Image by Becky T F19
Diverticular disease involves the development of small, bulging pouches called diverticula along the wall of the large intestine. There are two types of diverticula: true diverticula, in which all layers of the intestinal wall form the pouch; and pseudodiverticula, in which the mucosa and submucosa herniate through the muscularis layer and form the pouch. Some factors that contribute to the development of this condition include genetics, lack of fiber in the diet, decrease in physical activity, poor bowel habits, and the effects of aging. Pseudo/Diverticula are mainly found in the sigmoid colon and may lead to complications such as peritonitis, hemorrhage, and bowel obstruction. It is important to increase fiber in the diet for patients with this disease because it increases bulk and causes more regular defecation. This leads to decreased colonic contents and colon diameter and an overall decrease in intraluminal pressure.