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You may have a brief (acute) bout of diverticulitis that goes away after treatment with antibiotics and a liquid diet. But in some cases the condition occurs off and on (intermittently) over the long term (chronic). Treatment is the same in both cases, unless complications occur.
Treatment for diverticulitis depends on how bad your symptoms are. If the pain is mild, you are able to drink liquids, and you have no signs of complications, treatment may include:
Although some people avoid nuts, seeds, berries, and popcorn, believing that these foods might get trapped in the diverticula and cause pain, there is no evidence that they cause diverticulitis or make it worse.2
If the pain is severe, you are not able to drink liquids, or you have complications of diverticulitis, hospitalization is needed. Treatment will include:
Treatment may also include:
Most cases of promptly treated diverticulitis will improve in 2 to 3 days. If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better.
Treatment after recovery from an attack of diverticulitis is aimed at preventing another attack. Treatment may include:
Treatment if the condition gets worse
In some cases, complications of diverticulitis, such as an abscess, perforation, or bowel obstruction, can occur. Surgery to remove the affected part of the intestine usually is needed to treat these conditions.
Nonurgent (elective) surgery also may be done for diverticulitis if you have had two or more severe attacks, are younger than age 40, or have an impaired immune system.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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