Prevalence of Diverticular Disease
UW Health Colon and Rectal Surgery specialists in Madison, Wisconsin provide comprehensive evaluation and surgical management of diverticular disease.
Diverticular disease if often considered a disease of Western society as early reports seemed to show it was more prevalent in the U.S., Europe and Australia, and rare in Asia and Africa. There is some evidence that suggests diverticular disease is actually increasing in Japan, possibly due to the growing adoption of a more Western diet.
While the exact cause of diverticular disease is unknown, there is evidence that suggests a lack of fiber in the diet, combined with increased colonic pressure and motility changes, and colonic structural alterations may be collectively responsible for diverticula formation. With the increased pressure, there is a greater pressure on the colon wall, which leads to mucuosal herniation.
How Diverticula Are Formed
The following videos illustrate the exaggerated contractions within the colon (video 1), which can lead to increased pressure within the colon and ultimately, to mucuosal herniation (video 2).
Lack of fiber can lead to exaggerated contractions of the colon
Diverticula formation along the colon wall