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Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis (cont.)

Is there a diet for diverticulitis and diverticulosis?

A high-fiber diet is the mainstay of diverticulosis and diverticulitis prevention.

  • Start a high-fiber diet because it will decrease the risk of complications and the accompanying symptoms; however, will not make the diverticula a person has go away. Foods high in fiber include:
    • Whole-grain cereals and breads
    • Fruits (apples, berries, peaches, pears)
    • Vegetables (squash, broccoli, cabbage, and spinach)
    • Beans, peas, and lentils.
  • Drinking plenty of fluids will also help the stool stay soft and pass quickly to prevent constipation and decrease the risk for diverticulosis.
  • Get plenty of physical activity to keep bowels functioning properly.

In the past patients with diverticulosis/diverticulitis were told that foods to avoid included seeds, corn, and nuts because it was thought fragments of these foods would get stuck in the diverticula and cause inflammation. However, current research has not found this to be the case, and the fiber content of such foods may actually benefit individuals with diverticulosis/diverticulitis. Discuss your diet or potential diet changes with your doctor.

What is the medical treatment for diverticulitis and diverticulosis?

Diverticulosis with symptoms is usually treated as follows. This therapy is designed to soften stools and help them pass faster, which removes the conditions that cause diverticula in the first place.

  • High-fiber diet for diverticulitis: Some health-care professionals recommend a fiber supplement to prevent constipation.
  • Clear fluids
  • Mild pain medications

Treatment for diverticulitis depends on the severity of the condition.

  • Simple cases can be treated by a health-care professional at his or her office, and by a patient following a high fiber diet.
  • Treatment for uncomplicated cases usually consists of antibiotics and bowel rest. This usually involves two to three days of bowel rest, taking in only clear fluids (no food at all), so the colon may heal without having to work.
  • Complicated cases typically involve severe pain, fever, or bleeding. If an individual has any of these symptoms, he or she will probably be admitted to the hospital. Treatment consists of IV or oral antibiotics, bowel rest, and possibly surgery.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/19/2016

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Diverticulitis (Diverticulosis):

Diverticulitis (Diverticulosis) - Symptoms

The symptoms of diverticulitis (diverticulosis) can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?

Diverticulitis (Diverticulosis) - Surgery Recovery

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Diverticulitis - Experience

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Diverticulitis - Diet

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Diverticulitis »

Diverticula are small mucosal herniations protruding through the intestinal layers and the smooth muscle along the natural openings created by the vasa recta or nutrient vessels in the wall of the colon.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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