What is Verticulitis?

Verticulitis means pocket formation at the wall of the large intestine due to accumulation of the fecal material. This pocket is formed due to bulging of the colon wall due to generation of excessive progressed pressure on the wall of the colon.

Large intestine with verticulitis

Image 1: Large intestine (colon) with verticulitis

This condition arises due to improper digestive condition and often associated with infection.

Verticulitis Symptoms

The symptoms are associated with gastrointestinal related abnormalities and persist for hours, day or even a week or longer. The included symptoms are:

Symptoms of Verticulitis

Image 2: Symptoms of Verticulitis

  • Severe abdominal pain, usual site of the pain at the life side of the lower abdomen. Movement can increase the intensity of the pain.
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Blood occurs with stool may or may not be seen by the naked eye. This can be evaluated by testing the stool sample in the laboratory.
  • Stool coloration can be black or tarry; sometimes it may also maroon or dark red in color.
  • In presence of infection, fever and chill is very common
  • Flatulence
  • Gas formation in the GI tract
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Anorexia


The exact clinical cause of verticulitis is not known. The formation of pocket or diverticula of the large intestinal wall is not known. It is assumed that increased pressure of the fecal material in the large intestinal wall causes gradual weakness at the site of the pressure.

This causes generation of the weak spot in the large intestinal wall and membrane of the colon become bulge and get swelled and formed pocket like structure. This may also associate with uncoordinated GI motility can cause of development of the diverticula.

Low fiber food increases the pressure inside the wall of the colon due to hard stool formation. The hard stool causes slow movement of the fecal material and long stay in the large intestine and causes inflammation in the colon wall and bacterial growth facilitate the infection.

Constipation or hard stool passage may tear the wall of the colon and inflammation can occur at the site and further that can form diverticula.


The first treatment approach is proper diagnosis, as the symptoms are also associated with other gastrointestinal disorder and even with GI malignancy and ulceration.

For diagnosis the blood test is the initial test which can help to estimate the complete blood count. This provides the information about anemia and also chances of infection can be estimated. Other included tests are CT scan, X-ray etc.

The first objective of the treatment is to provide relief from discomfort. For that doctors may recommend:

  • Antispasmodic drugs for relieving the severe abdominal pain
  • Antibiotics are prescribed for the reduction of the infection

Reduction of infection can also control the severity of the pain and other associated discomfort.

For mild to moderate pain natural therapy is the better option. These include

  • Application of Hot compression at the lower part of the abdomen. The heating pad is available for this purpose.
  • Relax and try to divert mind by listening soft music, as music therapy is good for pain relieving.
  • Meditation is another way to calm down and diversion of mind for discomfort.
  • Breathing exercise and regular habit of stool passing are preventive measures for verticulitis.

Surgical intervention may require if the patient suffers from chronic conditions and could not help other therapies. Development of an abscess, rectal fistula and obstructive bowel passage need surgical intervention.


  1. Diverticulitis – Cause, exams, tests at
  2. Verticulitis symptoms, causes, treatment at
  3. Diverticulitis (Diverticulosis, Diverticular Disease) facts and stories at
  5. what is verticulitis at

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