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What is Diverticulitis?

Diverticula are small sacs that form in the lower part of the colon. Diverticulitis develops when these sacs become infected. You may not even know you have these sacs until they become irritated.

Diverticulitis is one of the many colorectal conditions the specialists at Baystate Health treat. We’ll work closely with you to determine the best treatment.


The symptoms of diverticulitis range from mild cramps to severe discomfort.

Typically, you’ll feel sore or sensitive on the left side of your lower belly. You may also have a fever, nausea, chills, cramping, and constipation if the infection worsens.

To diagnose the condition, your doctor may recommend a stool sample, CT scan, barium enema, flexible sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy.


Eating more fiber and other lifestyle changes can ease symptoms of diverticulitis. If you have a severe flare-up, your doctor may recommend pain medication or a liquid diet for a few days.

Surgery is only done when diverticulitis recurs regularly, becomes severe, or causes infection to spread to your abdomen. Surgery is sometimes done as an emergency, but can often be scheduled ahead of time.

Baystate colorectal surgeons specialize in minimally invasive procedures that can help you heal faster and limit complications.

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