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A high-fibre diet can help prevent diverticular disease, including diverticulosis and diverticulitis.

A high-fibre diet can help prevent diverticular disease, including diverticulosis and diverticulitis.
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Diverticular disease - diverticulitis and diverticulosis

Diverticular disease is a condition where small bulges or pockets form in the wall of the large intestine. These pockets are called diverticula and often do not cause any symptoms. Diverticular disease is linked to a low-fibre diet, and is more common as people age.

Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis occurs when the diverticula become inflamed or infected, caused by bacteria trapped inside one of the bulges. This can lead to complications, such as an abscess next to the intestine.

Diverticulitis symptoms

The most common symptom of diverticulitis is pain, which can be mild or severe, on the lower left-hand side of the abdomen.

Other symptoms may include:

The symptoms may be mild to severe, depending on the extent of the infection and complications. Other conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, have similar symptoms. See your doctor if you have such symptoms.

Diverticulitis diagnosis

To diagnose diverticulitis, your doctor will talk to you and examine you. You may need a colonoscopy or a CT scan of your abdomen.

Diverticulitis treatment

If you have mild diverticulitis, you may be treated at home with antibiotics, and if necessary, mild painkillers. You may also be advised to have a low-fibre or fluid-only diet, to rest the bowel during recovery.

If you have severe diverticulitis, you may need to be admitted into hospital and given antibiotics and fluids through your vein, and stronger painkillers. Most people improve with treatment. However, people who do not improve with treatment or who develop rare complications may require surgery.

Diverticulosis

People who have diverticula which are not swollen or infected are said to have diverticulosis. Many people with diverticulosis do not experience any discomfort or symptoms.

However, some people may have symptoms such as mild cramps, bloating, constipation or diarrhoea. If you have such symptoms, you should see your doctor. Diverticulosis is usually diagnosed during bowel cancer screening or screening for gut problems .

Diverticular disease prevention

Although the cause of diverticulosis or diverticulitis is unknown, having a low-fibre diet increases your chances of developing diverticular disease. A high-fibre diet helps to prevent constipation and formation of diverticula. Exercising regularly and drinking enough water (up to 8 cups a day) are also recommended.

Last reviewed: August 2015

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Diverticular disease and diverticulitis - myDr.com.au

Diverticulitis happens when out-pouchings in the bowel wall called diverticula become inflamed or infected, due to faecal matter becoming lodged in the pouches.

Read more on myDr website

Diverticulosis and diverticulitis

Diverticulosis occurs when small defects in the muscle of the wall of the large intestine or colon allow small pockets or pouches (diverticula) to form. Diverticulitis is infection or inflammation of these abnormal pouches. Together, these conditions are called diverticular disease.

Read more on Better Health Channel website

My doctor said Ive got diverticular disease, what should I eat? Dietitians Association of Australia

My doctor said Ive got diverticular disease, what should I eat? Diverticular disease affects the large bowel, it causes small pockets or pouches to stick out beyond the bowel wall

Read more on Dietitians Association of Australia website

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