Diverticulitis is a huge problem for modern, urban dwellers. Fecal matters matter
after all and diverticulitis is a prime example. Diverticula are pockets
formed in the intestinal wall from the straining and stress associated with
constipation and slow-moving intestinal digestion. This is clearly shown by examing third world cultures on a high fiber diet where
diverticulitis is virtually unknown. The bottom line is that a fast-moving stool
resulting from ample fiber eliminates almost all risk of diverticulitis.
Diverticulitis can be very serious and almost killed UFC star Brock Lesnar. The
reason is that these pockets can be so inflamed and infected that they actually
ulcerate, i.e. a hole develops, leaking the contents of the intestine into the
gut. This is exactly what happened to Brock Lesnar and it dang near killed the
hulking MMA star. However, in the great majority of cases, diverticulitis is present with no
symptoms or relatively mild symptoms such as diahhrea, constipation or maybe a
little rectal bleeding.
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What causes diverticulitis and how can you avoid it? The most important
thing to do is consumme a lot of fiber.  The Mediterranean Diet and Low Fat Diet
that I advocate on this site are prime examples of diets that will help you
avoid this modern plague (and boost your erectile strength as well). The
reason is that both diets contain ample bulk from whole grains, vegetables and
fruit, making for a happy colon.
There are other important causes and risk factors as well, including lack of
exercise and being overweight.  Exercise is known for helping move the
stool through the intestines. Being overweight increases systemic
inflammation and downgrades immunity, all likely contributors to the ills
associated with diverticulitis and, indeed, the obese are more likely to have
the ulcerative and very dangerous form of diverticulitis.
One study found that it didn't really matter how you defined obese - they all led
to increased risk of diverticulitis: "In this large prospective cohort, BMI,
waist circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio significantly increased the risks of
diverticulitis and diverticular bleeding." 
CAUTION: Tylenol (acetaminophen) and NSAIDs (Ibuprofen, Advil, aspirin,
etc.) are associated with the development of diverticulitis. 
The bottom line is that almost every chronic and life-threatening
disease that we see in the hospitals and hospices could be avoided through
proper diet, exercise and nutrition and diverticulitis is no exception.
J of Clin Gastroenterology, 2006, 40(7):S112-S116, "Diverticulitis: New Concepts
and New Therapies"
2) Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology 6, 1 July 2009, "Large
intestine: Exercise decreases risk of diverticular complications"
3) Gastroenterology, 2009, 136(1):115-122, "Obesity Increases the Risks of
Diverticulitis and Diverticular Bleeding"
4) Arch Fam Med, 1998 May-Jun, 7(3):255-60, "Use of acetaminophen and
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: a prospective study and the risk of
symptomatic diverticular disease in men"