SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Diverticulosis of the intestines, coloured barium enema X-ray. This is a condition in which numerous small pouches (diverticula) develop in the walls of the intestine. These are seen as projections from the wall, for instance at centre and lower right. The pouches form as increased pressure in the intestines pushes the wall out through areas of weakness in the layers of muscle that encircle the intestines. The increase in pressure is usually due to constipation. The condition can cause abdominal pain, bleeding and bloatedness. The diverticula may become infected (diverticulitis), which can cause serious problems. A high-fibre, high-fluid diet can relieve the problem.
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