Diverticulitis occurs when pouches protrude from the wall of the colon, causing inflammation to occur. Common treatments for diverticulitis include antibiotics, a clear liquid diet, other dietary changes, and surgery.
Diverticulosis is a condition
If these pouches protrude outward from the colon wall and inflammation or infection occurs, a person has diverticulitis.
There are a number of treatments for diverticulitis. Treatment often depends on the severity of the condition.
If a person does not have symptoms of severe diverticulitis, they may receive treatment on an outpatient basis.
The reported success rate of outpatient management of mild diverticulitis is around
Outpatient treatment usually involves bowel rest and increased fluid intake alongside other treatments.
Below are some possible treatments for mild diverticulitis.
High-fiber foods and fiber supplements
If a person has diverticulitis, their doctor
Research suggests that a diet low in fiber may
However, it added that the quality of the studies it analyzed was low, and more high-quality studies were necessary to determine whether dietary and supplemental fiber are effective treatments.
In some cases, a person with diverticulitis may require antibiotic treatment.
If the person cannot tolerate metronidazole, a doctor may recommend clindamycin as an alternative.
Antibiotic treatment for mild diverticulitis usually lasts 7–10 days.
Clear liquid diet
A doctor may recommend that a person has a
The doctor may then suggest that the person slowly adds solid foods to their diet as their diverticulitis symptoms improve.
Below are some treatment options for severe diverticulitis.
If a person requires inpatient treatment for diverticulitis, they
Usually, a person will have IV antibiotics for 3–5 days. Once this course is complete, they will usually switch to oral antibiotics for 10–14 days.
Treatments for diverticular bleeding
In some cases, a person with diverticulitis
In some cases, this bleeding may stop on its own. Other times, a person may require treatment.
A doctor can find and stop diverticular bleeding using a colonoscopy or an angiogram.
For a colonoscopy, a doctor will insert a special colonoscope or scope to look inside the rectum and colon. They can then find the source of the bleeding and insert special tools through the colonoscope to stop the bleeding.
An angiogram is a type of X-ray that uses dye to help detect blood vessels. A radiologist can inject certain medicines or other materials into specific blood vessels to stop diverticular bleeding.
Treating diverticular abscesses
The signs of an abscess are a fever that does not subside despite treatment with IV antibiotics and a tender abdomen.
A doctor can treat smaller diverticular abscesses with IV antibiotics. They may drain the pus from large abscesses.
If a person has diverticulitis that does not respond to medical management, they may require surgery.
A surgeon removes this part of the colon and some of the rectal area.
Generally, this procedure is minimally invasive. A surgeon can often perform it by inserting instruments through small cuts in the abdominal wall. This is known as a laparoscopy.
Sometimes, a surgeon may perform this surgery through a bigger cut. This is known as open surgery.
If a person has diverticulosis or diverticulitis, a doctor
Foods that are high in fiber include:
- Grains: These are often a good source of fiber. High-fiber grains include:
- bulgur wheat
- whole wheat crackers
- whole wheat tortillas
- high-fiber cereals
- Fruits: Fruits that contain fiber include:
- dried plums
- Asian pears
- Vegetables: These are a good source of fiber. Vegetables that contain fiber include:
- green peas
- pinto beans
- sweet potato
- kidney beans
- collard greens
Here are some common questions that people ask about diverticulitis.
How long does it take for diverticulitis to heal?
If a person has uncomplicated diverticulitis, it will usually go away on its own
Outpatient management of mild diverticulitis has a reported success rate of around
Antibiotic treatment for mild diverticulitis usually takes 7–10 days.
If a person requires IV antibiotic treatment, this may last 3–5 days. Once this course is complete, they will switch to oral antibiotics for 10–14 days.
What triggers diverticulitis?
Medical professionals are
Experts believe a mix of genes and lifestyle factors can increase a person’s likelihood of developing diverticulitis. Lifestyle factors can include smoking and obesity.
Other possible factors that increase a person’s risk of diverticulitis include:
- bacteria or stool getting caught in a pouch in the colon
- changes in the microbiome of the intestines
- problems with the connective tissue, muscles, or nerves in the colon
- problems with the immune system
Common treatments for mild diverticulitis include adding fiber to the diet, antibiotics, and a clear liquid diet.
Treatments for more severe diverticulitis include IV antibiotics and surgery.
In some cases, a doctor may also treat the abscesses that can form or diverticular bleeding.