Diverticulitis is a complication of diverticular disease. Diverticular disease is characterized by the formation of diverticula, or small out-pouchings and pockets, in the walls of the colon (the last segment of the gastrointestinal tract which digests and carries food through the body). Doctors still do not completely understand why these pockets form. These pockets may become infected by the normal bacteria located in the gastrointestinal tract though, resulting in diverticulitis. Symptoms of diverticulitis include belly pain, fever, chills, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, or a loss of appetite. These symptoms can last from a few hours to over a week. Treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms and often includes antibiotics, which help the body fight bacteria that cause infections. Diverticulitis may also result in various complications, such as abscesses (pockets of bacteria growing within the body), which may require surgery. Diverticulitis may be prevented by drinking a sufficient amount of water, obtaining regular exercise, and eating a high-fiber diet.