The exact cause of Zenker’s diverticulum is unknown. It appears that the condition results from excessive pressure on a weak spot of the pharynx wall that causes it to balloon out and form a pouch (diverticulum). The pouch may be as large as a few centimeters.
SymptomsZenker’s diverticulum may or may not cause symptoms. It may be difficult to swallow if food has collected in the pouch. You may feel like you have a lump in your throat, but pain does not usually occur. You may experience coughing, choking, or spitting up food, especially when you lie down. Additionally, Zenker’s diverticulum can cause bad breath.
Am I at RiskZenker’s diverticulum most frequently develops in adults over the age of 50. Because a specific cause has not been identified, specific risk factors are not known at this time.
ComplicationsPeople with Zenker’s diverticulum may experience problems swallowing pills. The pills may become lodged in the pouch instead of moving onto the stomach for absorption.
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