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In diverticulosis and diverticulitis, pouches called diverticula form in the wall of the large intestine, or colon.
Doctors aren't sure what causes these pouches in the colon. But they think that a low-fibre diet may play a role. A low-fibre diet can cause small, hard stools. This means it takes more pressure in the colon to move stools out of the body. This puts more pressure on the walls of the colon. The pressure from this may cause pouches to form in weak spots along the colon.
You may be able to lower your chance of getting diverticulitis. You can do this by taking steps to prevent constipation.
The best way to treat diverticulosis is to avoid constipation. Treatment for diverticulitis includes antibiotics. It often includes a change in your diet. You may need only liquids at first. Your doctor may suggest medicines for pain or belly cramps. In some cases, surgery may be needed.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
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Current as of: March 22, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
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