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Collectively, diverticulosis and diverticulitis are referred to as diverticular disease. Although their names may sound very similar, there are significant differences between them. Diverticulosis occurs first and, if not managed properly, leads to diverticulitis, a much more severe diverticular disease. Diverticulosis is fairly common - about half the Western population has diverticula by age 60. That said, there typically are no symptoms present unless it advances to diverticulitis.

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1. What Are Diverticula?

Diverticula are pouches that form in the gut, pushing through weak spots in the colon walls. While they can develop anywhere from the esophagus to the colon, they are most common in the sigmoid colon. These are also the most significant as colonic diverticula can have severe complications.

Intestine Diverticula Diverticulosis LightFieldStudios / Getty Images
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