Colon Diverticulosis Overview

What is diverticulosis?

Diverticulosis refers to the presence of multiple balloon-like sacs or pouches (diverticula) in the wall of the large intestine, most commonly along the sigmoid colon.

Diverticula may vary in diameter between a few millimeters to several centimeters and are quite uncommon under the age of 40. Diverticulosis greatly increases in incidence after the age of 60.

What are the causes of diverticulosis?

The definite reason why these sacs develop in the bowel wall is not yet clear. However, doctors and researchers speculate that conditions resulting in high intraluminal pressure inside the bowel push against weak areas along the bowel wall, thus forming the diverticula.

A low-fiber diet can increase the time stool remains in the bowel. Therefore, the colon must exert more pressure to expel little, hard stool consequently leading to high intraluminal pressure.