(Acute Diverticulitis; Acute Colonic Diverticulitis)
|Infected pouches along the colon.|
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- Low-fiber diet—Fiber softens stools and makes them pass through the bowel more easily
- Increased pressure in the bowel from straining to pass a hard stool
- Defects in the colon wall
- Chronic constipation
- Eating a low-fiber diet
- Age: 50 or older
- Previous episodes of diverticulitis
- High-meat diet or high-protein diet
- Chronic constipation
- Abdominal pain
- Tenderness; usually in the lower left part of the abdomen
- Swollen and hard abdomen
- Poor appetite
- Both diarrhea and constipation
- Rectal bleeding
Your bodily fluids and waste products may be tested. This can be done with:
- Stool sample analysis
- Blood tests
- Images may need to be taken of your bodily structures. This can be done with:
- Resolve the infection and inflammation
- Rest the bowel
- Prevent complications
- Increase the amount of fiber you eat by eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- Supplement your diet with a fiber product, as advised by your doctor
- Avoid laxatives and enemas
- Avoid narcotic medications—they can slow down bowel movement and can cause constipation
- You have had multiple attacks during a two-year period
- A pouch breaks and the contents spread into the abdominal cavity, which requires that the cavity be cleaned out
- Abscess—occurs if the infected pouch fills with pus
- Blocked bowel—scar tissue that forms and blocks movement of stool through the intestine
- Fistula—occurs if the infection spreads and colon tissue attaches to another organ, such as the bladder or the uterus/vagina
- Eat a balanced, high-fiber diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- Drink plenty of water each day
- Exercise regularly
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics http://www.eatright.org
American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons http://www.fascrs.org
National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov
Dietitians of Canada http://www.dietitians.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Conn HF, Rakel RE. Conn's Current Therapy . 2001. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Co;2001.
Diverticular disease. American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.fascrs.org/patients/conditions/diverticular%5Fdisease/ . Updated October 2012. Accessed March 5, 2013.
Diverticulitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed . Updated February 20, 2013. Accessed March 5, 2013.
Diverticulosis and diverticulitis. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/diverticulosis/index.aspx . Updated February 21, 2012. Accessed March 5, 2013.
Goroll AH, Mulley AG. Primary Care Medicine . 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2000.
Rosen P. Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice . 4th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby-Year Book, Inc;1998.
Weisiger R, Bilhartz L, Sleisenger MH, et al. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease . 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Co;1998.
2/9/2012 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : Hjern F, Wolk A, Håkansson N. Smoking and the risk of diverticular disease in women. Br J Surg . 2011;98(7):997-1002.
- Reviewer: Daus Mahnke, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2013 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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