Diverticulitis is the most severe diverticular disease. New research findings suggest that many theories as to what causes the disease are no longer valid. For example, in the past, physicians advised individuals with diverticulitis to avoid nuts, seeds, or popcorn. Research no longer supports that theory. Studies have not only identified new causes of diverticulitis but new, more effective methods of treatment, as well.
Doctors now know that diverticulitis is likely an inherited disease. About 40% of cases are hereditary. A Swedish study found that if an individual has a fraternal twin who has diverticulitis, their chances of developing the disease increases three-fold. Identical twins have a seven-fold risk in comparison to the general population. Another study found that the same genetic variants that cause aneurysms and hernias may also share a link as a genetic cause of diverticulitis.
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