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Diverticulitis

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Diverticulitis is a condition that causes small pockets along your intestine called diverticula to become inflamed or infected. This is caused by hard bowel movements, food, or bacteria that get stuck in the pockets.


DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

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 not able to have a bowel movement.
  • You cannot stop vomiting.
  • You have severe abdominal pain, a fever, and your abdomen is larger than usual.
  • You have new or increased blood in your bowel movements.

Contact your healthcare provider 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.

Medicines:

  • Antibiotics may be given to help treat a bacterial infection.
  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her 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.

Clear liquid diet:

A clear liquid diet includes any liquids that you can see through. Examples include water, ginger-ale, cranberry or apple juice, frozen fruit ice, or broth. Stay on a clear liquid diet until your symptoms are gone, or as directed.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You may need to return for a colonoscopy. When your symptoms are gone, you may need a low-fat, high-fiber diet to prevent diverticulitis from developing again. Your healthcare provider or dietitian can help you create meal plans. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Diverticulitis (Aftercare Instructions)

Associated drugs

Micromedex® Care Notes

Mayo Clinic Reference

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