Diverticulitis usually develops when one of the pouches in the intestinal tract becomes blocked with waste, according to WebMD. The blockage allows bacteria to build up in the pouch, causing an infection.
A healthy large intestine contains no pouches. In some people, however, the colon weakens, causing pouches called diverticula to form. Diverticulitis is an infection caused by the growth of bacteria in these pouches. It causes bloating, nausea, vomiting, fever and severe pain that worsens with movement, states WebMD.
As of January 2015, scientists do not know the exact reason diverticula form in the colon. Some doctors suspect a low-fiber diet is to blame, reports WebMD. The treatment for diverticulitis depends on the severity of the symptoms. In some people, following a liquid diet gives the intestine a chance to heal. Doctors prescribe antibiotics to get rid of the infection and pain relievers to control discomfort. Taking over-the-counter pain medications, using relaxation techniques and putting a heating pad on the belly can also help to ease diverticulitis pain.
Surgery is usually not recommended unless diverticulitis fails to improve with other treatments. Surgery may also be required to relieve an obstruction or drain an abscess in the intestine, according to WebMD.