WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Diverticulosis is a condition that causes small pockets called diverticula to form in your intestine. These pockets make it difficult for bowel movements to pass through your digestive system.
- Eat a variety of high-fiber foods: High-fiber foods help you have regular bowel movements. High-fiber foods include cooked beans, fruits, vegetables, and some cereals. Most adults need 20 to 30 grams of fiber every day. You may need 26 to 40 grams each day to control your diverticulosis. Ask your primary healthcare provider how much fiber you should have. Increase your intake of fiber slowly. You may need to take a fiber supplement if you are not getting enough fiber from food.
- Drink plenty of liquids each day as you eat more fiber: 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.
- Apply heat: Heat helps decrease pain and muscle spasms. Apply heat on the area for 20 to 30 minutes every 2 hours for as many days as directed.
- 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 healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- You have a change in your bowel movements.
- You have questions about the foods you should eat.
- You have a fever.
- You have new or worse pain in your left lower abdomen.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have black or bright red 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.