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Under the category of "when it rains, it pours", a study published in the current issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that having IBS might put you at increased risk for diverticular disease. Diverticular disease is diagnosed when a colon shows signs of the development of small, bulging pouches. These pouches are called diverticuli, and when they appear you will be told that you have diverticulosis. Diverticulitis is diagnosed when these pouches become infected. The study authors attempted to determine if there was an association between diverticular disease and IBS.

According to the study abstract, data was used from questionnaires sent out to residents of a Minnesota county. From that group, the responses from 1712 individuals who had undergone colon testing were used for the current inquiry. Diverticular disease was diagnosed in just under half of the subjects, while IBS was seen in 8.8 % of male participants and 17 % of women.

When looking for an association between the two disorders, the results indicated that IBS was associated with an increased risk of diverticulosis, but not diverticulitis. The IBS patients over the age of 65 showed a ninefold higher risk for diverticulosis than individuals who did not have IBS. Patients who suffered from IBS-D and mixed IBS were particularly at higher risk for diverticular disease.

Interesting stuff, but at this point it is too early to know what this all means. What is the connection? Why would IBS patients be at higher risk for diverticulosis? One takeaway is that if you have IBS and you are over 65, you should discuss the possibility of diverticular disease with your doctor.


[sub]Jung, H., "Diarrhea-Predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome Is Associated With Diverticular Disease: A Population-Based Study" American Journal of Gastroenterology 105:652-661.[/sub]

IBS and Diverticulosis originally appeared on Irritable Bowel Syndrome on Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 at 03:09:39.

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