WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Diverticulitis is a condition in which small pockets along your intestine called diverticula become inflamed or infected. This is caused by hard bowel movement, food, or bacteria that get stuck in the pockets.
- Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help treat an infection caused by bacteria.
- NSAIDs: These medicines decrease swelling, pain, and fever. NSAIDs are available without a doctor's order. Ask your caregiver which medicine is right for you. Ask how much to take and when to take it. Take as directed. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding and kidney problems if not taken correctly.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
- Eat low-fiber foods: You will need to follow a low-fiber diet until your symptoms are gone. Your primary healthcare provider will tell you when you can slowly add high-fiber foods back into your diet. Low-fiber foods include cream of wheat, white bread, white pasta, and white rice. They also include canned or well-cooked fruits and vegetables without skin or seeds.
- Drink plenty of liquids each day: You may need to drink 2 to 3 liters (8 to 12 cups) of liquids every day. Ask your primary healthcare provider how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you.
- Exercise: Ask your primary healthcare provider about the best exercise plan for you. Exercise can help you have regular bowel movements. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes every day.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider or gastroenterologist as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Contact your primary healthcare provider or gastroenterologist if:
- You have pain when you urinate.
- Your symptoms get worse or do not go away.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have bowel movement or foul-smelling discharge leaking from your vagina or in your urine.
- You have severe diarrhea.
- You urinate less than usual or not at all.
- You are unable to have a bowel movement.
- You have cramps or severe abdominal pain and a fever.
- You have new or increased blood in your bowel movements.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.