Diverticulosis is common and mostly asymptomatic. However, it can be complicated by inflammation, haemorrhage, fistulas and perforation. Colonoscopy is an important tool for investigation and diagnosis.
- The incidence of diverticulosis increases with age, although the cause remains unclear.
- Diverticula are the most common finding in all patients at routine colonoscopy.
- In most cases, diverticulosis is asymptomatic. Complications of diverticular disease include diverticulitis, bleeding, abscesses, fistulas, strictures and diverticular colitis.
- There is no evidence that avoiding nuts, corn and seeds can prevent complications of diverticulosis.
- Fibre appears to be important in the prevention of diverticulitis episodes, but its role in preventing the development of diverticula is not clear.
- Although their use is contentious, antibiotics are still the mainstay of treatment for mild, uncomplicated cases of acute diverticulitis.
- There may be a role for anti-inflammatories and probiotics in the future management of patients with diverticulitis.
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