What is the difference between diverticulosis and diverticulitis?

Expert Answers
besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Basically, diverticulosis comes first. This is when there are small pouches in the lining of the colon or large intestine. These pouches bulge out through weak areas. Each one of these pouches are called diverticulum, while many pouches are called diverticula. When a person has diverticula, they have diverticulosis. Approximately 10% of Americans aged 40 to 60 have diverticulosis. Once a person reaches 60 or older, they have a 50% chance of having diverticulosis.

Diverticulitis is when the diverticulum become inflamed. Approximately 10-25% of people with diverticulosis will eventually have diverticulitis.

Another difference between diverticulosis and diverticulitis are symptoms. People who have diverticulosis usually have no pain or discomfort, or it may be very mild. People with diverticulitis have abdominal pain that can come on very quickly or very slowly. It may also be associated with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Diverticulitis can lead to bleeding, infections, tears, and blockages in the colon which need prompt medical attention.

dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

They are both GI, gastrointestinal problems yet slightly different. Diverticulosis is a condition not a disease. It affects the colon or large intestine, the walls of the colon in some spots are weak, this allows sort of a ballooning out of the wall that forms small areas of "outpouches". These outpouches are hollow, can occcur anywhere in the colon, but very commonly occur in the sigmoid colon (area superior to the rectum). When you have these pouches on the colon this is called diverticulosis.

Diverticulitis is inflammation of the diverticula (diverticulosis), which is commonly caused by small pieces of feces getting trapped in the outpouches. Bacteria migrate to the pouches and cause this inflammatory process.

missj-lit | Student

well, in as few words as possible, diverticulosis is the term  used for when persons develop small poches in the lining of their large intestine, that bulge through areas of weakness in the colon. when these protrusions , called diverticula, become inflamed, the condition is now known as diverticulitis

kc4u | Student

Having small pouches(diverticula) in the colon or large intestine is called diverticulosis. Diverticulitis develops from diverticulosis, involving the formation of diverticula on the outside of the colon, and inflammation of one of the diverticula. Symptoms of both include abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea and fever .

CT scan is the diagnostic procedure to detect diverticular disease. Treatment begins with bowel rest, dietary restrictions, & broad-spectrum antibiotics.Surgical intervention may be thought in case of medical emergency.

Low-fiber diet, lack of exercise, constipation may be some of the factors behind diverticular diseases. The inflammation which is known as diverticulitis is generally attributed to some bacterial infection.