Contrary to popular belief, diverticulosis- the existence of noninfected pockets in the colon-rarely causes symptoms. But how then do you explain why one in every three people who has diverticulosis also reports having abdominal discomfort?

These symptoms are usually caused by irritable bowel syndrome(IBS), a separate (and very common) condition marked by pain, bloating, constipation and/or diarrhea.

If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, see your doctor, who will give you a physical exam and perhaps run some tests to rule out other possible conditions.

IBS can have a wide variety of causes, including muscle spasms in the colon as well as emotional stress.

Helpful: IBS treatment typically includes stress reduction, a shift to a high-fiber diet and possibly medication.

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