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Diverticulitis is an infection of the out-pouchings of the colon called diverticuli.  These diverticuli can be found naturally, especially as a woman gets into her 40s, 50s, and 60s.  It's found in men as well.  If something gets into those diverticuli, the little out-pouchings, and fills it, it can actually cause an infection.  The infection that gets in there can cause severe pain.  It can also be a surgical emergency.  Antibiotics are often necessary to treat it so that there isn't an abcess and some infectious process is walled off.  

By: Brian McDonough, M.D., FAAFP