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What are the symptoms of diverticulosis of the colon?

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Quick Answer

A sudden pain in the lower left side of the abdomen is the main symptom of diverticulosis of the colon. Other symptoms include constipation, loss of appetite, bloating and rectal bleeding, according to Healthline.

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Full Answer

Diverticulosis is a condition in which pouches called diverticula develop in the walls of the large intestine. This condition may have no noticeable symptoms and is mainly discovered when the patient develops diverticulitis, which is a painful digestive problem that occurs when diverticula become inflamed. About 80 present of patients with diverticulosis do not develop diverticulitis, states WebMD.

As of 2015, the exact cause of diverticulosis is unknown, but eating foods low in fiber may contribute to the formation of diverticula. Foods high in fiber soften the stool and make it move smoothly in the intestines, reducing the pressure in the colon and preventing constipation, explains Healthline. Diverticulosis increases with age, obesity, smoking and lack of exercise. Medications like steroids, naproxen and ibuprofen can also increase the risk of diverticulosis, details Mayo Clinic.

During diagnosis, the doctor asks the patient about her medical history and symptoms. The doctor may then perform a physical exam and a blood test to check the patient's white blood cell count, which can signify an infection. Treatments include intravenous antibiotics, a surgery to remove parts of the colon and taking liquid diets at home to allow diverticula to heal, notes Healthline.

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