The disease occurs in persons with bulges in the intestinal wall (diverticula). If several diverticula are located next to each other, physicians call this diverticula disease or diverticulitis. Scientists believe that a low fiber diet may be the cause. This often makes the stool very hard, which is why patients often suffer from constipation.
The hard stool and the constipation increase the pressure in the bowel. This in turn weakens the connective tissue bowel wall and the mucosa arches towards the outside. Stool remnants can remain blocked here and cause inflammation. This is initially limited to the diverticula, but may also affect the whole bowel wall. About 12 to 25 percent of all people who have diverticula develop inflammations once or on a regular basis.