Diverticulitis typically presents with left lower quadrant abdominal pain of sudden onset. There may also be fever, nausea, diarrhea or constipation, and blood in the stool.
The causes of diverticulitis are poorly understood, with approximately 40 percent due to genes and 60 percent due to environmental factors. Conditions that increase the risk of developing diverticulitis include arterial hypertension and immunosuppression. Obesity is another risk factor. Low levels of vitamin D are associated with an increased risk of diverticulitis.
It is unclear what role dietary fibre plays in diverticulitis. It is often stated that a diet low in fibre is a risk factor; however, the evidence to support this is unclear. There is no evidence to suggest that the avoidance of nuts and seeds prevents the progression of diverticulosis to an acute case of diverticulitis. It appears in fact that a higher intake of nuts and corn could help to avoid diverticulitis in adult males.