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What causes diverticulitis?

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Quick Answer

Diverticulitis is caused by the development of weak sections of the colon that rip or tear while under pressure, according to the Mayo Clinic. The weakness is the result of the increased pressure required by the colon to eliminate feces.

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WebMD explains that diverticulitis is a condition in which feces become trapped in small pouches, called diverticula, which have formed on the wall of the large intestine. When a diverticulum ruptures, an infection and inflammation can occur around the tear, causing pain in the abdomen, tenderness, fever and potential obstruction of the colon. MedicineNet.com explains that the condition is diagnosed with a barium X-ray, CT scan, colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy. Although severe cases can require surgery, the condition is usually treated with a high-fiber diet, antibiotics and over-the-counter pain relievers, notes the Mayo Clinic.

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