Diverticular disease and diverticulitis - Symptoms 

Symptoms of diverticular disease and diverticulitis 

The most common symptom of diverticular disease is intermittent (stop-start) pain in your lower abdomen (stomach), usually in the lower left-hand side.

The pain is often worse when you are eating, or shortly afterwards. Passing stools (poo) and breaking wind (flatulence) may help relieve the pain.

Other symptoms of diverticular disease include:

  • a change in your normal bowel habits, such as constipation or diarrhoea, or episodes of constipation that are followed by diarrhoea
  • bloating
  • bleeding from your rectum (back passage)

Diverticulitis

The main symptom of diverticulitis is a constant and severe pain. The pain usually starts below your belly button, before moving to the lower left-hand side of your abdomen.

In Asian people, the pain may move to the lower right-hand side of your abdomen. This is because Asian people tend to develop diverticula in a different part of their colon. The reason for this is thought to be genetic (certain genes found in Asian people may change the natural course of the condition).

Besides severe stomach pain, other symptoms of diverticulitis include:

  • a high temperature (fever) of 38ºC (100.4ºF) or above
  • feeling sick
  • being sick 
  • constipation
  • bleeding from your rectum

When to seek medical advice

Contact your GP as soon as possible if you think you have symptoms of diverticulitis. The sooner diverticulitis is treated with antibiotics, the lower the risk of complications developing.

If you have symptoms of diverticular disease and the condition has previously been diagnosed, you do not usually need to contact your GP because the symptoms can be treated at home. Read more about treatment of diverticular disease.

If you have not been diagnosed with the condition, contact your GP so they can rule out other conditions with similar symptoms, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).


Page last reviewed: 11/05/2012

Next review due: 11/05/2014

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Comments

The 1 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

DnotC said on 12 September 2012

I was diagnosed with diverticulosis after a colonoscopy yesterday.
To put it in perspective i have to agree with the comment below from: jjdivert said on 16 February 2012
I am glad to have this, as the alternative outcome of what was in my bowel would indicate cancer.

I have read comments on this site, and they vary from person to person, as to which is the best way to treat it. But more importantly to prevent it getting worse.
Good diet, exercise etc, is what i am going to try.
(which is the opposite of what i have been doing uptill now)
I will try different foods and find out what works best for me.
I will also put any findings on my website in a few weeks time, and post again on here with results or other info i find out.
Thanks to everyone for comments here, and good luck.

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