In diverticulitis, the bulges of the intestinal wall (diverticula) are inflamed. Sometimes the inflammation is limited to the area of the diverticula, but it can also extend over the intestinal wall. An inflammation of the peritoneum or a bowel obstruction can result as consequences. One can not predict the probability of a diverticulitis.
In the western industrialised countries diverticulitis is widely spread especially among older people. 30 percent of people over 60, and 65 percent of people over 85 are affected by this disease. In more than 90 percent, these bulges are located in the lower section of the colon. Except for the rectum, they may occur throughout the whole colon.