Diverticulosis is a condition where small pouches appear in the walls of the large intestine. They are nearly always found on the left side of the colon. They are found in both sexes, though men have diverticulosis more than women. It is a common condition. Doctors believe that 30 to 40 percent of adults age 50 or older have diverticula in their colon. About half of people aged 60 and older have diverticulosis.
Diverticulosis seems to be a disease of the modern age and was rare 100 years ago. Doctors blame this on diets that are low in fiber and high in refined carbohydrates. Other risk factors for getting diverticulosis are being very overweight, smoking, overusing NSAIDs and eating too much red meat and fatty foods. Diverticula occur when pressure in the inner lining of the colon pushes through the weak areas in the outer lining and causes them to bulge. Some medical experts believe there is a genetic component to having diverticulosis. A person is more susceptible to the condition if first degree family members have it.