A diverticulitis can only occur, if there are diverticula present. Therefore, the prevention of the formation of diverticula is the best prophylaxis. Especially important is a high-fiber diet and regular physical exercise.
If inflamed diverticula are perforated, there is a risk of pus accumulation (abscesses) in the abdomen. A diverticulitis can extend to the peritoneum (peritonitis). About five percent of patients suffer from bleeding. The concerned bowel sections can be compressed to such extent that the bowel contents cannot be transported anymore. An intestinal obstruction (Ileus) is a risk in such a case.
Even connection passages (fistulas) between the bowel sections, bowel and bladder and vagina are possible. These are often very uncomfortable and difficult to treat. After a first diverticulitis, the risk of a renewed disease is 30 percent. The younger the patient is during the first occurrence, the more probable it is that they will have to be operated on at some point.