Diverticular Disease (DD)

Diverticular disease (DD) and diverticulitis are related digestive conditions that affect the large intestine (colon).

In diverticular disease, small pockets or sacs (diverticula) develop in the lining of the intestine and push outward through weak spots in the wall of the colon, often without any symptoms. Diverticulitis is when these pockets become inflamed or infected, resulting in more serious symptoms.

 Often described as a “Western Disease”, its thought to affect up to half of the older population of Europe. A combination of genetics and diet is thought to be the reason for this and the fact that people in Western countries tend to eat less fibre.

Both sexes are equally affected by diverticular disease and diverticulitis, although you’re more likely to get diverticula as you get older. About half of people with diverticula get it by the time they’re 50 (at this age it is more likely to appear in men). Overall, this increases to seven in 10 people by the age of 80, with symptoms of diverticulitis most likely.

Diverticular disease is sometimes difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are similar to other conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Treatment of diverticular and diverticulitis will depend on its severity. For some it may include changes in diet or medication. However, in some cases where medication isn’t effective surgery may be required to remove the affected section of the large intestine.

Symprove was recently assessed in a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with 120 Kings College Hospital patients. The results showed that Symprove significantly improved the frequency of four key symptoms associated with chronic DD, not least bowel habits that are often a major issue. Symprove was also shown to prevent an escalation in inflammatory activity in males.