The diverticula of the colon are small dilatations (like sacs) that are formed in the walls of the colon. They are caused by increased pressure inside the bowel and weakness of the wall, just as it could happen in a tire.
The diverticula are frequently located in the sigma, which is the final part of the colon that is before the rectum (in the lower left part of the abdomen).. They are a very frequent finding and they have it more than half of the people older than 60 years. A diet rich in fiber (fruit and vegetables) decreases the risk of diverticula by improving bowel movements.
The existence of diverticula of the colon is not a problem in itself and many people do not cause any discomfort. In other patients there are discomforts of the "intestinal spasm" type similar to what occurs in irritable bowel syndrome. Rarely, diverticula become inflamed and produce abdominal pain and fever; in these cases if you have to perform special tests and a specific treatment with antibiotics.
When episodes of inflammation recur or complications arise (such as perforation, hemorrhage, or collections of pus), surgery should be performed to remove the area of the colon where the diverticula are located.