
Routine follow-up is not necessary if there is no progression to symptomatic diverticular disease or diverticulitis.
Manage the person in primary care if there is suspected mild, uncomplicated diverticulitis, depending on clinical judgement:
If the person is managed in primary care, arrange a review within 48 hours, or sooner if symptoms worsen.