What is the treatment for diverticulosis?
The goal of treatment is usually to reduce intestinal spasms, which is best achieved by maintaining a high-fiber diet (which consists of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains) and drinking plenty of fluids. An increased bulk in the large intestine reduces spasms, which in turn decreases the pressure on the walls of the large intestine. The only treatment for mild
diverticulosis is to increase fiber in the diet. Fiber will not heal existing diverticula, but it may prevent more from forming.
For diverticulitis, antibiotics will be prescribed, and the doctor may recommend a liquid diet and bed rest to help the colon recover. An acute attack with severe pain or infection may require a hospital stay so that antibiotics can be given intravenously (into a vein). If fever persists, the doctor may suspect an abscess, which can occur when a diverticulum becomes perforated. An abscess is a collection of pus. A surgeon then will help your doctor plan the next step: drainage or surgery. The choice depends on the extent of the problem and your overall health. Drainage means that the surgeon cleans out the pus.
Uncomplicated diverticulosis, in which a person has no evidence of inflammation, infection, or complications, does not require surgery. If bleeding recurs often or if the source of the bleeding cannot be determined, surgery to remove most of the large intestine may be needed, but such surgery is not commonly done. Peritonitis requires surgical repair as well as intravenous antibiotics. Up to 35 percent of patients with peritonitis die.
Surgery also may be required during the hospital stay to treat a particularly severe episode of diverticulitis or other complications. These include continuous bleeding, perforation of an abscess, attachment of two organs by a fistula, or colon obstruction caused by scarring from previous episodes of diverticulitis. The most common procedure, known as a colon resection, involves removal of the part of the colon that contains diverticula and surgical reattachment of the ends. When performed during emergencies, a colon resection becomes a two-stage process. First, a section of colon is removed, but because of infection, it is not safe to rejoin the ends. Instead, the surgeon creates a temporary hole, or stoma, in the abdomen and connects the colon to it, a procedure called a colostomy. A bag is attached to collect the stool. At a later time, a second operation reattaches the ends of the colon, and thus the colostomy is removed. Sometimes, if the situation is not an emergency, the surgery can be done all at once.
After successful treatment for diverticulitis, your doctor normally will recommend a high-fiber diet and may order a colonoscopy, an internal examination of the colon, at a later date. Surgery usually is not recommended after only one attack without complications. However, it often is recommended after a second episode. Repeated episodes of diverticulitis can lead to internal scarring and narrowing of the colon, which also may require surgical removal of a piece of the colon.
More information on diverticular disease
What is diverticular disease? - Diverticular disease is a condition in which small pouches, called diverticula, develop in the wall of the colon, or large intestine.
What causes diverticular disease? - Diverticular disease essentially results from eating a diet with too little fiber. Fiber is the part of fruits, vegetables, and grains that the body cannot digest.
What are the symptoms of diverticular disease? - The major symptoms of diverticular disease are abdominal pain, diarrhea, cramps, alteration of bowel habit and occasionally, severe rectal bleeding.
How is diverticular disease diagnosed? - A complete diagnostic work-up for diverticular disease including colonoscopy, and radiological examinations are the basic tools for initial investigation.
What are the complications of diverticular disease? - Complications of diverticulosis include bleeding, infection, perforation, abscess fistula formation, and obstruction.
What is the treatment for diverticular disease? - The only treatment for mild diverticulosis is to increase fiber in the diet. For diverticulitis, antibiotics will be prescribed.
High fiber diet for diverticular diseases - Good sources of fiber for diverticular diseases include whole grains, nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and a dietary supplement of fiber products.
What is diverticulitis? - Diverticulitis is a common condition in which abnormal pouches (diverticula) in the wall of the colon become inflamed.
What are the complications of diverticulitis? - Complications of diverticulitis may include a blockage in colon, an abscess or a fistula. Peritonitis is a medical emergency and requires immediate care.
What causes diverticulitis? - Diverticulitis can only occur in people who have diverticulosis. Diverticulosis is more common in people who have a low intake of fiber in their diets.
What're the symtoms of diverticulitis? - Symptoms of diverticulitis are due to the muscle abnormality and consist of pain, often abdominal distension, an irregular bowel habit with pellet-like stools.
How is diverticulitis diagnosed? - Diverticulitis is suspected after a history and physical examination. Diverticulitis is usually diagnosed during an acute attack.
What are the treatments for diverticulitis? - Treatment of diverticulitis depends on the severity of symptoms and whether this is a first attack of diverticulitis.
What's the diverticulitis surgery? - Emergency surgery is necessary for people whose intestine has ruptured; intestinal rupture always results in infection of the abdominal cavity.
What is diverticulosis? - Diverticulosis is a condition in which small outpouchings of the colon wall develop through time. Diverticula may develop anywhere in the large intestine.
What causes diverticulosis? - A low fibre diet can lead to small, hard stools which are difficult to pass. The pouches that develop are called diverticula.
What are the symptoms of diverticulosis? - Diverticulosis do not have any signs or symptoms. Diverticulosis can sometimes cause unexplained painful cramps, diarrhea or other bowel movement disturbances.
What are the complications of diverticulosis? - Diverticulitis can lead to complications such as infections, perforations or tears, blockages, or bleeding.
How is diverticulosis diagnosed? - Diverticulosis is suspected when symptoms such as unexplained painful cramps, diarrhea or other bowel movement disturbances, or rectal bleeding are present.
What is the treatment for diverticulosis? - The goal of treatment for diverticulosis is usually to reduce intestinal spasms, which is best achieved by maintaining a high-fiber diet (which consists of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains) and drinking plenty of fluids.